#392: Fingerprints: Frailty and Honor

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Reflections by the Pond
April 27, 2009

Frailty and Honor

No heart can measure, no tongue can utter, the half of the greatness of Jehovah. The whole creation is full of his glory and radiant with the excellency of his power; his goodness and his wisdom are manifested on every hand. The countless myriads of terrestrial beings, from man the head, to the creeping worm at the foot, are all supported and nourished by the Divine bounty. The solid fabric of the universe leans upon his eternal arm. Universally is he present, and everywhere is his name excellent. God worketh ever and everywhere. There is no place where God is not.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

° ° °

Off the west side of our house, the lawn slopes gently down toward the surrounding field of grass and scrub trees. The field continues down toward the gravel road, and the distant valley. On the other side of the small valley that is so often shrouded in low-lying fog on mornings, the land slopes gently upward into the rise—not nearly a mountain, or even a hill; just a "rise"—of trees.

The landscape here in the middle of mid-America is not terribly grand. There are no towering mountain peaks, no statuesque redwoods, no crashing ocean waves. Our land-locked, undulating terrain was carved and shaped by ancient sheets of ice oozing down from the north during the Wisconsin glaciations. While those of us born and bred in these parts may be warmly inspired by the sight of rolling prairie, or vast fields of corn, there is little here to inspire awe for the visitor.

So God, taking pity on us poor deprived Midwesterners, has written the grandeur across the skies.

° ° °

On a summer's eve unclouded by smog or pollution, when the cicadas are singing in the trees and the crickets chirp in chorus from the grass, God paints His own grandeur across the canopy arching over our humble land. The orange ball easing down behind the opposite rise paints the lingering clouds with shifting colors, and, suddenly, the small man standing on the humble loam of earth is in the presence of almighty God.

When He reveals Himself in the glory painted in the sky, the heart is overwhelmed by two competing emotions. Standing on the open, downward slope of the west lawn, with the lower valley spread below and the painter's concave palette curving overhead, I feel very, very small. But at the same time I feel elevated, exalted, privileged to witness God's raw glory as if in His very throne room.


The sense of smallness we experience when standing before the wonder and beauty of God's creation actually elevates our soul. This is the genius and daring of His plan. Instead of God's creative grandeur withering us into paltry, humiliated insignificance, it, instead, raises us into the breathless glory of His presence.

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?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!

Psalms 8:3-5

God exalts us, His greatest creation, through His glory embedded in the rest of His creation.

Contrast this to the alternate view of man held by some of those in the "Deep Ecology" movement.

The planet's ecosystem is a collective living organism and operates very much like the human body... Humans are presently acting upon this body in the same manner as an invasive virus with the result that we are eroding the ecological immune system. A virus kills its host and that is exactly what we are doing with our planet's support system... Curing a body of cancer requires radical and invasive therapy, and therefore, curing the biosphere of the human virus will also require a radical and invasive approach.

Paul Watson, Captain of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

So to some, man is an invasive cancer or virus, an evil disease that should be eradicated from the face of the supposedly once-pristine planet, while to the One who created it in the first place, man is the "guest of honor" on that planet.

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

Genesis 1:27-28

The Spirit moving in the believer betrays the error in the skewed philosophy of the radical ecologist, all the while confirming the truth of God's written word. When the believer stands before the glory of God, in whatever form it may be manifested, he is at once humbled by His Majesty and reinvigorated by the trust his God has placed in him.

You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth!

Psalms 8:6-9