A few years ago, there was a lunar eclipse — when the earth moves between the sun and the moon. The moon turns blood red. I looked up and as a stared at it, the first line of this psalm came to mind. That was the only thing I could say. It is a praise psalm to the Glory of God, exclaiming how AWESOME He is and how wonderful the created world around us is. Let’s dig in…
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 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 heartPsalm 19 NIV
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
I’m going to borrow again from the folks at Spoken Gospel…
Psalm 19 is about how God reveals his existence, character, will, and plan to all humanity.
David first reflects on God’s self-revelation in the sky and stars (Psalm 19:1). Every millisecond of their existence proclaims their creation by a powerful God with an eye for beauty (Psalm 19:2). Their message about God goes to every corner of the earth (Psalm 19:4a).
David then bursts into a song of thankfulness for God’s law (Psalm 19:7). God has not left the duty of revealing who he is to the stars. He takes that responsibility on himself. God speaks to the world in a way stars never could (Psalm 19:3). Using human words, God reveals himself in his Law.
No wonder David rejoices over the Law (Psalm 19:8). It is in the Law that he can meet God! That is why David says the Law is more precious than gold and sweeter than honey (Psalm 19:10). It is the self-revealing voice of God.
There is one more reason David is thankful for God’s self-revelation in the Law. It teaches him how to live the way God wants him to. The Law offers warnings that keep him from harm and commands that lead to reward (19:11).
Finally, David asks God for forgiveness for the sins in his heart he can’t perceive and for restraint against the more blatant sins he tries to fight (Psalm 19:12-13a). His goal is to be blameless, like the God who reveals himself to him (Psalm 19:13b).
Where is the Gospel?
The New Testament picks up on the idea that creation reveals God to the world. God’s existence and power are clearly shown in the cosmos (Romans 1:20). But that self-revelation means that everyone on earth is also responsible for how they’ve responded to the God who reveals himself in nature (Romans 1:18).
Most of us act as if God does not exist. We live godless lives. We assume we’re our own gods and live however we choose (Romans 1:22-23). And in God’s justice he lets us pursue our own destruction (Romans 1:18).
Like David, we need to cry out for forgiveness for the times when we fall short of God’s revealed character in creation and in his Law. But the good news: God has answered that cry for forgiveness in his greatest act of self-revelation.
More than creation and more than the Law, Jesus is the full and final self-revelation of God (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus is God himself in the flesh. If we want to know what God is like, we need look no further than Jesus, who is the “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). In him, “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell” (Colossians 1:19).
And this fullness of God’s self-revelation died on the cross for both our secret and blatant sins. And because of that sacrifice, we who treated the gold of God’s revelation as if it were worthless and the honey of God’s Law as if it were tasteless, get to receive a forgiveness we do not deserve.
See For Yourself
I pray that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to see the God who graciously reveals himself in creation and in his law. And may you see Jesus as the full and final self-revelation of God, who shows us how loving, merciful, and beautiful he is in his death and resurrection.Spoken Gospel from the Bible Study Plan, Jesus in all of Psalms in the FREE YouVersion Bible app.
Do Everything for the Glory of God!
I pray verse 14, the last verse, every time I sit to write. Long ago, when I first started to be interested in going back to church, I watched Pastor D. James Kennedy. He was based out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and had a weekly TV show — you can find some of his videos on YouTube. He always started his sermons with this verse…
May the words of my mouthPsalm 19:14 NLT
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
It’s acknowledging who Jesus is — “my rock and my redeemer” — see, even David called the Lord that! It also acknowledges that I hope what’s in my heart and what comes out in my writing or speaking would be pleasing to Him. That it is for the Glory of God, not for my own fame or gain.
The Glory of God is Everywhere!
It’s up to us to enjoy it, but NOT to worship it! Every time you see a gorgeous sunset or the full moon, say Psalm 19:1. My apartment faces west so I get to see some really pretty sunsets almost every day. However, this morning, when I woke up and looked out the window and there was a perfect full moon shining right above the tree tops. I immediately thought of this psalm and how appropriate it was.
We need to open our eyes and hearts to take in God’s Glory. Also, to recognize when we’re worshiping the creation instead of the creator. ANY creation — whether made by God or man. Remember, God made man in His image. We are not supposed to worship any person — living or dead! That’s the idolatry that God hates.
We are to praise God for His marvelous work.
This psalm is easy to pray. Just read it right back to Him. Read it aloud. Several times, in fact. Let it sink in. Memorize that first line so the next time you see something beautiful in the sky, that verse will come to mind and you’ll say it out loud. “The Heavens declare the Glory of God!” or “The Heavens declare the Glory of the Lord!” Incidentally, the word “Lord” also means “Master”. God is the Master Craftsman when it comes to His creation.
Who do YOU Worship?
You know, Jesus didn’t suffer torture and die, carrying the weight of all our sins— God’s wrath — so that we could have religion! He died so He could have a Personal Relationship with YOU!