The Nikon Small World in Motion competition brings together talented microscopists from all over the world. What they have been able to capture will likely astound you, even though sometimes what you’re seeing is pond scum. This video is from the Scientific American website:
When the Psalmist wanted to express his wonder and praise for God’s magnificent creation, he pointed to the vast heavens above him, as in Psalm 8:1-4:
1 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
And the son of man that you care for him?
There is a similar expression of praise in Psalm 19:1-4…6:
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun….
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.
The Psalmist did not have access to a microscope or he could have sung similar praises to the tiniest parts of God’s creation. What an amazing and wonderful creation in which we live, where even the pond scum and slime mold contain such complexity and beauty! What an incredible variety of life God has created!
There is one place where the Psalmist does acknowledge the small creatures, though he certainly did not know anything about the smallest of the small. Psalm 148 begins with the heavens, as in Psalm 8 and 19, but there a nice little mention of the small creatures in verse ten:
1 Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights above.
2 Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
3 Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars.
4 Praise him, you highest heavens
and you waters above the skies.
5 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for at his command they were created,
6 and he established them for ever and ever—
he issued a decree that will never pass away.
7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
8 lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,
9 you mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds,
11 kings of the earth and all nations,
you princes and all rulers on earth,
12 young men and women,
old men and children.
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
14 And he has raised up for his people a horn,
the praise of all his faithful servants,
of Israel, the people close to his heart.
Praise the Lord.
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
Anglican Hymn, Cecil Frances Alexander, 1848
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
–The Common Doxology, 1674, Thomas Ken