Summary: In times when the Christian Faith is attacked relentlessly by unbelievers and scoffers, mature Christians point to God's Works and Words to affirm God's Sovereignty, and to confirm our trust in Him as Lord of all.
IN TIMES LIKE THESE --- CHRISTIANS REST THEIR CASE ON THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
Sydney Lanier, famous Georgia poet who spent much of his time in the coastal area, penned a poem, “The Marshes of Glynn”, in which he opined, “As the marsh-hen quietly builds on the watery sod, behold I will build me a nest on the greatness of God. By so many roots as the marsh-grass sends in the sod, I will lay me ahold on the greatness of God.”
In times like these – when Christian voices are often drowned out by secular forces – we who order our lives by Biblical standards and seek to practice Christian values are steadfastly building our nests on the greatness of God. We therefore defend our faith by resting our case on the sovereignty of God.
Ask not: “Is there a God?”. Ask: “To what extent do we who profess faith in God rest our case on the sovereignty of God?”
The extent to which we accept the existence of God . . . accept Him as the one and only LORD God . . . accept Him as Creator and sovereign of the universe and all that exists therein and beyond, is the extent to which we respond to Him in awe, respect, honor, love, trust and obedience to His commands.
My contention is that only as we put God first and order our lives around the sovereignty of God can we be happy . . . content . . . live in peace. Christmas is all about how Sovereign God came into the world to be the “Sun of righteousness” (Malachi 4:2), . . . how the living Word of Sovereign God was laid in a manger to become the Savior of the world (John 1:14). In acknowledgment of God’s sovereignty, the church lectionary used by many denominations assigns Psalm 19 to be read on Christmas Day.
This morning we will read just the first six verses of this majestic psalm in connection with our series on “Defending What We Believe”.
David points to God’s Works and God’s Words as two affirmations of the sovereignty of God. This psalm was referred to by theologian C. S. Lewis as “the greatest poem in the Psalms and one of the greatest lyrics in the world” --- Psalm 19:1-6 . . .
We don’t have to go to a scientific observatory, with its telescopes and huge magnifiers of the solar system, to get the feeling that was David’s as he gazed into the vastness of the skies while tending sheep. He saw what we see – a panoramic display of twinkling stars lit up by the moon that shone after the sun disappeared for the night, to rise again the next morning.
Easily understood, therefore, is Malachi’s reference to the “Sun of Righteousness” as a prophecy of the dawning of a new day when the Savior would appear as the light of the world. Even before the occurrence of that most miraculous and amazing advent of the Word - which was from the beginning - was the glorious affirmation of God’s sovereignty by silent “worlds around us” which speak as a “wordless book” which everybody can read because it needs no translation or interpretation!
The wonders of creation are witnessed by people all over the world, while the existence of God is affirmed by all those elements of nature that speak to us silently - but also loudly (as in thunder and lightning and the roar of the sea). Creation conveys to serious observers one word: “God”! “In the beginning God”! Creator God! And, as God’s further revelation of himself unfolds in Scripture, it becomes clearer to us who God is: “LORD”! Sovereign LORD!
Folks: David knew that God was speaking to the inhabitants of the earth via His creation – day after day, night after night . . . His speech “pours out” universally. We know what David knew:
“This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears, all nature sings, and round me rings, the music of the spheres . . . I rest me in the thought, of rocks and trees, of skies and seas, His hands the wonders wrought . . . the birds their carols raise, the morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise . . . He shines in all that’s fair, in the rustling grass, I hear Him pass, He speaks to me everywhere.”
Despite this universal message that “pours out” day and night to the entire world, there are more folks than we would like to admit who ignore the message . . . reject the existence and sovereignty of God because they want to be in charge of themselves and live as they please, with no moral standards nor Christian values! Why are Christian morals and values ignored and rejected?