Defining God’s Virtue and Glory

The Holy Scriptures define God’s character, virtue and glory. Psalm 19 informs us that the Holy Scripture is of much greater benefit to us than day or night, than the air we breathe, or the light of the sun. We need the Word of God.

C. S. Lewis called Psalm 19 the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.

The heavens tell of the glory of God (Psalm 19:1)

King David, gazed at the sky, not philosophizing on any familiar natural phenomenon, nor merely enjoying the beauty. Not only is he aesthetically satisfied, but his spirit, his religious nature is moved.

Psalm 19:1

To magnify the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Creator, the psalmist begins with the works of creation. Amidst the immensity of them, he singles out those which are most conspicuous, grand, and striking, and best adapted to impress the mind of his reader with a sense of the infinite greatness and majesty of God. This brings out a solemn awe of, and veneration for, God’s matchless glories. 1

As David looked on the freshness of the morning, everything he sees tells of God and brings God before him.

The testimony offered by the heavens and the sky constitutes the essence of the greater part of Hebrew poetry.

This testimony reaches everyone, just as the sun in its strength appears daily and reaches everywhere. This establishes, in part, the idea that all people have ample evidence telling them that God exists.

David looked to the heavens, not the spiritual heaven where God is enthroned, but the heavens of the blue sky and the night sky. That is, the visible heavens, so vast and spacious, and richly adorned with stars and planets, which were so various and admirable in their courses or stations and so useful and powerful in their influences. They announce, proclaim, and make known God’s glory.

He could see it in the blue sky, with the glory of the sun and clouds and the beauty of sunrises and sunsets.

He could see it in the night sky, with the brightness of the moon, the awe of the starry sky and the cloudy spread of the distant galaxies.

All these together, with their size, their awe, and their grandeur shouted to David and all who would see, “The God who created all this is glorious, and this is evidence of His glory.”

  • He is glorious in His size, having created something so big.
  • He is glorious in His engineering, having created something that works together so well.
  • He is glorious in His artistry, having created something so beautiful.
  • He is glorious in His goodness and kindness, having created something for all humanity to see.

Five centuries Paul later said, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)

Romans 1:20

The Hebrew word for heaven, or firmament, is used in the Scriptures uniformly in the plural number, though in our common translation the singular number is often used. (Genesis 1:1, Genesis 1:8-9, Genesis 1:14, Genesis 1:17, Genesis 1:20; Genesis 6:17; Genesis 7:11, Genesis 7:19, Genesis 7:23; et soepe)

Heavens, the plural, however, is often retained, but without any special reason why it should be retained in one place rather than in another. (Genesis 2:1, Genesis 2:4; Deuteronomy 10:14; Ezra 9:6; Psalm 2:4; Psalm 8:1, Psalm 8:3; Psalm 18:13)

The original idea may have been that there was one heaven above another; one in which the sun was placed, another in which the moon was placed, then the planets, the fixed stars, etc. Above all was supposed to be the place where God dwells.

The word glory, in Psalm 19:1, means that which constitutes the glory or honor of God; His wisdom, power, skill, faithfulness, and benevolence as seen in the starry worlds above us and the silent, but solemn movements by day and by night. The idea is, that these convey to the mind a true impression of the greatness and majesty of God. The reference is to these heavens as they appear to the naked eye, and as they are observed by all men.

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Consider the Daily Bread email message sent on 3/16/2024 and updated on 4/1/2024 which says,

DB Psalm 19:1

Psalm 19:1 – The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. (NASB)

Psalm 19 informs us of the Holy Scripture’s great benefit to us as God’s character, virtue, and glory, revealed in the Holy Scriptures, is presented in nature.

As the heavens and all creation testify to the glory of God, you should easily reflect Mary’s song in Luke 1:46, 47 – “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” (NASB) With that combination we can bring “all glory and honor to Him forever and forever, amen.”
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Cited References:

  1. Joseph Benson, Benson’s Commentary,
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