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Sermon– 10/21/01
The Germ – Psalm 19:1


 The Germ

"The heavens tell of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands" (Psalm 19:1)

We know from the interstellar vastness of outer space, that there are realities too large for us to see. We have learned from the microscope that much is too small for us to even comprehend. The amazing thing about all of it, is that this complexity of matter and energy is apparently INFINITE in scope. That is, no matter how capable our telescopes become, there is always something larger. No matter how precise and capable the device, we always find that which is small and more complex than ever dreamed possible.

Take this "anthrax" which has touched our land. It is something smaller than we would often notice. It is the touch of "face powder" on an envelope or a hint of dust in the air. It is so small and beneath our notice and yet it is large in our thoughts, because it can kill.

I’ve been fascinated by "computer viruses" for a long time. Not that they are "clever" or anything like that – Quite the contrary. But they are fascinating because they are man made. Someone sets out with the idea: "How can I harm others today? Someone I don’t even know. I know, let’s build a virus that will destroy their computers!" And they do. Actually, cleverness may be present, but this is cleverness deadened by stupidity, for we as people are not to harm one another. God will judge the one who harms another person.

Just as Cain killed Abel, brothers have destroyed their own since the beginning of time. "Am I my brother’s keeper?" (Genesis 4:9). Yes, I am, and so are you.

In the complexity of both large and small, we should see the handiwork of God. "The heavens tell of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands" (Psalm 19:1). "Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:20).

Psalm 19 is especially interesting for us right now, because it is divided into two parts. The first section is about God the Creator of everything seen and unseen. The second part is about the written Word of God, the book we call the Bible, and about our walk with Him. The one (the universe) is equated with the other (the Word of God).

"The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple, the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes…" (Psalm 19:7 and forward). In other words, the book you may or may not be holding in your hands right now (the Bible), is at least as significant in the sight of God, as the Creation of the whole universe and all it contains.

Both the universe and His Bible tell of Him. Both, if we are willing to see, will lead us in our need to the Son of God, where we will be made new in His sight. The heavens draw me to look for God. In the Bible, I find Christ; and in Him, I have found God!

The universe is large; the Bible is small. Both speak of Him. The written Word of God fits in your hand and yet is infinitely large (it will fill your heart and overflow into the lives of all you meet).

The newspaper called Anthrax both a "germ" (something small that can grow Into something large; like an acorn becomes an oak tree), and a "bacterium." The latter is a microscopic plant that, when it enters something like the human body, it can be neutral, or it can give birth to things like a disease. Certain bacteria (plural for bacterium) can also be beneficial to the organism.

Mentally sick people sent those contaminated letters with the intention of harming other people; innocent people. But God is not like them, for He has ultimate GOOD in mind for you. His book is a case in point.

In my experience the Bible has been like a wonderful healing medicine, a germ necessary to health, that has entered my very being and given me LIFE, where before there was not life. The Word of God has filled my soul and brought me to my risen Lord who has FILLED me with His Holy Spirit. From a book! Not just ANY book; this is HIS book, and He can bring it to pass – for you!

During the Spanish-American War, Clara Barton was overseeing the work of the Red Cross in Cuba. Colonel Theodore Roosevelt came to her asking to buy food for his sick and wounded Rough Riders. But she refused to sell him any relief supplies. Roosevelt was stunned. His men needed the help and he was ready to pay her out of his own funds. He asked someone why he could not buy the supplies and was told they were not for sale, but further; "Colonel, just ASK for them!" Teddy Roosevelt smiled as he understood. The refusal made sense – the provisions were not for sale. All he had to do was simply ask and they would be freely given.

Do you have His little book in your hand and it makes no sense to you? Or do you have that book and all you see in it is judgment and do you miss the love? My friend, just ask, and all will be given to you. You will understand, you will know His love; you will find peace with God.

Father, we come to You right now. There is so much we have not understood. Help us to not only understand, but let us know Your love. Surprise us with the joy that filled Mary Magdalene as she clung to her risen Lord. Fill us with the peace of Stephen, who saw You, even as he was leaving this world. Open this book, this Bible to us, and show us the way we should go. Lead us to Jesus. Fill us, Holy Spirit. Prevent those evil men from harming the innocent. And heal this land, this people. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries

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