Every single Sunday we hear the words of Psalm 19:14. Do you recognize them and can you identify when in the service those words are spoken? My style is normally I say some words before I read the second Scripture and then I pray and the prayer that I pray comes directly from that verse. I tend to switch it up a little bit and it could sound something like this: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of all of our hearts be worthy and acceptable in your sight, for you are our rock and our redeemer. Amen.” The Psalmist includes it at the end of his Psalm, I like to put it in the beginning so that at least the intention is that God is directing and guiding the words that I am saying and that what I will say will be worthy and acceptable in the sight of God. I know, that is a lot to ask, but I’m not going to stop asking it.
Psalm 19 is a well known psalm and it contains some of the most precious phrases that we have in all of Scripture. We have all heard the words: “The heavens are telling the glory of God.” It is real similar to what we read in Romans 1:20 which tells us: “Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made.” The heavens proclaim God’s handiwork.
I always go back to the same scene when I think of the most amazing natural beauty that I have ever seen. It was Spring Break of 1990 and I was studying in Rome and I had a Eurail pass. I travelled to Figueira da Foz, Portugal and on the way stopped along the French Riviera, Barcelona, and then on the way back I stopped in what was the quaint little town of Interlaken, Switzerland. I got off the train station with no plans, it was about 10 in the morning and I had been on a train for close to 3 days now, and I looked over beyond the tracks and see a tiny tower looming up on a hill in the midst of the Swiss Alps.
I made my way to the tower, not knowing that it was taking me away from the town of Interlaken which I never did see on that trip, and arrived at a cemetery which was gated and the tower rose straight up at least 5 stories. I noticed that it was an easy gate to open, even if it was locked, and went into the cemetery, walked inside this tower which could not have been larger than a 6×6 tower around but probably 40 or more feet in the air. I’m not sure if that is architecturally possible, but it went way, way up there and it was super, super skinny. Inside there were rungs, like telephone pole rungs, and so I climbed up the tower which was completely open at the top. It was skinny enough that as I was climbing my back would periodically brush against the other side of the tower.
When got to the top I propped myself from inside to the outside of the tower and precariously sat down on what would have been similar to a cinder block diameter all around the tower. I felt very unstable and was not able to look out for a few moments. But when I did…when I did, it was breathtaking. I could not breathe it was so beautiful. There I was on the top of a hill in the Swiss Alps on the top of a structure that took me to a place where I could literally see eagles soaring below me. Off in the distance there were the two lakes from which Interlaken gets its name. I could see pastures in the distance and her the cowbells. The heavens were proclaiming God’s handiwork. I could palpably feel the presence of the Lord, which was a good thing because I thought I was going to die I was so high up.
The Psalmist reminds us in this psalm not only of the evidence of God’s presence and work in the world around us, but also that God is rooting for us to follow his commandments so that we can live lives which reflect His desires and His presence. It is simply a great all around Psalm. Think back of a time when you felt the presence of the Lord in your life that it very nearly took your breath away.