In a world that longs for meaning, the Bible gives answers. It tells of our beginning. It tells of our hope. It tells of our significance. But none of those things can be discovered without first understanding how utterly insignificant we are in this life. Yesterday, I preached through Psalm 8 and was utterly blown away at how great God is in comparison to our puny selves.
My main idea was that A Person Finds Significance For Their Life Only When They Understand The Majesty Of God! To find the truth about our purpose in life, we have to understand the truth about ourselves. And that truth is that we are not the center of the universe. God is. This is not my world, it is His. I do not deserve the praise, He does.
Psalm 8 begins and ends with a statement of praise directed to God. "O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth." Majestic means powerful or excellent. This was a way for David to reflect back to God the character of His name. This was not simply a form of address, but he was saying, "Oh God, the covenant powerful master, your name is majestic throughout the entire world." In fact, he will go on to say that His glory has been set above the heavens. For God to set His glory above the heavens means that His glory is not even contained in the highest heavens. He is so much grander, so much larger, and so much more excellent than even the excellencies that we can see with our eyes.
I can picture David out on a starry night in the pasture looking up to the sky and being overwhelmed at the size of the universe. There is something about being out in nature, looking up at the stars and moon that is overwhelming. It makes us feel as if we are really, really small. To which that feeling is right. Let me give a few examples:
- Light that leaves the sun, traveling at 186,000 miles per second will reach the earth in 8 minutes.
- As that light continues, it will take 6 hours to reach the furthest planet in our solar system, Pluto (which my son is quick to inform me is no longer called a planet - when did that happen?)
- It would take about 75,000 years to get to the most distant stars in our galaxy.
- To get to the nearest large galaxy, the Andromeda Galaxy, it would take about 2.2 million years traveling at 186,000 miles per second.
That's a really big universe, don't you think? That makes us feel small. And I can picture David outside looking up at all of that and thinking, "What is man that you are mindful of him or the son of man that you care for him?" In light of how large of the universe we live in, how stupid is it for some person on this puny planet called earth to look into a mirror and find their significance in themselves? That's stupid! But we all do it. We love to be the hero of our own stories. We love to be the center of attention. We love to think the world revolves around us.
It is only when we realize that we are infinitely small and unimportant that we are on the right path towards our real meaning in life. The answer to David's question about "what is man" is the key. Nothing. We are nothing. We have done nothing to make us lovable. There is nothing we have done that makes ourselves worthy of being care for and esteemed.
But even though we don't deserve it, God has placed His love upon us. That is where we find our hope and meaning in life. Even though we are nothing, God loved us so much that He sent His Son to this puny planet to become one of us, to live the perfect life that we could not live, so that we could have life eternally with Him. That's where are purpose and meaning are found.
If you want to listen to this message, you can find it HERE (usually posted on Tuesday).