How "the Heavens Declare the Glory of God"
Psalm 19 is one of my favorite Psalms to read, pray, and meditate on. It is full of striking truth and beautiful praises to the Lord. The words of this passage captivate and comfort its readers. The very first verse in Psalm 19 takes our attention.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1).
This verse is profound, indeed, but what exactly does it mean? King David wrote the powerful words found in this chapter; it contains words that cause our minds to wonder and our hearts to consider what we really come to know about God from this Psalm.
When David wrote the beginning of this Psalm, I can imagine him looking around, admiring the grandiosity of nature – the clear blue sky, the array of colors, and the vast night sky filled with hundreds and hundreds of glistening stars. What David meant in this verse is that the creation of God, the beauty and awe of nature, shows us the work of God and the existence of God. Nature unashamedly proclaims that God is real and He is our Creator.
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What Is Happening in Psalm 19?
The Psalm itself doesn’t give any particular reason as to why David wrote it. Though, we see three distinct sections emerge: God is revealed through creation (verses 1-6), the word and law of the Lord are good and perfect (verses 7-11), and the desire for a relationship with God (verses 12-14).
In this prayer, David helps us see that God draws us closer to Him. We can experience God in His creation, we can gain a deeper understanding of God through His word and laws, and most inspiring is that we are able to have a personal connection with God based in love, forgiveness, and relationship.
How Can the Heavens Declare the Glory of God?
When we look at any piece of art, or read any great work, we catch glimpses of the artist or writer. If you have children, you may even be able to guess which one created which drawing. What we create is bound to represent pieces of who we are.
The same can be understood about the natural world we live in; we catch glimpses of our Creator in what He has created. Since God is the Creator of all things—the sky, the seas, all creatures, human beings, and everything else—we know that every part of creation declares that God exists and when we look at everything and everyone around us, we know that all the vibrant life we see are indications of the Creator.
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What Does the Bible Say about Creation?
All things were created by God
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).
“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible” (Hebrews 11:13).
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Revelations 4:11).
God reveals Himself to humanity through creation
“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?” (Job 12:7-9).
“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So, they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
All things were created through Jesus
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:1-3).
“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16).
“You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands” (Hebrews 1:10).
God breathed life into humankind
“Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature” (Genesis 2:7).
“The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4).
All creation shows His majesty
“Do you not fear me? declares the Lord. Do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as the boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves toss, they cannot prevail; though they roar, they cannot pass over it” (Jeremiah 5:22).
“It is I who by my great power and my outstretched arm have made the earth, with the men and animals that are on the earth, and I give it to whomever it seems right to me” (Jeremiah 27:5).
“O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things both small and great” (Psalm 104:24-25).
“Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them” (Psalm 111:2).
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How Else Do We See God in Creation?
The deeply rooted trees teach us that God is unmovable and cannot be shaken or overcome.
The vast blue skies teach us that God is omnipresent; He is everywhere and always with us.
The regions of outer space that we cannot even fathom teach us that God’s ways are not our ways, and that there are mysteries of the Lord we have yet to understand.
The rising sun teaches us that God is one who forgives and gives plenty of second chances.
The centuries of history and civilizations found preserved in the layers of the earth teach us that God is all-knowing and wise beyond comprehension.
The strength of the mountains teach us that God is all powerful and He can withstand anything.
The lushness of the forest teaches us that God is the source of all life and goodness.
The array of colors we see in flowers teaches us that God is vibrant and the foundation of joy and hope.
The winds teach us that God is quiet and gentle, yet also powerful and sovereign.
The extremes of the dry desert and the cold tundra teach us that God understands the hardships and trials we face.
The twinkling of the stars and the light of the moon teach us that God is with us in our darkest battles and hardest moments.
The grandeur of the ocean teaches us that God is holy and unlike any other.
The warmth of the sun teaches us that God is compassionate, merciful, and loves us deeply.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Eberhard Grossgasteiger
How Can We Declare the Glory of God?
Just as the heavens created by God declare His glory, so do we, human beings created by God, declare His glory. God equips each of us with spiritual gifts, talents, and skills. Sometimes, we think our talents are small, but truly, discovering our gifts and using them are part of how we participate in declaring the glory of God.
For some, dancing, singing, and worshipping are how they glorify the Lord. To others, it is using their athletic abilities to glorify God. Whatever we do, we do for the Lord. We have all come across works of art, drawings, paintings, or performances that are grander than we could have imagined. They draw us to the Lord knowing that He inspired it all.
Some people have been given what seems like infinite amounts of compassion, kindness, and understanding. Imagine when we worship together, when we fellowship with one another, when we hold each other up in times of troubles, our beings are declaring the glory of God. Our goodness points to His existence. What beautiful ways to declare the glory of God to others; whether using the hands or the heart, we can glorify the Lord boldly in what we do as stewards of our gifts, talents and skills, the words we say, and how we live our lives.
The Magnificence of His Creation
Psalm 19 is an amazing passage that teaches us much about who God is and how His creation declares His glory. The Bible portrays a consistent message that God created all things and when we take a look around us, we see God’s design in creation. We bear His image as human beings created by Him and into whom He breathed life. God does not hide Himself nor make it difficult to be known. Rather His existence is known through the magnificence of His creation and in the Gospel message of our resurrected King, Jesus Christ.
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Pamela Palmer is a writer, chaplain, and the founder of upheldlife.com, the platform on which she produces weekly devotionals and faith resource articles to inspire keeping faith at the center of it all. She lives and thrives on Jesus, coffee, and music. She is in pastoral ministry and gets to share in the emotional and spiritual lives of many people, being a small piece of each journey. Pamela married the perfect man for her and they have two beautiful kiddos. She has been published on herviewfromhome.com and you can follow her at upheldlife.com, or on Facebook.com/upheldlife.
Pamela Palmer is a writer, speaker, and the founder of upheldlife.com, the platform on which she produces devotionals and faith resources to inspire keeping faith at the center of life. She is in pastoral ministry and gets to share in the emotional and spiritual lives of others. She lives and thrives on Jesus, coffee, and music. She is the author of Living a Deeper Faith: Nurture Your Relationship with God and Live a Faith-Fueled Life. Pamela married the perfect man for her and they have two beautiful kiddos. She has been published on herviewfromhome.com, and you can follow her at upheldlife.com or on Facebook.com/upheldlife.