“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” vss. 3-4
The psalmist had never seen a picture from the Hubble Telescope; he didn’t have a clue about how old or immense the universe actually is. His conclusions were drawn completely from observations of the dark skies and years of contemplation. Yet he knew exactly what we know, namely, that in the great scheme of things human beings are pretty insignificant, and it’s amazing that they have a God-connection at all. Yet at the same time this psalmist has an elevated view of humanity’s purpose. He says, “You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet…” And for a long time that’s what humans did. They hunted and fished and domesticated cattle and poultry–and there was a kind of balance in their interactions, an appreciation for creation marked by prayer and thanksgiving. But then things changed and humans began to see the earth as a resource that could be exploited and turned into enormous wealth. Our focus on dominion has caused enormous damage and wholesale destruction of the environment. Species are becoming extinct at an alarming rate. Climate change presents an enormous challenge–particularly to those who are poor. It really is past time for us as the beloved children of God to begin acting as caretakers of the earth, and not as greedy dominators!
Thought for the Day: What will caring for the earth require of me?