Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), a German philosopher, inspired by the words of Psalm 19, said: “Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing wonder and awe, the more often and the more seriously one reflects on them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.” (Critique of Practical Reason 1788).
Psalm 19 helps us to appreciate these “two things”. Listen to David’s words (from the Passion Version):
[Gods story in the skies]
God’s splendour is a tale that is told;
His testament is written in the stars.
Space itself speaks his story everyday
Through the marvels of the heavens.
His truth is on tour in the starry-vault of the sky,
Showing his skill in creation’s craftsmanship.
Each day gushes out its message to the next,
Night with night whispering its knowledge to all.
Without a sound, without a word,
Without a voice being heard,
Yet all the world can see its story,
Everywhere its gospel,
Is clearly read so all may know.
What a heavenly home God has set for the sun,
Shining in the superdome of the sky!
See how he leaves his celestial chamber each morning,
Radiant as a bridegroom ready for the wedding,
Like a day-breaking champion eager to run his course.
He rises on one horizon, completing his circuit on the other;
Warming lives and lands with his heart.
[God’s story in the Scriptures]
God’s Word is perfect in every way,
How it revives our souls!
His laws lead us to truth,
And his ways change the simple into wise.
His teachings make us joyful and radiate his light;
His precepts are so pure!
His commands, how they challenge us
To keep close to his heart!
The revelation-light of his Word makes my spirit shine radiant.
Every one of the Lord’s commands are right,
Following them brings cheer.
Nothing he says ever needs to be changed.
The rarest treasures of life are found in his truth.
That’s why I prize God’s Word like others prize the finest gold.
Nothing brings the soul such sweetness
As seeking his living words.
For they warn us, his servants,
And keep us from following the wicked way,
Giving a lifetime guarantee:
Great success to every obedient soul!
Without this revelation light
How would I ever detect
The waywardness of my heart?
[Our story from the heart]
Lord, forgive my hidden flaws whenever you find them.
Keep cleansing me, God,
And keep me from my secret, selfish sins;
May they never rule over me!
For only them will I be free from fault
And remain innocent of rebellion.
So may the words of my mouth,
And every movement of my heart
Be always pure and pleasing,
Acceptable before your eyes,
My only Redeemer, my Protector-God.
Kidner summarizes the psalm as follows:
“The very sound of the two movements…tells something of their two concerns: the broad sweep of God’s wordless revelation in the universe in…verses 1-6…and the clarity of His written word, reflected in…verses 7-10, to which the heart-searching of verses 11-14 is the worshipper’s response.” (see references # 29)
[For more about this psalm, which Wilcock calls “one of the most memorable psalms in…any part of the Psalter” (see references # 5), then check out my earlier posts as follows:
# 19 Psalm of Praise (Psalm 19 introduction)
# 20 No Excuse (Psalm 19:1-6)
# 21 Fully Alive (Psalm 19:7-11)
# 22 Six Qualities (Psalm 19:7-11)
# 23 My Rock (Psalm 19:12-14)]
Father, thank you for the revelation you have given us through your creation and your Word. In response,
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Amen.