Saturday 25th July 2020
Message from the Sky
By Pastor Soong Kok Kee
Psalm 19: 1-6
“1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice[b] 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.
5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is
deprived of its warmth.”
In this Psalm, David mentions God in three parts. As God reveals himself through nature (v 1-6), we learn about his power and our finiteness. As God reveals himself through Scripture (v 7-11), we learn about his holiness and our sinfulness. As God reveals himself through daily experiences (v 12-14), we learn about his gracious forgiveness that frees us from guilt. For our devotion today we will just concentrate on the first part.
Can anyone truly look into the sky and say there is no God? One night almost 40 years ago, some friends and I were lying on the grass outside Dallas Theological Seminary and looking into the clear sky trying to count the stars. That night the moon was incredibly bigger than the moon I have seen in Malaysia!
I recall flying for the first time to Dallas on an aeroplane and looking back on planet Earth, I read somewhere that our Earth is just a tiny speck of dust in this vast Universe that God had created. How incredible!
Indeed we could hear from the heavens as they “declare the glory of God” and watch in amazement as the skies “proclaim the work of his hands”. We could listen as “day after day they pour forth speech” that fills our minds with the unmistakable awareness of God’s magnificent and splendid creation.
We could all marvel through the night as the firmament shows in unmistakable splendour the knowledge of God’s handiwork. And all these reminds us of Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God”. How else can we – finite humans – respond except to acknowledge humbly that there is this great Jehovah God who created this great and vast Universe with no beginning and no end. He is indeed the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and the end.
No wonder the apostle Paul referred to this psalm when he explained that everyone knows about God because nature proclaims God’s existence and power “since what may be known about God is plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1: 18-19).
Father God, we echo what David said “When I consider Your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honour” (Psalm 8: 3-5). Lord, indeed we are amazed by your sacrificial and undying love for us, for sending your one and only son Jesus Christ to die for us on that cruel cross that we may have forgiveness of sin and eternal life. That was while we were sinners, rebellious and prodigal that you came seeking and looking for us. None of us is worthy of that Lord – thank you for your love for us. A love we can never repay. Forgive us Lord and help us to live from this day forth a life worthy of all that you have done for us. In Jesus precious name we pray all this. Amen
1 诸天述说神的荣耀，穹苍传扬他的手段。2 这日到那日发出言语，这夜到那夜传出知识。3 无言无语，也无声音可听。4 他的量带通遍天下，他的言语传到地极。神在其间为太阳安设帐幕，5 太阳如同新郎出洞房，又如勇士欢然奔路。6 它从天这边出来，绕到天那边，没有一物被隐藏不得他的热气。
在本篇三大部分中，大卫提到上帝。 正如上帝透过大自然显明自己（1-6节），我们认识他的能力和我们的有限性。 正如上帝透过圣经显明自己（7-11节），我们了解有关他的圣洁和我们的罪性。 正如上帝透过日常经验显明自己（12-14节），我们了解到他的仁慈宽恕能释放我们，从而获得自由。在今天的灵修，我们将专注于第一部分。
难怪使徒保罗以诗篇19 解释人人都知道上帝，因为大自然宣扬他的存在和能力, ”上帝的事情人所能知道的，原显明在人心里，因为神已经给他们显明。 自从造天地以来，神的永能和神性是明明可知的，虽是眼不能见，但借着所造之物就可以晓得，叫人无可推诿”（罗马书1：19-20）。
祷告：父上帝，我们回应大卫所说的话：“我观看你指头所造的天，并你所陈设的月亮星宿， 便说：“人算什么，你竟顾念他？世人算什么，你竟眷顾他？ 你叫他比天使微小一点，并赐他荣耀尊贵为冠冕。”（诗篇8：3-5）。 主啊，的确，你对我们牺牲和不朽的爱令我们感到惊讶不已。你为我们献上你独一的儿子耶稣基督，在那残酷的十字架上为我们而死，使我们罪得宽恕和得享永生。 当我们还是罪人、叛逆和浪子的时候，你来寻找我们。 主，我们谁也不值得你那样为我们付出。感谢你对我们的爱—我们永远无法回报的爱。 主啊，饶恕我们，并帮助我们从今天起，过一个值得你为我们所做一切的生活。我们奉耶稣宝贵的圣名为这一切祷告。阿们。