The Outer Fringe
‘By his breath the skies became fair; his hand pierced the gliding serpent. And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?’ (Job 26:13-14)
Have you ever stood and marveled at beautiful sunsets? Aren’t they fantastic? That kaleidoscope of colours splashed across the evening sky. At times it can almost look like the sky is on fire, or as if some abstract painter has thrown their colours on the cosmic canvas. Anyone who can look at sunsets and not be moved needs a heart transplant!
Job was a man who, even in the midst of all his troubles and questions, couldn’t get away from the wonders of creation. In chapter 26 he scans God’s handiwork: the mystery of a sky held up by nothing; of clouds full of water yet not bursting under their weight; the beauty of the moon; the horizon that separates sky and oceans; the boundaries of light and dark; the mysteries of the ocean; the beauty of the skies. And then, having marvelled, he comes out with that striking phrase: ‘And these are but the outer fringe of his works’. Imagine that! So fantastic – but just the outer fringe! Job’s God was big!
Today, we know far more than Job ever did about the wonders of the cosmos: the mysteries of the farthest extent of space to the deepest depths of the oceans. Amazing technology allows us to see things that human eyes have never seen before: the beauty of God’s intricate creation, brought about for his glory. But here is the amazing thing: even when we’ve finished marveling at all those discoveries, they are still only ‘the outer fringe of his works’! In other words, we haven’t even started to scratch the surface of God’s mysteries!
Next time you stand amazed at some aspect of creation, join Job in marveling before God that this is nothing but ‘the outer fringe of his work’ - and stand in awe!
‘You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.’ (Nehemiah 9:6)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont