O Lord GOD, You have only begun to show Your servant Your greatness, and Your mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as Yours? Deuteronomy 3:24
Many wonders in nature capture our imagination but leave us with no ultimate answer. To ponder them in their sheer immensity and mystery leaves us speechless ― or at least it should. We should indulge in this type of meditation often as we are very prone to thinking too highly of our intelligence and knowledge.
Personally, the three most profound subjects in the natural world that warrant attention is the vastness of space, the abyss of the oceans, and the development of the child in the womb.
Consider, first, the vastness of the universe. There are many interesting things science has discovered in a few short years. They are always open to change as further discoveries come along. But on a moonless night, when stars are most visible, go out where there is least artificial light interfering with your view and look up.
Our sun is one of at least 100 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Scientists calculate that there are at least 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe, each one brimming with stars. It is estimated that there are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on all of Earth’s beaches combined.
It is estimated that there are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on all of Earth’s beaches combined
There’s a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon that often helps me keep things in perspective. In it, Calvin looks up into a starry sky and screams “I’m significant!” — only to then quietly whisper, “cried the dust speck.” Never lose the wonder of this grand ornate cathedral.
Next, the abyss of the ocean. In the Mariana Trench (35,802 feet below sea level), which includes the deepest point on the planet, the water pressure is eight tons per square inch. If you made your way down there, it’d feel like you were holding up nearly 50 jumbo jets. The abyss is totally dark, yet because of this tremendous pressure and absolute lack of light, the number of species that live in the ocean is unknown. In fact, scientists estimate that 91 per cent of ocean species have yet to be classified. They also surmise that 95 per cent of the ocean remains unexplored! More men have walked on the moon than the bottom of the ocean. How vast!
Finally, there is the formation of the human body in the womb. Every part and system of the human body reminds us that we are — to put it in biblical terms — fearfully and wonderfully made! That’s just considering the body. But what of the soul? How is the soul of every single individual so unique?
Against all that context, let’s consider Moses’ prayer given in Deuteronomy 3:24.
The astounding truth of this prayer is that it was spoken toward the end of a long life — lived, for the most part, in communion with the living God. What is so marvellous about that? It’s that Moses calls the sum total of his experience with the Almighty only the beginning!
Moses calls the sum total of his experience with the Almighty only the beginning!
Moses was neither a spiritual infant nor a stranger to the ways of God. It was no mean testimony that God spoke with Moses face to face as a man speaks with his friend.
The testimony at the end of his life was that his eye was not dim nor his natural force abated — yet, he refers to his knowledge of God as if he was still an infant child, floating amidst the bulrushes of the Nile. The most marvellous meditation we can immerse ourselves in that surpasses all other considerations in the natural world is knowing God.
The second epistle of Peter teaches the same truth. In chapter 1, the Spirit sheds light on our responsibility in sanctification. We are to add to faith virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. It tells us that, if these things be in us and abound, we will neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Then, in verse 11, we have this astounding declaration similar to that of our meditation: “For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Brothers and sisters, at the end of our lives, — after all of the work we have put into both knowing God and walking in His truth — it will be just an entrance.
It is not time to rest yet. It is an error to think that we have a handle on our knowledge of God or our walk with Him. Let us press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
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