Text: Psalm 19
How is God revealed to us? According to Psalm 19 He is revealed through Creation and the Scriptures. As Christians we would add that God has also revealed Himself through Christ. “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3). In this study we will look at the subject through the eyes of the psalmist.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). God is the Creator of all things that exist. The existence of God is the fundamental truth with which the Scriptures begin. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The same thought is found time and again from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible makes it very clear that Creation itself is intended to be evidence that an intelligent designer, that is, God, created it. It should not surprise us then that evolution is Satan’s attempt to distort and abolish this truth. Theologians term this as a ‘general revelation of God’ because all mankind, especially those who do not have God’s written word, have evidence of His existence and majesty.
“Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge” (Psalm 19:2). Ever since the first day of Creation there has been a continual and constant revelation of God in nature. This revelation predates all laws and ordinances the Lord gave to us through the prophets. Only someone who is void of understanding could look up into the sky and suggest that it all came about by chance. “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:20-21). “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1).
“There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof” (Psalm 19:3-6). Creation speaks for itself, for it needs no translator. Regardless of language barriers, Creation has the same message for all people on earth. Notice that David uses the word “line”; this is the rule by which those who have not yet heard of Christ or have the Scriptures will be judged. This “line” transcends language, culture and distance. Psalm 18 draws to a close with the words, “Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name” (:49), and a way the psalmist could do that is by pointing the heathen to the wonders of Creation. We all look down at the same earth, and all look up at the same sky. Creation can be a starting point for evangelism, because the created world we inhabit reveals and reflects its Creator.
“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:7-11). We read how the heat of the sun can reach us on earth, but now the psalmist informs us that God’s word searches every human heart. He reveals to us the characteristics of God’s word: ‘perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, enduring, true, and righteous.’ The revelation of God through His word demands action on our part, therefore David describes what it can do in our souls with these words: ‘converting, making wise, rejoicing and enlightening.’ How we respond to the Scriptures is how we respond to God Himself.
Man can learn that God exists by observing nature, but he cannot find God in it. While we can know that God exists through observing nature, it is not given to reveal His word. God has chosen to reveal much more of Himself through human language. Creation is evidence to fallen man even if no one goes to tell him the truth, but we are responsible for taking God’s word to the lost. Paul suggests that the revelation of God in Creation is not sufficient to save people from sin. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:13-15).
Creation is like a painted picture. It transcends all human barriers and speaks of the fact that someone created it; but we cannot know the artist personally by admiring his creativity.
God’s word is given to reveal what He expects of us. His word must be obeyed to keep us from sin, “Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:11). It teaches that we must repent of our sin if we are to have a true relationship with God, “Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression” (Psalm 19:12-13). It calls for us to be committed to God in every aspect of our lives, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).