Summary: God reveals Himself in a mighty way through His creation. He gives us a proper perspective of ourselves and a proper perspective of the universe.
Charlie Brown and Lucy and Linus are lying on the ground, looking up into the sky. Lucy says, "If you use your imagination, you can see lots of things in the cloud formations. What do you think you see, Linus?" Linus responds, "Well, those clouds up there look like the map of the British Honduras on the Caribbean. And that cloud looks a little like the profile of Thomas Eakins, the famous painter and sculptor. And that group of clouds over there gives me the impression of the stoning of Stephen. I can see the Apostle Paul standing here to one side."
Lucy congratulates him, "Uh huh, that’s very good. What do you see in the clouds, Charlie Brown?" Charlie Brown replies, "Well, I was going to say I saw a ducky and a horsie, but I changed my mind."
What do you see when you look into the skies? The psalmist looked into the heavens and he saw ... God. He said, "The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands" (19:1).
Paul developed this same theme in his letter to the Romans. Listen to what the Bible says in Romans 1:20: "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."
God not only reveals Himself to us through His Word. God also reveals Himself to us through His world. What does God reveal about Himself through the created universe?
For one thing, He reveals His existence. The creation is a testimony to the existence of God. A young man told his mother one day he was an atheist, that he didn’t believe in God any more. She quietly responded, "If there is no God, who made the world? He replied, "Nobody made it, it just happened." A few days later he came home from school and passed through the kitchen. A sandwich was sitting on the counter. He asked, "Who made the sandwich?" His mother said, "Nobody made it, it just happened."
That young man was wrong. Just as there could be no sandwich without a sandwich maker, there can be no creation without a Creator.
That’s where the psalmist began in all of the creation psalms. He never tried to prove the existence of God. He simply pointed to the universe around Him and said, "I know there is a Creator because of the creation."
The created universe also tells us some things about this God who exists. The creation is a testimony to the majesty and glory of God. We don’t learn everything about God from the universe. We don’t learn of His grace or His mercy. God revealed those truths most clearly through the person of Jesus Christ. However, we do learn from the universe about God’s power and God’s majesty.
Wally Amos, known as Famous Amos for his cookies, described his experience a few years ago as he stood on the rim of the Grand Canyon. He said, "The setting sun orchestrated a symphony of subtle hues on the canyon’s walls ... It took your breath away. It was so splendid, so overwhelming, that I stood there awestruck. All I could think of was God. For the first time in my life I could feel Him, His power, His majesty, and those puny feelings of staleness and discouragement seemed to drop away from me. It was as if God had handed me His calling card."
The universe with all its vastness, the heavens with all their mystery, these are God’s calling cards.
Creation does not tell us everything we need know about God. But creation does provide everything we need to know that there is a God and that He is a God of majesty. Whenever the script for your life seems to raise a question about the presence of God or the power of God, just turn your attention to the heavens above and you will be reminded that there is a God and that He is a great God.
That is the core concept of this Psalm. From this core concept we get two perspectives concerning ourselves and the universe around us.
A Proper Perspective of Ourselves
Recognizing God as the Creator and the creation as His handiwork will give us a proper perspective of ourselves. The creation psalms provide a needed corrective to the language of faith.
In studying the book of Psalms you learn that the first word of faith is praise;
and the second word is complaint; and the third word is confession. All three of these words focus on self.
We praise God for what He has done for us. We complain to God because of what has happened to us. We confess to God a sin or transgression that has been done by us. The psalms of praise, complaint, and confession all focus the spotlight on us.