04 July 2011

Who Am I




Psalm 8:1-9

We live in a very complex planet that is part of an amazing universe. I’m absolutely amazed when I think about our little planet we call "Earth". We know scientifically the earth is only a small planet in a relatively small solar system toward the outer edge of one of the billion solar systems in the universe. We know something of the distance. We know that light coming to us from the distant parts of the universe takes billions of years to get here. In fact! Recently the American Voyager II spacecraft reached Neptune, the last of the 4 planets it passed and took photographs of its astonishing voyage to outer space. Now Neptune is not even the outmost of the planets...... But, the radio waves sent back to earth from Neptune at the speed of light (186 000 miles per second) took 4 hours to get here. So a single set of communications from earth to the spacecraft and back to the States took one third of the day. The universe is massive and amazing! There is an estimation of over 350 billion galaxies (that’s a conservative estimation by the way). Philip Yancey gives the following description to help us appreciate the scale of that universe: “If the Milky Way galaxy were the size of the entire continent of North America, our solar system would fit in a coffee cup.” What I find more amazing is that God in His infinite wisdom and providence made this planet we call home to be a sustainable environment for humans.....animals, insects, plant life and the sufficient amount of resources to sustain it for thousands of centuries. God has prepared this small planet for one special purpose and that is a place to display the glory of His majesty and awesomeness. God is awesome! Can I say that? Not only is He awesome but He is excellent as well! By definition “excellence” means great virtue or worth; important or distinguished for what is amiable, valuable or praiseworthy.....it’s also a word that speaks of someone who is courageous, glorious or mighty. God is all those examples and so much more; that’s why I love this Psalm. David wastes no time as he pens these awesome words in the opening statement about our great God. Look at his opening remarks! (v1a) “LORD” which is Jehovah (Yahweh) and “Lord” which is Adonia.......this literally means “O Jehovah, our Adonia. It’s interesting to note in the later ages of Israel the Jewish people considered the name Jehovah to be so sacred that they would not pronounce it. So when they came to it in their reading of the Old Testament, as here, for example, they would say “Adonai” instead. In fact, when the Masoretes came in time to provide vowel pointing for consonantal Hebrew text, they wrote the vowels for “Adonia” whenever the name Jehovah occurred, as a reminder of what should be said. So when he read this verse, the pious Jew would say, “O Adonia, our Adonia,” meaning “Lord, Lord”. His name is so great they handle it with great care and concern "how majestic is your name in all the earth". See! God isn’t.........

• The big guy in the sky
• The man upstairs
• The big cheese
• The big teddy bear in sky
• Your personal genie in a bottle
• The big kahuna

He is almighty God and David proclaims this in his Psalm about the majesty to His sovereignty and glory. Two amazing and powerful titles which describes the authority and majesty of our great God. David says His name alone is so powerful and excellent, even the highest of Heavens cannot contain Him (v1b) even David’s son Solomon realized how great and excellent God is when he compared his life to Him. "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!” 1 King 8:27. God is so excellent that creation cannot exhaust the glory of God! James Boice said “Even when creation expresses His glory, revealing His existence, wisdom, and great power as well as other attributes, it’s only a partial revelation of the surpassingly greater God who stands behind it.” I personally like what R C Sproul had to say about this! “Men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their significance, until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God.” God is so big in comparison to you and I.....even David or Solomon in all their kingly glory knew this! That’s why David penned these next words. (v3). WE NEED TO SERIOUSLY PULL THE CAR OVER AND STOP HERE FOR A MOMENT! When Julie and first were married we lived right in downtown Toronto. It was definitely and experience to say the least...the bright lights....sounds and smells at time. But! There is something you overlook or never really consider WHEN YOU LIVE IN THE CITY! And that is the remarks David says in this portion of his letter! (v3) “Your Heavens”..........................”the works of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained,” When you live under bright lights or when you are living a busy lifestyle, or focused so much on self you tend to forget these simple displays of God and His awesomeness.....I can relate! I can remember the first night we arrived at NBBI to start my schooling it was completely dark out and the power wasn’t hooked up to our mobile home yet...........But there was something we didn’t see at all when we lived in the city! I knew they were there when we lived in the city but when you stand on top of a hill in complete darkness you begin to see how big God is the billions of stars that He has put in place for His excellent name. When I read this portion of david's Psalm I can picture him as a young shepherd boy sitting in the valleys at night watching over his sheep as he pens these words or as the great king that he was sitting in high tower looking up to the Heavens as he prays or reads God’s precious word. We really need to slow down and soak in some of this good stuff that God has put in place to display Himself to you and me. We stop being busy all the time; like a chicken with its head cut off and stop once in awhile and ponder these wonderful truths about the God we serve. We should be looking to the Heavens and thinking about the same things that amazes David in this Psalm. God isn’t some distant deity or a god created in our minds that you can control. He is a God who is near and very involved in His creation and most of all His created children. Jer 23:23-24 "Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? Declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? Declares the LORD.” God is so awesome and near, it amazes me that He even considers this wretched sinner such as me. Everything in this universe is in its rightful place.......He has ordained it that way. This means “everything is placed in its exact unalterable order.” (v3) That’s how excellent His name is, our awesome God would be “mindful” of you and me in His plan for the creation order. (v5-v9). Mindful means to be recognized, recount, record, remember, and make to be remembered. God who created this universe with great detail would look to man and say I give you I crown you with glory and honor. What does that mean? This is an effective way of identifying man with God and saying that he has been made in God’s image which reflects God’s glory. Not only are we crowned with glory and honors were to exercise dominion over the rest of creation. What is man that you are mindful of him “O LORD who majestic is Your name in all of the earth.” God has given angels spirits but no bodies and He has given animals bodies but no spirit.......but man, God has given both body and spirit...... David wrote “he made him a little lower than angels (or “Elohim”, God as some versions put it” (v5)Why didn’t He make us higher or equal with angels or God? The obvious answer is that God knows everything and he knows that mankind would want to be God! Take Nebuchadnezzar for moment! Here is a man who turned his back on God because he wanted to be like God.....Dan 4:30 “and the king answered and said, "Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?" This is a classic statement that speaks of many people around the globe today who made into the image and likeness of God. We call this secular humanism! Secular Humanism is a secular philosophy that espouses human reason, ethics, and justice, and the search for human fulfillment. It specifically rejects religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience or superstition as the basis of morality and decision-making. Which basically means it’s all about us....the selfish me factor! I get the glory, so forget God! What was the outcome for King Nebuchadnezzar as these words were still on his lips? “While the words were still in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, "O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will." Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles' feathers, and his nails were like birds' claws.” Dan 4:31-33. See humanism leads to a life of destruction..........David did the opposite and reflected on the one who gets the glory in and through our lives. It is very careless to minimize God or put Him on the same playing field with all the other false gods or the image of man. David reflected on the majesty of His providential plan and grace to mankind (His special creation). (v3-v4). We are all like little ants in this vast universe! But God in all His glory is ever mindful of you and me as He has placed us as extremely important to Him. He is a God who is near, not a God who is a far off or some made up deity to sooth our conscience.

1. GOD IS SO NEAR IN THIS GREAT BIG COMPLEX UNIVERSE THAT HE IS MINDFUL OF ALL YOUR SORROWS THAT HE COLLECTS ALL OF THEM AND PUTS THEM IN A BOTTLE (THE TEARS IN PUBLIC AND THE TEARS IN PRIVATE) “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” Psalm 56:8

2. GOD IS SO MINDFUL OF YOU AND ME; HE KNOWS THE NUMBER OF HAIRS ON YOUR HEAD Matt 10:29-31 “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

3. GOD IS SO MINDFUL OF YOU AND ME THAT HE PROVIDES AND LOOKS OUT FOR OUR WELL BEING. Luke 22:35 “And he said to them, "When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?" They said, "Nothing."

4. GOD IS SO MINDFUL OF YOU AND ME THAT HE EVEN DISPLAYED HIS LOVE THROUGH ONE MAN (JESUS CHRIST) Phil 2:6-8 “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

God loves us so much that He lowered Himself than His creation to display that love for fallen sinners like you and me. He didn’t have to do it but He desired to do it on behave of sinful man and woman. And when I think of what Jesus did for me ......I’m forever humbled by this statement “What is man that You are mindful of him”
As the Christian band “Casting Crowns” said in one of their songs “WHO AM I”

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart

Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
Vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I’m calling
Lord, You catch me when I’m falling
And You’ve told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

God in all His glory gave us a special blessing by creating us to worship Him....to tell the world of His excellent name as our mighty God! That’s why David repeats the first verus as he ponders this great love that God has for sinners like us! “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (v9) As you reflect on this passage, picture yourself in a field late at night staring up to the Heavens as David starred and declare from your heart in adoration and thankfulness “I am Yours LORD”

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