The Heavens Declare the Glory of God

Dear BPCWA worshipper, We are particularly privileged in Perth to be blessed with beautiful sunsets. Have you ever had a tough day of challenging news after challenging news? If so, then just look up, look at the sunset, and let your heart be lifted to consider the incomparable Artist behind each sunset.

The beauty of a sunset. I recently stood and marvelled at an especially beautiful sunset. The shades of flaming orange, pink, and purple blended perfectly in many amazing shapes and forms across the skies. Their colours and hues changed as the sun sank deeper down the horizon. The colours were more vivid and beautiful than any artist could ever recreate on canvas. Between the colours were dense thick grey clouds hanging heavy but yet suspended in mid-air, with the bottom of the clouds reflecting the glowing sun. Lower still were threads of thinner clouds dotting the skies, with the shimmer of the sun’s rays lighting them up. Forming a thin golden frame around the edge of the clouds was a thin lining of light. No wonder the English have a proverbial saying that “every cloud has a silver lining”. And the most stunning in the midst of such incomparable beauty, there was an opening that showed an endless empty turquoise sky – into the God-created heavens of infinite outer space which man has so limited knowledge of. And very that thought was even more awe-inspiring beyond words!

The glory of God revealed. Such dazzling displays of indescribable beauty are beheld almost every day by all on earth. And all will probably agree that they are truly amazing sights. But what is it intended to display? The beauty is not just for admiration but was for an intended purpose – “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” (Ps 19:1). This is God’s secondary revelation. Sunsets are found in every country around the world. It is independent of language and hence “there is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.” (Ps 19:3-4). Man can try to recreate the picture, but it will never do justice to the glorious beauty of the sunset – not to mention the sunrise, the shimmering night skies, and the galaxies that man cannot understand. God’s intended purpose is to cause man to realise that a Creator exists, whose power is far beyond man’s. Only God could make this everchanging marvel happen across the whole world – every day. This is God speaking to us through His revelation. While tourist attractions may sell tickets to a light show, this is a light spectacle that God repeats day after day for all to behold. And as man appreciates the beauty in a sunset, it is to reveal the God that designs incomparable beauty. The wondrous goodness of this God who beckons to all man alike to see and to know Him through His common grace. He is a God who is good to all under this sky of ours.  Yet, man continues to resist Him, even impudently asking “where is God? I will believe if I see Him” when God shows existence through His glory in creation each day to those who live under His skies.

The power of God revealed. Even while we are dumbfounded by the beautiful sights in the first heavens, how much more stunned must we be when we consider God’s creation in the second heavens. The incomparably powerful sun, moon, planets, stars, and the clouds stretching across the vast expanse of the skies tell us of a God who can hold everything up – without it actually being held up by anything visible! When we look at the skies and their vastness – we are probably smaller than even that speck of cloud that we see up in the skies. The realm of power that God holds is not just limited to the human world. Not just to the earth, but to the very heavens. His power is immense and transcends all laws. This is the God who made the laws that man has to devise means to find out, test, and know. Man through these studies can only try to explain how His creation works, but never where these laws come from. And God can cause these laws to fail when He chooses to perform miracles as we know from the Bible.  This shows that there is a Creator of these laws who is not bound by what He created. Such infinite power is outside and beyond anything that man can invent or fathom.

The next time we see a sunset or a sunrise, let us not miss the lesson that God intends for us through this beauty that He creates to reveal Himself to man. Stop to let the immenseness of this spectacle sink into our hearts, noticing the details that He spreads across the lofty skies. But as Christians, let us remember that admiring it for its beauty is insufficient. The majesty is to point every man to the Almighty God who in His power created this panoramic portrait spanning endlessly in the vast expanse of the skies. God creates it daily to cause us to sit up and take note of Him. Next week, we will look at what lessons we can learn from such a sight. But until then, when we lift up our eyes to the heavens, let His creation stir a response in our hearts to praise the God whom we serve.

Ps 113:3-4 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised. 4 The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.

Yours in our Lord’s service,