Our Great God (Part 1)

Sermon delivered on April 19th, 2015

By: Pastor Greg Hocson

Text: Psalm 8



What is your passion in life? What is your most powerful and compelling motivation in life. The question is not "Do you have a passion?" but rather "What is your passion in life?" Because everyone has a passion. Really, the problem is not that people do not have a passion, the problem is many times our passion is misplaced. 

But listen to Moses' song ...

Deuteronomy 32:1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 2: My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:

Moses begins by calling heaven and earth to listen. Moses calls others to listen, not because he will be speaking but because of what is about to say.

3: Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. 4: He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

Moses has a consuming desire to publish the name of the LORD and to ascribe greatness unto our God. That is what I want to accomplish this morning. Actually, that is what I want to accomplish in my calling as a pastor and a preacher, to publish the name of the LORD and to ascribe greatness to our God! As I, in my own personal life behold my God, I will by the grace of God, "say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!"


I - Behold the greatness of God

The Bible is filled with statements about the greatness of God. In the book of Psalms alone, there are multiple verses where the greatness of God is celebrated.

Psalm 83:18 That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.

God is described as the Most High over all the earth. There is no one higher than God.

The opening verses of Psalm 96 exhort us to praise Him in our worship and proclamation.

Psalm 96:1 O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. 2: Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth (proclaim) his salvation from day to day. :3 Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. 


4: For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. 5: For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. 6: Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

We find the same theme in ...

Psalm 145:1 I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. 2: Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. 


3: Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.

His greatness no one can fathom.

In the last culminating psalm of this beautiful worship and praise book of the nation of Israel and of all of God's people, there is a symphony of praise to the Lord.

Psalm 150:1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. 2: Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.


II - The Heavens Declare the Glory and Greatness of God

1: O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. 2: Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. 3: When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

In this Psalm, David started by celebrating the greatness of God.

1: O LORD our Lord, how excellent (majestic) is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

How did David come to the realization that God is great? By looking up into the heavens.

1: O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set (revealed, displayed) thy glory above the heavens. 3: When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

If you want to get an idea how great our God is, all you need to do is to behold the heavens ....


1. The number of the stars

Year 150 B.C. Hipparchus, an Astronomer, who studied the stars, claimed that the number of stars are 1,022 stars. Ptolemy, counted the stars, and counted it to be 1026. He found four more stars. Then a young medical students named Galileo invented his first crude telescope and turn it up to the heavens and when he did he was amazed at what he discovered. He found millions and millions of stars.

Hubble Space Telescopes

Today with our great Hubble Space Telescopes we keep discovering new stars. Billions and billions of stars are being discovered.  

Our Milky Way Galaxy is estimated, to be inhabited by about 300 billion stars. One Astronomer said, If you were to count the billions of stars in our galaxy, one star per second, it will take 2500 years to count them all." That's just in our galaxy alone and there are estimated 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe.

A modern astrologer says there are 12 octillion stars. He said octillion is more than the grain of sand on all the seashore of all the earth. The Heavens are great but God is infinitely greater. What the size of the universe tells us is, how awesome God is!

Psalms 147:4 He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. 5: Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.


Jeremiah 33:22 As the (starry) host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.

No man can ever count the stars.

Who created these starry host?

Jeremiah 32:17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:


Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

How did God create these?

Psalm 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. 7: He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. 8: Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. 9: For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.


Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

"The universe is one of God's thoughts."

Only a great God can create a great universe like ours from nothing.


2. The size of the stars

Stars come in different sizes. Our sun is a medium size star. There are stars much bigger than our Sun. To help us understand how big the stars are let us first consider the size of the earth relative to the size of the known universe.

The size of the Earth

The earth's diameter is 7,926 miles across. If you travel by car through the earth at 70 mph non-stop, it would take you about 5 days to cut across the earth.

The size of the Sun

Our sun, the closest star to our planet, is about 860,000 miles across, that is 100 times the diameter of the earth.

If we imagine our Sun is the size of a basketball (roughly 10 inches in diameter) then the Earth would barely be the size of a pin head. In fact you could fit million earths inside the Sun. The Sun is extremely large!

The size of the biggest known star

The largest known star is VY Canis Majoris, is 1.7 billion miles in diameter and about 2100 times the size of the Sun. That's huge!

If the Earth is the size of a pin head, quadrillion earths could fit inside VY Canis Majoris. If you are traveling 900mph it would take 1100 years to go around it.

That's the biggest star that we know of, but the Milky Way probably has dozens of stars that are even larger, obscured by gas and dust so we cannot see them.

The size of our Solar System

How many miles long is the solar system from end to end?

The distances in space are so vast, we cannot use rulers and tape measures. Regular meters and miles don't cut it. Astronomers use a much larger measurement, called the A.U. (astronomical unit). This is the average distance from the Earth to the Sun, or approximately 93 million miles. So the earth is 1 A.U. away from the Sun. 

But how big is our Solar System?

If we say that the end of the solar system is the cloud of comets that surrounds our solar system, then the diameter is roughly 60,000 A.U., which is 5,580,000,000,000 (over five trillion) miles. It's a big universe!

Size of our galaxy

Now, how big is our galaxy? If we are talking about galaxies, A.U. doesn't cut it anymore. If we are measuring distances in our galaxy the unit of measurement used is light years.

What is a light year?

Light Year is not a measure of time but a measure of distance. It is the distance that light can travel in one year. Light moves at a speed of about 186,000 miles/sec. Now in one year, light can travel about 6 trillion miles.

We live in a galaxy called the Milky Way Galaxy and it is about 150,000 light-years (900,000 trillion miles) across. If you decide to travel from edge to edge of the Milky Way via airplane traveling at 560miles/hr, it would take you, 0.1 trillion years.

And you thought our Solar System is big. But understand, as big as our Solar System is, compared to our galaxy, it would be the size of a quarter. How many galaxies are out there? According to scientists billions.

The heavens are awesome. The heavens give us a clue who God is. It gives new meaning to the song "It's a Small World After All." Actually this song is an understatement!

1 Kings 8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

Note the fact that even the heavens cannot contain His glory, it is set above the heavens, since it is and ever must be too great for the creature to express.

Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2: Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

This psalm sings of the grandeur of God as seen in creation. Who has not been impressed or overwhelm or felt their insignificance at the sight of the great sky above us.

Who can stand at night and gaze upward to yonder distant worlds without saying, "O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens."

Do you want to know who God is? 

Remove all limits from your mind, that is God. Look into the heavens.

The heavens are awesome only God is way more awesome. Most of us Christians have a wrong idea of who God is. We think God is our cosmic bell boy. And we treat God like a butler, a domestic helper, a medic, a maid, etc.

Isaiah 40:25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. 26: Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.

The same God who created the stars is holding all those stars together and running the entire universe.


III - A Feeling of Insignificance

3: When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4: What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

As David looks and thinks upon the heavens, as he looks at the moon and the stars he is overwhelmed. He thinks to himself how great God is to have made the vast heavens. He saw the greatness of God. But not only that, as He saw the greatness of God, he also saw his smallness. He felt so small. 

But I don't think David had a real idea of the vastness of space or of the immense number of stars that there are out there since he did not have the Hubble Space Telescope back then. If those were David's thoughts how should we feel today? Even today we have little real concept of the distances and numbers involved.

Listen to what scientists have said after realizing the vastness of the Universe:

"The massive bulk of the earth does indeed shrink to insignificance in comparison with the size of the heavens." - Nicolaus Copernicus

"There are more stars than there are people. Ever since I can remember, I've felt too big. But now I felt small. Too small. Too small to count. Every star is massive, but there are so many of them. How could anyone care about one star when there were so many spare? And what if stars were small? What if all the stars were just pixels? And earth was less than a pixel? What does that make us? And what does that make me? Not even dust. I felt tiny. For the first time in my life I felt too small." - Frank Cottrell Boyce, Cosmic

Job 7:17 What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? 18: And that thou shouldest visit him every morning, and try him every moment?


IV - Two things that amazes me

1. God is great yet thinks upon us

2. Man is small yet greatly valued by God

You could combine these truths in one statement, namely, God is great and yet mindful of insignificant man.

This is an amazing thing, that God thinks upon men, and remembers them continually.

When we talk about the insignificance of man we are not saying that men are worthless or valueless. No! A thousand times no! Man's insignificance doesn't mean that man is worthless or valueless or of no value. But we are talking about man's smallness, littleness, tininess, puniness. We are puny little speck of dust; worm of the dust.


O Worship the King

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,

In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;

Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,

Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer,


What is man? 

We are greatly valued! True you are small. I want you to see that, but listen to this you may be a speck of dust in the Universe but look how greatly honored and privileged you are! Honored above all creation!

4: What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 5: For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. 6: Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: 7: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; 8: The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

Above angels - because when angels fell into sin God left them in their fallen estate. But when men fell into sin God graciously provided salvation. He provided salvation to men while the angels were left in their fallen estate.

Above animals - What separates us from animals? We were created in the image of God. We were created intelligent moral beings, gifted with a will to choose, given the capacity to love, to know, to communicate, to feel, think and to enter into intimate relationship with the great God.

Psalm 115:15 Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth. 16: The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

We are insignificant not in the sense that we are worthless or valueless. We are God's image and therefore more valuable and more important than all the rest of the physical universe, a person, moreover, whom God loves so much that He took on flesh and bled and died to save you.

In this message I want you to see your smallness, your puniness, your littleness. You are a tiny little speck of dust.

But I also want you to realize your importance.

Luke 12:7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.


Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

God loves us not because we are valuable, we are valuable because God loves us.

1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.


Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.


At the Cross

Alas! and did my Savior bleed

And did my Sovereign die?

Would He devote that sacred head

For such a worm as I


What should this cause us to do?

This is amazing, I feel smaller and smaller as much as a learn about space. This is the earth, that all fights, all blood had been shed for it! Is it really worth for it? The sun and other stars, their sizes makes earth such tiny, not worthwhile to spend everything for it! Spend your time, energy for something more valuable, bigger...

Deuteronomy 4:19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.

Do not worship the heavens but to listen to what the heavens says and look at what heavens display.

Amos 5:8 Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:

What kind of God is He that He who can do this. I want to know Him. I want to know and understand who He is. I will seek Him with all my heart and He promises that every one who genuinely seeks Him shall be rewarded.

Jeremiah 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

I want other people to know Him! He is worthy to be known and to be made known!

We need to understand how small and weak we are but, more importantly, how great and powerful our God is. David didn't stop at feeling small, he also cried out: O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Amen!


Psalm 145:1 I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. 2: Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. 3: Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.