By Henry Law
Two witnesses proclaim God's glory. His Works and Word harmoniously respond. May the joint testimony teach us!
1, 2. "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night shows knowledge."
Debased and senseless is the mind which creation's wonders fail to touch. Survey the canopy above our heads. It is magnificent in all which constitutes beauty and splendor in perfection. From morn to night light strides along its azure path, illumining the world. When evening's shades prevail, the stars hang out their countless lamps, and stud with spangles the brilliant skies. We marvel; we admire. We trace the great Creator's skill and reverently adore. It must be a mighty mind who planned this exquisite machinery. It must be mighty power which framed these glowing orbs, and gave them their appointed courses. They could not will their own formation. They could not array themselves with brightness. It must, also, be gracious benevolence which arranged such lovely helps and solace for us. On all the heavens God's glory is inscribed. The skies in all their parts show what His hands have wrought. The record never ceases. Day follows day, repeating the instruction. Night succeeds to night, telling the great Creator's praise.
3, 4, 5, 6. "They speak without a sound or a word; their voice is silent in the skies; yet their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to all the world. The sun lives in the heavens where God placed it. It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race. The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat."
The lessons of the skies are universal. Wherever man breathes, in torrid or in frigid zones, the canopy of day and night speaks the same voice. Throughout earth's length and breadth the heavens teach plainly the invisible things of God, even His eternal power and Godhead. Let the sun's voice especially be heard. The heavens are His splendid tent. In the dawn he breaks forth arrayed in gladness, as a joyous bridegroom. He strides along stately in giant-strength. He girds all heaven in his path, and with his all-penetrating rays searches earth in all its parts. In all his course, in all his might, one is his witness. God is my Maker. Worship Him. So then they are without excuse who do not read God in creation's volume. The Spirit by the mouth of Paul declares their guilt, and passes just sentence, and seals their reprobation. The Spirit, also, adopts these terms to show the Gospel's progress through all lands. Let this inspirit missionary zeal!
7 - 11. "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight to life. Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair. They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. They are a warning to those who hear them; there is great reward for those who obey them."
From the witness of God's WORKS there is an easy transit to the witness of His WORD. Both spring from the same source; both spread abroad the same truth--God's glory. Six distinct titles here designate the Word. Each bears a separate character, and each describes a separate effect. How worthy is this glorious Word of constant study! Let it be read on bended knee until all its efficacy molds our hearts. None are so wise and happy as the Bible-taught. This study is the richest feast. It regales the soul far more than sweetest dainties can please the palate. It gives wise warning for our every hour. Obedience is wise blessedness.
12, 13. "Who can understand his errors? cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me; then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from great transgression."
Every step which strays from the strict path of perfect love is error. Who can count up these countless deviations! They far exceed the ocean's sands. They may be hidden from man's eye, but all are patent to omniscient scrutiny. Let the thought drive us to the all-atoning blood, and prompt the earnest prayer, Cleanse me, O Jesus, cleanse.
Especially let us seek grace to keep us from bold sins of mad presumption against God's rule. Indulged, they soon establish habits which rule with tyrant's force; and may lead to sin against the Spirit, for which no pardon can be found.
14. "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength, and my Redeemer."
Precious, indeed, will be this psalm if it thus leads to wrestling hold of Christ, who is all strength and all redemption to us.