“The heavens declare the glory of God,
and their expanse shows forth his handiwork. . .” - Psalm 19:1
Atheism, skepticism, agnosticism, relativism, and religious skepticism, all have this in common that they have a wrong starting point in the search for the truth about reality and human existence. They start by looking inward at the human heart, to find answers to the reality of human existence. When reality is gauged by that which is finite, flawed, and limited, one can never make sense of reality, never find the absolute truth, or ever find God. Consequently, people are left hopeless.
In understanding the nature of truth and how God reveals Himself to us, we have got to start outside of ourselves to find the truth about ourselves.
In explaining how God reveals Himself to man, here in Psalm 19, David looks outside himself to the heavens. I can imagine David as a shepherd, laying in the lush meadows of Judah and looking heavenward as he wrote Psalm 19. It begins by pointing to the heavens to tell us that all of creation points to the Creator. The heavens provide sights, speech, and touch, which all reveal this to us.
David says the heavens provide sights to see in the heavenly handiwork of God: the sun, moon, and stars. All of them can be seen, and point to a Creator. He says that the host of heaven speaks a silent speech of sorts: without language, words, or voice, and yet this speech is observable as the earth turns on an axis and rotates from day to night and night to day. And so even day and night educate us about the Creator. Then David says there’s also touch from the heavens, when we on earth feel the heat and light of the sun. No one is hidden from the heat and light of the sun. With its sights, silent speech, and touch, the heavens declare the glory of God and His creative power, pointing us ultimately, to the Creator.
David saw all this from an earthly vantage point. But what if someone were able to see this from a slightly higher vantage point? How would they respond?
In December of 1968, the spacecraft Apollo 8 set out to orbit the moon. On Christmas Eve of 1968, they were in orbit of the moon, and the three American astronauts on board—William Anders, Jim Lovell, and Frank Borman— were asked by NASA to send an “appropriate” message back to earth, to an audience of millions who would be watching and listening. This is part of the message they sent back:
“We are now approaching lunar sunrise, and for all the people back on earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send you.” And then they began reading from Genesis chapter 1: “In the beginning God created . . .” As they looked at creation from that vantage point in space, the only “appropriate” message they could send back home were the first words of Scripture, which sum up creation as being the act of the Creator.
Whether we are looking at the heavens from down here on earth, or from up there in space, all of the created order points to God, the Creator. He reveals Himself to us through creation. Then He reveals Himself to us through His word. And ultimately He reveals Himself to the human heart looking for forgiveness, through the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Searching for truth, unlike the worldviews I mentioned at the start, must begin as we look outside ourselves, and let the light of God from outside shine into our dark human hearts, to enlighten us. That’s how we know Who and what truth is. And when we know the Truth, we have hope.
Having shown us that God reveals Himself to us through creation, His Word, and through the Savior—Jesus Christ—David ends Psalm 19 with a prayer from his heart to God:
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.”
© Kenny Damara, 2014