Waxing Glory

“Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name
in all the earth!”
(Psalm 8:1)

It was only a few weeks ago that I preached a sermon on Psalm 8, a Psalm where David considered the works of the hands of God, and in turn praises him for his majesty. The Psalm speaks of David considering God’s works and specifically mentions the moon and the stars. The vivid image I get is seeing David walk out on his roof top one night. He had probably walked up there often to relax before ending the day. But this night was different; when David looked up, his mind was flooded with the glory of God.

We just had a full moon, and I was mindful of the Jewish Calendar, which is based on the lunar cycle. Something came to my attention that I found simply astonishing; something so profound that it makes perfect sense why David says a fool in his heart says there is no God (Psa. 14:1). This is what I realized: The Jewish calendar is based on the lunar cycle. This means the months are governed by every new moon. Every time they would barely see the waxing crescent, the new month would begin. Now let’s take a step back into history. The lunar calendar was said to first be used by the Ancient Sumerians from the Early Bronze Age; the time frame we are speaking of is a few thousand years before Christ. At first, they would wait to watch for the crescent, but time began to prove the consistency of the lunar cycle. After watching several cycles, they realized a pattern. Consistent patterns created a reliable calendar that is still used by many today.

It is too easy to miss the gravity and intrigue of this lunar discovery. For the moon in and of itself cannot create a crescent. What I am trying to point out is that this is not as simple to say that the moon is in the same place each month. In fact, to create a crescent on the moon, you don’t need merely one or two galactic bodies, but three. Crescents are caused by shadows from the earth cast upon the moon from the suns light. The fascinating fact is that those three galactic bodies have continued to line up with precision every lunar month. This does not happen only a few times, but it creates a consistent cycle month after month, and even year after year. Furthermore, man discovered this several thousand years ago, and the pattern remains the same. The months have not gotten smaller, nor have they gotten longer. Every 29.5 days (this is an average since months vary by a day or two), the moon, the earth, and the sun line up with precision in the same exact location, and have done so for several thousand years as far as we have discovered. I believe many would agree that it is a sensible argument to say these galactic bodies have been lining up as they do since creation. I say creation, because the theory of evolution does not provide us with the facts we need to know. The probability that a Big Bang would create such precise order between the relationship of three galactic bodies is astronomical. It is simply not possible unless it was otherwise designed.

There is only one answer for such a phenomenon as this—there is a Creator. Paul wrote to the Romans saying, “Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20). Paul understood that God set things in place that would give man-kind the evidence needed to realize there is a creator. Many things have been provided for us as evidence, but our attention for this article is a simple waxing crescent. A crescent in any other circumstance would only be an ordinary crescent, but when a pattern has been set in motion from creation to reveal the glory of God’s handiwork, such a crescent becomes faith building.

David spoke of the glory of God when he was looking into the heavens. We don’t know exactly what David was looking at when this thought came to mind—perhaps he was mindful of the constellations; Job speaks of God’s handiwork with the stars. Perhaps David was amazed at the span of the cosmos seen clearly on that cloudless night. But maybe he was looking at the waxing crescent and he too realized its curious pattern. Whatever it was that David saw, he was in awe of the glory of God.

Perhaps it was the thoughts I have right now that David was pondering: There was day when nothing existed, it was only God. There was a time when there was no sound except for the voice of God speaking all that exists into existence. On that day God set the design of the earth, the moon, and the sun, and he gave them a command. It has been 6000 years and they still obey his command with precision. When I consider the new moon and the waxing crescent, I am reminded of the glory of God. Our God truly is majestic!