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.
All God has created – the heavens, the sky, the sun – each of these “speak” to God’s handiwork, giving testimony to the Creator’s glory.
In this psalm by David, he animates God’s creations, bringing them close, giving them human characteristics: alive, speaking, running, experiencing emotions of joy, sharing words of knowledge. I love the artistry of this psalm. Poetry is man’s way of discovering that God’s creative works are too wonderful for words, but our lives would still be incomplete without at least attempting to artfully express what moves the soul.
In the opening verses of Psalm 19, everything David praises God for is above him – high above him. I wonder if the inspiration for this song came as he laid on his back one night, blanketed by the heavens. Maybe – just maybe – David felt a chill; clothing pulled tightly ‘round him, his warm and moist exhales curl and condense into a cloud, then disappear. In silence, Night reveals his knowledge. In a few hours he will step aside for Day to pour out her own speech.
The fire gone out beside him, David meditates on God’s daily provision of heat – the sun. This glowing, faithful creation eagerly lays waiting just beyond the eastern horizon. The sun never ceases to find great joy in fulfilling its purpose: anointing the rest of God’s creation with warmth. It gathers heat and crouches low in the starting blocks, waiting for God to signal the beginning of his daily race across the expanse. The firing of the Starter’s pistol fills the earth with the silence of dawn.
David, still lying on his back, is warmed by the running sun. His cooled-by-night clothes gladly soak up the words of the sun.
And for all these things high above him, David gives praise to God. For the great things high above that have bent low and drawn near, David sings a new song back to God.
I cannot step back to that moment in time with David, but I can – and will – walk outside this morning to feel the similarly chilly air, gaze at the same heavens, and look eastward for the crouching sun joyously beginning his race across the heavens. I wonder what speech the sun will give today. I want to hear every word.