Weekly Devotional by Steve Craig

The Heavens Declare


     Summer is the vacation time of the year when many leave home and head to various destinations to relax and get away for a while.  I have seen pictures posted on Facebook that show beautiful sunsets resting upon the horizon of the sea, and I have seen posts of mountain ranges with glorious cloud formations.  I have seen pictures of wispy clouds lazily lying upon a beautiful blue sky posing as the backdrop for the woodlands as they embrace the shores of a tranquil lake.  It is amazing that such beauty surrounds us. 

     Like most, I too have taken such pictures.  Back in the “old days,” I would expend several precious photos trying to capture the moments when the colors were brilliantly interspaced with intricate hues which blended into a natural masterpiece.  At least with the digital cameras and phone capabilities of today, there are no decisions about “cost of film” to make one hesitate to preserve what is on display for only a few moments.  Yet, no matter how good the photograph, nothing can compare to being there and seeing it with your own eyes.  I believe that the beauty of the skies is designed to raise the gaze of mankind toward heaven, if only for a few moments.  “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork” (Psalm 91:1).  Not only the morning and evening sky are to be gazed at, but the nighttime sky holds wonder as well.  I am blessed to be living out in the country where streetlights of the city do not dampen the brightness of the stars.  When outside, I will take a few moments to look up and see the multitude of the stars.  At times the moon is so distinct that it almost seems reachable.  Even during the day, I can notice the sun as it traverses the sky.  It tells me when it is morning, mid-day, and afternoon.  It greets me as I begin my labors, and it signals that those labors will soon come to an end.  “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night:  he made the stars also.  And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth” (Gen. 1:16, 17). 

     All the wonders in the heavens are naught…to a blind man.  A blind man cannot see the colors of the sunrise/sunset.  Those without sight do not understand the descriptions given to them by others; they are without understanding.  It is sad that they cannot see the beauty and the glory of God’s handiwork.  What is sadder is that many who can see the beauty of the handiwork fail to see the glory of God.  To be in awe of the colors of the sunset does not mean that one is in awe of Almighty God who provided it.  Some credit “Mother Nature,” while others busy themselves with the “science” of how it happens.  I understand the science of refracting rays of light.  I know that dust particles and layers of atmosphere help create the colors, but I also know that my Heavenly Father created the laws of science which is the format for displaying His glorious handiwork.  I know that now, because I can see.  There was a time in which I was blind spiritually.  I could see a sunset; yes, it was pretty, but I could see no further than the colors.  It was not until I had the blinding scales of sin removed from off my heart that I was able to clearly behold the glory of God’s handiwork. 

     I was blind to God’s handiwork all around, but most of all I was blind to my sinful condition.  First, God opened my eyes to the gospel of Jesus.  As with the appeal of a beautiful sunrise, I began to gaze heavenward.  The more I gazed (understood my need of a Savior) the more I wanted to see.  At that point, I asked Jesus to forgive me and come into my heart.  He did come into my heart, and he opened my eyes to be able to see Christ in every part of my journey through life.  The vision which I received then has helped me to see God’s glory in all the handiwork that God has created.  I do not have to go on vacation to see wondrous things; I see them every day, everywhere. 

     If, when you look at a wonderful sunrise or sunset, all you see are pretty colors and interesting clouds, then you might still be blind.  There is someone behind that sunrise you need to meet; his name is Jesus.  He will open your eyes to His Word.

     “O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!  Who hast set thy glory above the heavens.”   Psalm 8:1