By David Faust
According to Samford University preaching professor Dr. Robert Smith, “we have lost our sense of the mystery of God”—what he calls “the trembling adoration.” Our mistake? We “try to demystify the mystery, unscrew the inscrutable, and figure out the un-figure-out-able.”
Psalm 19 invites us to ponder the mystery of God. This memorable psalm of David escorts us from the farthest expanse of outer space to the most intimate part of our own inner space. It starts with God’s public glory in the heavens and ends with the private meditation of our hearts.
How Does God Speak?
The Lord reveals his glory in several ways.
He speaks through creation. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (v. 1). David didn’t own a telescope, but with the naked eye he could see God’s handiwork in the sun, moon, stars, and planets—as if the Master Artist had signed his name on the canvas of creation. No one needs a translator to understand what the heavens declare. “Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (vv. 2-4). Nature bears the Creator’s fingerprints. “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).
God also speaks through Scripture. Psalm 19 affirms, “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple” (v. 7). The precepts of the Lord are “right, giving joy to the heart,” and “radiant, giving light to the eyes” (v. 8). They are “firm and all of them are righteous . . . more precious than gold . . . sweeter than honey” (vv. 9, 10). “By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward” (v. 11).
God’s ultimate communication has come through the living Word, Jesus Christ. “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:1, 2). The Word “became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). Christ himself is “the mystery of God” and “all the fullness of the Deity” dwells in him (Colossians 2:2, 9).
How Do We Speak?
God has spoken; now it’s our turn. Do our words honor him? His glory appears in the heavens; does it appear in us?
David looks up and recognizes that the skies declare the grandeur of God, but when he looks within himself he pleads with God, “Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins” (Psalms 19:12, 13). Then he closes the psalm with an earnest prayer: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (v. 14).
Much about God remains a mystery, but he reveals himself through creation, through Scripture, and through his Son. The macro God rules over the universe. Will we invite him to supervise our own little world this week?
David Faust is president of Cincinnati Christian University, Cincinnati, Ohio, and past Executive Editor of the Lookout.
1. Where do you see God’s “eternal power and divine nature” displayed?
2. How could the words of your mouth and the meditation of your heart be more pleasing in God’s sight?