The Heavens Declare the Glory of God

Written Nov 2014: I let my dog out this morning at 0430 (I am awake at weird times because of my work schedule). And when I did, I looked up, and the stars were so bright and plentiful – breathtaking really. Immediately I was reminded of the verse “the heavens declare the glory of God.” (Ps 19:1a) It is amazing really how big God becomes and how proportionately small me and my world and my problems become when I raise my eyes to the heavens to take in the awesomeness of God’s creation. Doesn’t it always happen? When you are at the beach and look out to the place where the ocean ends and the sky begins? Aren’t we humbled? Or when we see the mountains or nature in any form really? We realize the greatness of God. Psalm 19 says, “the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork (vs 1). There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard (vs 3). Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world (vs 4).” Creation itself praises the Lord.
In Luke 19, Jesus is making His triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the multitude that was with Him began praising with a loud voice “blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord” (vs 37-8). The Pharisees tell Jesus to rebuke them (vs 39). And Jesus responds, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out” (vs 40). The stones. God’s creation would praise him. The world is so much bigger than I think.
When we are engaged in worship with the body at church on Sunday morning, and I realize that with one heart the whole church is glorifying God, I become aware that the whole church is not just the people inside of our building. It includes those in other churches in the city and in other countries. In hidden meeting rooms and in closets. The body is united in praise of the Lord. I think of heaven itself and the angels and elders around the throne praising God continually and I join my voice to the chorus. In Revelation, John describes what he is seeing:
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!”
All the creatures in heaven and on earth praise Him. How small am I? I am humbled when I realize that God and the world are so much larger than my little world that I often function in. I often think of my world as small. My sphere of influence being small. There is my family, the four people I work with and that’s about it. Or is it? Does my influence only extend to those I actually talk to? Does my reputation not preceed me at work? There are 200 employees there. And 200 residents. And their families. What about my neighbors? The teachers at the kids school? And their families? And church? And random people I meet when I am out?
I was shopping yesterday at the mall. It was early in the morning, but the stores were still busy and I noticed that not many people were smiling. I made a conscious effort to maintain a smile (besides, it’s easier on my face). And each person I made eye contact with also smiled… even just for a moment. It was amazing. Psalm 19:6, when talking about the sun says, “its rising is from one end of heaven, and its circuit to the other end; and there is nothing hidden from its heat.” Doesn’t our influence have the potential to reach around the globe? Even in just being and shining the Light? Isn’t the potential for my influence to expand the horizon for others unlimited? Jesus said in Matt 5:16, “let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Doesn’t making someone smile help them in turn to see the creation? Wouldn’t the lightening of their hearts help them to appreciate the wonder of God’s handiwork? And doesn’t that lead them to hear, even though they may not understand, the creation praising Him?
Of course, my influence may not always be positive either. Did I stop smiling when someone cut me off in the parking lot? Yes. Did my world suddenly become small again as I fumed over the gall? Yes. Did I meditate on it? A little longer than I should have. But then I turned my attention back to the One worthy of my thoughts, turned on my praise music and worshiped. And my world became bigger again. What I do, and say, and think; whether I smile or not has a global impact. I am part of the creation that declares the glory of God. Through one smile, or one act of kindness I can bring a heart closer to Christ.
The last verse of Psalm 19 (14) has become my prayer this day, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditiation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.”


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