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Daily Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Monday, January 24, 2022  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Psalm 19

The heavens are telling the glory of God;
   and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech,
   and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
   their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
   and their words to the end of the world.

In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,
   which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,
   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 nothing is hid from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
   the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
   the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever;
   the ordinances 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.
But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults.

Keep back your servant also from the insolent;
   do not let them have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
   be acceptable to you, O Lord,
   my rock and my redeemer. (NRSV)

This psalm demonstrates the beautiful poetry of the psalter. It reads like a wonderfully written poem or the lyrics of a “feel good” song. It speaks to the majesty of God. Although we cannot see or hear God as we do each other, we do see God in the beauty and perfection of God’s work—the sky, the sun, the stars, the night—and how all of this operates together displaying the warmth and the beauty of days and also nights with twinkling lights. Whenever I look to the sky, I am reminded God is ever-present.

Psalm 19 also points out that God’s word and commandments are just. They are gifts. They give us insights for living a righteous and happy life. The difficulty for me is when I react to situations in my own way, rather than heeding God’s instructive word. That’s when life gets more difficult, more complicated, which is not God’s intention. Best outcomes have always been when I try to live as God wants and planned for me to live. We simply need to study, listen, and obey. Study is easiest for me. The listen and obey parts are often my challenge, but I am getting better at that (I think).

This beautiful psalm reminds me of the awe and glory of God, as well as the love God has shown us through the insights and teachings of God’s word.

Lord God, may I never take the beauty and perfection of the heavens and earth for granted. May I see God and know God’s presence each and every day that I behold these wonders. Also, Lord, help me to accept the simple joy and happiness of life by yielding to your teachings, rather than my own small and limited will. Amen.

Written by Ken Gaines, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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