Scripture

Psalm 19

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[b] 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 willful 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.

Reflection

This week we continue our look at the Psalms. The 19th chapter begins with praise coming not from the psalmist, but from creation itself. “The heavens declare the glory of God.” The heavens tell us how magnificent, how awesome, how great God is to us. I love being in nature, it is where I feel most connected to God. And I have often sat in awe and wonder at the creation that surrounds me. When I see the beauty of creation, I think, these flowers are proclaiming how marvelous God is. That sunset is pointing straight to its creator. Maybe I’m crazy, but I can see how “the skies proclaim the work of God’s hands.”

 

Quickly, however, the psalmist shifts the attention to the “law of the Lord.” By this, the writer is referring to the Torah, or the first five books of our Old Testament. Like Psalm 1, this serves a reminder that God’s word should permeate our souls and our being. The author reminds us that scripture is the basis for transformation, turning the simple mind to wise, bringing joy to the heart, and light to the eyes. God’s word is priceless.

 

Standing in awe of God’s creation and God’s word, the Psalmist is humbled. He recognized his own lack of faithfulness, both intended and unintended. And what do we do when we are faced with our own shortcomings? We ask for cleansing, which God offers immediately and completely. It ends with a short prayer that I often say in preparation for my day. “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and Redeemer.” 

 

Have you seen the “heavens declare the Glory of God?” Do you find scripture to be the source of transformation?

Prayer

Dear Lord, let me hear your word anew. Guide me to open my heart and my soul to your ways. Please hear my prayers, my cries, my celebrations, and my worries. Be with me as I navigate this world. Show me how to use my whole life to serve you and your purposes. Thank you, Lord, for this day. Amen.