First Off…read Psalm 19!
Who is the Lord and what do we know about him? That’s really what this psalm comes down to…well – that and your response TO that knowledge! And it’s not really a question that the psalmist is asking you and I…instead they are simply proclaiming. And they are doing so from a “large to small” perspective (grandiose to tiny).
The psalmist begins this song by observing that the heavens declare the glory of God…the skies proclaim the work of his hands – and they do so each and every day. While they may not physically speak about God, the way the clouds move, the way the sun sets and rises, the way everything is so perfect in what it does…all of these things, and so much more, declare the splendor and glory of God.
But the psalmist doesn’t end with the things seen above – she then moves in to what else we are given by God that is perfect and good: His Word. From what is seen and observed, to what is felt and held in and refreshing to the soul (7) – all of it is God. All are meant to instruct and teach and share and work to the glory of Him. That’s what his Law does and his Word is: food that nourishes and refreshes the soul. Through nature (called “natural revelation”) and through scripture and the Law (also called “special revelation”) we are given glimpses of who God is and what he does and has done for us.
What’s really tough about this psalm, to me, is that it invites us to re-think what we need and desire from God. I’m not talking about food on the table or shelter over our heads, or even my wife and kids. While I am grateful and thankful and feel blessed that God has allowed me to love them and watch over them for the time he has given them to me…this isn’t really about those things…nor are these things “necessities” in life.
What I’m talking about is our constant need to “see” God and “hear” from him.
I can remember a few times as a kid having a sleep-over with a buddy and just talking about how great it would be to talk with God. Asking him questions, hearing his voice – asking him why he made this or that (like mosquitos…I understand they are food for animals but they are a pain to me!). This psalm challenges us to really LOOK – because all we NEED from God is actually given unto us and right before us.
Look up to the heavens and see the splendor of God’s hands and mouth as he spoke and things were created (Genesis 1:1-2). God spoke and made then parted the waters and created land – everything with his voice. Isaiah writes (40:12-31) that it was God who measured the waters and weighed the mountains and the hills so that they would be balanced just right. They weren’t sporadically placed – they were put with thought, love, and knowledge.
But that’s just what we can see – those are things that we are supposed to observe and be reminded of God’s love and passion and glory. Things that our eyes and heads need. But then, he went above and beyond…and He created what our hearts need: His Word.
David writes that the “law is perfect, refreshing the soul.” (7) The commands of the Lord are “radiant” and “trustworthy”…and not only that but they are more precious than gold or silver or money or credit and sweeter than honey…and chocolate! Simply put: The Word of God is everything we will ever need and much much more.
Everything God has given to us (his special revelation) and everything he has given to us to observe (his natural revelation) is about showing us who He is and what he has done and giving us what we need each and every day. In a world where we want to see more and feel more and know more the psalmist encourages us … REMINDS US… that all we need has already been given.
You want to feel God? Go stand outside on a cool morning just as the sun rises. The warmth of the rays and the radiance of the sun reminds us that God created this day unlike any other. And that this day will bring new and beautiful opportunities for you to feel God’s love and share it as well. Or take a walk in the woods and see the beauty and splendor of the trees and bushes and animals – how everything works perfectly together and, when left to its own, balances itself and holds itself perfectly.
You want to hear from God? Read your Bible, be in prayer, talk to a trusted friend. All those (and so much more) are ways that God speaks to us. God uses friends to help guide us in our anxious and confused states. God uses prayer to communicate with us and soothe our souls (James 1:5) – and He uses his Word to open up and reveal his heart, his will, and his passionate love and grace (over 3800 times we have “God Said” type of moments in scripture). All of this, as you and I both know, culminate today with God revealing himself through his Son (Heb 1:1-2) whom died upon the cross for our sins and now through His Spirit who reconciles, sanctifies, and comforts us each and every day (Rom 8:18-30).
In a world that wants to see more and feel more from God…maybe it’s time we simply open our eyes just a little bit wider – drawing in what simply stands before us?