1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure,
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
I still remember the first time I saw stars bright enough to see the milky way. It was majestic, brilliant, and I was in awe. In this psalm, nature declares, proclaims, pours forth speech, reveals, and sends its words out to the ends of the earth. The sun runs like a bridegroom. Day and night creation never stops. Why? To make the glory of God known. Eugene Peterson’s translation of this psalm starts out by saying that God’s glory is on tour in the skies. This has been one of my favorite psalms for a long time now. When I stop to soak it in, I realize God’s glory is all around me. It isn’t just in the sky. It’s in the clapping of new spring leaves, in the scents of everything in bloom, and in the singing of every bird and bug. When we stop long enough to listen, we suddenly realize a magnificent and ancient hymn is being played, and we are invited to join in. We find ourselves in a unique position to stop. So will we? Will we pay attention? Will we sing?
Next the psalm turns to Scripture. It’s perfect, refreshing, trustworthy, radiant, and sweeter than honey. I wonder, how often do we think of the Bible this way? Do we actually consider it more precious than chambers of pure gold? In it we find the story of a God pursuing humanity in the midst of our brokenness and chaos. From the beginning, when the Spirit hovers over the emptiness, void, and chaos, and God brings order. At the end we have hope in the promise of life restored. All of this points to and comes through Jesus expressing his love for us in the cross and resurrection. More precious than gold, I find life and love, and a wisdom to walk in step with a God who constantly draws near.
So the psalm closes with an invitation and a prayer. I’ll phrase it as a question: what are we stopping to ponder? Does it inspire us to worship and wonder, or does it turn in on itself?
Lord, thank you for creating a world that bears your fingerprints and winks of your glory and love. May we ponder it. Thank you for your Word that unveils the story of your extravagant love. May we delight in it. May the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing to you, Lord, my solid place, my hero. Amen.