International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday October 3, 2010
Purpose: To contemplate the stunning power and majesty of God and our exalted role as stewards of creation.
Scripture Text: Psalm 8 (NRSV)
(1)O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
(2)Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.
(3)When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established;
(4) What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?
(5)Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.
(6)You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet,
(7) all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
(8) the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
(9) O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
My Thoughts by Burgess Walter
Today's text reflects ancient Hebrew understanding of the universe. Thousands of years later we still are in awe of this magnificent creation. Even with all of the advantages of numerous floating telescopes we really do not have an understanding of the vastness of our universe. The astronomer Karel Vanderlugt gives a perspective when he states; “Imagine that the sun, which is a star, is the size of a grapefruit. Then the earth would be the size of a grain of sand, about thirty-five feet away. The moon would be a tiny speck of sand about an inch from the earth. Venus would be twenty-five feet distant, Mars fifty-three feet. On this scale, the next grapefruit-star would be two thousand miles away. To model our home galaxy, the Milky Way, we would need some 10 billion of those grapefruit-stars, each sixteen hundred miles apart. And our universe is made up of billions of such galaxies, all moving away from one another.”
The amazing part of all this, is God has placed us as stewards over all of His creation. But it should be pointed out it was all created to glorify the Creator, not us. We are only the assigned caretakers, yet sometimes we act as if it is our creation or that it was created for our comfort.
Verse four asks the question, “What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” John Wesley wrote centuries later, “if we consider boundless space or boundless duration, we shrink into nothing before it..... Whenever you are tempted to fear lest you be forgotten before the immense, the eternal God, remember that nothing is little or great, that no duration is long or short before Him.”
Our finite minds cannot wrap out thoughts around such an amazing, Omnipotent God, we can only, by faith, accept that we are not some fluke arrangement of cells arranged by something statistically improbable. We are what God made us, caretakers of His creation. We have been given great power and a great responsibility over our Creator's creation. What are you and your church doing to be good stewards of His creation?