Day 20: May 21, 2019: The Heavens Declare the Glory of God

Psalm 19:1-6: The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

These first six verses are a wonderful celebration of how the heavens – the sky, with sun, moon, and stars – declare the glory of their Creator. This celebration is an invitation to wonder and to worship. How often we miss the way creation speaks to us because we do not take time to slow down, pay attention, and see and listen to its message. How much richer our relationship with God would be if we would spend more time contemplating the sun, moon, and stars – and rivers, trees, and birds! – in their beauty. Wonder at what has been made will draw us to worship the God who made it all. Psalm 8 sings out: “O Lord, our Lord,how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens” (v. 1).

We can also move from wonder and worship to witness. Theologians speak of what Ps. 19:1-6 describes as general revelation. Revelation is truth about himself which God makes known to us. The truth about God revealed by the created world is “general” in that it is available to everybody on earth. The voice and words of the heavens go out to the ends of the world (v. 4). People of every nation can look up, from whatever their particular location on the globe, and see the heavens above. If they will pay attention, people of every nation can hear the heavens declaring to them – there is a Creator! His wisdom and power no one can fathom! A simple way for us to bear witness to God’s glory is to invite other people to wonder with us at the marvels of creation. We don’t necessarily need to get into an extended argument about “the existence of God.” Rather, we simply need to pray that our neighbors will have eyes to see and ears to hear what creation is telling them. Just as the earth receives the rays of the sun, so we can pray that our neighbors will receive the light of God’s truth into their lives.

Lastly, these verses teach us wisdom. They remind us that the world belongs to God, and not to us. Therefore, we should do what we can to wisely and responsibly care for this earth, not exploiting its resources or damaging its beauty. For, we also are called to declare God’s glory. We cannot praise him in one moment and then misuse and abuse what he has created in the next. In order for our worship (praising God for what he has made) to be consistent with our witness (inviting others to do the same) we must be wise stewards (who faithfully care for what God has made and temporarily entrusted to us).

Take time now to seek God. This brief prayer can help you get started: “Great and awesome God – the heavens do declare how glorious you are! Help me to pay attention to your creation and to see your magnificence. Help me to invite other people to consider what you have made and how it points to you. Help me to be a wise steward of your creation. May all people of all nations hear the message the heavens declare and may they come to worship you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”