Has there ever been a time in your life where you couldn’t contain yourself?
When you opened up a gift on Christmas morning.
When you came home with a good report card from school.
When you got your driver’s license.
When you got engaged to married.
When you found out you were pregnant with child.
When you got a prize you worked so hard for.
When you found out the Senators lost in the Semi Finals.
Do you ever take a minute in your busy day to ponder this amazing universe that God painted for us? If not! I challenge you to go on a vacation out West to the Canadian Rockies, they are breathe taking and majestic. Go to the East Coast and watch the tide go in and out on the Bay Fundy, or travel to Northern Ontario and take in the Northern Lights. Or even a simple drive through Algonquin Park in the Fall when the leaves are changing. It is said! In 1977, the United States launched a rocket into space. On board was a small craft called Voyager I, a probe that was jettisoned into space to explore the planets. After Voyager was done sending back photos and data from the planet Jupiter and its neighbors, it didn’t stop working. It just kept going. Today along with Voyager 2, almost 40 years later, there still traveling at a speed of over 38,000 miles per hour. And it’s nearly 9 billion miles from the sun. Think about this for a moment! If we traveled at the speed of light 186,000 miles a second or roughly six trillion miles a year, it would take 10 billion years to reach the farthest point we can see with a telescope. But this still would not reach the outer limits of space. We would say “It’s astounding. It’s amazing.” But it’s absolutely puny when compared with what God has done. Before scientist created such a machine we’ve already known about this from writing that is about 4000 years old. The only thing the Voyagers did was authenticate what we already know. Through technology we are able to see some of these things closer thanks to scientist….but for God to reveal His beauty and power.
There are amazing things happening in this Psalm of David for us to see. But before we dive into this Psalm of David….. Are you amazed when you read this passage? Are you amazed at all about anything? Has your life become so mundane, numb and easily bored that nothing amazes you anymore? Have you forgotten about who is so infinity big and glorious and He is worthy of all your attention and adoration? This Psalm illuminates two major assertions about our glorious God. One found in a big book and the other found in a small book.
First the big book
“The heavens declare the glory of God…” would be more literally translated “recount” because it’s the word used for actual counting and numbering. When you say that someone recounts a story, there’s a sense that they are including every part of the story, bit by bit. The heavens have not merely declared the glory of God; they are enumerating every wondrous detail of God’s glory. “Day to day pours out speech…” is a very good word equivalent, because this word is used in Proverbs 18:4 to describe “a flowing river.” “Night to night reveals knowledge…” property means “breathes out.” The exhaled breath of the night’s speech forms a gentler parallel image to the rushing water of the day’s speech. Nature testifies to the glory and splendor of God day and night. If you studied the human body you would find that the body testifies to an all-wise Creator. If you studied the petals of flowers, a blade of grass, a snowflake you would find that they testify to an all-wise Creator.
What an amazing insight! Exploring the universe is amazing. But exploring the God who made it all: That’s beyond amazing! Each time someone looks up at the heavens day and night, they receive a wordless but powerful message of God's greatness and glory. Because the handiwork of God uses no words, no audible voices, yet the sermon of the stars goes thought-out all the earth. (v3-v4) This is what we call general revelation! Alexander McLaren explains this best when he said “this psalm “glory” has no “moral element” That is, it does not testify to God’s moral qualities or attributes like justice, mercy, love, wrath, goodness, grace, compassion. But the creation certainly testifies to God’s existence and power.
This Psalm gives evidence to the existence of God.
The Apostle Paul expressed it this way "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." (Romans 1:20).
This Psalm gives evidence to omnipotence of God.
Isaiah 40:26 “Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing.”
This Psalm gives evidence that God is the sole object of our worship.
Isaiah 45:18 “For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: "I am the LORD, and there is no other.”
This Psalm gives evidence to the pre-eminence of God in comparison to His creation.
Psalm 8:3-4 “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?”
This Psalm gives evidence to who we are to put our trust in.
Psalm 124:8 “Our help is in the name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.”
When we observe natural and the things around us it’s almost self-evident that there is a Creator. It does not require extensive technological investigation to see that all sources point to our Creator God. Not only does this Psalm reveal the glory of God from Heaven through His general revelation grounded in His big book. We also see a special revelation revealing the God who created all these things for His glory in a little book. (v7-v10)
The Little book
The blessed and sacred writings of our holy God who revealed Himself through His Son and through the written Word. There is a difference between the two books of God. Creation (His big book) reveals God as the mighty powerful One, the God of power. But His Word (little book) reveals Him as the One who enters into a covenant relationship with His people. God’s works reveal His knowledge and power, but His word reveals His love and grace. As Spurgeon said “he is wisest who reads both the world book and the Word-book as two volumes of the same work, and feels concerning them, ‘My Father wrote them both.’ “ Just as we treasure and value creation as many in our day obviously does (e.g.: environmental groups and others) who fight for clean air and water and so on. That same passion we have for His created work should also be the same for His written revelation though the Holy Spirit. His natural creation points us in the right direction and the scriptures do the same as it points to the God who created everything for His glory. This is why David is able to pen these words with such excitement and desire.
He couldn’t contain himself. Especially coming from a simple shepherd boy who spent many days and nights alone in the fields observing God’s beautiful creation. Or when he was a man on run hiding from a psychotic made man named “Saul” Our when he was a king looking up to the heavens from his residence after breaking the heart of God with his foolish actions and sinful choices. See, David knew through his observation of creation and the God he knew through the writings of Moses, all pointed to the glory of God. This should have the same effect on me and you when we ponder His glory through creation and through His written Word to you and me. What do we learn from this little book mentioned in this psalm about God’s special revelation? Words to Obey for life and godliness (v7-14)
We learn that…..
God’s instructions are perfect to follow. (v7)
God’s testimony is true and simple to understand and is trustworthy. (v7)
God’s precepts are always right, in every situation. (v8)
God’s commandments are pure guiding the heart in His righteousness. (v8)
God desires a healthy fear that leads to genuine worship. (v9)
What does this mean for you and me?
The Word being perfect; revives the soul.
The Word is trustworthy; the law of God makes the simple wise.
The Word right, the law of God makes the heart rejoice.
The Word is radiant; the law of God gives light to the eyes.
The Word is pure; the law of God endures forever.
This is why Paul penned these final words to Timothy “But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Tim 3:10-17
The Bible is like no other book, because it’s “God breathed” as other books are not! Why do I say that? Look at (v10) “More to be desired are they than gold” What is David saying? The value of the Word cannot be computed in terms of gold. The Word of God has one thing in common with gold! A person must dig for its treasures. There is a great wealth hidden in the pages of God’s little book. And our best use of time is searching for them. Just as a prospector is delighted when thety find that little nugget of gold. The Christian is far more excited and delighted when they are digging into God little book. As Edmund Pillifant said “This book is my guide; Tis a friend by my side. It will lighten and brighten my way. And each promise I find soothes and gladdens my mind as I read it and heed it each day”
We see this in the parable that Jesus spoke of! "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matt 13:44
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Matt 13:45-46
This Psalm gives us glimpse to the glory of God’s word, just as it gives us a picture of God who rules over Heaven and the cosmos by the display of His nature. When you put His nature and His word together you get what the Psalmist says when comparing the world’s riches to God's Word
“The world's riches are fool's gold.”
The Bible alone tells us where everything came from, why everything exists, and what lies ahead. As Job learned, it was God who “laid the foundations of the earth” (Job 38:4). We don’t need to listen to the speculations of world-famous thinkers to find answers to the big questions of life. We just need to humbly and reverently study the Word of God. This is where we will find rest for our mind and peace for our soul. This is where our treasure is supposed to begin and end . When we observe His creation though nature it should ultimately drive us to our knees out adoration and thanksgiving. It should drive us into His precious Word that is food for our souls As David said “Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb….. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.” (v10, 14). That’s what God’s big book does and when the little book is added. We see the God who created these things for His glory.
So my Sunday question is. Are you amazed by what David is revealing in this Psalm about our glorious God?
Because he surely was!