Home

. The heavens declare the Glory of God

 

THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE GLORY OF GOD

 

Last week we looked at the topic of God glorifying God. We saw that God must first of all be fully for Himself otherwise He cannot be fully for us. God is the goal of all things and not us. His glory, His name, His attributes are all worthy of Him protecting for His own glory.

 

This morning I want to focus on one way in which God protects His Glory and puts His Glory on display, and that is through Talking Stars, through what He has made. Many years ago, I invited David Block to Polokwane. He is South Africa’s leading astronomer. He spoke on the topic ‘How can a scientist believe?’ I differed with him afterwards and told him that he should rename his sermon to: “How can a scientist not believe?” After all he showed us with his slides of the universe, there is no denial that we serve a creator God, creation is not by accident. He even showed us scientifically that there was light before the sun, moon and stars were created.

 

I love Kruger and see God in the animals and the bush, but my greatest joy is to sit at a campfire at night and to look up to our Milky Way and to feel the stars nearly touching earth.

 

So let’s go to Psalm 19:1–6 and let’s listen to God speak to us through the skies. This chapter is about what I call God’s Big Book, which is the heavens, and God’s Little Book which is the Bible.

 

Look and listen. (Congregation watches video at this point.) The video starts into the presentation, otherwise there would be no preaching, and it will simply be a video morning.


 


We are familiar with the saying ‘watch and pray’. This morning I want you to “look and listen”, to listen with your eyes.

 

Psalm 19:1-6 (ESV) 1 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 2 Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, 5 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. 6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.”


The focus of these six verses is that when we look up, we hear with our eyes. We hear them tell us stories of God’s Glory. David is not implying that the rest of creation does not speak, as everything that God has made speaks. So, join me this morning as we look and listen. So, what do we see in this text?

 

1. We hear talking skies.

Verse 1 & 2 teaches us that the heavens declares, proclaims, pours out speech, and reveals knowledge. Verse 3 & 4 tells us that they have a voice.

We watched a video this morning that takes you through space, to that which you cannot see with your naked eye, or even a telescope. And we saw and listened as our hearts were touched. God speaks through what he has made and means for you to hear what he has to say. And since he never speaks in vain, he means for what he has to say to minister to you — to meet some need that you have. In our video they added words, but in God’s Big Book, which is the heavens there are no words, you need no words, but their voice is heard throughout the earth.

 

This Big Book, namely the heavens will never be completely read, as the Glory of God is so much bigger than what the heavens can reveal. It is a book with unlimited pages. Scientists know this, but many are not listening. They want to build what is called the Square Kilometer Array in South Africa and Australia, with smaller telescope arrays around the world. It is a multi radio telescope. If built, it would have a total collecting area of approximately one square kilometre. It would operate over a wide range of frequencies and its size would make it 50 times more sensitive than any other radio instrument. It would require very high performance central computing engines and long-haul links with a capacity greater than the global Internet traffic as of 2013. It should be able to survey the sky more than ten thousand times faster than before.

 

Do you know why they want to build it? I quote: “The SKA is a global project with eleven member countries that aims to answer fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of the Universe.” This will cost them 1.8 Billion Euros to build.

 

Oh, if they would just listen. Radio Telescopes unlike visual telescopes is for just that, to listen, to listen to radio waves and then to create images with strong computers. We have the answer. We have read God’s Big Book, and we have read God’s Small Book and know that God did it in the beginning.

Can they still hear? Well, the purpose of Verse 2 says that: “Day to day pours out speech,…” God is talking to the world all day and all night, every day and every night, everywhere in the world. You don’t even need a telescope for that. Look up! When I am in Kruger, I hear it clearer, as the sky is not polluted by other light, but wherever you are you simply need to look up and hear a sermon of the Glory of God. So, while there is no word, no physical speech, it is unending speech. I bought a telescope which increases my view, but guess what, it all looks the same, because there are just more and more stars that appear small in the telescope. Sure, I can look at the moon’s craters, I can see Jupiter’s Moons and Saturn’s rings, but there is so much more.

The thing in God’s Big Book is that it carries the reality from His heart to our heart — but, it is not written words; it’s not spoken words, instead, it’s light and color and contrast and shape and proportion and design and motion and magnitude, but as you look at it you see God’s Glory. The marvelous thing about this is that it speaks to the pauper and the piper, it speaks to the lowly educated and those who excel in knowledge, it speaks English, it speaks Afrikaans, it speaks Spanish, it speaks Russian. There is no place on the earth, there is no language group where this message cannot be understood. It is wordless words, speechless speech, voiceless voice, and it is only a One Point Sermon entitled: “The Glory of God”.


It speaks so loudly, that people around the world are without excuse for not believing. Romans 1:18-20 (ESV) 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So, they are without excuse.”


Here is maybe the pinnacle of how God defends His glory, because this Big Book of His, you cannot burn, you cannot destroy it, you cannot hide it, you cannot ignore it, you cannot disregard it, all you can do is to look at it and listen and see and hear the Glory of God revealed to you. You must fall on your knees and acknowledge that God is Glorious.

 

The point is clear: God is pouring forth communication to us through the sky; he is telling and proclaiming and speaking and writing lines and declaring knowledge to everyone who will stop and listen. Many scientists are listening even at a cost of 1.8 billion Euros, but not hearing and believing. All they will discover is that there is more and more. If they could ever go all the way to the beginning, all they will find there is God’s palm of His hand which holds it all together, and they will hear God saying, I did it. Are you listening, are you hearing and are you believing?

 

2. The content of their sermon.


I’ve already hinted at it. The ministry of the sky is a ministry of communication about God. Some Scientists fall down and worship creation while the aim of the speaking skies is that you fall down and worship God. Some scientists look up and they see the skies, but they miss the message, and they get puffed up in their ability to understand so much of what God has made, and in the end, they worship themselves and their own abilities. They forget that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. He alone is to be worshipped. You cannot get stuck at what He made, you need to look past in and understand Hebrews 1:1-4 (ESV) 1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”


You have to hear the content of the sermon. It is not about the galaxies, it is not about the stars, it is not about the planets, it is not about how small I am in the context of the vastness of the universe. It is all about our God and the Christ, because this vast universe shouts the existence of God, who created it all, and who upholds it all by the word of his power.

 

Two things in the content of this sermon by the universe.

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”

The glory of God and His handiwork go hand in hand.

 

The books of the world cannot explain the Glory of God. It is not a reality that can be transferred merely by words. No flood of words, no amount of reasoning, no mere arguments could ever impart what the heart sees when it sees the glory of God. There is an immediacy in this discovery — a spiritual perception happens, a holy taste is born, a God-given revelation hits home. Greater telescopes are simply going to proclaim the same message, that common man can perceive by simply looking up. It is there for you to see.

 

The Glory of God is seen in many ways. It is seen through the Scriptures, it can be seen in His people, it is obviously seen in the God-man Jesus Christ, it is seen in the salvation of sinners, but I believe the immensity, the vastness, the spectacular side of God’s Glory is seen in the heavens. God is beautiful in his perfections, God is awesome in his power, God is beyond comprehension in his wisdom and knowledge, and the heavens declare this.

 

The Glory of God is explained in Psalm 19 in a way that man can understand. Verse 4-6 speaks in interesting words: “In them he has set a tent for the sun,”

David did not have the scientific means we have today to understand these things. He had no telescope of any kind. He had no astronomy text books as on display here today. He understands it in his context and gives an illustration of what he is experiencing in his context.

He sees the Glory of God in the sun. David had a unique way of viewing the sun in the grand scheme of things.

 

He did not know that the Sun is the star at the centre of the Solar System. It is a nearly perfect sphere of hot plasma,[15][16] with internal convective motion that generates a magnetic field via a dynamo process.[17]

He did not know it is by far the most important source of energy for life on Earth.

He did not know that it’s diameter is about 1.39 million kilometres, or 109 times that of Earth, and its mass is about 330,000 times that of Earth. It accounts for about 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System.[18]

He did not know that roughly three quarters of the Sun's mass consists of hydrogen (~73%); the rest is mostly helium (~25%), with much smaller quantities of heavier elements, including oxygen, carbon, neon, and iron.[19]

 

Look how he explains it. Psalm 19:5 (ESV) 5 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.”


How does the sun speak to David? David sees the sun as a wedding event. A wedding is a happy event, it is a celebration, it is festivity, a rallying point for people. The bridegrooms understand that. He comes out of the room where he got dressed, with the biggest smile on his face. Today is wedding day. He is ready for it, he has planned for it, and he will see it through to the end. He will leave this house and not walk but run to the house of the bride where the wedding is taking place. He cannot wait to see her wedding day beauty, it will be glory, glory, glory. The point is that this is the happiest day of his life. This is the fulfillment of dreams. This is the beginning of a whole new kind of joy. That’s what the glory of God is like. And so, when the sun rises and pours forth speech about the glory of God it is like a strong man that runs his race with joy.

 

The glory of God is the happiest reality in the world.

 

This morning the closing issue is whether you have ever seen the glory of God in the sky or in the Scripture or in the face of Jesus dying for sinners and rising again — or anywhere. Some have not. For others, it’s been a long time. I want to pray for us that God would open the eyes of our hearts, so that when you leave this morning and look up, you will see the glory of God like you have never seen before.

 

David could only wish that he could see the glory of God in the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, as Paul reminds us in 1 Cor. But he saw the glory of God in the Sun, and what a picture that was.

 

The heavens declare the glory of God. Are you listening?

 

Amen!

Soli Deo Gloria

Logos Community Church – 10 March 2019

 

Did God really create in 6 days?