Isaiah 40:21-22 - (God said) "Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in."
Truly, the universe we live in is a wonder to behold. Have you lifted up your eyes from the mundane things of life to marvel at creation? When you do, you can feel so very small and insignificant. You can also feel meaningless. In a universe so vast, with so many unknowns, so many dangers, what do you matter? The notion that all this evolved by some strange chance can leave us feeling utterly meaningless, especially as we imagine ourselves as nothing more than cosmic specks.
How great is the contrast between the chance coming-into-being of the universe and the truth of God as Maker and Sustainer of all we can see—and can't!
The greatness of the Creator—and what are we like? Grasshoppers. The greatest among us are nothing. Isaiah also says, "All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass" (Isaiah 40:6b-7). But unlike the notion of a mindless universe, the Word of God doesn't aim to leave you feeling insignificant and meaningless. The Word of God brings good news to pick you up with faith and hope.
Now we can look at Isaiah 40 through the lens of faith in Jesus Christ, the all-powerful and all-compassionate Son of God. He came into our world so that we might truly know our Heavenly Father. Let's pick up Isaiah 40 again. In the verses I read earlier, God contrasted His greatness with our smallness. "Grasshoppers," God called the inhabitants of the earth. Now, beginning at Isaiah 40:25-26, the Creator promises that His power is present to help all who wait on Him with faith. "To whom then will you compare Me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. 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."
It's easy to feel insignificant and imagine we are meaningless cosmic specks. This is because we have lost the image of God. You and I need to be recreated. Enter the Son of God; enter Jesus the Christ. St. Paul writes that Jesus Christ recreates us: "He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised. ... Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:15, 17).
God, the Creator of the universe, is still at work—making new the lives of those who trust in Jesus.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, Your handiwork in the universe is marvelous to behold. Thank You for recreating us, too—in the likeness of Your Son. In His Name we pray. Amen.
Adapted from "Lift Up Your Eyes on High and See: Who Created These?" a sermon by Rev. Dr. Dale Meyer, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. Are you interested in astronomy? Do you have a favorite constellation?
2. Does describing people as "grasshoppers" make sense to you? How so?
3. Does the theory of evolution figure into your thinking of how all things came to be?
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