By Ben W. Curtis
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Tracy City
No matter how busy our lives may become, we all have experiences where the beauty and grandeur of God’s creation stop us in our tracks. Our family lives in a beautiful area surrounded by hiking trails, swimming holes, and caves. We’re always amused to see the variety of state license plates on the vehicles in our local parks. You probably have your own special place that causes your heart to be filled with worship toward our Creator. But while everyone will not have the opportunity to see an ocean or stand on the edge of the Grand Canyon, all of us can see and feel the majesty of a night sky.
In the first stanza of Psalm 19, David tells us that the heavens have a voice (Psalm19:1-6). They’re consistently and continually declaring the glory of the Creator (vv. 2-4). At the end of verse 4, he focuses on one of the most distinctive features of this great expanse. Each day the sun comes out like “a strong man” and “a bridegroom leaving his chamber” (v. 5). But though we are completely dependent on the sun for light and warmth, the psalmist reminds us that it is not meant to receive glory. The sun’s existence, along with the rest of creation, is meant to direct our worship to the Creator.
God speaks loudly and clearly through His creation, but this is not enough. Just as we need the sun for physical life, David tells us in the second stanza that we are dependent upon God’s Word for spiritual life (vv. 7-11). He uses descriptive phrases, revealing both the nature of God’s law (what it is) and the benefits of God’s law (what it does). The psalmist declares that the Word of God is infinitely more valuable than anything you can imagine. It’s better than the costliest treasure and more desirable than the most decadent food (v. 10). What causes you to be discouraged right now? What makes you feel beaten, tired, or fearful? The world may offer us help, but there is only one who can bring comfort and renew our joy. We must turn to the Lord and His words. We must read His commands and delight in them, because they are the only means of eternal life. And for those of us who are already believers, God’s Words are the only means of abundant life.
After extolling the glory of God’s creation and His Word, the psalmist is immediately struck by his own sinfulness (vv. 12-14). When fallen, sinful human beings encounter the living God — the only one who is perfect, sure, right, clean, and sure — they become convicted of their own imperfection (Exodus 3; Isaiah 6:1-6; Luke 5:8; Revelation 1:17). God speaks through His creation. But the good news is that in these last days, God speaks most of all through his Son, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2).
David ends with a prayer in Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Even though he lived 1,000 years before Jesus was born, he had a sense of what was needed: a redeemer. Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, gives grace to those who respond to His voice. He is speaking even now. Will you respond?