God of the stars, God of the ants (Ps. 8)

Publié le 16 août 2020 dans Traductions

One night during the heatwave last week, Brigitte couldn’t sleep, and got up to sit in the garden to get some fresh air. In the morning she told me that she observed the starry sky and even saw shooting stars. We could say to ourselves “What could be more normal” But we could also say “what could be more magnificent than this”. King David would have found it magnificent. Let’s read Psalm 8 together which he wrote.

Psalm 8, For the director of music. According to gittith. A psalm of David.
1 LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. 2 Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. 3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? 5 You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. 6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: 7 all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, 8 the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. 9 LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

God created the world for man, and man for Himself.
1) The creation: testifies of the Creator to man
2) Man: the rise and fall
3) The Creator: who, so great became man in his own Creation
In the previous Psalm, David spoke of his enemies and sought refuge in God. Here in Psalm 8, there is no more worry, no anguish, no COVID, no daily worries, not even supplication, but praise, just praise and worship, from the start to the end. No wonder Psalm 8 is meant to be sung since it is addressed to the Chief Musician, and indeed, it has often been set to music.
David begins his psalm with ‘Lord our Lord’, v1, the whole psalm is a prayer, a collective prayer that we can appropriate at any time, whether good or bad.
David chooses to concentrate all his thoughts on the person and the work of God, far from his human concerns.
The psalms reflect earthly life with its concerns, true life, while inviting us to look higher towards Heaven and to seek the glory of God. So someone may say, but I’ve never seen God, me neither, but remember the first verse of the Bible:
Genesis 1: 1 ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’.
1) The creation testifies of the Creator to man
We cannot see God, but we can see his works, which bear witness to him. Creation which is visible on earth and in Heaven shows the One who made it, God the Creator, who is above his creation of which we are a part.
Heaven is infinite, I recently saw a family member who calls themselves an atheist and who just thinking about the creation feels dizzy and has vertigo just knowing that Heaven does not stop and has no end. And for good reason, Psalm 19v1 tells us ‘The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands’.
This is enough to make an atheist uncomfortable but reassures the believer about the Creator’s greatness. His majesty rises above the heavens, that is to say, goes even higher than the infinite Heaven, because God is above the world that He created.

Therefore Psalm 8 invites us to praise God, David, the psalmist, invites us to contemplate the visible Creation when he says ‘When I consider Your heavens’ v3. He invites us to look up and think, who created these things? And why did He create them?
And what prompts David to praise God is not only in Heaven, but also in all the earth, very close to us.
The Psalm ends as it began with this magnificent praise to God v1 and 9 ‘Lord our Lord! How majestic is your name in all the earth’! Your majesty rises above the heavens,
Where do we find God’s name? David knew that it was not only in Israel, but in all the earth, whether you are a believer or not, God’s Creation is visible, because His Creation is his signature which He left to man.
When you see an ant, you can read: signed God. When you look at an elephant, you can read: signed God. When you look at a rose, you can read on it: signed God. When you look at the Pyrenees, you can read: signed God.
When David looks at God, he exclaims: ‘Magnificent’, the complete opposite of normal, ordinary.
The same spectacle of nature may appear trite to a passing unbeliever and magnificent to the believer when he considers it being created by God. It is the gaze of faith which doesn’t come from the imagination, but from the illumination of a heart enlightened by God.
Children have this view and consciously or unconsciously praise God when they marvel at a simple ant or a huge elephant that they take the time to observe, something which adults rarely do these days.
Psaume 8:3 ‘Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger’.
Jesus also said in Matthew 11:25 ‘I praise thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that
thou hast hid these things from the wise and the clever, and hast revealed them to the children’.
Do we still know how to be in awe like a child in front of Creation?
Would you be surprised to see blackbirds land on your small terrace and approach close enough to come and eat the cat food as we have seen at home.
We were also surprised to see hedgehogs who love the same catfood come to help themselves after dark.
And what a spectacle to see, on our terrace, two columns of ants walking parallel, in the opposite direction, one column to get the catfood and the other to bring it back to their galleries.
The Bible invites us to observe the Creation to teach us.
Proverbs 6: 6 ‘Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise’!
Children know how to marvel at nature and animals in particular. What if God had created animals for children? It’s so much better to play with real animals than with soft toys.
Another family member who doesn’t believe in Christ and who loves animals once said « if they are there, it’s for a reason ». Without knowing it, she was pointing to the Creator who had created them.
The whole of Creation points to God and is there to witness his power, his goodness, his love for us, so that we give thanks and praise him, through language, which differentiates us from animals.
However an atheist won’t necessarily see God’s signature in a beautiful sunset, or an elephant, or an ant, or looking at the starry sky.
And he still wonders where is God? Maybe on Mars? But he forgets to look much closer, he forgets to look at himself as being a wonder of God’s Creation.

2) Man: the rise and fall
After creating animals on the sixth day, God ended the Creation with his masterpiece, man and woman, whom he blessed (Genesis 1: 27-28 ‘So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed
them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.
Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground).” David in Psalm 139: 14 says ‘I praise You because I am such a wonderful creature’.
So why go looking for magnificent landscapes when we are magnificent. When you look at yourself, you can read: signed God who made you.
And why did He create us?
The answer is in Colossians 1:16 ‘Everything was created by Him and for Him’.
If you are wondering why you exist, here is the answer, you exist for God. Maybe it surprises you because you feel very small compared to God, and rightly so.
David gasps this when he contemplates the sky and the stars, because they remind him of God.
Let’s raise our heads. Light travels 9,500 billion kms in a year, and billions of stars are billions of light years from the earth. Does this surprise you? David was amazed. If the earth is a speck of dust in the universe, what about man who was taken from earth (son of man also means son
of Adam), insignificant. There is every reason to feel small.
And yet, the wonderful thing is that God who is above the stars is also the God of ants, and He takes care of man.
v3 ‘When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them’?
Man, although a speck of dust, fragile, mortal, is in the infinitely great God’s mind. God thinks of each of us.
Perhaps you are worried about COVID or the very uncertain economic future. God doesn’t forget you. He takes care of us, He takes care of us, because even though we are small, we were created in His image and for Him.
And why did God create everything else? vegetation, animals, birds, seafish, ants? Well, it’s for us, like a gift that God wanted to give us. The garden where He had placed Adam and Eve was called Eden which means Delights. God created man for Himself, and He created the world for
man. And He created us, so small, and gave us the honor of entrusting us with his creation by placing us above it, to give us glory and magnificence.
v 5 ‘You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. 6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet’.
Man therefore represents the creation before God to whom he must render an account, and he represents God before the creation for which he has been given the respobsibility over.
If creation had been managed by God it could have been a wonderful thing for man, but man forgot that we are not owners of Creation, just managers, and he wanted to manage it without God. It wasn’t enough for man to be above all of creation and just below God. No, he wanted to
be like God, it’s the very essence of sin, like Adam and Eve who believed Satan’s lie rather than God.
I remember my dad once saying to me « remember there is always someone above you. » And it stuck with me.
Sin has spoiled everything and overturned the order established by God. Man who is supposed to rule over creation can be barked at by a dog. It is impossible to crown man with glory and honor in his state of corrupt sinner.

Where does this ecological crisis that hit our planet come from? From man who wants to manage God’s creation without God.
Having created the world in six days rather than in one shows that God is a God of order. He created the world in a distinct and methodical way, in a precise and chronological order, by separation as regards light and darkness, and sea and earth, and according to his kind for
plants and animals. This order of creation contains a moral perspective not to mix everything up, otherwise there is confusion between good and evil, between man and woman, between man and animal, because we would take God the Creator out of the equation.
We can observe the confusion that reigns today on our planet. Morally, in wanting to be like God, man has sometimes descended lower than the animal. This is evidenced by this new bioethical law which has nothing to do with ethics and which authorizes the integration of human cells into animal embryos.
By not submitting to God, man has acquired his independence, but at what cost? Not only at the cost of his life, but he also caused the fall of all creation, God had established him above it:
the ground has been cursed, and our planet is very sick, global warming, extinction of species, which confirms that man has failed in his mandate to take care of creation. Is there still hope?
Are we waiting for an answer from God?
If man has forgotten God, God, He, has not forgotten man. v4 ‘what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? ‘.
I remember an illustration by Billy Graham. Suppose you wanted to communicate with the ants, how would you go about it? By making yourself as small as an ant, and by making
yourself an ant. Well, God, so great as He is, wanted to speak to us, so small. How? In an
extraordinary way, He literally visited us.
Let’s reread v2 ‘Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger’.

3) The Creator: who, so great became man in his own Creation
God applied this word to Himself by becoming as small as a man, making Himself an infant, to found His glory, glory that can also be translated by force. This is what amazes us when man wants to show his strength by his muscles, or a country wants to show that he has the strongest army.
Without knowing it David had prophesied the coming of the Messiah.
Luke 2:11 ‘Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
What aroused admiration in David and also in the apostle Paul, who said “1 Corinthians 1:27
‘But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong’.
This is God’s response to man’s sin: since man wanted to make himself God, indeed God was made man in Jesus Christ.
And since man wanted to take the place of God, well God took the place of man. How? He took the punishment for our sins on the cross to make our forgiveness possible. This is enough to shut the mouths of the enemy. The vindictive one is the one who aspires only to revenge. Are you amazed by this? Well you should be!
Verses 4-6 of Psalm 8 are quoted in the New Testament in the Epistle to the Hebrews and apply to Jesus. Hebrews 2: 6 ‘But there is a place where someone has testified: “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him?

7 You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor 8 and put everything under their feet. In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. 9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone’.
Because Jesus, the Son of God who became the Son of man, agreed to place himself for a time lower than the angels, we can find what Adam had lost, our rightful place below God, and above creation. .
And more than that, God crowned his own son Jesus with glory and honor through his death and resurrection, to share his glory and honor with us.
Sin wants to make us equal to God without God. God proposes that we share the glory of his Son with Him, what more could you ask for?
If a stone falls on an egg, it breaks; and if it is the egg that falls on the stone, it also breaks. God gave his Son the name above all other names.
Philippians 2: 9 ‘Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name
that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father’.
One thing is certain, the whole world will, one day, be under Jesus’ feet, in the sense that everything will return to its right place.
In the meantime, if you have not done so yet, you can call on His name, not like a magic formula, but with a sincere heart, in faith and repentance with this promise:
‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
And for us who are already in Christ, because the great God took us into consideration and visited us, us, so small, well let’s not forget to take care of the little ones, the despised, the forgotten, those that society disregarded, the elderly are often overlooked. Let us pray for them, also for the protection of unborn children so that they don’t become a thing, a laboratory object.
It’s for a good reason that the psalmist concludes his psalm as it begins.
v9 ‘Lord our Lord! How majestic is your name in all the earth’! because the earth has been honored by the presence of the Redeemer who has visited us.
When fellowship with our Creator is reestablished in Christ, everything on earth and in Heaven becomes new and beautiful, to marvel at now.

Kid’s story (Envol): The Parable of the Wealthy Man
This is Jesus who is the son of God and the savior of the world. While Jesus was on earth he taught everyone about God’s love He healed many people from their sickness, performed many miracles like calming storms and even raised people from the dead. One day a crowd gathered around Jesus to hear him talk. The crowd was so big that people were stepping on each other. Hey watch it.
Jesus was talking to his disciples when someone called out from the crowd. Hey teacher tell my brother to divide with me the property your father left us. Jesus said friend who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that? Be careful and guard against all kinds of greed. A man’s life is not measured by the many things he owns. Then he told them a story. A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself what should I do. I don’t have room for all my crops then he said I know I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods and I’ll sit back and say to myself my friend you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy eat drink and be merry. But God said to him, you
fool you will die this very night then who will get everything you worked for? Yes a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.