The Word Made Fresh
(For the worship leader: a psalm of David.)
1The heavens are telling the glory of God,
and the dome of the sky reveals the work of God’s hands.
2Every day is filled with words,
and every night knowledge is declared.
3But the heavens do not use words as in a speech,
nor do they have an audible voice.
4Even so, their proclamations encircle the world
and are announced in every corner.
God has provided a place for the sun,
5and it rises like a bridegroom coming out of his wedding tent
strong and joyfully approaching the day.
6The sun rises at one end of the sky
and makes its circuit to the other end
and everything is warmed by its heat.
7The law of the LORD is flawless and the soul is revived.
The LORD’s decrees are sure; anyone can understand them.
8The LORD’s commandments are just and the heart rejoices.
The LORD’s rules are simple and easy to understand.
9The fear the LORD demands is pure and right and everlasting.
The LORD’s pronouncements are true and just.
10The LORD’s words are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey straight from the honeycomb.
11They offer a warning for me, the LORD’s servant,
and obeying them will bring great rewards.
12But we cannot be aware of every mistake we make.
Forgive me for those faults that are hidden from me!
13Bar me also from insolence and don’t let it rule me.
Then I will be blameless, innocent of any faults.
14Let the words that I speak, and the thoughts that come from my heart
be acceptable to you, LORD, for you are my rock and my savior.
Superscription: the 16th psalm ascribed to David.
1-4b: The psalmist looks up at the sky on a cloudless night and sees displayed there the glory of God. The night sky is pictured as a canvass on which God’s work in creation is displayed. The stars and planets are voiceless and yet they shout out praise to God who made them.
4c-6: The sun, the preeminent jewel of the sky, is described in poetic personification.
7-13: Now the psalm launches into praise for the law of the LORD, which is clearly understood here as part and parcel of God’s good creation. A variety of words are used to describe God’s will for humankind: law, decrees, commandments, rules, fear, pronouncements, words. 7The law of the LORD is flawless, and the soul is revived. The benefits of keeping God’s laws are also enumerated. Primarily, though, the Law serves as a warning to keep one from sinning.
14: This is the verse I use as a prayer before every sermon; but it should be a prayer for all our words and all our meditations.
If we are diligent to obey God’s rules for living, we will be rewarded as only God can reward. But obeying God’s laws found in scripture must necessarily be preceded by reading God’s laws found in scripture. I deeply hope and trust that this chapter-a-day journey will improve our understanding of how God wants us to live in this world in order to be prepared for the world to come.