Sermon: Creation Preaches God’s Glory (Psalm 19:1-6)

Psalm 19.1-6

Creation Preaches God’s Glory

Psalm 19:1-6

How do we know God?  I’ve started with this question because it cuts past all the philosophical arguments or proofs of God’s existence.  Every reputable theologian would agree that those arguments fall infinitely short in proving God’s existence anyway and/or explaining what the God, who exists, is like.  It’s not that there are no advantages in understanding the teleological argument for God’s existence[1] for example, but I believe that God is not to be dissected and examined by men and placed under a theological microscope but worshipped with joy and loved.  It is true we do need to understand who God is and we do this by learning various things about Him, but not from the standpoint of God proving anything to us.  To scrutinize whether or not God exists is to begin a study like this on the side of a skeptic and not a worshipper.  It is to begin differently than the Bible begins.  The Bible doesn’t set out to prove God exists but instead begins with the knowledge everyone everywhere already possesses, God does exist and everyone knows it.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

The first way in which everyone knows God is through His creation.

This is God’s Word…

Ps 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

Ps 19:2 Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.

Ps 19:3 There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.

Ps 19:4 Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun,

Ps 19:5 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.

Ps 19:6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

Father may your creation pour fourth your glory to us.  May You show us that You, in fact are the Creator of all we see.

1. Creation Shouts God’s Glory

Ps 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

The sky is preaching the glory of God every day.  Specifically, the Psalmist wants us to look up and see all the wondrous things God has created.  What David is writing about is the glory God exhibits in His creation.

We can know many things about God as we witness His amazing creation.

What can we know about God by gazing into the heavens?  We know that He is Creator because we see His handiwork and we see His wisdom and glory because of the intricate details.  If creation is so magnificent, how amazing must God be?  We also know something of God’s power as we gaze up into the heavens.  We wonder how He did it?  How did God create everything?

When we look up it’s as if we’re looking a detailed painting by an amazing artist.

What do we think of when we look at a painting?  We usually think that someone painted it and then we critique it and think if it is good or bad.[2]  Creation is God’s epic painting.  Unlike a landscape on canvas, God’s painting is three dimensional and living.  We are in the painting.  We can gaze up into the sky that God painted with the brush of His Word and understand that the God who painted this landscape of the universe is a glorious Creator.  As part of creation ourselves we are created to think and assess.  We look into this world and see God’s brushstrokes everywhere.   God’s painting is three dimensional and living.  We see it and are held accountable for the things we see.  To deny that God created is to deceive ourselves.

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

Rom 1:19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.

Rom 1:20 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.

Rom 1:21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Rom 1:22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,

Rom 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Rom 1:24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,

Rom 1:25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

Creation is amazing and awe inspiring but we must not worship the painting but the Divine Painter.  The Creator is the One we worship not His artwork.  When we see someone who is worshipping creation we should understand that they see in creation amazing things but they are falling short of who is truly amazing.  He’s the One who said, Let there be light…

Creation is amazing to all people.  Some worship it and others are shown the glory of the Creator.

Ps 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

Creation shouts the glory of God…

2.  Creation Shouts God’s Glory Continually

Ps 19:2 Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.

Ps 19:3 There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.

Literally, we see in the original language that the heavens are a perpetual stream of proclamation.  They are always proclaiming God’s glory, day after day and night after night.  Since the beginning of time there has not been one day go by in which a sermon about God and His glory has not been preached by the universe.  Whenever we look up our eyes partake of this epic portrait and epic perpetual sermon to the Glory of God.

Verse two tells us that the heavens are pouring fourth speech and then in verse three, we’re told that this speech isn’t words because regardless of your language you see and understand that God exists and that He is glorious.

No matter the different cultures or the diverse languages there is one language every human who has ever lived understands, the language of the heavens.

What are these sermons about?  What do they accomplish?

They are all about God.  The Creation God made is ordained to preach God to everyone.  What do they accomplish?  The entire world knows about God.  There will not be anyone who enters hell claiming that they didn’t know anything about God.

God’s creation speaks so loudly and is so organized and intricate that many who are rebellious end up worshipping creation.  The Discovery Channel is all about people who worship creation.  When we watch various so-called scientists work, we’re often seeing those who worship creation and not the Creator.  When someone who promotes evolution presents the earth and the universe as billions of years old, what they’ve done is made creation eternal rather than God.  They have placed the created order over the Creator.  The reason they’re so adamant about this is the universe doesn’t make any ethical or moral demands on her worshippers but the Creator God does.  Also, most would deny God’s existence, something that the Bible says fools do.

How do we know God?  We look up.   We open our eyes and take in creation and understand that this magnificent work of art has a divine Artist.  Then we praise God.

3.  Creation Shouts God’s Glory Universally

Ps 19:4 Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun,

Ps 19:5 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.

Ps 19:6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

I once served in a church, which had been started by a circuit-riding preacher back in the early 1800’s.  His name was Russell Bigelow and his circuit covered many churches in Ohio and Kentucky.  I was fascinated as I read of his adventures in the wilderness and the eyewitness accounts of his sermons.  His focus was the salvation of lost sinners and many who heard him preach became committed followers of Christ.

In our text today, David, believe it or not, tells us that the sun we see everyday is a circuit-riding preacher.  The sun travels it’s circuit and proclaims a message about the glory of God to everyone who has ever lived on earth, no exceptions.

The Psalmist compares the setting of the sun as the sun entering a tent or literally a dwelling place.  This wonderful poetic liberty leads to him comparing the sun rising as a bridegroom leaving his chambers.  Like the bridegroom the morning of his wedding day, so the sun rises with a freshness of a new day.  Like the bridegroom who is anticipating the promise of his wedding day, so the sun in poetic fashion brings the freshness of a new day for all the earth.

The sun is also compared to a strong runner who runs his course or literally his circuit with joy.

The writer also explains that just as the sun warms every inch of the planet, so it also along with the heavens faithfully declares the glory of God to everyone alive on the planet.

The sermon preached by creation is that God is glorious in His power and His wisdom.  Everyone hears this unmistakable message.  Most, however, reject this universal knowledge.

I remember listening to a missionary’s testimony about what he thought missions would be like once he arrived in the unreached areas of dark Africa.  He was disappointed and astonished when he found out that the indigenous people there knew more about Christ than he ever dreamed they knew and for the most part they rejected this knowledge and remained lovers of their sin rather than lovers of Christ.

God begins the work of showing Himself to the world through creation.  He takes the initiative.  Romans 1 tells us that all people receive this knowledge.  Some see the handiwork of God and His glory in creation and others worship creation rather than the Creator.  Through this general revelation about God, we see the Creator as glorious and wise but acknowledging God as the Creator will not save anyone.  More is needed.

We need to turn to the NT and the Apostle Paul for the details…

4.  The Message of Creation Points to Christ

Rom 10:11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

Rom 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.

Rom 10:13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Rom 10:14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

Rom 10:15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

Rom 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”

Rom 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Rom 10:18 But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”

The Apostle quotes from our Psalm to show that like the universal message that creation preaches, namely, that there is a God, He is the Creator, He is glorious, and He is wise, there is also the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that has gone out.  Creation speaks without words and all have heard its message.  The Gospel is a message of words.  Creation points to the Creator God but even if one acknowledges God as Creator that in and of itself cannot save.  A sinner must hear the Gospel and respond by faith to be saved.

In the context of our Romans 10 passage, Paul is showing that all of Israel had heard the glorious message about Jesus Christ.  They had heard it from the OT Prophets, they had heard it from John the Baptist, They had heard it from our Lord Himself, and they had heard it from Paul and the apostles.  Over and over they heard it and over and over they rebelled and rejected it.

The Sun preaches God’s glory to everyone.  The Son preaches grace.  Everyday we hear the sermon of God’s glory preached from the universe.  Today, we’re called to believe the Gospel that is preached by the Son, Jesus Christ.

He came to earth, lived a sinless life and kept all of God’s covenantal requirements.  He voluntarily went to the cross, the just for the unjust, and died for the sin of His people.  Everyone has heard the gospel of creation, have you heard the gospel of Christ?  If you have, you are required to believe.  God is glorious and now we understand that the glorious God who is preached daily by the universe is also a gracious God.  Come to Christ today and be saved from your sin.

How do we know God?  Creation explains Him to us everyday and Jesus has shown Him to us.

Do you know God?  Do you know Him as Creator?  Do you know Him as Savior?


[1] This is the argument for God’s existence based on that fact that there is recognizable order and functionality to the universe.

 

[2] The initial idea came from John Piper a Sermon on Psalm 19

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