“Lift up your eyes on high and see:
who created these?
He who brings out their host by number,
calling them all by name,
by the greatness of his might,
and because he is strong in power
not one is missing.”
There seems to be a built-in wonder in the hearts of people at magnificent displays of creation. In a movie I watched a few weeks ago, there is a scene in which the lead characters are standing outside captivated by the night sky and the countless stars visible away from city lights. They grow quiet for a moment, then one of them begins quoting Shakespeare. Reading this verse in Isaiah, I perceived that response in a new light.
In that moment, it’s as if there was something compelling her to speak, to respond to the wonder of what was before her. How often do our hearts feel that way? When beholding great beauty, something stirs within us to respond. And it strikes me how far short the response in the movie fell. Because the focus of those words, even written by one so renowned as Shakespeare, was earth-bound.
How much more fitting are these words from Isaiah. Elevating the focus beyond even the stars in the heavens to magnify the glory of the One who created them, who brings each one out and calls them by name, highlighting the greatness of His might and His power that keeps every star in its place, ensuring not one is lost.
The only response that truly satisfies and fills our souls when beholding the wonders of creation is praise of the Creator. The infinite, living God who is greater than all and fit it all in place, who is even now holding all things together. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). It is all designed to point us to Him.
May our hearts be filled with wonder today at the greatness of our God, at His might, His wisdom, His glory that fills the heavens and the earth, His righteousness, His justice, His mercy, and His great love. Particularly in this Christmas season, may we feel the wonder that this God is the One whose birth we celebrate, the One who chose to come to earth, stepping into time and His creation to walk among us, show us His heart, lead us to truth, endure great suffering, and give His life to make a way for us to know Him. “For in [Jesus Christ] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:19-20). This is the God who draws us to Himself. Let us respond in praise of the only One to whom praise is due.
“Praise the LORD!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.”