I gaze, speechless. My pulse quickens, and my eyes well with tears. And as I stare at the images brought us by the Hubble Space Telescope, I find myself whispering, “Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee, how great Thou art, how great Thou art!”
My heart bows before the Lord, who created the stunning beauty before me. And my heart swells with thanks for before-unseen nebulas and collections of young stars, and for hymn writers that give words to my speechlessness.
When Carl Boberg wrote his 1885 poem, How Great Thou Art, and Stuart Hine translated his work into English, they both viewed their night sky with unaided eye, as men and women had for thousands of years. Pinpoints of twinkling white, gleaming in inky-black expanses, grabbed their attention. Their hearts soared as they gazed into glittering, 19th century European skies — just as King David’s had, out under the brilliance of Jerusalem’s night sky, almost 3,000 years earlier. Remember David’s psalm for the choirmaster?
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork” (Ps. 19:1).
David’s starry sky, viewed with the naked eye, proclaimed God’s magnificence, and blazed with the declaration of His preeminence. David’s heart worshiped.
In ways they never did
And here’s the amazing prize lavished upon us 21st century-ers: We, since Hubble’s launch in the 1990s, get to stare in awe at the Technicolor bursts of the far distant galaxies His hands have made. We get to gaze, riveted, speechless, at the declaration of the glory of God in ways they never did. Go yourself, or take your children, to hubblesite.org and consider His power throughout the universe displayed.
And as your eyes feast on the proclamation of His handiwork in light-years-away skies, think on Jesus, who upholds all of this by the word of His power (Heb. 1:3). For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible (Col. 1:16). His dominion staggers the mind. Stars, nebulas, and galaxies light-years wide dazzle, luminous in their created splendor. But Jesus Himself is “the radiance of the glory of God” (Heb. 1:3).
Even greater wonder
And yet He calls you His child. He sets His eye upon you and loves you each moment of your earth-bound day. Gaze in amazement at His distant nebulas, and then bow in even greater wonder at this close-up truth: He loves little you.
“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.” (Psalm 8:3-5)
O Lord my God,
When I in awesome wonder consider all
the worlds Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy pow’r throughout the universe displayed.
The sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art,
How great Thou art!
Photo 1: a nebula near the star cluster NGC2074. Credit: (NASA, ESA, and M. Livio (STScl))
Photo 2: a collection of young, hot stars 20,000 light years away in constellation Carina (NASA, ESA, R. O’Connell (University of Virginia), F. Paresce (National Institute for Astrophysics, Bologna, Italy), E. Young (Universities Space Research Association/Ames Research Center), the WFC3 Science Oversight Committee, and the Hubble Heritage Team. Credit: (STScl/AURA)