Jan 20

Genesis 36
Psalm 19:1-6
Matthew 23


Rachael said...
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Rachael said...

This psalm brings up a subject that has always bothered me. It's talking about how nature tells the glory of God and my bible's footnotes says that everyone knows about God because of his creation.

I guess maybe I'm spoiled growing up in the faith but I think if someone hadn't explained it to me, I might not have made that connection and if I did, I'm sure it would be all wrong (like, maybe I would believe there was more than one God or I wouldn't understand He wanted me to confess that I'm a sinner). Anyone got any insight into this?

Moving on: When I've read this section of Matthew previously, I've always been thinking, 'Yeah, you tell 'em Jesus!" Today was the first time I realized that His words could be just as applicable to me. Who am I to think I'm not guilty of hypocrisy every day. It just reminded me that I need to 'walk the walk' everyday.

Melissa said...

Whenever I see a beautiful sunset or a clear night sky with all of the magnificent stars shining...my mind comes back to this Psalm: "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands." God's creation is so awe-inspiring and amazing to me...it truly does declare the glory of God.

Rachael-I totally understand your point. I was spoiled too, growing up in faith. I suppose it is easy for me to think, "how can people look at the complexity of creation and think this all happened by chance?...surely people must see the evidence of God in miraculous things around them...such as life or the grandness of the universe."

But the reality is...so many people DON'T believe God had anything to do with creation, let alone believe that they are sinners in need of a savior. Perhaps our modern culture's reliance on intellectualism hinders and hardens people's hearts to accepting the idea of creation...mainly because it cannot be tested on human terms and understanding (the scientific method)...as well as our culture's pressure to shun any "faith-based" theory as weak and unintelligible.

However, history tells a different story...throughout the history of the world (ancient to present), people have always connected nature/creation with a God or "power" greater than themselves...which leads me to believe there is truth to this Psalm. Before the Bible was written and before Jesus walked the earth, civilizations were making the connection between the sun, stars, rain, and crops...to a "supernatural being". I believe there is an instinctual connection that link our understanding of the world to God. (In the same way, a "moral code" is written on our hearts as humans. For instance, throughout time and culture people understood murder was wrong.) Before (and after) people had access to the Bible, there was transcultural understanding of a greater being as evidenced through the splendor of creation. While cultures may have differed in their interpretation of that instinct, creation still pointed to something greater than themselves. If that novel of an explanation even makes sense...;) I suppose that's my take on it, anyway.

molly june. said...

i hafta admit, when i first read matt 23 today, i was like, huh? it was confusing & a bit jumbled in my head. but when i went back & reread psalms 19, i saw the connection. these 2 verses tie it all together for me & help it make sense.

matt 23:28- "so you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy & lawlessness."

psalm 19:14- "let the words of my mouth & the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock & redeemer."

such a beautiful connection :)

(until i realized that i totally read ahead today...whoopsadaisies)

sasha said...

about matthew 23...it causes guilt more than anything for me. i know my thoughts, and they sometimes contradict good actions; but thoughts go unseen. i hate to receive recognition when there wasn't wholly altruistic intent, if that makes sense...

Liz said...

I love how well today's passages fit into a group study that I am preparing to lead for my small group later this week. The study is about parenting with faith and how best to live out your faith daily. To me Psalm 19 was has a great connection to recognizing and living out our faith daily in everything we do. The study also focused on hypocrisy, and how parents need to love God with all their heart in order to pass along that faith to their children. I totally felt like one of the Pharisees in Matthew 23 when I stopped to think about the disparity between what I say I believe and the way I actually live my life. So glad I am doing this reading as well as the other study, both of which God is using to speak directly into my life!

Also,Melissa, I LOVED your explanation of nature pointing to God. It isn't that nature implicitly tells us: "hey, follow the Judeo-Christian God", it just reflects the glory of His creation in a way that cultures everywhere and for all time have recognized.

Laura said...

Wonderful comments today. I came here to comment on the Psalm - "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands" - but I see it's already been pointed out!

Sometimes I feel like the only person who wakes up to a completely overcast sky with a promise of snow and thanks God for it. It seems "easier" to thank God for a beautiful sunrise, but where I live, we have seasons, and I love every moment of it. God is such an amazing artist, so creative. I thank him for the snow that falls and the rain that hinders our plans, because it's all a beautiful piece of his harmony. I LOVE weather. What an amazing expression of God's creation.