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210 - The Voice of Creation (Psalms 19:1-8)

by Stephen Davey Scripture Reference: Psalms 19:1–8

God’s revelation in creation is a testimony to all of humanity that He exists, He is all-powerful, and He is the Creator. But that witness is inadequate in itself. This is why He has given us His special revelation in His Word and called us to share this truth with others.

Transcript

Shortly before his death, Carl Sagan, the scientist and popular television host, wrote, “Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.”[1]

If King David could have had a cup of coffee with Carl to discuss his hopeless outlook on life, I’m positive David would have handed him a copy of Psalm 19 to challenge his thinking and encourage his heart.

This great psalm illuminates the truth that we are not a lonely speck in the cosmic dark. Indeed, creation teaches us about the Creator. In verse 1, we see that creation reveals the signature of God. David writes, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.”

In other words, the sun and stars do more than shine; they speak volumes about the glory of the Creator. Imagine how foolish it is today for people to worship the heavens when the heavens are worshiping God![2]

By the way, the Hebrew verbs here express continuing action. So, we could translate, “The heavens keep on declaring the glory of God, and the sky keeps on proclaiming His handiwork.”[3]

“His handiwork” is another way of saying, “This is God’s signature.” Like an artist, God has signed His masterpiece. And his art collection is on continuous display. Beloved, as we marvel at the universe, it magnifies the glory of God.

Second, creation not only reveals the signature of God; creation reveals the wisdom of God as well. Verse 2 says that creation “day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.”

The word David uses here for “pours out” is typically used for a bubbling spring, and the word for “knowledge” refers to observable data.[4] David is saying that creation is constantly bubbling up observable facts about our Creator.

Just look at the complexity of the human body—it has amazing design. At my age, it’s not so amazing, but you get the picture. Study the petals of a flower, a blade of grass, the beauty of a snowflake, the precision of an atom, the nature of gravitation—everything you observe in nature testifies to a wise Creator.[5]

Now, of course, this truth has to be suppressed by an unbelieving world. Paul wrote in the book of Romans that the unbelieving world suppresses the truth of creation (Romans 1:18).

Listen, here is the tragedy of suppressing observable data in this universe: instead of worshiping, you end up worrying and speculating. Instead of worshiping the Creator, you’re left to despairing that you are alone in the cosmic dark—just a speck of dust flying around the Milky Way.

But according to the Word of God, this glorious creation points to a glorious Designer/Creator. The universe is His signature, and the complexity and harmony of nature points to the wisdom of our Creator.

Third, David says creation reveals the grace of God. He writes here in verse 3, “There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice [that of the heavens] is not heard.”

In other words, there actually is a language of creation, but you must have attentive ears and a heart open to listen. Even when the world refuses the obvious, God in His grace just paints another sunset in the sky.

Let me ask you something: If you were God, would you even allow someone who denies you to enjoy a sunset? No, you would probably make sure it was his last one! You see, the grace of God delivers the marvels of His creation to the entire world day after day and night after night.

This is what we call the general revelation of creation. We look around and come to the obvious conclusion that there is a Creator nearby, just like looking at the complexity and order of a wristwatch leads you to know there is a watchmaker nearby.

But we still need special revelation—that is, the Bible. General revelation informs the world that a Creator exists. Special revelation gives us His name.

In fact, David now changes his reference to God here in Psalm 19. He began the psalm by calling God El, a rather generic name for God.[6]

But beginning in verse 7, David refers to God as Yahweh, Jehovah/Lord. This is the name of the personal, loving God. And David begins to describe for us what God’s special revelation—God’s Word—can do in our personal lives.

He writes in verse 7, “The law of the Lord is perfect.” The law, or Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament, is perfect. That means it is complete—it is trustworthy and sufficient for your life and mine.[7]

So, what does this perfect law of the Lord do? Verse 7 says it revives the soul. This is the same word David uses in Psalm 23 for the Lord restoring his soul. No matter how far you might stray from your Creator, God has given you an inspired map (His word) to bring you back to Him.

David goes on in verse 7 to give another characteristic of God’s Word: “The testimony of the Lord is sure.” This is legal language. Whenever people are called into court, they testify to what they know for sure.

God is testifying here that His Word is “sure.” His Word can get up on the witness stand and testify to its own truthfulness. God’s Word is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

So, what can you expect the truth of God to do in your life today? Well, David answers that it makes “wise the simple.” He is not referring to a simpleton—someone who refuses to learn. He’s referring to the simple—someone who is uninformed but ready to learn.[8]

Over the years, a veteran missionary to Haiti, collected the interesting prayers she heard villagers pray in their village Bible studies as they learned the truths of God’s Word. One of the villagers prayed, “Father, we are all hungry baby birds today; our heart-mouths are wide open, waiting for You to fill us.”[9] That, my friend, is a simple but wise prayer.

David adds another thought here about God’s special revelation, the Word of God. He writes in verse 8, “The precepts of the Lord are right.”

Precepts are those things God commands us to do. They are guiding principles. They are like signs along the highway; you follow them in order to travel safely through life. And what do the Lord’s precepts do for us? David tells us here that they cause our heart to “rejoice.” Not despair but rejoice.

You have a creator God who not only designed you but also delights in you. He loves you enough to have given you a guidebook—a map—through life and then on into heaven, one day.

Now, before we drop anchor on this Wisdom Journey, I wonder if you have somebody like Carl Sagan in your life—someone who denies or perhaps doubts God’s existence and consequently feels hopeless, alone, and obscure in the cosmic darkness of our universe.

Let me encourage you to pray for the right opportunity to invite your friend to read Psalm 19 or listen as you read it. It might just start a conversation that can cause your friend to begin to understand that he or she is not on a speck of dust, alone in the universe, but the result of divine creation, the work of a personal God who has a plan and purpose for your friend’s life.

And while you are at it, don’t forget that God has the same thing for you.


[1] Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space (Ballentine Books, 1997), 7.

[2] W. B. Riley, The Bible of the Expositor and the Evangelist: Volume 9 (Union Gospel Press, 1929), 143.

[3] Willem A. VanGemeren, “Psalms” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 5, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Zondervan, 1991), 179.

[4] G. A. F. Knight, Psalms: Volume 1 (Westminster Press, 1982), 95.

[5] John MacArthur, The Battle for the Beginning (Thomas Nelson, 2005), 114.

[6] James Montgomery Boice, Psalms: Volume 1 (Baker, 1994), 170.

[7] Van Gemeren, 184.

[8] Donald Williams, Mastering the Old Testament: Psalms 1-72 (Word Publishing, 1986), 153.

[9] Ibid.

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