“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?” vvs. 3-4
Unlike us the psalmist lived in a time of dark skies; there was nothing of what we call light pollution to spoil his nighttime view of the heavens. And what he saw was astounding. Every clear night the skies would have been filled with stars and planets, some flickering and some moving about. Some sages of his time spent their lifetimes studying the constellations and trying to make sense of what was out there. Imagine what they would have thought of the images received from the Hubble or James Webb space telescopes. The universe is so vast and beautiful: it challenges our puny minds. And that’s what the psalmist was feeling. He knew that this was all the work of God, but it was hard for him to comprehend how humans fit into this picture. And we wonder too! The universe was many billions of years old before we even showed up. And we live on a totally insignificant planet far from anywhere. Was all this an accident or is there a purpose for our existence? Astronomers and physicists argue about these questions at length and to this point they aren’t even close to having satisfying answers or conclusions. The psalmist implies that the question must go unanswered and that’s okay. We’re here now–and the place where we have our existence is awesome!
Thought for the Day: Why does the universe need humans in it?