Love from the Heavens
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man, that you care for him?
~ Psalm 8:3-4
In the last few decades, a major revolution has been taking place in physics and astronomy. On the subatomic level, the universe has become far more mysterious, complex, and variegated than we could have ever imagined. On the cosmic level, we have discovered to our amazement that our sun is only one of 100 billion other stars in the Milky Way galaxy, that our galaxy is a single member of a local cluster of galaxies, that this cluster of galaxies is but one unit in an immense supercluster of galactic systems, and that this supercluster is only the tiniest speck in comparison with the rest of the known universe.
When we consider the immensity of the heavens and the comparatively trivial scale of our own existence on this planet, who are we that the Creator of the universe should be mindful of us? We are often tempted to doubt that the Lord of glory loves and cares for us and is concerned about our hopes and fears, our joys and disappointments.
How can we know that God really loves us? This is no academic issue, because all of us were created with a built-in need for love and acceptance. Eternity has been implanted in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11), and this desperate need for unconditional love cannot be fully met on the plane of human relationships.
Nature reveals the existence of God, but it takes the revelation of Scripture for us to know that we are the objects of his love. “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10).
Love is not something static; it is dynamic. It acts for the benefit of the one loved. God didn’t merely tell us that he loves us but proved it by entering his own creation and bearing the suffering of humanity on his scourged back. This gives us a genuine basis for trusting God. “God is love” (1 John 4:8)—when he loves us he is simply being himself. F. B. Meyer wrote that the love of God is like “the Amazon River flowing down to water one daisy.”
When we come to know and believe the love which God has for us (1 John 4:16), there should be an initial and an ongoing response. The initial response is to accept God’s costly gift of new life in Christ by trusting in him and in him alone for salvation. The ongoing response is to abide in Christ by knowing him better, becoming like him, and reflecting his love.
Because God loves us, we can love him. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). But John continued by saying that our love for God is best expressed in our love for others. “And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother” (1 John 4:21). When we realize that our need for love and acceptance is fully met in our position as members of God’s family, we are free for the first time to selflessly love others without milking those relationships to get our own needs met. We are free to love others unconditionally because we know we are unconditionally loved by our heavenly Father.
Lord, let me see Your love in all the wonders of the heavens. Amen.
~ Ken Boa
Dr. Boa is devoted to a ministry of relational evangelism and discipleship, teaching, writing, and speaking. He holds a B.S. in astronomy from Case Institute of Technology, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, a Ph.D. from New York University, and a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in England. Visit his website at KenBoa.org.