Posted by: lepages | October 10, 2011

Our Majestic God!

Have preached an adaptation of this a couple of times, mainly because I have felt really inspired by the things I’ve reflected on, and by the blessing of a great holiday with friends in Switzerland. You can listen to the preach on the Rutland Road Church website here, but notes and photos follow…

Our majestic God!
Psalm 8

Introduction
Thought I’d share a few holiday snaps with you. Afraid they don’t do justice to the beauty which we saw, and which they give a glimpse of. Only going to show you 5 pictures, so don’t think ‘Oh no! We’re going to be here forever!’

The first one is something which was a big surprise for me.


It’s a natural beach in the mountains. In my mind sand was only produced on sea shores, but here it was… and in a number of other places we visited…. created by the force of mountain rivers on the rocks.. and forming pools in certain areas…. which were beautiful to swim in…. and with goggles on to see the fantastic fish swimming around in the water.

Never got a good photo of any of the magnificent waterfalls seen all over the place, but there was such beauty as we walked up the mountain through the woods –


water running down –


then gaps in the trees, giving a glimpse across to nearby mountains… and as you got higher


glimpses back to the lake and our friend’s town hundreds of metres below, and then when you reached the top….

a view that was breathtaking – in whichever direction you looked… and this is only one direction, looking back across Lake Maggiogore, down towards Italy.

What do you do, at those moments when you find yourself in awe, inspired by the things you see? Whether the magnificence of vast panoramas of scenery, or the intricate beauty of a flower, or tiny insect?

In our series in the Psalms, we come today to Psalm 8, which we have headed today,Our Majestic God!

And in the psalm we see how to respond to those moments.

Its on p546 of our church Bibles, but you might like to follow it on the screen as it comes up there.

READ from screen presentation





Amen??!!

This week, I took the time to listen online to the preaches that I missed over the past few weeks. Thank you to those who make that possible week in week out, to those who preached, to those who recorded and to Simon for putting them online.

Brian spoke of how as a Baptist in background he had come up with not 3, but 5 points all beginning with the same letter for his preach. I haven’t done as well as that… but I have managed 3!

How are we to react at those moments when we find ourselves awestruck by beauty, achievements we see around us?

The first thing we are to do is to REGARD them.

To regard something is to consider something or someone, to think about that person or thing deliberately. It means to give attention to, to have concern for. And all of these things echo through this brief psalm.
Our Majestic God has chosen to reveal something of his creative power and glory through his creation. When we look at creation we see something of the glory and majesty of God.

And yet, there is this incredible tension in scripture, because God’s glory, his majesty is so much greater than his creation. The creation reveals his glory and yet God’s glory is above the heavens – that’s not talking about God’s physical position, it’s saying God’s glory is so much greater than the heavens.

We can stop and look in awe at creation, be caught with the wonder of it, gaze at a beautiful flower, or butterfly, or bee, or even a spider for some of us! Look at the majestic mountains, vast open seas, the vastness of the skies and the heavens, the stars, solar systems that seem to go on forever. And yet, God’s glory is way beyond it all. But it gives us a glimpse of his glory through his creative power.

Matthew Henry in his commentary on this psalm says:-
‘It is our duty to consider the heavens.’

The psalm writer says v3, ‘When I consider your heavens…’

When did you last stop and wonder at the awesomeness of creation?
What effect did it have on you?

Romans 1:18-20 tells us that we are without excuse before God, because what may be known about God is made plain Romans 1v20
‘For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.’

If you look at creation you discover truth about God – and not just about his eternal power – but also about his divine nature.

David, the writer of the psalm is caused to reflect not only on the majesty and glory of God as he looks at the wonder of creation, but also to reflect on us puny human beings.

Is there life on other planets?
I don’t know!
But as far as our investigations have gone thus far, in the vastness of space we have not yet knowingly, generally come across sentient life.

Why would God create such vastness of space and perhaps only put sentient life that he can relate to on one small planet, in one small solar system, in one small galaxy, amongst the vastness and uncountable numbers that surround?

Perhaps it is so that we understand the awesomeness that God has chosen to value us as part of his creation, created us to glorify him and enjoy him forever, as the Westminster Shorter Catechism puts it.

David says, why are you mindful of us human beings, why do you take care of us?

Why did God put the earth where he put it?
With all the riches of flora and fauna?
Why did he put us as human beings within it?

Why did he make us only a little lower than the heavenly beings, than God himself, by making us in his image, with his emotions, with his creativity, with his desire to be in relationship with others?

And why did he see us human beings as being the crown of his creation, whom one day he will crown with glory and honour?

Why? Because he loves us!
He created us to be in relationship with him.
To be his friends.
To be his children.

Turn with me if you would to Hebrews chapter 2 in the New Testament. The person writing the letter to the Hebrew Christians quotes from Psalm 8.
Let’s read together from verse 5.

READ Hebrews 2:5-11

We, as human beings, have not yet seen the whole of creation subjected to us. We are not yet crowned with glory and honour. But Jesus, who became a human being just like us, has been crowned with glory and honour. He has suffered death in our place, so that by God’s grace we can be brought into his glory.

If you’re a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, if you’ve put your faith in Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross on your behalf, you have a glorious future, you are now a brother of the Lord Jesus Christ, a child of God, a friend of God whom you can get to know and have a growing relationship with.

Regard the wonder of creation, reflect on it, consider it and then, my second ‘R’ for this morning, RESPOND to it!

In v2 of Psalm 8 David says:-
‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise.’

Praise is a fitting response to the glory of God’s creation.
Certainly as I stood on the top of that mountain in Switzerland I was moved to praise!
I found a rock out on my own and sat there for a while gazing around, praising God for all the beauty I saw, and praising God for his creativity – the huge breadth of variety and magnificence, of colour and depth.

The verse we read in Romans says that what may be known about God is plain through creation, so that men (and women!) are without excuse!
So as we look at creation it should move us to RESPOND to God.

Matt Redman, in his song, ‘So fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Used this YouTube clip when I shared this at Russell Park Baptist Church Tuesday Fellowship) writes:-

SO FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE,
How could they say there is no God?
Reminded every breath that I take,
It’s by Your hand I have been formed.
So what am I going to do with this life You gave me?
What could I do but live for Your praise?

You gave me this breath
And You gave me this strength,
And every day I’ll live to obey You.
With all of my heart,
With all of my soul,
Let every breath I’m breathing display You, God.

There’s elegance in all You create,
Your grand designs leave me amazed.
The wonders of the way we’ve been made
Speak of Your power, tell of Your grace.

So what am I going to do with this life You gave me?
What am I going to do with this life?
What am I going to do in these days You’ve ordained?
What am I going to do with this life?

A fitting question.
We need to respond to the glory of God by giving our lives to him for his glory and praise.
Which leads us to my third ‘R’ for this morning, RESPONSIBILITY

In response to our Majestic God, who has revealed something of his glory through the wonders of his creation – and then gone on to reveal his love and his grace through the sacrifice of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, we have two areas of responsibility from this psalm.

Matt Redman sums it up well with the line in his song:-
What could I do but live for your praise?

What else can we do, but live for the praise of a God who has done so much for us?

The Westminster Shorter Catechism sums it up so well:-
The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.

God wants you to enjoy him and out of that enjoyment to find further enjoyment in giving him praise.

I hope that in a few minutes we will have joy in bringing our worship and our praise to our Majestic God.

Worship needs to be a part of every part of our lives, a giving of our lives to God in joyful abandonment.

Again, the words of Matt Redman’s song expresses this well:-

You gave me this breath
And You gave me this strength,
And every day I’ll live to obey You.
With all of my heart,
With all of my soul,
Let every breath I’m breathing display You, God.

Will you do that?
Yield your life to God and live for him, with every part of your being?

The psalm hints at an area in which that responsibility has to be worked out.
V6-8

READ v6-8

God has entrusted his creation to us.
We have a responsibility to care for it.
Maybe for some of us, it means actively engaging in environmental issues.
For others, perhaps its taking responsibility for our own small area or area of influence – working for the good of this community, or the community in which you live if you’re not local.
Perhaps it means thinking about how we dispose of rubbish, about the rubbish we produce, about recycling, about the foods we eat.
Perhaps it means caring for our own patch of creation in caring for gardens, plants, animals.
Perhaps it means thinking about our transportation – whether or not we really need to use the car with all its inherent polluting nature, or maybe, when we upgrade it looking at alternatives to straight petrol/diesel fuelling.

Conclusion

We need to regard creation and as we do so we need to respond to its creator and then we need to take on our responsibility to worship our creator and to care for the world that he has entrusted into our hands.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: