Thursday, January 8, 2009

Psalm 19
1. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.

2. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge.
3. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.
4. 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,
5. Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices like a strong man to run its race.

6. Its rising is from one end of heaven, and its circuit to the other end;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

7. The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
8. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
9. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
10. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward.
12. Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.
13. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression.
14. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.

As a Christian, I’ve always loved this Psalm, and love it even more as time passes and I grow. Having just finished an astronomy course at my local college, I begin to really understand what “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork” really means. It means that on an astronomical scale, Earth is one of the smallest objects in the universe. It means that all we know and admire on a personal level is insignificant. It means that no matter how high the heights humankind reaches are, they will never be able to express the glory of God as space does. It means that there are things so much bigger than we are, and just by their existence they glorify God in ways that we never can.

Throughout time, it’s like humanity has been holding a conversation with the universe. As science progresses and we grow, we glean more information about the heavens – but they’re keeping the conversation entirely focused on the glory of God, and they’re using the universal language of beauty and nature. Even when humans put different spins on them what we learn still rather loudly proclaims the glory of God. I like to think that somewhere, space is still reverberating with the songs the angels sang when Jesus was born.

Yet considering that God and His precepts are perfect, it makes total sense that all that is great worships Him. My favorite part of the Psalm is verses 7 – 11, which focuses on a number of aspects that really are the crux of the Bible. Before Jesus’ death and resurrection, the law of the Lord was just that – rules and regulations without end. After He died and rose again, however, it changed to this: That whoever believes on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved. So indeed, the law of the Lord is perfect. While Jesus was on earth, His testimony was sure; nothing He did could be construed wrongly and therefore doubted. It was sure because He stood on Biblical statutes; the principles that are one of the best parts of being a Christian. So when my Lord commands, I follow, knowing that his commandments are pure, and that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and that his judgments are always just and right.

How can I fail to be inspired? The chapter goes on to say that these are more to be desired than much fine gold, and from the bottom of my heart I agree. There is so much in this world that is far more valuable than material goods. I love principles, and I love ideas. I love courage, wisdom, and honor, yet despite the fact that there are those in today’s world, in no one are they manifested as perfectly as they are in the God of the Bible, the God that Psalm 19 so wonderfully describes. When I read this psalm I get excited about life because God gave it to me, to study the heavens that glorify Him and the precepts that exalt Him. To learn them and claim them for my own, to use to glorify Him myself and to walk with Him. I’ve already believed in Him, and this psalm tells me whom it is I am so blessed and so loved to be able to have a relationship with Him. All the beauty we see in the universe was created by Him. So I am exhilarated to be alive and in this world. There is so much I want to do and accomplish as both a young adult and as a Christian. I want to join the heavens in declaring the glory of God and that’s just the start.