“The heavens declare the glory of God…”
I just took my beloved Sheltie out for his evening walk. As we stood outside I looked up into the cloudless sky and saw the planet Jupiter. It shone brightly and without twinkling the way stars do. I recall the first time I looked at that largest planet in our solar system through binoculars and witnessed some of its moons. Little did I know the significance of that gas giant planet back then. I have learned a lot in the years since.
You see, if Jupiter did not exist neither would we! For our planet to escape lethal bombardment by large objects in space we need the gravitational effect of a Jupiter to spin them away from us. Jupiter needs to be 5U away from the sun (Earth is 1U away) to be in the correct position to allow life on earth. So Jupiter is properly spaced to help maintain life on Earth.
As astronomers explore other solar systems and look for possible planets that might sustain life they are finding giant planets such as Jupiter but they are all too close to their suns to allow for a planet such as ours to sustain life. In the exploration of other solar systems to date, only our solar system has a “good” Jupiter. Our solar system is looking more and more unusual the more we explore space.
This bit of information about solar systems is given in the expectation that my readers might become more thankful for how remarkably well constructed our place in the universe happens to be. I have also learned much more about the many, many things that have to be in precise balance for life to exist on Earth. As one person put it we live on a privileged planet.
The Psalmist who thousands of years ago penned the words in our text did not have the advantage of our scientific discoveries in the last hundred or so years. However as he gazed at the stars he was overcome with awe at the beauty of what he beheld. God put into his mind the idea that the wonderful sight of a night sky spoke of how extraordinary the Person was who shaped and crafted all that he saw.
The world in which we live speaks with many voices of the Designer behind it. It is amazing to hear the multitude of voices that testify to the genius of the Creator. Whether you look through a telescope at the vast worlds beyond our Earth, or look into a microscope at the tiny and yet remarkably complex worlds it reveals, you must be humbled at what is so intricately constructed for us to witness.
We may have issues in our lives that cause us sorrow and pain. We need not be thankful for them. But remember that God has put on a spectacular display in creation for us to marvel at and be assured that His wisdom that put it all together can be used in our lives to walk through the maze of suffering.
Have you looked at the glory of God in the night sky lately? Lift up your eyes this evening and consider that what you see is for your enjoyment, wonder, and encouragement. God has made a highly unusual solar system, maybe the only one out there, to keep us safe from cosmic tragedy. It all works to keep us alive. Yes, we can thank God for Jupiter and hundreds of other things that are critically tuned in exactly the precise manner needed for us to live.