5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
The moon rises slowly over a field, it is full and glowing, looking huge because of it’s position low on the horizon and it’s nearness to the earth. Liquid silver suspended in a darkening sky as stars blink on in swirls around it. We are awestruck – perhaps ‘moonstruck’ – gazing at this beauty. It forces us to consider our place in the universe and a loving Creator God who spoke all this into being for His mysterious purposes.
In the book, One Thousand Gifts, author Ann Voskamp has such an experience. It is an epiphany for her about God’s love, her own need for beauty, and God’s personification of Beauty as the creator of masterpieces and splendor. And it’s fair to ask, ‘Could the purpose of the moon be just for us to look up at and admire and ponder and point us to God?’
The brightest and largest object in our night sky, the Moon makes Earth a more livable planet by moderating our home planet's wobble on its axis, leading to a relatively stable climate. It also causes tides, creating a rhythm that has guided humans for thousands of years. For many animals, particularly birds, the Moon is essential to migration and navigation. Others will time their reproduction to coincide with the specific phases of the lunar cycle. New research shows that the Moon may play a major role in maintaining Earth's magnetic field which permanently protects us from the charged particles and radiation that originate in the Sun.
And yet, in all it’s utility, the moon is also radiant and captivating. It makes mankind look up. Sara Groves, my favorite Christian songwriter, wrote a song about just this, which captures the point better than I ever could. Here’s a portion of her ‘Maybe There’s a Loving God’:
They have a chart and a graph
Of my despondency
They want to chart a path
And want to know what I'm thinking
What motivates my mood
To spend all night in the backyard
Staring up at the stars and the moon
Maybe this was made for me
For lying on my back
In the middle of a field
Maybe that's a selfish thought
Or maybe there's a loving God
Maybe I was made this way
To think and to reason
And to question and to pray
And I have never prayed a lot
But maybe there's a loving God
Clearly the moon is important to life on earth. And no doubt God made it to be. But He also made it mesmerizing and beautiful so that King David, Ann Voskamp, Sara Groves and me (and you) would look up at it in wonder and consider how very small and undeserving we are, and how gracious and loving our God is to create us to need and appreciate and create beauty. He cares for us enough to be intimately concerned about even the smallest troubles in our lives. He sacrificed His beloved Son so that we could spend eternity with Him. That’s so amazing. I’m not worthy. But He is worthy of all blessing and honor, glory and praise!