February 7: Psalm 19
The Revelation of God
Common meter 86.86 St. Anne (O God, Our Help in Ages Past), p. 39 Forest Green (I Sing the Mighty Power of God), p. 70
Promised Land (On Jordan’s Stormy Bank I Stand), p. 79
The heav’ns above declare God’s praise, the work God’s hands have made;
Day after day their speech pours forth, by night truth is displayed.
There is no utterance or speech, no voice is ever heard,
Yet to all nations comes the sound, to every place their word.
Forth like a bridegroom comes the sun from its appointed place,
And like a hero runs its course, rejoicing in the race.
It runs from east to farthest west to make its course complete,
And nothing in the world beneath escapes its scorching heat.
God’s law is perfect and gives life, revives the weary soul;
God’s testimonies all are sure, wisdom for all to hold.
The statutes of the Lord are right, and give the heart delight;
The precepts of the Lord are pure, and give the eyes clear sight.
The fear of God is always clean, enduring as the sun;
The judgments of the Lord are true, and righteous, every one.
And even more to be desired than gold, the finest gold,
And sweeter than the honeycomb, the words God spoke of old.
Your servant finds his heart is warned by means of them, O Lord.
And in the keeping of Your law, there is a great reward.
But who can tell how often they offend unknowingly?
From all my secret faults, O Lord, I ask You to cleanse me.
Lord, keep me from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule my soul;
Then I shall not commit great wrongs, I shall be sound and whole.
Let all my words and all my thoughts, My Rock, Redeemer, Might,
Find favor now, and always have acceptance in Your sight.
The Christian faith recognizes two ways in which God has made His revelation to us: through nature and through grace. “Through Creation and through Holy Scripture” is another way of saying the same thing. These are the two means that God has given us through which to know Him. First, nature, given us by God that we may know Him…that is to say, there is a message for us from God inscribed in the structure of creation. Second, the law, also given us by God that we may know Him…such is the reciprocity between the Creation account in Genesis and the Sinai event in Exodus. What God reveals in nature, He also reveals in His law. Thus, whether one turns to God’s Word in nature or to God’s Word in the Torah, we find order and truth and justice and wisdom and holiness. It should not surprise us, then, that the Apostle Paul should see in God’s revelation in nature a foreshadowing of His revelation in the Gospel, for the universality of God’s witness in the works of creation is to be matched in the universal character of the Gospel’s proclamation (Romans 10:18)…Paul is saying that the Gospel is as cosmic as the cosmos…From the beginning of His Word to us, when His hands spread out the heavens above us, until that end when He will roll them up as a scroll, God’s message is a unified poetic text of order, promise and hope. (Reardon, p.35-36)