The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 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. It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived from its warmth.
When we first learned that we were moving to Bozeman it truly seemed dreamy. Surrounded on all 4 sides by several mountain ranges Bozeman is teeming with outdoor opportunities! More than that there is no humidity in the summer months! Lengthy summer days beg to be spent outside. Truly, it is difficult to imagine a less opportunistic environment to envision a creator. The Author, (King David) here in Psalm 19 is declaring with evidence that God exists! All one has to do is look outside for a moment, witness the beauty that surrounds them and come to the conclusion that such magnificence, such order in creation is no accident.
Of course, Bozeman isn’t the only place in the world with such beauty and when we consider the full universe we are confronted with not just beauty but mystery as well. The distance across the galaxy, the amount of stars in the milky way, the size of planets and distant stars is enough to make the most skeptical person at least stop and wonder about the existence of God.
But if the natural world were enough then why doesn’t everyone agree that God is real, active and HUGE? What David is getting at here in Psalm 19 is just the beginning of what it means to see and understand God. This natural revelation or general revelation (as it is revealed to all and speaks of God in a general sense) is just the beginning when it comes to knowing God.
In Romans 1 Paul takes the argument further when he says that nature actually presents enough evidence for God that every single person is held accountable to what we believe because of what we witnesses in creation. That means that if we claim that God isn’t real or does not exist then we are suppressing what we ultimately know to be true.
But nature is not sufficient for us to understand who God is and what is at the heart of his nature and character. It’s is not enough for us to simply spend time outdoors or to fill up on the beauty of creation. We need more.
In John 1 Jesus is described as the Logos, or the word made flesh. In Hebrews we see how in the past God would reveal himself to mankind in various ways through the prophets and patriarchs of the Hebrew faith. But now, we have the revealed Logos, the Word of God made flesh.
Spending time outside will only get you so far. Enjoying whatever version of the “good life” you are after will never fill you the way the bread of life will. Jesus tells his audience in John 6 that he is the bread of life. Anyone who hungers must feed on him. We don’t get to make up whatever we want to about God. He has revealed himself to us in his creation but more than that he reveals himself to us in his word.
I struggle with this on the days where I know that I need to read my Bible and pray but what I want to do is forget about it an just go fishing. I fight the battle to confess my sin and humble myself before the God of the universe when what I really wish I could do is just withdrawal by watching Netflix until my eyes dry out!
Psalm 19 reminds me that not only does God care enough about us to leave his thumbprint on creation, but that he loves us so deeply that he gives us his word to see and know who he is, to play witness to the Logos of Christ and with creation declare his glory and praise!