For the director of music. A psalm of David.
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.
“He is there and he is not silent” is the great title of a book by Francis Schaeffer. It’s a title that captures the heart of Psalm 19. God is there. And far from being silent, he is calling out to us very loudly. Psalm 19 celebrates two ways that God is calling out to us that he is there: the skies and the Scriptures.
Firstly God calls out through the skies (verses 1-6). His creation is speech, revealing the Creator. This is beautiful, wonderful, majestic speech. Secondly God calls out to us in the Scriptures (verses 7-11). This is sweet speech, solemn speech, personal speech. The more general name “God” of the opening verses gives way here to the personal name “the Lord”, Yahweh. The one true God who made everything, reveals himself personally in Scripture.
As David contemplates Yahweh’s call from the skies and Scripture, notice that he responds with a call of his own. A call, a prayer, for forgiveness (verses 12-14). And that indeed is how we also should respond.
Apostle Paul quotes this Psalm in Romans 10:18, however it probably also underpins his whole argument in Romans 1-3. We should have listened to God’s call in the skies: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). We should have listened to God’s call in Scripture: but the whole world is guilty of breaking God’s commands. We didn’t listen. So we are silenced before God in judgment (Romans 3:19).
He is there. And we are silenced. The only thing we might dare to open our mouths to do, with David, is to ask for forgiveness. Which is exactly the promise of Romans 3:21-26, as God calls out to us in Jesus.
Head: What have you learnt about Jesus from Psalm 19? What have you learnt about yourself?
Heart: How does it make you feel that David’s call for forgiveness is answered by Jesus?
Hands: Look up to the skies and hear God calling out. Look down to Scriptures and hear God’s call to be forgiven through Jesus. Look around at all the people in your life who need to answer that call.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that you call to me through the skies. Thank you that you call to me in Scriptures. Thank you that you call me home in the gospel, meeting my cry for forgiveness. As I look up to the skies and look down at your Word, please help me to look around for opportunities to speak your call in the gospel. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.