Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tabernacle For the Sun

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.  The skies display his craftsmanship.  
Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.  
They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard.  
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.  
God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.  
It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding.  
It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.  
The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat.  
The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul.  
The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.  
The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart.  
The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight for living.  
Reverence for the LORD is pure, lasting forever.  

The laws of the LORD are true; each one is fair.  
They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold.  
They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb.  
They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them.  
How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?  
Cleanse me from these hidden faults.  
Keep your servant from deliberate sins!  
Don’t let them control me.  Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.  
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.                 Psalms 19:1 - 14 (NLT) 

Set in context, David recounts in this Psalm how magnificently the creation, particularly the sun, displays and proclaims the glory of God.  All throughout creation everything responds to the Creator as it should.  The skies are a tabernacle fit to showcase God’s splendor; the workings of nature are our greatest visible teacher of His majesty.

The natural order, sun, moon and earth – all things celestial and terrestrial – are subject to the way they were created.  They all act according to the laws God placed upon them.  God’s “fingerprints” are everywhere.

Of course, there are exceptions; not ALL of creation responds the way God intended…David could look in the mirror and see that clearly; so can we all!

What Else is Perfect, Just like God made it?

Halfway through the Psalm David turns from extolling the grandeur of the sun making its impact on the earth, to the Law of God, the Scriptures, and how it moves and makes its impact on the sons of earth. 

David calls God’s law, “perfect”, “sweet” and “a warning” which leads to “great reward” for all who embrace God’s ways.  And this is where the comparison of the law and nature part company.  All of nature MUST obey God; only humans are granted the privilege and freedom of disobedience.

David knew this all too well, and so, he takes exceptional care in the closing lines of his ode to pray for an obedient heart, to petition God’s providential help for strength against sinning.  David’s desire is to be like the sun in its proper orbit, giving praise, glory and majesty to the God who created him.  You can’t be that covered in sin!

I have often prayed the closing words of Psalms 19 as a prelude to preaching a sermon:   May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.  It is prayed in the same spirit David cultivated – that whatever is said will never diminish another’s view of the splendor of Almighty God.  But rather, the words will come out like the great sun’s heat, warming the hearer to the message of God’s great love, reviving the soul!

For You, Today

Human beings (like you and me) were created to be God’s best.  Scripture describes us as the “apple of God’s eye”.  If this is true, we have much more to offer than the sun, moon and Mt. Everest in displaying the glorious handiwork of God. 

How will you shine today?  How will you be a tabernacle fit to showcase the glory of your Creator?

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