For the music leader. According to the Gittith. A psalm of David.
8 Lord, our Lord, how majestic
is your name throughout the earth!
You made your glory higher than heaven![b]
2 From the mouths of nursing babies
you have laid a strong foundation
because of your foes,
in order to stop vengeful enemies.
3 When I look up at your skies,
at what your fingers made—
the moon and the stars
that you set firmly in place—
4 what are human beings
that you think about them;
what are human beings
that you pay attention to them?
5 You’ve made them only slightly less than divine,
crowning them with glory and grandeur.
6 You’ve let them rule over your handiwork,
putting everything under their feet—
7 all sheep and all cattle,
the wild animals too,
8 the birds in the sky,
the fish of the ocean,
everything that travels the pathways of the sea.
9 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth (Psalm 8:1-8, Common English Bible)!
We have reached Psalm 8. I love this psalm. It is one of my favorites, if not my absolute favorite. I remember the first time I led a Disciple Bible Study class, one of the early assignments was to memorize Psalm 8. For those who are skeptical about the purpose of memorizing any scripture, think of it this way, the only Bible that is truly yours is the Bible you carry in your heart and in your head. Any Bible made of ink and paper can be taken from you. The Scripture you know you can lean on is the Scripture within. Anyway, that isn’t really what I wanted to talk about today.
Where have you seen the hand of God? I have seen the hand of God many places. As we celebrate the majesty of God, the majestic name of the Lord as David puts it in this psalm, I started to compile a list of what I think are the most beautiful works of God I have seen. A couple of things I would say up front, this is by no means a complete list. I think any of us could write a book of what and where we have seen the hand of God. Also, your list (which I home you will take the time to write, will likely be different than mine. I have seen things you have not. Likewise, you have seen things I have not.
I am going to share the place, a picture why it is on my list. In true David Letterman style, I will begin with number 10.
10. A calm as glass sea.
The water is almost never completely smooth. When it does get very calm, it is so beautiful though at night the feeling can be pretty eerie. My experience with the perfectly calm sea was returning from Europe we caught the jet stream. We had perfect weather all the way home. It was beautiful and was easy to see God’s Hand.
9. Pike’s Peak Colorado
Colorado and Wyoming are so beautiful and it is difficult to pick just one. I found this picture of Pike’s Peak taken from the Garden of the Gods. One of my favorite memories is seeing Pike’s Peak from my Uncle’s living room in Colorado Spring. At Christmas when I was 14 I could see the ski slope on that peak. I think its name was Broadmore. Hey, its been almost 50 years ago. I really remember the beauty of Pike’s Peak.
8. The night sky at sea.
The picture doesn’t do it justice. At sea, hundreds of miles from a coast, on a cloudless night and no light pollution from coastal (or if inland cities there) cities, it is an amazing sight. It lets us know how hard God was working with the creation of the heavens. The stars at sea must be seen to know their beauty and to see God’s majesty.
7. Dolphins Playing with the Ship
The dolphins would have great fun with the ship. They would come up from behind and race the ship. When they would pass they would settle back into the water, let the ship pass them, and then race them all over again. They would do this for an hour or two at a time. They are beautiful creatures and again, God’s hand is clear.
6. Whales and Eagles – San Juan Islands, Washington
n 2007 I went on a mission trip working with the Nook Sak Indians in Washington State, North of Seattle. After we finished our work, before heading home we had an opportunity to see whales and bald eagles during the same excursion. They are both truly majestic creatures.
5. The Grand Canyon – Arizona
The Grand Canyon is one of the great wonders of the planet. It is amazing how God used wind and water to create this from what was flat ground. On my most recent trip here (I have been twice), my parents joined Cindy and I on the trip. We talked about what a shock it would have been for the first settlers moving west to be on relatively flat ground and then encounter this giant hole. To see the sunset over the canyon (first trip) is magnificent. The way God colors the sky has to be seen to understand.
4. Waterfalls – Yosemite National Park – California
Most people I have known who have visited Yosemite, the thing they remember and want to talk about is El Capitan, a vertical formation of rocks more than 7500 feet above sea level and 3600 feet above the Yosemite valley. While El Capitan is impressive, make no mistake about that, these waterfalls were the first I had seen in person. I was fascinated. The beauty of God’s work is truly amazing.
3. The Fjords of Norway
I saw a lot during my time in the Navy. I have already talked about a glass ocean, dolphins, and the night sky, all at sea. And, while I saw many beautiful things, they were mostly, at best, humans having a hand in God’s work. Copenhagen Denmark is a beautiful city, but it is human work. God may have played a role, but clearly there was human work playing a major role. I could have used 40′ seas in the North Sea (This post is about God’s work and majesty. I will save God’s power for another time.) The Fjords of Norway are a great example. When my ship entered the Fjords, it was night. We were unable to see the magnificence. We sat in a small bay at anchor for a week. It was dreary and foggy most of that week. We couldn’t see the beauty. The day we weighed anchor and left the sun came out. You would see these cliffs rising out of the water more than 2000 feet. Working on the ship’s bridge, I also knew how deep the water was from which these cliffs were rising. It also was as much as 3000 feet deep. The Fjords of Norway are awe inspiring.
2. Crater Lake – Oregon
Because of this beautiful place, when I was a 12-15 year old kid, I wanted to move to Oregon. This lake inside a dormant volcano, with another dormant volcano inside the lake (Wizard Island), is much like the calm sea, like looking at a sheet of glass. Most of the time the wind cannot get to the water because of the sides of the outer volcano. Crater Lake is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Again, I know it gets redundant, God’s creation brings us beauty we otherwise would never know.
1. Lake Silence – Boundary Waters, Minnesota/Quitico Provincial Park, Ontario
After all the others this one might seem anti-climactic. Lake Silence to me (The picture is of Lake Agnes. Silence is much smaller and closer to the US border. On this trip I did spend time on Agnes and I could not find a pic of Silence). We were on Silence the day before we would be crossing the border back into the US after 10 days and more than 100 miles. I am not going into a lot of detail here. I will just say, after completing my evening duties, I pushed out in a canoe and paddled to the middle of the lake and sat and watched the sunset. As I watched the lake lived up to its name. In the distance I could hear our camp if I paid attention but mostly it was quiet. As the sunset for the first time I felt God reach out and touch me. It was not something like my profession of faith or my call to ministry. It was, for the first time, a very real feeling that God was there.
Well, those are my ten majestic scenes, ten things where I see the majesty of God. What are your ten. Where do you see God’s majesty at work. You don’t have to go into detail but I would love to see your list in the comments.
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth (Psalm 8:9).
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Seeking the Genuine,
Copyright 2020, J Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved
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