Silent Voices

October 15, 1997
by Charles Scobie

Psalm 19:2-4

    Day to day pours forth speech,
    and night to night declares knowledge.
    There is no speech, nor are there words;
    their voice is not heard;
    yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.

Of all the things we take for granted. one of the most amazing is surely the regularity of nature, the fact that the sun appears each morning bidding us rise and shine, and sets each evening bidding us rest and sleep. The Psalmist invites us to discern in the regularity of day and night the goodness and the provision of God the Creator.

He does so in a very arresting way. In one sense the rotation of the earth is silent (v.3); but in another sense it "pours forth speech," "declares knowledge," and sends out its voice and its words.

The idea of a "natural theology" is not always popular with theologians but if this psalm is saying anything it is surely saying that all people everywhere can know something of God, however partially and imperfectly, from the world in which they live. Note the repeated emphasis on the fact that God's voice in nature, though silent, is heard "through all the earth," and "to the end of the world." From one end of the universe to another the silent voice of nature speaks of the Creator.

Prayer: O Lord, you have provided for us in so many ways, yet there is so much we take for granted. Give us ears that we may hear in nature the voice of the Creator, and in response may praise you for all your goodness to us. Amen.

About the author:

Charles Scobie
Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada

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