The Work of God’s Fingers

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: Psalm 7-9; Acts 18

Lord, our Lord, how majestic
    is your name throughout the earth!
    You made your glory higher than heaven!
From the mouths of nursing babies
    you have laid a strong foundation
    because of your foes,
    in order to stop vengeful enemies.
When I look up at your skies,
    at what your fingers made—
    the moon and the stars
    that you set firmly in place—
        what are human beings
            that you think about them;
        what are human beings
            that you pay attention to them?
You’ve made them only slightly less than divine,
    crowning them with glory and grandeur.
You’ve let them rule over your handiwork,
    putting everything under their feet—
        all sheep and all cattle,
        the wild animals too,
        the birds in the sky,
        the fish of the ocean,
        everything that travels the pathways of the sea.
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!

Psalm 8:1-9, Common English Bible

I love Psalm 8. I think it is my favorite of all the psalms. In this psalm, the psalmist praises God for the greatness of creation. Even more, the psalmist praises God for humanity’s role in the Creation. God’s providence and God’s wisdom are so present in the words of the psalmist.

“When I look up in the sky, the works of your fingers…” Imagine as you read this, being in a light poor area during the darkest hours of the night. Look at the stars. Even if we are looking at a small part of the sky, the stars are so numerous there is no way to count them all. Or, the vastness of the oceans and all the oceans hold can seem overwhelming. Back looking at the night sky, have you ever been in one of the meteor showers? Sometimes, those come faster and more numerous than we can count as well.

The psalmist asks a really good question, “What are human beings that you think about them, what are human beings that you pay attention to them?” My answer to the psalmist’s question is, “It’s not about us. God isn’t mindful of us because of who we are. God is mindful of us because of the nature of God. God is mindful of us because God loves us. God is mindful of us because God wants a relationship with us.”

It isn’t about you and me. This is all about the love of God. What are we, humans? We are a bunch of people, who are sinful creatures and who fall short of the glory of God. And, God loves us anyway. There is a word for that, GRACE. And praise God, there is more grace in God than there is sin in us.

As I read the psalm, particularly the last few verses, “You let them rule over your handiwork, putting everything under their feet…” When I hear the environmental news, I can’t help but think God might want to rethink the dominion over all the earth God entrusts to us. Quite frankly, we aren’t doing a very good job.

But then again, the psalmist reminds us of the goodness of God and the love we should have for God… “Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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