Elim Lutheran Church – September 12, 2021 – bwk
Read Psalm 19. It is another one of our favorites. If you are like me, all 150 are favorites, but this one stands out. Let me explain.
The key word for Psalm 19 might be “communication,” or “speech,” or “word.” Any one of those three could work.
The heavens declare the glory of God — verses 1-6
The Hebrew word for “heaven” in verse one can refer to the sky, heaven or even the “highest heaven.” I picture it as a reference to creation and outer space that we view from our tiny planet—the expanse of the stars and galaxies that envelop us.
David is struck with awe and wonder at creation and how creation communicates God’s glory without even utter a word. The sun, the moon and the stars, let alone the wonder of all creation that surrounds us shouts out God’s majestic glory and praise.
We should train our minds, our souls, to soak in the wonder of creation and acknowledge God’s goodness and grace and creative imagination.
God’s Word instructs us — verses 7-13
Sure, David here is speaking of the Old Testament, but for Christian believers we also understand the New Testament as God’s Word to us. David wants us to understand that paying attention to God’s creation helps us to understand a little more of God. David also wants us to listen to God’s Word through holy scriptures.
Let God’s Word direct us. Let God’s Word shape, correct and instruct us. Faith in God is not the work or result of creative human thinking. Our Christian faith is a “revealed” faith. It is God’s speaking to us and our learning to listen and let God shape and direct us.
The Old Testament is a record of God’s personal relationship with humanity. It is not about wise people striving to find and know God on their own. It is God’s calling and revealing God’s self to a series of individuals, and then to the nation of Israel and all the people of creation.
Pay attention. Listen. Let God’s love and care for us as proclaimed through creation and the Word shape and mold us. Be humble. Be repentant. Be mindful. God wants to communicate with us. God wants us to know we are created in love. We are cared for, special, important. We are redeemed and blessed. We are called to live lives of love as Jesus lives in and through us for the sake of the world.
Conclusion — verse 14
The goal of listening to God through creation and through the written Word is to have it change, shape and mold us.
David’s response is a model for our response. May our thoughts be ordered and shaped by God’s Word. May we take every thought captive for Jesus. May we not be random and careless in allowing our minds to focus on un-health—anger, lust, hate, jealousy, greed, envy, suspicion, etc. May we focus on good, on the positive, on building up and encouraging one another.
We become what we think. Out of the abundance of our hearts flow our words and actions.
David’s prayer is our prayer too. May our words and thoughts be aligned with God’s thoughts and values. This means change for us, because our thoughts are not God’s thoughts, nor our ways God’s ways (Isaiah 55:8). David’s prayer means active, daily repentance. It means being humble and teachable. It means recognize that we always need to be accountable and response to God’s Spirit as God’s seeks to communicate with us, shaping and directing us in living in such a way that we care past ourselves and give ourselves away—to those weaker, vulnerable and our sphere of influence.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.