The Message of the Heavens

March 30, 2011

Most believers are very familiar with David’s teaching about the message of the heavens: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handywork” (Ps. 19:1). Not nearly as many likely have noticed that there are two more statements in Scripture that also speak about the message of the heavens:

“And the heavens shall declare [the Hebrew here may be rendered as “declare” instead of “shall declare”] his righteousness: for God is judge himself” (Ps. 50:6).

“The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory” (Ps. 97:6).

Significantly, these two statements both contain the key word, “righteousness.” Both the Hebrew text and the Greek translation of these verses have key Bible words for that term (tsedeq; δικαιοσύνη). Furthermore, the latter statement parallels God’s righteousness with His glory, signifying that the glory of God that the heavens declare is His righteousness. Putting the teaching of the verses together suggests that the heavens declare His righteousness because He is Himself the Judge, and the glory of God that the heavens declare is that He is the righteous Judge.

In an important NT statement about a message from heaven, Paul twice uses a related word, “unrighteousness”: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18). Thus, both testaments have teaching that speaks of a message about God as judge in connection with a word for heaven and the concept of righteousness.

Pondering the connections among these four statements concerning the message of the heavens makes for an interesting study. I am not sure how to fit all the pieces together. I would welcome your thoughts on how these verses and the truths that they express might correlate with one another to teach us truth that we might otherwise overlook.

Rajesh

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