Thursday, 24 September 2020
Title: God’s Spectacular Handiwork!
By: Cecilia Tan 陈俊芳
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.”
Petronas Twin Towers are the world’s tallest twin towers, rising some 1,483 feet (452 metres) into the air, surpassing the Sears Tower in the USA. Now, if someone were to say to Argentine architect, Cesar Pelli, that the Petronas Towers “just happened”, he would be undoubtedly insulted and outraged!
When he was commissioned to design the monument, Cesar Pelli must have toyed with many ideas as to how the Towers should look like. Then, the ideas became architectural designs on paper which developed into a blueprint and eventually became a concrete reality. It probably took countless revisions of the design to arrive at a building that would be identifiably Malaysian, was of world class standard and which Malaysians could be proud of. In other words, it is impossible for the Petronas Twin Towers to have “just happened”!
On a dark night, the shepherd of ancient Israel, David, lifted his eyes towards the skies above Bethlehem hills and declared, “the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” Indeed, only a fool would say, “there is no God.” When David lifted up his eyes and gazed at all the glories and beauties of the universe, it is no surprise that he would burst forth in a psalm of praise of God, the author, architect and creator of it all.
David used the plural form of the word “heaven”. This is so because three heavens exist. The first is what we call the “sky” where birds and aircrafts fly. The second heaven refers to “outer space”- the location of the sun, moon, planets and stars. The third heaven is where God’s throne is – this is situated above outer space, or outside of our universe.
It is not surprising that David was overwhelmed with awe when he gazed at the night sky and beheld the Milky Way, the Galaxy in which we live. It is a spiral shaped galaxy containing several hundred billion stars, including our sun. We can sometimes see the Milky Way as a thick band of stars in the sky – there are over 100 billion stars which make up our galaxy, and there are 100 billion other galaxies just like ours in the universe!
My first experience of the Milky Way happened in the late 50s. As a little girl growing up in the small town of Kulim, in the northern state of Kedah, (yes, I am a small-town girl, not an “Uptown Girl”!😆) I would look forward to after-dinner walks to the Kulim Clock Tower which was located very near to the house where I stayed. I would hold my late Dad’s hand as we walked, looked upwards and beheld the Milky Way in all its brilliance, flowing across the sky with many constellations forming spellbinding patterns for the spectator to gaze at. What an awesome sight with millions of stars blazing in the darkness – a sight and a childhood memory forever to be cherished!
Over a period of twenty-four hours, the sky provides for all who would bother to look at it, a stunning display of colours. At the break of dawn, the night’s darkness is gradually dispelled as the sun rises slowly but surely, turning the sky into a magnificent panorama of light and colours.
During the day, the sky loses its reddish glow of the morning. It takes on a bluish hue and is often bedecked with fluffy white clouds of varying shapes and sizes forming delightful patterns.
The evening brings forth a magical sunset – the sky is aflame with awe inspiring fiery shades of crimson and orange, mellowing into soothing hues of purple and blue, leaving an afterglow of smiles, as it were, at the close of day.
Truly, “the earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.” (Psalm 24:1-2)
Our Creator God has not only revealed Himself to us through the heavens and the other wonders of nature. He also reveals Himself, His person, His power and His plans for the world through the Bible. The patriarchs, psalmists, prophets and apostles were given special insights about God and have recorded them for the benefit of generations after them.
The supreme revelation of God to mankind comes in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. In John 14:9, Jesus said to His apostle, Philip, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” Jesus was God in human flesh who visited the earth that people might know what God is like.
The responsibilities and challenges of modern living can easily rob us of a sense of wonder and the desire to bask in God’s wondrous beauty. The sky is everywhere within sight of everyone. May we constantly gaze upwards at the heavens, like David did, look at the heavenly bodies with our eyes, but see with our hearts… and be filled with wonder, awe and reverence for GOD’S SPECTACULAR HANDIWORK!
Our Heavenly Father, when we consider the heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon, the sun and the stars which You have set in place, we bow before Your majesty, Your power and Your creativity! For in Your hand are also the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to You. The sea is Yours, for You made it and Your hands formed the dry land. We praise You from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
双峰塔是世界上最高的双塔，高约1,483英尺（452米）直入云端，超过美国的西尔斯大厦（Sears Tower）。现今，如果有人要对阿根廷建筑师西萨•佩里（Cesar Pelli）说国油双峰塔仅是“偶然形成”的，那他肯定会受到侮辱并会无比愤怒！
大卫使用“天”一词的复数形式 （诸天）。这是因为三层天的存在。首先是我们所谓的“天空” ，即是鸟类和飞机飞翔的层面。第二层天指的是 “外太空” ，即日月星辰所处的层面。第三层天是上帝宝座所在之处- 它位于外太空之上或我们的宇宙之外。
大卫凝望着夜空看到我们所处的银河系时感到敬畏不已，这并不足为奇。它是一个螺旋形的星系，包含了数千亿颗恒星，也包括我们的太阳。有时我们可以将银河看成是天空中厚厚的恒星带 – 具有超过1000亿颗恒星组成了我们的银河系；宇宙中还有1000亿个其他类似我们的银河系的星系！
我对银河系的第一次体验是发生在50年代后期。作为一个在吉打州北部的居林小镇长大的小女孩（是的，我是一个小镇女孩 ，不是“大家闺秀”），我会期待着晚餐后到距离我家不远的居林钟楼（Kulim Clock Tower）去散步。一路上我会握住已故父亲的手步行，抬头观望天空，看见了光彩夺目的银河系与许多星宿漫天飞舞而形成一幅供观众凝注的引人入胜的图案。数不胜数的星宿在黑暗中闪耀的景象实在令人敬畏 – 一个值得永远珍惜的景象和童年的回忆！
傍晚带来了奇幻的日落 – 天空燃起了令人惊叹的深红色和橙色的炽烈色彩，并渐融入柔和的紫色和蓝色，一如往常地在一天结束时留下微笑的余辉。
上帝给人类的最高启示是让神子耶稣基督亲自来到世上。耶稣在约翰福音14:9中对祂的使徒腓力说： “耶稣对他说：腓力，我与你们同在这样长久，你还不认识我麽？人看见了我，就是看见了父；你怎麽说将父显给我们看呢？” 耶稣是道成肉身来到世上的上帝，好叫人得以认识祂。