Saturday, August 16, 2014

you can't tell a book by its cover

The Word for today:
Psalm 19
mark this: Psalms 19:1-2
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.
and this: Psalms 19:7
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.
Creation--the limitless cosmos--is just the cover of God's book, and under-girding it all is his Word. Take out the Word and the "cover" collapses:
He upholds the universe by the word of his power. (Hebrews 1:3)
The cover's exquisite artistry is designed to draw us inside. But that's all. No one would presume to know the book by its cover.
Creation is an enticement to wonder, an invitation to seek the heart inside. The invitation has gone out to everyone:
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world. (from Psalms 19:1-4)
Creation is what the theologians refer to as general revelation. It is perceptible to all--to the faithful and the faithless:
There is no speech or language
where the voice is not heard. (Psalms 19:3)
That is why the first six verses of Psalm 19 refer to the Creator with a general name that anyone might use--just like our English word 'God.'
The reader will notice that the focus of the poem shifts, at verse 7, from creation (which reveals God's hand) to scripture (which reveals his heart.)
Thus from verse seven on, God is referred to as LORD (a translation of the Hebrew Jehovah or Yahweh)--the personal name God revealed to Moses from the burning bush (Exodus 3:15).
God, as Creator of all, can be heard by observing nature. But the LORD, the Savior of all who believe, is known only through the Word heard with faith:
For we have heard the Good News, just as they did. They heard the message, but it did them no good, because when they heard it, they did not accept it with faith. (Hebrews 4:2)
The heavens declare the glory of God--his greatness. But only his Word reveals his goodness. And his goodness is greater, by far.

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