Summary: This Psalm is a genre of Psalms know as Hymns. The main feature of these Hymns is that they contain exuberant praise of the Lord, or they give us a reason for praising the Lord. They are a celebration that God has entered our lives and our community.
Series: Responding to God
How To Praise
A sermon on Psalm 19.
You can listen to a full recording of this message at http://www.nec.org.au/listen-to-a-sermon-series/responding-to-god-psalms/
Read Psalm 19 straight away.
Hymns contain exuberant praise of the Lord, or they give us a reason for praising the Lord. They are a celebration that God has entered our lives and our community. How does Psalm 19 do that?
Well, part of the Psalm focuses on God’s creation – and why we should celebrate and praise God for that creation.
Another part of the Psalm focuses on “the law of the Lord”. That is a reference to the first five books of the Bible – sometimes it is also called the Torah. And the Psalm is saying that we should celebrate that God has given His Word.
Celebrate creation. Celebrate the Bible. Why? Because it is through these two approaches that God is telling is that He wants to have a relationship with us. There is a strong connection between creation ... and the Word of God.
Let me show you how Psalm 19 makes that connection. We begin by acknowledging that
God reveals Himself through the mighty forces of nature.
• The heavens declare the glory of God.
• Day after day ... night after night
• Their voice goes out into all the earth.
At night the night sky speaks. In the day the day sky speaks. Every moment of every day the message is the same. “God did this”. Nature does not whisper, it shouts and it shouts continually. But not everyone is listening.
We went for a holiday to Canberra in 2003. On the holiday we visited an observatory which had a “star show”. About 20 of us went into this round room where, on the ceiling, all the stars were laid out. People oooohed and ahhhhed as they sat there in this tiny room which little lights artificially representing the night sky. That same evening many of those same people would walk outside and see the real thing 10 million times bigger, more unpredictable and suspenseful, and not one of them would make a comment.
Through creation God is shouting but many people are stone deaf. Despite God’s power being so clearly on display the reality is that many people have lost their ability to hear what God is saying. Part of the problem is that people do not know what sort of God they need.
Often we want a God who works on our terms, not His way.
If there is a God why do bad things happen? Surely God would want good to happen all the time.
How can God allow people to suffer? If we are created by Him wouldn’t He want to take better care of us?
Where was God when I needed Him? He seemed silent and distant – He didn’t do what I wanted.
We want a God that we can control. That we can manipulate. That works according to our rules. And when He doesn’t we switch off because we don’t think He is communicating in a way that we can understand. But He communicating. It is as we read in verse 3.
There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.
A person in France can look to the heavens … and see the hand of God.
A person in Iceland can look to the sky … and see the power of the Creator.
Our neighbour in Brisbane can search the skies and hear the voice of the Maker.
As the heavens go about their ordinary business the message is there for all to see. God is saying, “I am here”. And He is showing Himself in a way that we should be able to understand.
They say that ours is a visual age.
People need pictures not lectures.
People need visual stimulation to be interested.
Our eyes are the tools of discernment.
It may be true that we are more visual, but that doesn’t mean we see more clearly than our ancestors. We have become spoilt. There is so much to visually stimulate us that we don’t get as excited. We are so used to being entertained that we don’t stop and really think about the meaning behind it all.
That is what this Psalm is doing. The Psalm makes us think about the meaning of it all.
God reveals Himself through nature but we need to stop and focus on the message.
Just one aspect of creation comes in focus ... the sun.
In many ways the sun is the mightiest aspect of creation as far as we are concerned.
• The sun contains 99.85% of the mass in the solar system.
• Four million tons of hydrogen are consumed by the sun every second.