November 15 2022
Today, Tuesday November 15
The God of Creation
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David
“The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, And rejoices like a strong man to run its race. Its rising is from one end of heaven, And its circuit to the other end; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.”
The well-known Christian writer C. S. Lewis said this about Psalm 19: "I take this Psalm to be the greatest poem in The Psalms and one of the greatest lyrics in the world." The church lectionary assigns this psalm to be read on Christmas Day, when the "Sun of Righteousness" came into the world (Mal. 4:2) and the "Living Word" was laid in the manger (John 1:14). The emphasis in the psalm is on God's revelations of Himself in creation, Scripture, and the human heart.
From the title we learn that Psalm 19 is a “Psalm of David”, and he wrote it to be sung as a song because he addressed it to the “Chief Musician”, the Master of the Choir.
Spurgeon in his “Treasure of David” wrote: “This song very distinctly divides itself into three parts, very well described by the translators in the ordinary heading of our version. The creatures show God's glory, Psalms 19:1-6. The word shows his grace, Psalms 19:7-11. David prayed for grace, Psalms 19:12-14. Thus praise and prayer are mingled, and he who here sings the work of God in the world without, pleads for a work of grace in himself within.”
We are not sure when David wrote this psalm. He could have written it as a shepherd boy on the Judean hills, lying on his back on a dark night and staring up into the star-spangled splendor of the sky. He might have written it as a fugitive when Saul's men were pursuing him one night. Or maybe it was when he fled from Absalom to seek refuge in the wild wastes of the mountains. Or it is possible that he wrote it at some quieter moment when, pacing the roof of his palace, he once again lifted his eyes from the darkened streets of the slumbering city of Jerusalem to see the beautiful night sky in the early hours of the morning as he waited for the sun to rise over the Mt of Olives.
In the first six verses, David wrote about the worlds around us and acknowledge God as the Creator. David focused on the heavens above him, and especially the circuit of the sun. Of course, there are many worlds in God's creation. They include the earth beneath our feet, the plant and animal worlds on earth, in the skies and in the waters, the human world, the world of rocks and crystals, worlds visible to the human eye, and worlds so small we need special equipment to see them. David knew none of modern scientific data, and yet when he pondered the heavens, he was overwhelmed by the glory of the Lord.
The existence of creation implied the existence of a Creator, and the nature of the creation implied that He was wise enough to plan it and powerful enough to execute His plan and maintain what He had made. So complex a universe demands a Creator who can do anything, who knows everything, and who is present everywhere. But even more, David knew that God was speaking to the inhabitants of the earth by means of His creation. Creation is a "wordless book" that everybody can read because it needs no translation. God speaks through creation day after day and night after night; His speech "pours out" silently, abundantly, universally.
David was an outdoorsman and often watched the sunrise and sunset, and what he saw day after day reminded him of a bridegroom leaving the marriage pavilion to claim his bride, and a vigorous athlete running a race. The first image speaks of glory (the groom was richly attired), love and anticipation, while the second speaks of power and determination. But in spite of this universal message that pours out day and night to the entire world, most people ignore it and reject God because they want to live as they please (Rom. 1:18-2:23).
The repeated question, "Are people lost who have never heard about Jesus?" has two answers: (1) Yes, they are lost, because God speaks to them all day long, and they refuse to listen; (2) What are we doing about getting the message to these people?