Midweek Message 28 February 2024

Thank you to Pat B for this week’s message.

Today let’s consider Psalm 19 together.

The heavens declare the glory of God;  the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;  no sound is heard from them.
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.
 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.
 The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,  making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,   enduring forever.
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 wilful 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 heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

This psalm of David uses poetical lyrics and language to declare Gods glory and faithfulness in creation and considers what responses should accompany our appreciation of it.

The heavens and the skies speak,” Day after day they pour forth speech”, they “reveal knowledge”. However, their proclamations are made without uttering a word, “They have no speech, they use no words “. Its visible but not audible, but I sense God speaks to me as I contemplate his handiwork when walking through nature, perhaps, you do too.  This natural declaration links to Pauls teaching in Romans 1: 20, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” It’s visible teaching which God intended to be understood in any language and culture to point people to him.  Our response to this should be a feeling of joy and a desire to worship God and know and obey his word. I smile and feel blessed as I see amazing wildlife, plants and spectacular views around me. The psalm also gives a sense of the all-encompassing greatness of God reaching “all the world”, “to the ends of the earth” with nothing, no one, being deprived of its affect. The magnitude of the expanse of the skies speaks volumes about God’s amazing creativity and his endless love and care towards all he has made.

It can be difficult, therefore, to understand how some people can deny the idea of a creator when faced with the tremendous natural phenomenon of our world.  We do, however, see terrible natural disasters which often bring loss of life and suffering. In this we see the effect of humankinds’ involvement, destroying Gods creation, not respecting God’s plans or the needs of others, nor valuing God’s resources, as it mentions later in the psalm. Our selfish actions can disrupt the order of God’s creation and his provision for us, for all.

This proclamation from creation declares Gods character and teaches us and guides us to walk in the right paths, the way of truth by obeying his word.  This echoes psalm 119 which emphasises the keeping of God’s law and commands for right living in obedience and faith.  It encourages the fear of the Lord, not being afraid but recognising his awesomeness and sovereignty.  

Knowing God through his created world, following his teaching and receiving the benefits he offers, forgiveness, wisdom, joy, should satisfy our senses rather than letting worldly, material things fill our lives and purposes. The value of these spiritual qualities is so precious, so sweet and satisfying, that we should be seeking God before all other riches, unfortunately in our world more often people prefer gold to God!

In contemplating the perfection of God and the sun that lights and illuminates everything, our failings, our sins, are shown, but there is forgiveness for those who fear the Lord and trust in his salvation, which comes through our Redeemer, Jesus. In v. 14 there’s the opportunity for a personal surrender, recognising and accepting God’s revelation and committing to live by it.  So, as we reflect on what we’ve thought about today let’s pray the words of verse 14 together: “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer. “ Amen

Enjoy another walk outside this week and let God to speak to you. Note what he says and contemplate it in your heart.  Value the time you can spend in communion with him and commit to following him and walking with him each day.