Have you ever been in a place where the overwhelming majesty of God’s creation caught your breath in your throat and rendered you speechless in awe? Was it something as major as the Grand Canyon or the Mediterranean Sea, or something as small as a perfect sand dollar washing up on shore, or a newborn‘s first smile?
God’s majesty is all around, yet our busy, self-interested lives often prevent us from observing it. I have a challenge for you. Read this, then read it again. Then make a PLAN to go somewhere this week with the sole intention of observation. Even if you simply go out your front door tonight and look up, you are guaranteed to see God’s wondrous works.
Isaiah chastises us when we go for days or weeks without one simple moment of awe. I feel this rebuke sharply when I realize that I live minutes from the ocean and I haven’t set foot on the beach or even parked someplace where I can watch the ocean for many, many months. I am indeed a grasshopper.
Isaiah 40 (New Revised Standard Version)
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them like a tent to live in;
23 who brings princes to naught,
and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing.
24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows upon them, and they wither,
and the tempest carries them off like stubble.
He brings princes and rulers of the earth to nothing. How much time we have wasted by passionately following earthly leaders as though they had the power to save us! Not a one of them has the power to save us. Only God does…and he blows on them and they are carried off like the stubble that they are.
The image of God sitting about the circle of the earth and stretching out the heavens like a curtain is glorious. Ponder that for a moment and then read on…
25 To whom then will you compare me,
or who is my equal? says the Holy One.
The final image that Isaiah paints is of a God who numbers all the planets, nebula, and stars in the sky and instructs the universe where and how to spin. And he knows the names of the stars. HE KNOWS THE NAMES OF THE STARS. How could you possibly think that he doesn’t know yours? How could you possibly think that your troubles are too much to share with him, your sin too deep to be forgiven, or your circumstance too complicated to be fixed?
Lift up your eyes on high…and see.
26 Lift up your eyes on high and see:
Who created these?
He who brings out their host and numbers them,
calling them all by name;
because he is great in strength,
mighty in power,
not one is missing.
Not even the tiniest star goes missing from his sight. Neither do you.
I love that word, naught.
Me, too! It’s naught used enough as far as I’m concerned!