Psalm 19: An Even Better Declaration

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Psalm 19

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.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
    making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
    enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
    enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
    and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
    even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
    and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can discern his errors?
    Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
    let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
    and innocent of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight,
    Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Still Standing – A Study of a Roadside Tree #1 | Outside Elgin, TX | January 2023

I love the testimony of nature: God is glorious, majestic, creative, and existent. He is. Creation testifies to God’s existence. I like to illustrate that by imagining a conversation between a normal and rational human being and a skeptic. They come upon a TIMEX wrist watch. It’s running and shows the date and time.

Normal and rational human (NRH): Oh look! A watch. I wonder who dropped it?

Skeptic (S): I’m not so sure. How do you know someone dropped it? Did you see him drop it? (It is a man’s watch.)

NRH: No, but surely that’s what’s happened. It’s lying here beside the sidewalk. It shows signs of wear. Surely someone just dropped it. It must have fallen off his wrist.

S: Not so fast. How do you know it didn’t just happen to be here?

NRH: What do you mean by “just happen to be here?” Things don’t just happen to be anywhere. They are manufactured by intelligent, thinking human beings, distributed to stores or online sales sites, sold to other human beings. Those human beings purchase and make use of those items – like watches such as this one.

S: But how do you know it was manufactured, distributed, sold, used, and now lost? I think this watch just evolved over billions of years and came to be here at just this time. After all there are zillions of places in the universe, bazillions of situations that can come together over time, and things can just happen – surely at least once in a bazillion times.

NRH: Seriously?!? Look, it’s set at the right time. It has signs of wear. It says, “Made in India” on the back. “Stainless Steel Bezel.” Some factory in Deli or somewhere like that turns these out by the thousands.

S: Have you ever seen a watch factory?

Well, dear reader, have you? And yet the most obvious and reasonable understanding of this fanciful encounter is that the watch was manufactured in a watch factory, distributed, sold, used, and dropped by someone.

Why would we draw any different conclusion about the starry host, creation, a flower, or the human hand? Creation’s testimony is clear: There is a god.

But, wait. There’s more to be said here. This God has made himself known. And those to whom he has revealed himself have given testimony. We have that testimony in the pages of Scripture. The psalmist begins with the testimony of creation but then begins to speak of God’s word. His law is perfect, sure, right, and pure says David.

God’s word adds to the testimony of creation and points us to the LORD God and his ways. David speaks of God’s Law, precepts, commands and rules. They revive the soul, give wisdom, joy and enlightenment. They endure forever, are perfectly righteous, precious and sweet. There are great blessings to be had in their keeping.

Creation sings a song of praise to God. Those who hear and read God’s word are blessed so that they too join that song of praise. An even better declaration of praise pours from the hearts of those who hear, read, meditate on, and believe God’s word.

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