Decay, Devotions Psalm 8: Awe for God

By Michelle Williams


Psalm 8

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by a stringed instrument.
1 O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
    Your glory is higher than the heavens.
2 You have taught children and infants
    to tell of your strength,
silencing your enemies
    and all who oppose you.
3 When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
    the moon and the stars you set in place—
4 what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
    human beings that you should care for them?
5 Yet you made them only a little lower than God
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You gave them charge of everything you made,
    putting all things under their authority—
7 the flocks and the herds
    and all the wild animals,
8 the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
    and everything that swims the ocean currents.
9 O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!

Ever since my childhood, I’ve been amazed by big cats—particularly tigers. With the striking contrast of their stripes and the beauty of their form, the tiger is my first memory of being completely in awe of God through His Creation. To me, these creatures have always represented the pinnacle of His artistry.

Today, the beautiful tiger is nearly extinct due to the less-than-stewardly actions of humans, whom God entrusted with Creation. God’s kingdom is eroding under our responsibility, and the tiger is only one example. Some have worked their entire lifetimes to save creatures from extinction, but too many have coveted these aspects of Creation without the proper love and reverence for the God who breathed Creation to life.

Recalling a key message from Hope Month, we heard, It is our unity in love which helps the kingdom grow, but it is our diversity of gifts which makes us strong. Although Barry delivered the message in the context of human relationships, I also believe this truth extends to the whole of Creation. We must be unified in our love and awe for God in order for Creation to grow and thrive. I also believe that Psalm 8 calls out several aspects of nature because Creation’s strength is found in its diversity.

I’ve witnessed nature’s strength through diversity at places like Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve in Fishers, where a lush and beautiful self-maintaining forest ecosystem thrives under the protection of responsible stewards. Compare that to the fragile and needy monoculture most of us find in our front yard—could it be the lack of diversity that makes a picture-perfect lawn such a chore to maintain? I know that many of us find beauty in a carpet of green grass, but there’s no denying that its maintenance is a strain on us and the rest of Creation. Could it be that we are coveting one aspect of Creation and missing the mark on holding our diversely creative God in awe?

Our awe for God is renewed when we follow David’s lead from Psalm 8—simply by gazing into the clear summer night sky and pondering God’s great reverence for us. Then look again to see how God’s majestic name shows up in every corner of His Creation.

Things To Do This Week

  • Hike through any of the nature preserves or visit a nature center near you. Take notes about the beauty and diversity of the ecosystem you observe. Even better; take children and observe how they interact with nature!

  • During your prayer routine, ask God to reveal his glory to you through Creation. Each time you find yourself in awe of nature, let it prompt you to practice gratefulness to God for making us the stewards of his glorious Creation.

  • Read Leviticus 25, Psalm 111 and Proverbs 8. Consider what God wants us to hear about our reverence for Him and His Creation.

  • Brainstorm or research new ways you can hold God in awe by improving upon your current stewardship of Creation. Blessed Earth offers a helpful worksheet here.

  • Seek out native plant species that will attract a wider diversity of creatures to your home’s landscaping.

Listen to Barry's sermon on Psalm 8.


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