“The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.” Psalms 19:1 (NKJV)
We open this new year of 2017 with a study on the reality of God. In actuality, God’s existence is not something that has to be proven, especially to those who choose to believe more in themselves and in the capabilities of political and social movements to resolve the ills of the world. Denial of God’s reality in no way negates its truth. God is! However, for believers, the reality of God is foundational to our faith walk and is based on the irrefutable fact of God as seen in nature or general revelation (Ps. 19:1-6) and the undeniable truth of God as revealed in His Word (Ps. 19:7-11). This week we focus on the reality of God as Creator.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard.” (Ps. 19:1-3)
The heavens and the firmament each have their part in making known the mystery of God’s glory. God’s handiwork (ma`aseh) is proof of His intimate involvement in the creation of the world versus some random act of science. It was God’s undertaking that resulted in the heavens and the firmaments (Gen. 1:3-5). The Psalmist uses “declare and show” to express nature’s response in proving the reality of Creator God. The constancy of day and night and the vastness of the heavens reveal the excellence of God’s creative work. His work is undeniable regardless of man’s language or place on the planet (Rom. 1:19-20).
“Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, And rejoices like a strong man to run its race. Its rising is from one end of heaven, And its circuit to the other end; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.” (Ps. 19:4-6)
Dominant in the heavens is the sun, which is the focus of these verses. The sun is metaphorically compared to a “bridegroom” and to a “strongman or champion”. Like a bridegroom excitedly leaves his chamber (chapha) on his wedding day, the sun rises; like the strongman races on his course, the sun makes its circuit with radiance and vigor to warm the earth. Those experiencing the sun’s rays need not listen for words, because the effect of the sun is evident—nothing is hidden from its heat. While the psalmist did not know all that we know today about the solar system, he portrays in these verses the phenomenal way that the sun rises daily to accomplish its “line” in the work God has decreed for it (Eccl. 1:5).
“This is My Father’s World” is a well-known Christian hymn written by Reverend Maltbie Davenport Babcock. Babcock frequently enjoyed walks to appreciate the panoramic view of upstate New York, telling his wife he was “going out to see the Father’s world”. Every morning we awaken, confident in the fact that the sun will be there to greet us. If we take the time, we can observe the sky, a familiar backdrop on which the sun will reflect it needed light and warmth. Any gradation in the sky—from blue to black, can be directly attributed to changes in the weather conditions that day—be it clear, cloudy, or full of rain. And as the day transitions to evening, the moon replaces the sun in its nocturnal work within the universe, adding planets, stars, and constellations to the now darkened sky.
Modern theologians recognize the Creation and the plan of salvation as the most compelling witness to the reality of God and His power. While postmodernist might argue for a more logical explanation for creation, they can offer nothing to resolve the growing challenge of navigating the 21st century with its volatility and uncertainties. Even with our technological advancements and achievements, man has not been able to resolve the “issues of the heart” created by sin (Is. 61:1-2). But God has! (2 Tim. 1:9-10) The world is in need of a “reality check” that results in acknowledgment of the true God (John 17:3; 1 John 5:20). This reality begins with each of us understanding, “This is Our Father’s World”.
SELAH: Are their areas in your life where you are denying God’s reality and sovereign rule?