Summary: God gives us three kinds of "prints" as attestation to his splendor, goodness, sovereignty, and grace.
HOOK: I’d like to share with you this morning some actual headlines from real newspapers.
1. Grandmother of eight makes hole in one.
2. Police begin campaign to run down jaywalkers
3. Two convicts evade noose, jury hung
4. Milk drinkers are turning to powder
5. Safety experts say children on school bus should be belted
6. Iraqi head seeks arms
7. Queen Mary having bottom scraped
8. Two sisters reunite after eighteen years at checkout counter.
Sometimes things just don’t come out the way we intend. That can result in something funny, or it can result in tragedy if someone misunderstands an instruction about a life or death situation.
Unlike the newspaper headlines we just saw, God has not given us confusion as he has communicated with us. As a matter of fact, he has been very clear in more than one way. And as he has revealed himself to humanity we can see how wonderful he truly is-- how praiseworthy our Creator is.
Psalms contains five divisions called books: Book I = Psalms 1-41; Book II = Psalms 42-72; Book III = Psalms 73-89; Book IV = Psalms 90-106; and Book V = Psalms 107-150. Dr. Thomas Rodgers of Trinity Theological Seminary states that of the 150 Psalms “we know that at least seventy-three psalms were written by David.”
Psalm 19 is one of those seventy-three and, along with Psalms 1 and 119, seems to celebrate the importance of the Law in Israel’s everyday life. These three Psalms also portray how obeying the Law will bring joy to God’s people. In our text we find David talking about two types of revelation: general and special. General revelation is seen in God’s creation-- the heavens and the earth. Special revelation is seen in God’s covenants with humanity through such men as Adam, Abraham, Moses, and ultimately Jesus Christ. The Bible has recorded God’s special revelation to humanity. C. S. Lewis described Psalm 19 as “the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.”
BIBLICAL PROBLEM: God has revealed himself to the Israelites through his majestic creation and the Law of Moses.
BIBLICAL SOLUTION: The chosen nation of God was to respond in worship and respect.
CONTEMPORARY PROBLEM: God continues to reveal himself to us through the heavens and the earth and his written word, but he reveals himself most fully through his Son Jesus Christ.
THESIS: Because of God’s revelation, we need to respond in worship and respect.
TRANSITIONAL STATEMENT: We find three divisions listed in Psalm 19 that show us why we should worship and respect God.
I. THE FIRST DIVISION IS GOD’S FINGERPRINTS.
Verses 1-6 tell us that God’s glory is revealed through his creation. His fingerprints are everywhere we look.
I like the way the New Living Translation has worded verses 1-4: “The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or a word; their voice is silent in the skies; yet their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to all the world. The sun lives in the heavens where God placed it.”
The Psalmist is emphasizing that there is no excuse for not believing in Yahweh-- the God of Israel.
Two Old Testament scholars have said that “David, as a shepherd, had experienced many nights under the open sky, in a land where a [multitude] of stars are visible and especially brilliant. It would never have entered his thinking that such could have existed by chance, but that all of nature bears testimony to the divine.”
“All creation is viewed as his handiwork, testifying to his greatness, showing forth his glory, inspiring his creature to sing his praise.”
“Look around you!” David is saying. “God’s fingerprints are everywhere!”
The beginning of Psalm 19 reminds me of something about the creation account in Genesis. Genesis 1:14-18: “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.’ And it was so. God made two great lights--the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.”
The traditional author of Genesis is Moses. He apparently received the creation account from God during his time with him on Sinai. Following this special revelation on God’s general revelation Moses put it down in writing.