Saturday, June 16, 2012

Psalm 17-20

Daily Reading
Daily Thought

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork" (Psalm 19:1). When the Pharisees asked Jesus to silence his followers, Jesus replied, "If these were silent, the very stones would cry out" (Luke 19:40). Nature cannot help itself. "Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world" (Psalm 19:4). 

Scientists who study the world and the stars speak of the anthropic principle. It says that we can trace backward in time to discover the narrow set of circumstances that brought human life to earth. For example, the earth is exactly the right distance from the sun and our atmosphere has the perfect blend of gases, the sun is the proper temperature and ice floats. Most solids sink, but if ice sunk, it would gather on the bottom of the oceans and never melt, and pretty soon the whole ocean would be frozen solid and there would be no life. Everything is perfect for us to be here now. It's almost as if someone intended it to happen. Looking backward it makes sense, though, because if the universe wasn't exactly right for us, there would be no "us" to look backward.

But there is another way to look at this: forward. "In the beginning God" (Genesis 1:1). That's why the first six verses of Psalm 19 speak of the majesty of God in the heavens and the earth, and then verse 7 says, "The law of the Lord is perfect." Looking backward makes us some lucky accident, but looking forward reveals a providential purpose to our life. Someone did intend for us to happen. The universe follows God's laws, and here we are on earth. It makes sense, then, to keep following God's laws. They got us here successfully; they will keep us here, as well.   

The rules of the Lord are true,
    and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
    even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
    and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
     in keeping them there is great reward. ~Psalm 19:9-11

Daily Prayer

My God, Creator of everything, this world and all that is in it. I have no world without You, nor does anyone else, whether or not they yet acknowledge it. It truly is good to know You, because there is no good without You. 

You created me special, me and every other man and woman. A special place on earth, bearing Your image, governing Your creation, caring for this planet and its inhabitants. May I know Your laws and live Your laws so that my life will be blessed, and a blessing to all life around me. May I reflect You and Your ways in what I do, so that our eyes will look to You, and our knees will bow, and our tongues proclaim that You are God. 


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