Most of us are familiar with the beautiful images of the earth from the photographs taken on the various Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space missions of the 1960’s and ‘70’s. To see our beautiful blue planet from such a perspective is breathtaking. Oh, how I envy the angels their view!
The first photo of the earth was actually taken many years earlier.
On Oct. 24, 1946, soldiers and scientists at White Sands Missile Range launched a V-2 missile carrying a 35-millimeter motion picture camera which took the first shots of Earth from space. These images were taken at an altitude of 65 miles, just above the accepted beginning of outer space. The film survived the crash landing because it was encased in a steel cassette. (Spacecenter.org)
Seriously, thank God somebody thought about a steel cassette.
In Psalm 8, we get a word-picture of the majesty of the earth from the Psalmist’s perspective. Imagine how he stood on the desert sands of Israel and looked up at the sky every night, contemplating the nature of God. This is what he was inspired to write:
Psalm 8 (Common English Bible)
Lord, our Lord, how majestic
is your name throughout the earth!
You made your glory higher than heaven!
2 From the mouths of nursing babies
you have laid a strong foundation
because of your foes,
in order to stop vengeful enemies.
3 When I look up at your skies,
at what your fingers made—
the moon and the stars
that you set firmly in place—
4 what are human beings
that you think about them;
what are human beings
that you pay attention to them?
Ah, the question. With all that you have created, what are we, that you would even pay attention to us? With all the violence and hatred in the world today, how have you not given up on us?
God’s love for humanity in that regard is nothing less than stunning. That God could spin all the universes into place and still care about where you left your car keys is nothing short of unfathomable.
5 You’ve made them only slightly less than divine,
crowning them with glory and grandeur.
6 You’ve let them rule over your handiwork,
putting everything under their feet—
7 all sheep and all cattle,
the wild animals too,
8 the birds in the sky,
the fish of the ocean,
everything that travels the pathways of the sea.
So the next time you are feeling down about yourself, having a rough day, and questioning your self-worth, consider with what high regard God holds YOU. You are his beloved! He crowns you with glory and grandeur. He imparts his majesty to you, and thinks about you all the time. Someone once said that if God had a refrigerator, your school picture would be on it. Imagine that!
Ponder all this next time you look up at the stars.
9 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!