A major astronomical event like the recent eclipse can cause people to reflect. We are reminded of our powerlessness in the face of the universe (nobody could pause the total eclipse no matter how badly they wanted to!). We are also reminded of our human power to predict and adapt (some people chased good weather for better eclipse viewing). But most of all we are reminded that nature shows God’s power, glory, creativity, and majesty, but speaks nothing of God’s grace. Grace and truth come through Jesus Christ, the image of the invisible God.
1. The glory of God is visible to all.
Psalm 19:1 (ESV) The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
The universe seems to be mysteriously designed exactly to support life as we know it.
Romans 1:20–22 (ESV) For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
2. In the cosmic sense, man is essentially powerless.
The eclipse was coming. The eclipse came. The eclipse ended. There was nothing we could do to alter it. As much as I wanted to pause the totality to enjoy it longer, I could not!
Job 38:1–4 (ESV) Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.
John 19:10–11 (ESV) So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above…”
In God’s hands, this powerlessness of mankind allows us to release ourselves into God’s hands and live in peace.
Luke 12:25 (ESV) And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
Luke 12:32 (ESV) “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
3. Mankind has a great power to predict, anticipate and prepare.
We have the great privilege and ability to think about and prepare for the future.
Luke 14:31–33 (ESV) Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
We also have the great privilege and ability to reflect on what it all means for us. We are essentially powerless. We see God’s glory and power in creation. But in Jesus we see God’s heart. Thank God for Jesus!
Hebrews 1:1–3a (ESV) Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature…
The beauty and power of the universe cause us awe and wonder and, if we acknowledge the creator behind the creation, to bow before the creator in humility. Jesus draws us in with love and forgiveness and joy and peace. The Father overwhelms us. Jesus woos us.
Points to Ponder
- What do you see in nature that causes you awe and wonder? Do you let that awe and wonder move you to worship by acknowledging the creator behind the creation?
- Reflecting on this message, what strikes you most?
- How might you think, speak or act differently based on this message? What would your life be like if you trained your mind to habitually see through creation to the creator?