David McCasland tells a story about a United States Army general speaking in Japan told who a joke with the punch line, “Show me. I’m from Missouri.”
His translator knew the audience wouldn’t understand, so he said in Japanese, “The general has made a joke and I’ll be in trouble if you don’t laugh.”
The people obligingly laughed. But because some things don’t translate well, the general had failed to communicate.
There is a message that is clear. Unmistakable. And as evident as the sun, moon and the stars.
This week as I was reading Psalm 19, I was reminded of the wonderful way God has revealed himself to us. This beautiful, moving Psalm was once called by C. S. Lewis “the greatest poem in the Psalms and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.”
Consider the revelation of God from the Psalmist point of view.
(1) God is revealed in the worlds around us.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.”
Creation has been called “a wordless book” that everyone can read because it needs no translation. The heavens declare the truth of an awesome Creator.
His presence is witnessed in the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean and the sunset over the Pacific. It is seen in the beauty of Springtime. In the breathtaking colors of the Fall foliage. In the majestic Rocky Mountains. And the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon.
The design of the universe declares there must be a Designer. The order of nature’s laws says Someone ordained them. Every creature points to a Creator.
(2) God is revealed in the Word before us.
God has not left us in doubt regarding His will. He has revealed his message to mankind in the written Word. The Psalmist uses six different names and attributes for God’s Word.
- “The Law of the Lord…’ It is perfect. Compete. All sufficient. We have all that we need that “pertains to life and godliness” (2Pet 1:3)
- “The Testimony of the Lord…” It is sure. Credible. And trustworthy. It will fill you with wisdom.
- “The Statutes of the Lord…” They are right. They will guide us in the way of righteousness. Keep us from wrongdoing. And fill our hearts with joy.
- “The Commandments of the Lord…” They are pure. Undefiled. And holy. They will enlighten our spiritual eyes. Light the way. And dispel the darkness of sin.
- “The Fear of the Lord…” It is clean. This speaks to a reverence and respect for God’s Word. Human fears can be disconcerting and distressing, but the fear of the Lord good. God-centered. And has eternal rewards.
- “The Judgments of the Lord…” They are true. Righteous. And reliable. They keep us on the right track. And offer a solid rock on which to build our lives.
Since God is revealed in the Word, we should value it. Desire it. And feed on its life-sustaining nourishment.
(3) God is revealed in the witness within us.
God’s revelation must be more than just intellectual or academic. He wants a relationship with us, to be our Father. He calls us to accept Jesus as our Savior and Redeemer. And listen to the Holy Spirit’s recorded Words.
As we see God’s greatness in nature and learn of God’s will from the Bible, our hearts should be touched. Our minds enlightened. Our spirits stirred. The Gentile world was said “to be without excuse” for rejected God when they could see Him in Creation. How much more so, are we without excuse when we have is completed Revelation?
Take a moment to read Psalm 19. Think about its meaning. Reflect on its message. Feel David’s passion. And then respond with the Psalmist:
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman