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Daily reminders of magnificence!

06 August 2020 15:32

Psalm 8

For the director of music. According to gittith. A psalm of David.

Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?

You have made them[d] a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them[f] with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their[g] feet:
all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

This is one of my favourite Psalms. It puts into perspective both who God is and why we should worship and praise him and also who we are in relationship to him – our status. This status is very much dependent on God’s favour as he ‘made them (us) a little lower than the angels’. I like it because I can relate to it every time I look at the sky – a wonderful sunrise or sunset (more often!), or a fabulous cloud formation, then I consider what it is that God has created and how great he is.

I teach A level Philosophy and especially enjoy the Metaphysics of God unit. Within this I love the arguments for the existence of God – the argument from or to design especially. The Teleological argument or argument from purposeful design says that there is so much evidence of design in the universe that there must be a designer and argues that this designer is God. William Paley (1743 – 1805), wrote that if you walk across the moors and come across a stone you would know that it was naturally meant to be there. If you did the same and found a watch then that is not natural and it had to be designed and made - the work of a designer. This is evident and you could say the same about your eye – it is designed for a particular purpose, or telos, for you to be able to see, again pointing to a designer. The whole idea that the universe whizzes around and does not crash into each other is remarkable – designed and following rules of natural law. Order in the universe - well you could argue that if you threw a pack of Skittles or (more deliciously M&M’s) on the floor they may fall randomly in a particular pattern. The trick is doing it so that they fall in that same pattern over and over again. Unlikely! The universal laws we depend on are not the result of random chance like throwing sweets on the floor, but a careful and marvelous Creator.’ Consider the heavens the work of his fingers’ – we are finely and deliberately placed in the universe – near enough to the sun to sustain life but not near enough to burn. It is all part of God’s fantastic planning!

I always find it humbling that when we pray and God listens we are talking to this wonderful, majestic God who created everything. What a privilege. Why is he concerned about the minutiae of our daily lives? He has other thigs to be dealing with -keeping the universe going. This is the beauty of our God - ‘what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?’   If you ever feel bad about yourself try looking at yourself the way God does – he ‘made them (mankind) a little lower than the angels  and crowned them[f] with glory and honor. You (God) made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet’. We are spiritual creatures created to have a relationship with the God who made us. He thinks so much of us that we have been entrusted to care for the earth -mmmm?

This psalm tells us of our place in creation and also of God’s glory. He is worthy to be praised and worshipped. We are able to have a renewed relationship with him through Jesus Christ his son. He loved us so much he sent his only son to die for us ‘that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3v16

In this day and age the name of God is perhaps not as majestic in all the earth as it once was – but it should be!!!! Let’s proclaim God’s glory every time we look skywards and marvel at his creation.

by Sue Stamp

Sue is a newish member of St Margaret’s church. She is married to Jonathan and have two children and three grandchildren. She has taught RE at The Littlehampton Academy for over twenty years.