Dear God, my loving heavenly Father, you are my maker, sustainer, and redeemer. On life’s hectic journey, I find rest in you.
Read PSALM 19
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
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[b] 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.
5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure,
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
- Psalm 19:1 In Hebrew texts 19:1-14 is numbered 19:2-15.
- Psalm 19:4 Septuagint, Jerome and Syriac; Hebrew measuring line
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers … what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?’1
Today’s psalm reflects on the ways that God is revealed. Nature, especially the vast expanse of the sky, star-studded at night and filled with the sun’s light during the day, points to God’s glory (vs 1–6). Yet nature’s ‘speech’ is not heard; it is without sound or words (v 3). Like God’s work in human history, there is a hiddenness about nature’s revelation of God, which for many is incomprehensible. Worse still, sceptics point to the ‘cruelties’ of nature to discredit the belief that creation is God’s handiwork.
It takes the second part of the psalm (vs 7–11) to complete the revelation about God. The list of terms for God’s instructions mean more than just the legal portions of Scripture. Rather, they sum up God’s will, as revealed in his Word. This takes nature’s revelation further, making us wise (v 7). It is only as we understand right and wrong as set out by God that we can avoid sin and know how to obey him. As we align ourselves with God’s good purpose, we experience the blessings that flow from it (v 11).
As the psalmist is exposed to the beauty and flawlessness of God’s will, he also recognizes how far removed he is from such perfection and cries out to God for help in prayer (vs 12–14). There is an intimacy of relationship here indicated further by the use of God’s proper name (from v 7 onward) translated as ‘Lord’ (Hebrew Yahweh), rather than the generic ‘God’ (Elohim). It is only through God’s revelation in his Word that we come to know him in a personal way and learn to call him our Rock and Redeemer.
Thank God for his amazing gift of revelation in nature and in his Word; that we can know him and call him Redeemer; that he does not leave us without guidance, but he teaches us the right way to live.
Mighty God, maker of heaven and earth, how amazing you are. I see your magnificence in nature, but I learn of your saving grace in your Word. I love you Lord.
1 Ps 8:3,4
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