God’s Glory

The Crippplegate website just ran a really neat Pastor Eric Davis article on the recent total solar eclipse.  See: Eclipses are Telling of the Glory of God.  The eclipse itself and the article reminded me for the many-th time how really glorious our God really is.  And He is that way all the time – not simply when He displays His creative genius in “natural” events such as eclipses — but truly His glory is there all the time for us to witness if we will but pause to consider it.
In thinking about God’s glory I decided to capture some of my  favorite words of others which tell of God’s glory and His unsearchable riches. First, however, is Pastor Davis’ The Cripplegate article which reminded me of God’s glory.  That will be followed by the words to one of my favorite hymns, How Great Thou Art by Pastor Carl Boberg.  (My favorite line in this hymn is: “I scarce can take it in”).  And then the words to Dr. S.M. Lockridge’s (that is Dr. Shadrach Meshach Lockridge’s) declaration: That’s My King.  Finally, the evening devotional for August 22, from Charles Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening. RMF

Eclipses are Telling of the Glory of God

by Eric Davis

Pastor Eric Davis

At 11:35am MST yesterday (that was August 21, 2017 RMF), the entirety of our moon’s shadow hit the Jackson Hole area. Moving at over 1800 mph, with a shadow width of 66 miles, it brought almost instant darkness, making visible the most spectacular observable event in creation; a total solar eclipse.

In God’s kindness, I’ve had the opportunity to see pristine, underwater forests while scuba diving in Roatan. I’ve sat on the spectacular, jagged peaks of the Tetons. I’ve seen Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Northern Lights; from Alaska to the tropics.

But the total solar eclipse was like nothing I have ever seen before. There were those final, eerie, darkening minutes before totality. The bizarre feeling as it went from day to night in about 90 seconds. Cows mooing hysterically in the field next to me. The beads of light peering through the moon’s craters. The diamond ring effect. The temperature instantly dropped fifteen degrees. Then, totality. The sun’s atmosphere blasting forth in praise to God; the white, jagged rays bursting from behind the blackened moon for a full two minutes. And there was the 360 degree sunset (two sunsets in one day!). It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. It was utterly stunning; a spectacle that is emblazoned in my mind forever. I’m still wondering if I really saw it as it was completely different than anything in all creation. I can almost understand why humans have venerated that ball of burning hydrogen for millennia. 

11:35am sunset

Hype was understandably built around the event for years. They are rare, especially in the same place. The next total eclipse over the Tetons is not until July 31, 2744, so mark your calendars. But, sightseers had reservations to behold yesterday’s spectacle for a while. TV crews from all over came. And now that millions have had the opportunity to experience a total solar eclipse, it’s appropriate to briefly reflect on the event.

To successfully pull of what happened yesterday, a long list of things had to go right. The astronomical wrench had to be turned perfectly to make it happen. Take a brief look with me under the hood to behold the brilliance of a total solar eclipse.

wikipedia.org

Three objects are necessary for a total solar eclipse; an illuminating object (the sun), an object that shields it (the moon), and the receiving object (Earth). Our sun is about 93 million miles away, about seven million miles in circumference, and has a surface temperature of 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The moon is that 150,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 lb rock which is constantly moving around the Earth at about 2300 mph, and never flying off into space. Finally, the Earth is that 13,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 lb planet spinning at 1000 mph, and moving around the sun at 18 miles per second. And, the sun, moon, and Earth, like every astronomical body in the universe, hang on nothing (cf. Job 26:7).

Now, besides keeping all of those objects going, here’s the tricky thing about a total solar eclipse: all of those massive, moving bodies have to line up perfectly. But it’s more complex than simply lining up. First, the moon moves around the earth at an angle and the earth tilts back and forth at an angle. Second, the sun is way larger than the moon (63 million moons could fit inside the sun). If the moon is too close to the sun, the sun would simply shine around it and you would never have an eclipse. If the moon was too close to earth, the sun and its atmosphere would often be shielded.

For a total eclipse to happen, the moon has to be proportionally the exact magnitude in size as the sun is in distance from earth. And they have to be the same shape. That is required for the moon to perfectly block the apparent size of the sun from earth’s vantage. The moon must be at exactly the right distance from the Sun and from the Earth to cause an eclipse.

And all this is exactly what happened. During a total solar eclipse, it’s all dialed in. The sun’s distance from Earth was 400 times the moon’s distance. The sun’s diameter also happens to be 400 times larger than the moon’s. Because these ratios are the same, the sun and the moon as seen from Earth appear to be the same size, such that when the moon passes perfectly in front of the sun, it perfectly shields it. The result is the most stunning spectacle in creation.

adamjhoward.com

We should mention one more thing. While everything else is going on, the sun, and our entire solar system, together scoot through space at about 130 miles per second.

Finally, it’s simply amazing that such an event is viewable. Our universe is an extremely hostile environment to puny humans. It’s far too hot, too cold, too gaseous, and too bombarded of a place, which would make it impossible to witness an eclipse. However, it just so happens that one of the best places to see an eclipse is also a habitable planet.

If one thing goes wrong, a total solar eclipse cannot happen. Every part must be in place; every piston firing perfectly. The rightly-tweaked mechanics required for a total solar eclipse are extraordinary.

The other day I was happy that I was able to put together a storage rack for some skis in my garage. God put together a total solar eclipse, while also doing things like overseeing the other 200 billion galaxies, the billions upon billions of stars, every water molecule in Earth’s oceans, the beating of seven billion human hearts, and upholding the salvation of all his people, just to name a few.

Glory to God. There’s no one like him. Eclipses are about Christ. He upholds it all (Col. 1:17). It’s safe to say that he does stuff like this simply because he can (cf. Ps. 115:3). Worship him. Praise him. Give your life to him. He gave his for you on the cross.

Indeed, eclipses are telling of the glory of God. Yesterday, his eternal power and divine nature were clearly seen. And caution is necessary: if you do not worship Christ after seeing the eclipse, you are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness since what is known about God has been made plain to you because God has shown it to you (Rom. 1:18-21).

adamjhoward.com

Much more could be said about the glory of God in a total solar eclipse. Overall, may it move us to bow in awe and wonder at the feet of the designer of eclipses; the Lord Jesus Christ.

Feel free to share about your experience of God’s glory in yesterday’s eclipse.

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?” (Ps. 8:3-4).

“Praise Him, sun & moon; praise Him all you shining stars!” (Psalm 148:3)

*Eclipse images are courtesy of Adam Howard, from Adam J. Howard photography, who photographed the event in Grand Teton National Park.

How Great Thou Art

Carl Boberg

[The original of How Great Thou Art by Carl Boberg was in Swedish.  The version here is the most popular in the United States.  RMF]
O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hand hath made.
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Refrain:

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:
(Repeat Refrain)
And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:
(Repeat Refrain.)
When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!

That’s My King
By Dr. S. M. Lockridge

[Click HERE for a link to a video of Dr. Lockridge’s That’s My King message. RMF]

[The following is a compilation of Dr. Lockridge’s message from various sources.  Shadrach Meshach Lockridge (March 7, 1913 – April 4, 2000) was the Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, a prominent African-American congregation in San Diego, California, from 1953 to 1993. RMF]

Dr. S.M. Lockridge

The Bible says my King
Is the King of the Jews
He’s the King of Israel
He’s the King of Righteousness
He’s the King of the Ages
He’s the King of Heaven
He’s the King of Glory
He’s the King of Kings
and He is the Lord of Lords

Now that’s my King!

I wonder do you know Him

 

My King is a sovereign king
No means of measure can define His limitless love
No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shoreless supply
No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing
He’s enduringly strong
He’s entirely sincere
He’s eternally steadfast
He’s immortally graceful
He’s imperially powerful
He’s impartially merciful

     Do you know Him?

He’s the greatest phenomenon that has ever
Crossed the horizon of this world
He’s the sinner’s savior
He’s the centerpiece of civilization
He’s unparalleled
He’s unprecedented
He’s the loftiest idea in literature
He’s the highest personality in philosophy
He’s the supreme problem in higher criticism
He’s the cardinal necessity of spiritual religion
He’s the fundamental doctrine of true theology
He’s the only one qualified to be an all-sufficient savior

     I wonder if you know Him today

He’s the miracle of the age
He’s the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him
He’s the only one able to supply all of our needs simultaneously
He supplies strength to the weak
He’s available for the tempted and the tried
He sympathizes and He saves
He strengthens and sustains
He guards and He guides
He heals the sick
He cleansed the lepers
He forgives sinners
He discharges debtors
He delivers the captive
He defends the feeble
He blesses the young
He serves the unfortunate
He regards the aged
He rewards the diligent
He beautifies the meek

     I wonder if you know Him

He’s the wellspring of wisdom
He’s the doorway of deliverance
He’s the pathway of peace
He’s the roadway of righteousness
He’s the highway of holiness
He’s the gateway of glory
He’s the master of the mighty
He’s the captain of the conquerors
He’s the head of the heroes
He’s the leader of the legislators
He’s the overseer of the overcomers
He’s the governor of governors
He’s the prince of princes
He’s the King of Kings
And He’s the Lord of Lords

     Do you know Him?

Well, His life is matchless
His goodness is limitless
His mercy is matchless
His love never changes
His word is enough
His grace is sufficient
His reign is righteous
His yoke is easy
His burden is light

I wish I could describe Him to you
He’s indescribable
He’s incomprehensible
He’s invincible
You can’t get Him out of your mind
You can’t get Him off of your hand
You can’t outlive Him
And you can’t live without Him

The Pharisees couldn’t stand Him
But they found out they couldn’t stop Him
Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him
Herod couldn’t kill Him
Death couldn’t handle Him
And the grave couldn’t hold Him
That’s my King!

He always has been
And He always will be
I’m talking about
He had no predecessor
and He’ll have no successor
There was nobody before Him
and there’ll be nobody after Him
You can’t impeach Him
and He’s not going to resign

That’s my King!
Praise the Lord
That’s my King
Thine is the Kingdom
And the power
And the glory
The glory is all His
For ever
And ever
And ever
And when you get through with all of the forevers then

Yeah! That’s my King, that’s my King

Amen

The Unsearchable Riches of Christ
By Charles Spurgeon

Pastor Charles Haddon Spurgeon

My Master has riches beyond the count of arithmetic, the measurement of reason, the dream of imagination, or the eloquence of words. They are unsearchable! You may look, and study, and weigh, but Jesus is a greater Saviour than you think him to be when your thoughts are at the greatest. My Lord is more ready to pardon than you to sin, more able to forgive than you to transgress. My Master is more willing to supply your wants than you are to confess them. Never tolerate low thoughts of my Lord Jesus. When you put the crown on his head, you will only crown him with silver when he deserves gold. My Master has riches of happiness to bestow upon you now. He can make you to lie down in green pastures, and lead you beside still waters. There is no music like the music of his pipe, when he is the Shepherd and you are the sheep, and you lie down at his feet. There is no love like his, neither earth nor heaven can match it. To know Christ and to be found in him-oh! this is life, this is joy, this is marrow and fatness, wine on the lees well refined. My Master does not treat his servants churlishly; he gives to them as a king giveth to a king; he gives them two heavens-a heaven below in serving him here, and a heaven above in delighting in him for ever. His unsearchable riches will be best known in eternity. He will give you on the way to heaven all you need; your place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks, your bread shall be given you, and your waters shall be sure; but it is there, THERE, where you shall hear the song of them that triumph, the shout of them that feast, and shall have a face-to-face view of the glorious and beloved One. The unsearchable riches of Christ! This is the tune for the minstrels of earth, and the song for the harpers of heaven. Lord, teach us more and more of Jesus, and we will tell out the good news to others.
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About ronfurg

Former naval officer, federal investigator, forensic scientist, senior executive service member and pastor. In retirement serves as volunteer and life group leader at New Life Christian Church (www.newlife4me.com). Devoted to beautiful wife, kids and grandkids. Looking forward to the time when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all and that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
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