1 (To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.)
The heavens declare the glory of El; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
The Heavens Declare the Glory of El
These are they styled by David in the Psalms the righteous, who shall flourish as the palm tree; the upright in their hearts; the seed to be accounted to YAHWEH for a generation ; the excellent in the earth, in whom is all His delight; those who regard His works and the operation of His hands ; His people ; His inheritance ; them that reverence Him ; the blessed, whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered, to whom Yahweh imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile ; the broken of heart and the contrite of spirit; they who shall inherit the earth and dwell therein for ever ; the meek, who shall delight themselves with abundance of peace ; the saints, who are preserved for the Olahm, and shall shout aloud for joy, when they execute the judgments written ; the perfect, whose end is peace ; His lovers and His friends ; the fellows of the King, and princes in all the earth ; those under whose feet the peoples and nations are to be subdued ; the Man styled by Paul " the One Body " ; the prisoners of Yahweh ; His servants, who take pleasure in the stones of Zion ; the heavens who declare His righteousness ; those who keep His covenant, and remember His commandments to do them ; the seed of Abraham His servant, the children of Jacob His chosen ; the priests of Zion clothed with salvation ; the kings of the earth, who shall sing in the ways of Yahweh.
These have been sleeping the sleep of death for ages ; but, inasmuch as that many of the things affirmed of them by the Eternal Spirit, are no part of the estate of the poor and needy during their sojourn among the living, it follows that, as not one jot or tittle of the divine word shall fail, by implication David inculcates their resurrection to execute the judgments written against the kings and nobles of the nations ; to take possession of the earth, and to dwell therein for ever.
This, then, is the teaching of the Old Testament scriptures that there shall be an awakening and standing up of certain of the dead-not of the dead universally; and that, after this, there shall be judgment. But this awakening from the sleep of death is not taught there simply by implication. It is directly testified. In the book of Job, the most ancient section of the word, the patriarch says,
" I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand in the latter day upon the earth ; and, after I shall awake, though this body be destroyed, yet from out of my flesh shall I see ELOAH ; whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not a stranger "
This was the hope of those who held the true faith in the days of Job, and of Moses. They expected to awake from the sleep of death, and, after the destruction of the body in Sheol; and again to be bodies of flesh capable of beholding the Redeemer. This was awaking to renewed corporeal existence-a reorganization of their disintegrated remains with renewed identity. This was awaking, coming, or springing forth, and standing again, or resurrection.
The beauty of God's goodness is the glory that the heavens declare.
The whole range of creation - from the infinitely vast universe to the microscopically small-reveals God's love of beauty and order, and the highest form of beauty and order is the beauty of holiness, perfection of goodness, oneness with the perfect Divine mind.
...In the firmament - our own atmospheric surroundings - we see a marvellous and detailed allegory of the actual working out of God's handiwork - His purpose with mankind.
All the elements combine in a harmonious picture - earth, sea, clouds, wind, rain, dew, hail, snow, storm, lightning, thunder, rainbow, etc., portray in their interworking and relationships the fulfilling of the everlasting covenant to fill the earth with God's glory and bring blessing to all mankind.*
2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
Our Sun of righteousness is seen in two symbolic risings-
The first is when he arose from the tomb and turned the darkness of sorrow and despair and death into the light of joy and hope and everlasting life. This rising of the sun is God's assurance unto all men that (Acts 17: 31)-
"He has appointed a day when he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained."
The second rising of the Sun is when he comes to dispel the darkness of earth's long night, and be as the light of the morning-the bright and morning star
The moon, the lesser light of the heavens, is the bride of the Sun. She shines in her gentle whiteness, not by her own light, but by the reflection of light from him.
In this study, we are impressed more and more by the evidence God has given of the Bible's divine origin. Many facts of nature and the universe learned thousands of years later by man in his gradually broadening field of knowledge and investigation are manifested in the simple yet profound language of Scripture.
The moon was the lesser light to rule the night. Her shining was to be in the nighttime. The Sun, hidden from the earth during the earth's night, is shining upon her and she, during the darkness, reflects his light to the earth and gives glorious evidence that he, though hidden, still exists and shines in glory and will return to bring the joyful brilliance of the new day.
So the faithful waiting Bride, lifted up into the heavenlies by the promise of God, must turn her face to the absent Bridegroom and reflect his glory upon the earth until the morning return.
She is the candlestick in the Holy Place of present probation, while the Sun is the Shekinah-glory of the perfection of the Most Holy.
"Ye are the light of the world," said Jesus to his followers, and Paul exhorts them to
"shine as lights in the world . . . in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation."
This is the present nighttime of man's dark rule of sin. In Bible times, the Moon was a far more important factor in men's lives than today. In the clearer air of those lands, it shone more brightly, and there was no artificial outdoor lighting such as we take for granted today. When men had to travel, or had work to do on their lands at night, a bright, clear moon was a tremendous comfort and blessing.*
Throughout the Scriptures the number of the stars is used to typify an incalculable number, like the sand of the sea. Until the invention of the telescope, less than four hundred years ago, the greatest number of stars that could be seen was about 6,000, and less than half that number at any one time. With the telescope, hundreds of millions can be seen and the total number is estimated in billions.
The Bible speaks of a few particular stars. The Pleiades, referred to by Job and by Amos as "the seven stars," appear to have been always the most famous and best known cluster. History has always spoken of them as seven, though to the natural eye only six are visible today. This is an interesting and perhaps significant fact.
This cluster of seven stars appears to be the foundation for the symbol of the seven star-angel of the ecclesias in the Revelation-"The sweet influences of the Pleiades."
While the Moon is the Bride, considered in her completeness, the stars represent individual members. Paul says-
"As one star differeth from another in glory, so is the resurrection of the dead" (1 Cor. 15:41-42).
And Daniel was told-
"Many that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake . . . they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever" (Dan. 12:2-3).
At the creation, the angels are spoken of as morning stars singing together as, at the bidding of God, they brought light and life to a dark, dead earth.
Morning stars are those whose rising heralds the dawn. Jesus is pre-eminently the Bright and Morning Star-the Sun himself-the ruler of the heavens. *
* Bro Growcott - Consider the heavens
5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
7 The law of Yahweh is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of Yahweh is sure, making wise the simple.
God does not attempt to give wisdom to the wise. That is too hard a task even for God. To recognize our simplicity and distrust our wisdom is the first step toward knowledge.
8 The statutes of Yahweh are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of Yahweh is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of Yahweh is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of Yahweh are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.
13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Yahweh, my strength, and my redeemer.