“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26-27
Some astronomers have estimated that our observable universe is 93 billion light years in diameter. That’s just the observable universe. 93 billion. Wow. I can’t claim to understand how they came up with that number, nor am I certain that their number is right, but even if they are in the ballpark…wow! Contained in all those light years are countless breathtaking celestial bodies of which mankind has only recently been able to catch significant glimpses.
With a cosmos this vast and complex, how can we think that mankind is of any real importance within it? One astronomer, Caitlin Casey of the University of Texas, has said:
“It’s rather humbling. Astronomy has taught us that we’re not the center of the Universe, we’re not even at the center of our Solar System or at the centre of our galaxy.”
Long before we humans were able to see and learn so much about outer space, the prophet-king David pondered man’s importance in light of the greatness of God’s celestial creation. He wrote:
“You have set your glory in the heavens… When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” Psalm 8:1:3-4
What about you, Disciple? Have you ever thought about the implications of our unfathomably great universe in terms of mankind’s place in it? Have you ever been troubled by your own smallness and seeming insignificance in light of what we’re learning about our great big universe?
While acknowledging the vastness of His glorious creation, God is careful to assure us that we humans are indeed significant and of great importance to Him. The earth, tiny though it may be (the Creator’s “footstool” according to Isaiah 66:1), has been a primary stage for God’s eternal work as it has been unfolding for millennia. And guess who He put in charge of this tiny yet important little planet? Humans. He made us as His likeness and image, and He authorized us to rule wisely and justly over His beautiful and “good” world. When we brought ruin and corruption upon the earth, He plotted to rescue us at the cost of His own dear Son’s life. How can it be that we mean so very much to someone like Him?
I hope you will take away at least three things from today’s meditation, Disciple:
- You and those around you matter more than any of us could ever reason or imagine;
- The love of God for lowly and flawed creatures like us is cause for gratitude, celebration, and awe-filled worship; and,
- This beautiful world hurtling along in this beautiful cosmos is a precious creation, and we, its appointed masters, should wisely and kindly care for it.
Live out your importance today, and honor the importance of others. As you do, give continual thanks and worship to the God who has created and re-created you in His faithful love.
Being made much of with you,