Email Archive

“Upon This One
Will I Look”

11 August 2022

In ourselves we are
nothing, and yet,
God will look upon
us when we tremble
at His word

A couple of days ago I saw a very striking post regarding the size of the Earth in relation to other cosmic bodies.

Of course, each of us is just one of the billions of tiny people who’ve ever lived on the earth. (Some estimate that number to be around 100 billion people in all.) Yet, while to us the Earth seems quite large, it is just one planet in our solar system. And while it is still large in relation to the Moon and to the planets closer to the Sun—Mercury, Venus, and Mars—it is quite small compared to Uranus and Neptune, and tiny compared to Saturn and Jupiter, the largest of our system’s planets. And don’t even mention the Sun; it would take well over a million Earths to fill that up!

Going further still, there are a number of stars outside of our solar system that dwarf even the Sun, to the point that it almost disappears in comparison; how small is the earth in relation to them!

But, all of these are within our own galaxy. What if we go outside of that and ask, how many galaxies are there in the universe? No one can really say. To give some idea, however, in 1994 the Hubble space telescope took pictures over a period of time of one very small part of the heavens; according to one source, “the image covers a speck of the sky only about the width of a dime 75 feet away.” It took 342 exposures over 10 days at the end of that year. To the astonishment of the scientists, in this very, very tiny patch of the heavens, there were over 3,000 galaxies! Here is the composite photograph that came from this effort:

You can find it, and more information about photographs such as this, on this page; it is under the heading, “Ten Days in the Making”: The Hubble Deep Fields

Since then, of course, the technology has improved a great deal, and astronomers are peering ever deeper into space, only to discover galaxies even farther away. One estimate in 1999 put the number of galaxies in the observable universe at 225 billion, but more recently, that number has been upped to over one trillion. That’s not even one trillion stars, but one trillion galaxies, each of which may hold hundreds of millions of stars.

(As an aside, I would add here that I’ve long felt that one reason for the rise of atheism and general unbelief in society is that an ever-larger portion of our society lives in cities and urban areas, where there is less opportunity to appreciate God’s work in the heavens.)

So, what does all this tell us about our place in this vast-beyond-our-comprehension universe?

Surely if we are considering what we are in ourselves, we have no significance whatsoever; we’re just here for a little while, not even qualifying as tiny specks, and then are gone forever. Especially after serving in our gospel booth at a recent music festival here in Chicago (see our video, Jeff Fest Outreach 2022; be ready for a little rock music.), I just had a sense that so many people feel this way, that they are living an empty, meaningless, hopeless existence.

But in reality our lives are, or at least should be, full of meaning, for the God who made all of these things is focused not on them, but on us!

The burden of the word of
the LORD concerning Israel.
Thus declares the LORD,
Who stretches out the heavens,
Lays the foundation of the earth,
And forms the spirit of man within him.
— Zechariah 12:1

God’s focus is not on the great heavens, as vast as they are, nor even on the earth, but on man, the only being ever created who has a spirit within him, by which he can receive the divine life and thus enter into fellowship with God; when He created us He even breathed into us to form this spirit within us (Gen. 2:7). The Concise Bible Dictionary, in its entry on “Soul, Spirit,” states that in so doing,

…God set man in relation with Himself, so that no man can be truly happy apart from Him, either in present existence or eternally.

How then can we enter into a relationship with this great God, “the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them”? (Psalm 146:6). We can find the secret if we come to His word, the Bible, in a proper way:

“Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
Where is the house
that you will build Me?
And where is the place of My rest?
For all those things My hand
has made,
And all those things exist,”
Says the LORD.
“But upon this one will I look:
Upon him who is poor
   and of a contrite spirit,
And who trembles at My word.”
— Isaiah 66:1-2

So, if you desire to know the real meaning of your existence, and to come into a right relation with Your Maker, indeed, with the Maker of all the stars and galaxies and everything else within this amazing universe, look to the Bible and read it prayerfully before God! There you will find God in the person of His Son. Pray in this way:

Lord, I want to know the meaning of my existence! Open Your word to me! And show me the way of salvation in Your Son, Jesus Christ. In His name, Amen.

Surely, He will “look upon you” when you pray like this!

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— 10 August 2022 —