Our God Speaks!
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 display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. Ps 19:1-4
Introduction: Why should we devour That Book? What makes the Bible infinitely more valuable and satisfying than a novel by Grisham or Hemingway or Steinbeck? What is it about a book that was completed over 2000 years ago that makes it as up-to-date as any newspaper or talk show we will hear this morning. Here is my answer: God who is Creator and Sustainer of all that there is, speaks in That Book. In The Bible God speaks to us and reveals His will and His ways. He not only conveys His thoughts. He conveys Himself. When we hear him speak and respond in faith and obedience, we are brought into experimental union with our God and Savior. That is what Packer refers to when he writes:
“As God’s act, revelation is the personal self-disclosure whereby He brings us actively and experimentally to know Him as our own God and Savior. As God’s gift, revelation is the knowledge about Himself which He gives us a means to this end.”
Exposition: In this Psalm, the psalmist describes the two ways that God speaks to men: through the works of His hands in nature and the words of speech written down in His law. In both, He reveals His glory so that men will be able to see and enjoy His awesome beauty. God is glorified when we see and savor his beauty. Again, before we start, let us ask the Spirit to open our eyes that we may see the wonderful things God has hidden in His Word.
Verse 1: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.”
What do you see when you look at the skies? Do you see water for your lawns, danger to your golf game or rays to tan your body? Or, do you see the master’s handiwork in the thunderheads that powerfully loom over your head, or the awesome design that placed millions of stars in their exact position at His command? To the psalmist, all of nature is a grand art gallery of the power and beauty of God.
God wants us to see much more than His awesome creation. He has designed nature to be a means to see through it to Him. That is the sense of Isaiah 40:25. God speaks through the prophet to a people who sometimes questioned the goodness and greatness of their God. “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.” God calls upon his people to do some serious thinking. Is there any God or power greater than He? If you are in doubt, “Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” If this God has the power to create the massive starry host and if God is the kind of Ruler who concerns himself with every detail in His Master piece, don’t you think he is great enough and good enough to take care of you, a member of His precious family?
So, he says to you and me, “Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”? [Isa 40:27]Think of it, God lays out this awesome display of beauty and power for the specific purpose of moving us to trust in Him. In the end we can be assured that, “those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. [Isa 40:31] The next time you get in a tight spot and question whether God is good enough or great enough to take you through, look through the skies and see the your Creator and Father.
Verse 2: Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.
In light and color and shapes and space and contrasts and movements, God speaks in speechless speech. Day after day and night after night God continues to reveal his glory. The words “pour forth” has the sense of a mighty torrent of communication. His words literally are like a waterfall cascading down upon us, all designed to create wonder and joy in the hearts of those who “hear” what God is saying through his creation.
Millions of people deafly and blindly pass through God’s creation and incredibly miss out on this unbelievable blessing. Here is how Elizabeth Barret Browning expressed it: “Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God. But only he who sees, takes off his shoes. The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.” Don’t miss the fire. Take the time to see and hear. Take off your shoes and worship.
Verse Three and Four: “There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Ps 19:3-4
Not only does God speak all of the time, he speaks in all places. Ascend to the heights of Everest, God speaks there. Descend to the depths of the Mariana Trench, God speaks there. On the battlefield and surrounded by threats of enemies, God speaks there. On the podium surrounded by the applause of friends, God speaks there. Everywhere and at all times, our God is revealing new and awesome secrets of his glory.
In 1956, a young missionary left the securities of America for the excitement of missions in Ecuador. Jim Elliot had responded to a call to proclaim the glory of Christ to the ends of the earth. Knowing the dangers inherent in his calling, he never hesitated from fulfilling God’s calling upon his life. All alone, in the jungle, a few days before he would give his life as a martyr for the cause of Christ, he went out into the darkness of the jungle night. Here is what he recorded in his diary:
“I walked out to the hill just now. It is exalting, delicious. To stand embraced by the shadows of a friendly tree with the wind tugging at your coattails and the heavens hailing your heart—to gaze and glory and to give oneself again to God, what more could a man ask? Oh, the fullness, pleasure, sheer excitement of knowing God on earth. I care not if I ever raise my voice again for Him, if only I may love Him, please Him. Mayhap in mercy He shall give me a host of children that I may lead through the vast star fields, to explore His delicacies, whose finger ends set them to burning. But if not, if only I may see Him, touch His garments, and smile into my Lover’s eyes— ah, then, not stars, nor children shall matter—only Himself.”
May you lift your eyes and “see” and “hear” God speak to you through what He has made. May the Spirit enable you to see just how good and great our Lord Jesus Christ is. In the end, as awesome as the creation is, it is infintely less glorious than Jesus Christ. All creation points to the glory of its Creator. In the end, only seeing Him, touching Him and enjoying Him is all that really matters.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Dr. Gary Rieben. © Give Me That Book. Email: Grieben@aol.com. Website: www.GiveMeThatBook.org. Postal: GMTB | P.O. Box 1045| La Quinta, CA 92247 USA | 619.829.2390
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