“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.” (Psalm 19:1-2)
I am very taken by the phrase “The skies… pour forth speech.” What do they say? “They reveal knowledge.” What kind of knowledge? Paul offered an answer: “Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:24)
What invisible qualities? His “eternal power”… His “divine nature”. Here’s the conclusion: God can be “understood from what has been made.”
Can that conclusion be substantiated? Ptolemy (writing perhaps a century after Paul) would have said yes. “Mortal as I am, I know that I am born for a day. But when I follow at my pleasure the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the earth.”
Ptolemy heard the speech that the heavens “poured forth” and was stirred not only to understand our human littleness in contrast to the bigness of space, but also to realize that this cosmic reality is not all there is. “My feet no longer touch the earth.” Ptolemy went on to evoke a sense of spiritual reality. That is to say, simply, a study of the heavens evokes not only knowledge but worship.
Peterson suggests this in a rather a whimsical paraphrase of Psalm 19:
“God’s glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the horizon. Madame Day holds classes every morning, Professor Night lectures each evening.”
Do you see the rush of metaphors? It’s a rock concert (on tour)….it’s a gallery (on exhibit)…. it’s a class, a lecture, and your head, your heart, your senses are all being gloriously assailed by the daily, nightly declaration of the glory of God.
Jandy Nelson’s book “The Sky is Everywhere” testifies to the revelation shared by Paul, Ptolemy and Peterson: “The sky is everywhere, it begins at your feet.”
For so long I have lived on the edge of an invisible world. Open my eyes, Lord, to the glory of both physical and spiritual reality.
You are the sky, everything else is just weather.