A Banquet of God’s Glory

OUR STRATEGY: An Introduction to meditation on Psalm 19

Our God is a Person. Our God speaks. In his speaking, he reveals himself to people. In his speaking, he reveals his power. In his speaking, he reveals his holiness. In his speaking, he reveals his presence. Christianity is a revealed religion. God has chosen to reveal his glory to us so that we can enjoy “the light of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). Revelation is God’s activity of speaking so that we can know him and enjoy him forever. The Bible is God’s speech written down. In it God still speaks to us personally, opening our eyes so that we can see more of Him; changing our hearts so that we become more like him; and filling our lives so that we enjoy more of his friendship.

Purpose: Psalm 19 is a carefully crafted work designed to display the glory of God as seen through His world and in His Word. The purpose of this devotion is to help you hear God speak so that you can rejoice in new and life changing ways. The psalm is divided into three sections: 1] God speaks without words through His creation [1-6]; and, 2] God speaks through words in His Law [7-11]; 3] Our response to hearing God’s words directed toward us [12-14]. One of the goals of this devotional is to help you see the awesome discoveries that are awaiting the disciple who invests the time and energy it takes to hear and understand what God is revealing about His glory.

Plan: If this devotional will achieve its intended purpose, it will take the co-operation of several parties. First, I will do the initial digging and writing to lay out for you an appetizer of God’s menu of rich and enriching truths found in His revelation of Himself. I will do this by scripture by scripture exegesis of Psalm 19. Second, you will have to commit to taking the time to sit down and eat, using the tools provided to bring the food to your mouth. And, you will have to do the chewing by meditating upon the scriptures that are set before you. We will attempt to demonstrate how one can meditate upon God’s Word throughout the presentation of the devotional. Third, it is God by His Spirit that will open our eyes so that we may see and hear what God is saying directly to us as we engage what He has written down for our enjoyment [Ps. 119:18]. Fourth, it will take all of us praying for one another so that the writing and the listening will come together to make a great banquet of Christ-honoring, soul-satisfying communion that we were made to enjoy [Eph. 1:17-18].      

Process: Memorize: Take the time to memorize Psalm 19. This will enable you to hide God’s Word in your heart so that you may carry it with you at all times [Psalm 119:11]. Meditate: Plan specific times where you can be alone to think and pray over what God is saying to you through His world and His Word [Joshua 1:8]. Write: Keep a journal of the insights that God brings to your heart as you commune with him. Listen: Be alert to the greatness and goodness of God toward you as God speaks through His works and words to your heart. Think: Engage the scripture with exploring questions like: What does it mean? What does it say about God and His ways? What is God saying to me today? What do I need to do?  Pray: Ask the Lord to make you sensitive to His will and ways that you may honor Him in all of your thoughts, words and actions. Obey: Take one truth each day and apply it to your life in trust and obedience [John 13:17]. Praise: At the end of each day, take the time to give God praise for the grace that He has personally poured into your life.

So, with those introductory comments behind us, LET’S EAT!

Creation Declares God’s Glory: Session One: Psalm 19:1

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
Exploration and Exposition:  What does God want us to know about His glory? 

The Glory of God:  The glory of God is His primary motivation for creating the world and redeeming mankind. The primary word used in the Old Testament for “glory” is the word cabod. It carries within it the sense of “weightiness.” When we call something “heavy,” we mean it has real substance and is worthy of our careful and respectful consideration. God is infinitely heavy in Himself. When God is said to “glorify” himself, it means that God is making the greatness of His glory known or seen. He does so primarily by his works and his words. Let us look at some scriptures that deal with the purposes of God in his desire to glorify his greatness and goodness.

His glory is the ultimate ruling reality over all things. Ps 8:1 “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.”

His creation reveals the incomparable greatness of his glory. Isa 40:25-26 “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these?” 

His people are created for his glory Isa 43:7 “Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth —  everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

His jealously protects his glory.  Isa 48:11 “For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another. “

His wrath declares his glory Rom 1:18-20 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

His grace brings praise for his glory.  Eph 1:11-12 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

His followers do all for his glory. 1 Cor 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Revelation:  To reveal means to make something known. In general revelation, God makes his power and beauty known by what he has created. All people can see His works but not all see Him though His works because of their sinful nature. Romans 1:18-20. In special revelation, God speaks a word that creates and sustains faith in a people he has called for His glory. Eph. 1:13 That word opens blind eyes [2 Cor. 4:4-6]; and that word brings life to dead hearts [Eph. 2:1], So that His People can see and love the glory of God in the face of Christ.

The Joy of God and Man: The glorification of God has two movements: 1] God delights in making His greatness and goodness known in works and words; 2] God delights in men seeing His glory and rejoicing in that glory. It is these two movements which caused John Piper to write: “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” I cannot think of a more important sentence written in the 20th century. It sums up the answer to the great question posed by the Westminster Confession: “What is the chief end of man?” Answer: “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” We fulfill our purpose, we satisfy the deepest longing of our hearts, we turn all of life into one joyful pursuit, when we make seeing and savoring the glory of God our passion.

The end of creation is that the creation might glorify God. Now what is glorifying God but a rejoicing at that glory that he has displayed? The happiness of the creature consists in rejoicing in God, by which also God is magnified and exalted. –Jonathan Edwards
Meditation:  If that is true, that seeing the glory of God and delighting in the glory of God is the primary reason for my creation and redemption, what is this passage saying to me?
Questions to ask: [These are merely suggestions. The Holy Spirit may prompt others in your heart.]

“What do I see when I look at a sunset, or gaze upon a clear and starry night, or look into the face of a newborn baby, or focus upon the delicate workmanship of a daylily? Do I see the greatness of God in His handiwork? Do I see the beauty of God’s craftsmanship?

How does the greatness of God and his creation relate to me and my circumstances? What is God speaking to me about His greatness and goodness?

How have I failed to honor Him by failing to enjoy that which He has made?

In what ways do I need God’s creative power to work in my life?

What can I do today to increase my sensitivity to the ways God is speaking to me through His creation?

Application: We are blessed when we take what we hear and put them into practice. So,

Pray:  Ask the Holy Spirit to use the Word you heard to make you a passionate seeker of God’s glory. Ask him to open your ears so that you can recognize and respond to God’s voice.

Write:  Keep a written diary of what you are learning about God and His purposes for you. That will help you clarify and remember what God is saying to you.

Plan:  Set aside specific times and places throughout the day that will enable you to meditate upon what God has said to you through His Word.

Memorize:  Continue to memorize and meditate upon God’s Word throughout the day and night.

Share:  Find a friend who will join you as a prayer partner and fellow traveler as you make you’re your way through the banquet hall of Psalm 19.

Enjoy:  Celebrate the true riches and sweet taste that God will serve you in the days ahead.