Visual Aids 101
Many years ago our family and another family rented a houseboat for a week on Lake Shasta. While we were there, we decided we would sleep on top of the houseboat, so we dragged our sleeping bags up there. When all the lights were off and everything was quiet, we put our heads back on our pillows and looked up. The stars by the thousands surrounded us. I mean, it was like you could reach out and touch the Milky Way. Amazingly, it was that same group of stars that David, the psalmist, looked at in the middle of the night. God loves visual aids!
And what do those visual aids help us learn? David wrote, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Ps. 8:3–4).
First, he observed that our Creator is creative. David described the heavens as “the work of your fingers,” as though God weaves or knits or paints. Our Creator didn’t just make one moon or one star, which would have been far more than any of us could do. He made the moon, billions of stars, humans, flocks, herds, fish, and birds—to name a few. Oh, and that’s not to mention what’s implied. He created the heavenly beings too. What vast variety!
David also observed that our Creator is omnipotent. After He made the moon and stars, He set them in place. And He makes them stay there! How does He do that?
Upon further observation of the night sky, David considered it a further marvel that God would take such care for little, tiny humans: “You made man a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas” (vv. 5–8).
Someone who could make planets and order them to remain where they’re supposed to be—who are we to Him, the psalmist wondered. When one considers the enormity of our universe and humanity’s tininess in comparison (you can’t even see us from outer space!), why should He give a rip about people? Yet, unfathomable as it might seem, our Creator cares deeply for us.
Finally, our Creator gave us a task. Rulership over all the Creator’s astonishing finger work is entrusted to humans.
Putting it all together, David can do nothing but draw an obvious conclusion. Enthusiastically he exclaims, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (v. 9). Each time I sing Michael W. Smith’s composition based on that verse I recall God’s visual aids.
Look. Up in the sky. And around you. And beneath you. What visual aids do you see? And what are they telling you about His Majesty?
About the Contributors
Charles R. Swindoll
Charles R. Swindoll has devoted his life to the accurate, practical teaching and application of God’s Word and His grace. A pastor at heart, Chuck has served as the founder and senior pastor-teacher of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. His leadership as president and now Chancellor Emeritus of Dallas Theological Seminary has helped prepare and equip a new generation for ministry. Chuck and his wife Cynthia, have four grown children, ten grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.