I really like Psalm 19. It includes one of the best arguments for the existence of God (which I discussed in my Day 1 blog):
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world. Psalm 19:1-4 9 (NIV)
Look up and you look back millions of years in time, because the Andromeda Galaxy (right), which we can see without a telescope, is 2.5 million light years away. The light we see from that Galaxy started travelling towards Earth 2.5 million years ago.
How cool is that?
The stars, solar systems, galaxies, planets, atmosphere, clouds, weather. All amazingly vast and complex – and perfectly tuned for man’s existence on this particular planet. Someone must have conceived the heavens…
No wonder the sky is constant proof that God exists: day by day, night by night, to the ends of the earth. The heavens don’t just prove the existence of God, they demand the worship of God – just look at that Galaxy!!
The same transcendent God who conceived of, created, and carries the universe also said this:
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, … how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Matthew 23:37 (NIV)
I just love that visual: Jesus longing to gather his children under his wings like little chicks. We are harried and helpless sheep that need a shepherd. We are chicks that need a comforting hen.
Yet, like Jerusalem, we often refuse. We want to keep the immanent God at His transcendent distance. Although He came to get us, to capture us with His love, we stand aloof, refusing to be drawn under His wings.
I am not aware of doing this, but I must do it. I must somehow run from His wings. I don’t sense the comfort that I so dearly desire.
I left out the phrase in that passage about Jerusalem killing the prophets. Like Israel and the Religious Leaders, perhaps we don’t want God on His terms, we want Him on ours. We don’t want to submit and obey – although it’s the path to life – we want our own way, our own idols. So we kill those who deliver God’s words and God’s warnings.
It’s really foolishness to think that anything other than the creator God can comfort, console, and care for us. Yet we turn away and refuse His wings.
No wonder Jesus weeps over Jerusalem. And over me.
Oh, Lord: I have complained that you hung up on me. But maybe you are right there waiting for me to come to you. Since my sin is the same as that of Israel, show me what hardness of heart keeps me from receiving your comfort. Amen.
Readings: Exodus 23:1-24:18, Psalm 19:1-6, Proverbs 6:30-31, Matthew 23:23-29. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts.