Light Declares (Lent 6, 2017)

Acknowledging this is poetry, yet there are things we can learn about light.  Yes, light declares things about God…even at night. 

Day and night, God’s creative work is visible because of light (shining forth from the sun, moon, planets, and stars).  There’s even “Earthshine.”

Outside of Earth, God created all those heavenly bodies to give off light either as a source like the sun and stars, or to reflect it like the moon.

And God’s purposes were at least two-fold:

  1. to separate the day from the night
  2. and to mark time (Genesis 1:14-19) on the fourth day.

In reading this passage, note how many references there are to sight and knowledge and how light declares these things to creation. 

Psalm 19:1 For the director of music. A psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, 5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat. 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. 11 By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. 12 Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. 

Why would the psalmist, David, have such an abrupt topic break between verses 6 and 7?

Could it be that light declares in visual form what the Bible teaches in word form?  Both make sight possible.

Fun fact of light: The sun produces both light and heat.  The moon produces heat from decay of radioactive material but not enough to produce truly significant heat, unlike the stars.  The moon reflects light because it has no atmosphere and when the sun shines on the moon, the moon can get very hot, but the areas of the moon where the sun has set, the moon is frigid. Technically there is no dark side of the moon unless you’re listening to Pink Floyd.  From Universe Today:

“Every second, the Sun is converting 600 million tons of hydrogen into helium. This reaction lets out a tremendous amount of energy. Most of this energy heads off into space, but some of it falls on the planets and the moons in the Solar System. This is why we can see them at all… When there’s a new moon, however, there’s no light from the Sun falling on the Moon, and yet we can still see the surface of the Moon. Where’s the light coming from? The Earth. Astronomers call this reflected light “Earthshine”, and it helps them calculate how much sunlight is falling on the Earth.

So now you know that the light of the Moon actually comes from the Sun, unless it’s coming from the Earth.”   

For further thought: 

  • Is it just pretty poetry to say that the commands of the LORD are radiant and they give light to the eyes?  Or do they tell us something that light declares?  Is there a connection between light and sight, and between the law and its resulting in knowledge and fear the LORD? 
  • Is there something significant in the moon not creating its own light at night, but merely reflecting the sun’s light back to earth?  What can Christians do to reflect God’s glory, God’s light declared?  Do we produce it or reflect it? 
  • How does Psalm 19 act as a cherry on the top of a Psalm 18 sundae of praise to the Lawgiver, our God?

Thank You, Father, for the many ways You reveal Yourself to us!  Thank You for the beauty of Creation.  May we never take for granted this treasure You have given us.  Help us, LORD, to reflect Your beauty and Your glory to a watching world.  Grant that we would never forget the privilege You have given humanity in Your creating light and mankind with the ability to see.  May we always be grateful and respond to You by reflecting Your glory.  Amen.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 6, 2017

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