From Psalm 89
I can’t remember a time when I’ve sat around, wringing my hands and wondering if someone might steal the moon.
There’s a cartoon, Despicable Me, with this as the plot line. The main character, a supervillain named Gru, steals a shrink-ray machine with the ultimate goal of shrinking and stealing the moon. He knew the people of earth would give anything to have it back—it was to be the greatest, most sensational, most lucrative heist in supervillain history.
Ludicrous, right? That’s why we put it in a kid’s movie.
But it’s interesting, if someone really could pull it off—if on some crazy off-chance there’s a real-life supervillain with a real-life shrink machine who really could steal the moon—NASA says it would impact our chance at survival.
“The moon is more than just a pretty face to gaze upon at night. It helps direct our ocean currents and tides, the movement of Earth’s atmosphere and climate, and even the tilt of our planet’s axis. So what would happen to Earth, and us, if it promptly disappeared without notice? Would we survive it? Sadly, probably not.”
Above is a quote from Morgan McFall-Johnsen’s article for Popular Science, which asks, “What would happen if the moon suddenly disappeared?” Answer: “Life as we know it probably wouldn’t exist.”
Yet, even now, even after reading this and realizing how important and vital and life-altering the moon really is, I’m still not concerned. Verses like this one, from Psalm 89, confirm what my common sense already believes:
“His offspring shall endure forever, his throne as long as the sun before me. Like the moon it shall be established forever, a faithful witness in the skies“ (vv. 36-37 ESV).
We know: some things are just off-limits, some things man just can’t touch (or, at least, can’t shrink and steal). But while we laugh at some things and think, That’ll never happen, don’t we have a host of other things we wring our hands about? I know I do:
I worry about the eventual collapse of American economy, whether Social Security will be available when my generation retires (will we retire?), and whether icebergs will even exist in a couple hundred more years. I worry about endangered species and abortion and how we’re treating the aged. I worry about extremist nations and groups and whether they might get their hands on a nuclear bomb. And I’m not saying these things can’t happen, nor am I saying we shouldn’t do our part to keep them from happening (recycle, vote, stand up for truth, love God and your neighbor). But I am saying, we shouldn’t wring our hands.
Some things are just off-limits. This includes the most important things for those who follow Christ: your hope, your eternal future, your life, your freedom, your peace. The triune God has seen to it that you have a seal, which no one can touch: “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14).
There’s a lot of evil in this world. There’s more darkness and gloom and hard days to come. Do your part, but don’t fret. What matters most is off-limits in Christ.
Next week’s reading: Psalm 92–98.