Monday, May 20, 2013

Psalm 19 - The heavens declare the glory of God

Sanibel sunset

Psalm 19

The Witness of Creation and Scripture
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.
4 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,
5 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man,
runs its course with joy.
6 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.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
8 the precepts 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 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,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.


Psalm 19 is a bit longer that the other psalms we have looked at thus far. This psalm was written by David and inspired by God.  Many scholars divide this psalm into two major parts, a few divide it into three major parts. In the first part of the psalm God reveals Himself through nature. the observation of creation calls for an acknowledgment of God's existence. This is called natural revelation. Paul talks about natural revelation: For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Romans 1:19-20  There is a continuous revelation in the skies. The wisdom, power, and glory of God is mirrored in his creation.  The second part of the psalm deals with what is called specific revelation.  God reveals Himself in His word, and in His law. The psalm ends with redemption and a beautiful benediction.

The first part This psalm is well known.  For many, there is no psalm that has such beauty of literary expression. It is beautiful in the description and contemplation of the universe.  On the first day God said "Let there be light" – and there was light.  On the fourth day he created the heavenly bodies – the sun, moon and stars.  Man is drawn to the glory of the skies. Our days are divided into day and night.  The sun lights each day.  The moon and stars light each night.  The heavenly bodies mark our days, months and years.  The beauty of heavenly bodies delight our eyes and inspire our thoughts. The sky is glorious. Our God as Creator is even more glorious and magnificent than the heavens, the works of His hands.

Lets take a look at verse one. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1   Notice that the word here is the Heavens - plural.  The Hebrew word is שָׁמַיִם samaiym.  They fall into two main categories: the sky, atmosphere, visible universe, or space; and the dwelling place of God.  In this inspired psalm of David, the meaning is clarified by the next phrase, the sky above.   The Hebrew word for sky is רָקִיעַ raqiya.  This means the firmament, the visible arch of the sky.  The Hebrew word for declare is סָפַר sapar.  This word means to score with a mark as a tally or record, to enumerate intensively. The visible heavens are shouting the glory of God.  The sky is listing a record of all the glorious things God has created. The visible heavens includes the clouds, the wind, the weather, and the place where eagles soar. The visible heavens include the stars, the moon, the planets. The parallelism between the glory of God and the work of His hands (handiworks), indicates that the objects of creation are evidence of Gods glory.

The glory of the sky really does declare the glory of God. The Hubble telescope has shown us that they could be more that 100 billion galaxies. The Milky Way galaxy is the galaxy in which our solar system resides. In the Milky Way alone there are at least 100 billion stars.  In our solar system lies the earth and our sun, moon, and planets.  Our sun, a star, it is 93 million miles from earth. The nearest star from our sun, Alpha Centauri, is 4.3 light years away. A light year is the distance that light travels in one year. Light travels at 186,282 miles in one second. The distance that light travels in 1 year is 5,870 billion miles. That places the nearest star from the earth at more that 24, 000 billion miles away. The size and glory of the skies is phenomenal.  Only a glorious God could plan and create such a magnificent creation.

The skin of air around the earth is the atmosphere. There are five layers in the atmosphere of the earth. Each layer is differentiated by temperature.  The trophosphere is the lowest level of the atmosphere. This is where most clouds and weather form.  The trophosphere averages about seven miles in its thickness.  The highest level is the exosphere it is anything above 435 miles high. The earth weighs 5.97 X 10 to the 23rd power kilograms.  The highest point on the earth is Mt. Everest at 29,028 feet.  The lowest point on earth is the Dead Sea between Israel and Jordan which is 1,312 feet below sea level. The average depth of the ocean floor is 13,124 feet.  There are 2000 thunders storms occurring on the earth at any given moment. Every second of  every day there are an approximently 100 lightening strikes. That is 8,640,00 lightening strikes each day. The heavens really do declair the glory of God.  There is no excuse for not knowing that there is a God through
natural revelation.

  The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge! Selah   Psalm 50:6

 Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord, your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones! Psalm 89:5

 The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all jthe peoples see his glory. Psalm 97:6    

This marvelous planet, in this huge universe is the only planet on which man lives.  On this single planet God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ. On this planet, God walked as a man and lived with mankind.  He gave up all the glory due to Him as God.  He became a humble servent.  He died for the sins of His children.  He rose again and reigns in His heaven.  If you know Him you will see the heavens where God lives.  You will have a house in that heaven with Him.  God reveals Himself in nature, but You can come only into His presence by grace, through faith, in Jesus Christ.


Sorry,  I ran out of time.  I hope to continue tomorrow. I only have a few more days to get my garden in and to get a lot of things done around the house. I haven't been getting my blog done soon enough to proof read it.  Let me know of problems so that I can correct them.

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