The Heavens Proclaim the Glory of God

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Yes, “The heavens proclaim the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1). I am aware of this each day, but especially these early spring days, when the skies are deep blue and mottled with bright, billowing, pure white clouds, and everybody feels the joy of the sun’s warmth returning. The songbirds return and fill the air with their crystalline cantos each morning. The flowering trees seem to burst with color as do all the early spring flowers. Yes. The heavens do proclaim the glory of God and our hearts thrill to it.

The psalmist knows too that there is another beauty that proclaims the glory of God within us. That is the law of God that is written on our hearts. This Law is perfect and trustworthy. If we come to know it and understand it and accept it, it will give us wisdom. This is a source of true joy for those hearts that come to know God and his precepts for us. If we learn learn and keep his law, if we learn by this to fear the Lord, to fear the loss of his love, we will become wise. Because God’s law is true and always just, our hearts ought to desire it for it is more precious than gold and sweeter than honey from the comb. Knowing his Law, we can be warned away from sin. By obeying it, we will know the rewards of his perfect love.

There is another recognition worthy of our contemplation too. That is that, in our weakness, we may not be aware of all of our sins against God’s Law. The psalmist prays, therefore, to be cleansed from his inadvertent sins and from those that arise from his unseen arrogance. This should be our prayer as well. And this too. “Let the words of my mouth be acceptable, the thoughts of my heart before you, Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (verse 15). Without God’s Law to reflect on regularly, we would be lost.

On this spring day I am struck, once again, with the majesty of God’s creation. Winter is gone. The quixotic spring days with their bright sunshine and their sudden rains, bring the earth back to life. As Easter proclaims the glory of God in Jesus’ resurrection, nature proclaims his glory in the vigorous fecundity of new life all around us in the physical world. All of this belongs to God’s perfect law. The only creature that can defy his law is us. God gave us intellect with which to seek him and to know him. He gave us a conscience with which we can come to know the difference between good and evil, right and wrong. But he also gave us a free will. It is with this gift, knowing God and the difference between good and evil, we can choose to willingly and humbly obey his precepts, or to willfully defy them. That is why Psalm 19 can be such a powerful prayer for us. Let us pray it with humble and contrite hearts, so that in knowing God’s law, we can join in the chorus of nature, joyfully proclaiming the glory of God with our very lives.

Lord, Help us to study, to contemplate, and to know your precepts in our hearts. Make us strong in our willingness to obey your law, so that our lives will proclaim your glory to all whom we know and will meet in our days. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.