Crowned with Glory and Honor

Listen to this week’s Devotional here.


Author: Bob von Trebra

Psalm 8

O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! 

            You have set your glory above the heavens. 

Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,

             to silence the enemy and the avenger. 

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

             the moon and the stars that you have established; 

what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? 

Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor. 

You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; 

            you have put all things under their feet, 

all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, 

            the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. 

O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! 

In April of this year, I spent several days hiking the Grand Canyon in Arizona. We didn’t go all the way to the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon, but we did go about half way down. That was plenty of walking for me.

The canyon is impressive, majestic, and beautiful. It was interesting to see how the plants and flowers changed as one descended into the canyon. But the most awesome sight to me was the many layers of different kinds and colors of rock that were exposed by the river cutting its way through the rising earth. The upper layers were formed over the course of hundreds of millions of years when that area was covered by seas, teeming with life, or by massive sand dunes. Down at the bottom of the canyon are more ancient rocks, almost two billion years old – nearly half the age of the earth.

The time scales and forces involved in creating this beautiful canyon are almost incomprehensible. In my lifetime, perhaps a quarter of an inch of dust might be added to the plateaus around the canyon, or eroded away. It is easy to feel very small and insignificant in such an awesome landscape.

If that weren’t enough, NASA just released the first pictures from the new James Webb space telescope, showing spectacular images of Jupiter, in our own solar system, and the light from distant stars that has been traveling towards earth for about 13 billion years – a time when the universe was still quite young. Our existence here on earth would seem to have very little significance to those distant worlds. We are a very small part of this universe.

Even here on earth, the overwhelming and complex problems of global climate change, violence, racism, and exploitation of the earth and its people, may make us feel like our efforts are small and insignificant.

The composer of Psalm 8 seemed to have similar feelings of insignificance. Who are we mortals, O God, that you care about us? But the psalmist expressed his or her belief that we humans matter to God. We may seem small in the grand scheme of things, but God does care about us, and desires to use us to improve our world and the lives of our fellow human beings. God has crowned us with glory and honor!

Let us try to work with God, using our gifts to serve others and honor God’s majestic name. Remember, the Grand Canyon was formed by the steady, persistent action of the Colorado River, moving a few bits of sand and rock at a time. Similarly, faithful, persistent love can have a huge impact on our world.

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