Summary: We live in a world that is a very hard one to live in at times. How do we deal with it? Well, we begin by looking at God’s word...
DEALING WITH AN IMPOSSIBLE WORLD
READ PSALM 37:1-17 AFTER INTRODUCTION
The headline article in "The Saturday Star" for July 5, 1997 is about the latest milestone made in space when NASA’s Pathfinder successfully came to rest on the planet Mars Friday. Pathfinder established many firsts among which it was the first spacecraft to land on a planet without orbiting it; it was the first to deploy a parachute at a supersonic speed of 1,600 kilometres per hour; and it was the first to use airbags – similar to, but larger than, those in automobiles – to cushion the impact of a landing. Among one of the scientific gadgets found in this spacecraft is a robot buggy named "Sojourner" which upon launch will be controlled remotely by operators on Earth nearly 500 million kilometres away. Shortly after landing, Pathfinder transmitted the first photographs from the Red Planet’s surface in two decades. Among the photographs of the red planet were crisp views of hulking boulders - unlike the grainy shots that scientists had warned reporters to expect. The article reports that a woman named Linda Martz of Norco (with her three young children watched the pictures on a 7.5-metre television screen) stated "It’s pretty awesome, it’s wonderful to see how big God is."
In making this statement this woman acknowledged our God as the creator of the Solar System and indeed we can affirm her statement and say yes, it is wonderful to see how "big" God is. But what about the scientists who managed to accomplish this huge feat of hurling a spacecraft over 500 million kilometres to land within 50 kilometres of their target on Mars. Oh and we must remember that this is just but one of 20 that they have completed in the course of 25 years. Less than 50 years ago such a mission would have been seen as impossible - but it was tackled and completed. But this woman’s statement when applied correctly shows the insignificance of man’s great act in the light of God’s "bigness" in getting that red planet there in the first place!
But now we look at the rest of the paper and we hear of the world we live in today. We read of how godlessness is increasing. Of how standards that have stood for decades are falling all around us. Of how Crime, lawlessness, and disrespect all seem to be growing. It is easy for us as Christians to think to ourselves that the world we are called to reach is "impossible". The same newspaper in which I read of man’s stellar accomplishments I read about man’s most deplorable failures (give examples). It is easy for the world to look at us and say where is your "big" God in all of this evil, sickness, immorality, despair. Sometimes even we ourselves are guilty of looking at our world and wondering what makes us think that we can make a difference? Sometimes we may even catch ourselves wondering if God is aware of what’s going on.
If you’ve been looking at this world in that respect lately then what David has to say in Psalm 37:1-17 is good news for you. There is hope for this impossible world! There is a positive way to look at life amidst our negative planet. David in this Psalm has preserved timeless recommendations for facing an impossible world marked by "evildoers," whose day in the sun is as fleeting as grass in the desert (Ps. 37:1-2).