Sabbaths, Feasts, and More
Marking Jewish Themes with Devotion
“When I consider the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you ordained; What is man that you are mindful of him? For you have made him a little lower than the angels and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him to steward and take dominion over the works of your hands, You placed all things under Your feet” (Psalm 8:3-6).
I loved this line in the movie “Contact” starring Jody Foster, when she was traveling through space and beholding wonders and beauty unlike anything on earth, “They shouldn’t have sent a scientist to describe this; they should have sent a poet.”
Nice compliment from the scientist to the poet! The beauty of space, stars, and galaxies is certainly worthy of the expression of poetry.
As a little girl, I sat on the front porch night after night and fell in love with the stars. My memories are vivid: The cool night air, the inky black sky, and the sparkling stars singing against the velvet dark. I heard their songs. And I sang too, all alone in my girlish meditations, private symphonies of praise to my Maker, who created in beauty the worlds beyond our world. In my ponderings, I saw the stars first and then I saw the form of God holding it all together. I longed for Him.
On those inspirational nights alone in the starlight, one Scripture came to me over and over, “Be still and know I am God.”
The dark sky, the twinkling stars, and the awesomeness of God made all of the creation I could see and not see overwhelmingly vast, limitless, beyond comprehension. Still, the weight of this knowledge did not crush me; I did not feel insignificant. I felt the opposite… that God had something important for me to contribute… that my life had meaning, purpose, and order just like the universe.
Later in life, I discovered that my culture pulled against those feelings I had as a child. I learned that very intelligent people thought and taught that man had zero significance in the role and plan of the universe — that there was, in fact, no plan at all.
Immanuel Kant, 18th-century, German philosopher, wrote that the vastness of the universe destroys the importance of humankind. Nietzsche, the 19th-century atheist, said that we are cosmic outcasts.
In spite of the conflicting opinions in the culture around me, I grew to find great contentment in what a young shepherd boy wrote about the universe:
“When I consider the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you ordained; What is man that you are mindful of him? For you have made him a little lower than the angels and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him to have dominion over the works of your hands, You placed all things under Your feet” Psalm 8:3-6.
I believe God created the universe with extravagance to prove every day, as we enjoy it, that He is capable of extravagant love. He ordained it so we could learn to measure it, study it, and draw closer to Him. I actually believe that God intends for the vastness of the universe, known and unknown, to compel us to know the Designer and Artist and intimate love for mankind. The educated men of my day had labeled me a “cosmic outcast,” but my personal experience and testimony was the opposite.
The Jewish nation across the globe grows sober pondering the Creator of the universe as they experience the cycles of their holidays. During Passover, they spring clean their homes, cleanse out the last crumb of leaven, and prepare to celebrate the miraculous, ancient deliverance of Israel. Families will retell the story of plagues, lamb’s blood on the doorposts, and escape from Pharoah’s army. They will celebrate the Ancient of Days. Still in these memories, there is a disconnect. Gone are their historical remembrances of the cleansing power of the blood of bulls and lambs, gone with the destruction of the temple in AD 70. Absent is the knowledge of the amnesiac power of the Lamb’s blood to cancel the stain of man’s sin.
My prayer is that the awesome, extravagant God of the universe will draw them out into the starry nights. I pray one by one each will sit in the silence of his heart, looking up at the stars and discovering the Jewish nation is still significant to God’s eternal plan — that the despised and rejected Yeshua is that Lamb who takes away the sins of the whole world.
I pray Jews all over the world will remember that God promised Abraham that his descendants would flourish as the stars in the sky. And that covenant-making God, who does not lie or turn a deaf ear, will not release Himself from that profound promise unless those very stars fall from the sky. May Yeshua be revealed as their long-awaited Messiah in dreams and visions and testimonies of believers around the globe.
Rejoice! It’s Passover. Yeshua is near.
For more study…
I Corinthians 5:7, Revelations 13:8, John 1:29
Work it out in daily life…
If you do not believe the Jesus or Yeshua is the Messiah of the nations and Israel, then pause to ponder this question. Has there ever been a time when you looked at the universe and stars and imagined Someone greater? Do you remember that young faith that instilled hope? That deep down longing for intimacy cannot be fulfilled by humankind alone. God fits into that hole. Pray for that same childlike revelation of HaShem again. Yeshua is the express image of the Creator in bodily form. Ask for a sign that will reveal this truth to you and for the grace to receive it.
If you believe already, then take this time before Passover and Resurrection Day to ponder the great gift God gave when He sent Yeshua. Share your testimony at least once with a non-believer.
©Bonnie Saul Wilks