Preacher: “The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.”
Seeker: Nature testifies to the glory of the Divine. And does so quite eloquently.
Preacher: “Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.”
Seeker: I wish that humanity would reflect the wisdom and depth of beauty of the Divine.
Preacher: “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.”
Seeker: I should not be so quick to judge humanity poorly. There still are members of humanity, in the past and these current days, who speak in such a way that the Divine is honored. As well as acting as the Divine directs.
Preacher: “In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy, and like a strong man runs its course with joy.” I did hear what you said, Seeker. And I agree; it is sometimes an irresistible urge to judge humanity harshly based on those who show forth the worst traits of creation. We do need to also seek out and celebrate the best that humanity can be.
Seeker: I also have concerns, Preacher, about global climate change. I know that seems odd to mention in this context, but hear me out.
Preacher: Go on, Seeker.
Seeker: The psalmist was writing these lines in a time when the products and wastes of humanity had not altered the environment. A part of me laments that creation shows the same signs of decay that some members of humanity do.
Preacher: What about “Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and nothing is hid from its heat.” But you are right, Seeker, this was written in a time when creation was still subject to its own influences and not burden by the changes industry and technology has forced upon it. Isn’t it interesting that during the first months of the global shut down from Covid, nature started to in a small way heal itself?
Seeker: “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the LORD are sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.”
Preacher: Creation is not as perfect as the Divine. But of course you know that; and I know that is not your point. It used to be that creation and humanity both labored under the Divine. Then, through the intervention and guidance of the Divine through Jesus the Messiah humanity was redeemed. Where nature simply continued the course that was etched in its DNA, humanity could choose and evolve adopting faith practices that brought it close to the Divine.
Seeker: “More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”
Preacher: Somewhere along the way, much like corrupted DNA in nature, humanity deviated from that purity. And here we are.
Seeker: “But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults.”
Preacher: Sometimes I think we study nature and ecology more diligently than we study ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, understanding nature is important. And healing the ills that our environment has is very important, critical in fact, to the well-being and survival of humanity. But surely we can also study the flaws in ourselves and correct that as well.
Seeker: “Keep back your servant also from the insolent; do not let them have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.”
Preacher: You are right, Seeker, both in your use of the psalmist’s words and in the message that it conveys to our modern ears. We must do all we can to keep ourselves from sinning, and allowing the ills around us to blind us to the wonders of nature and the lessons the Divine still has to teach us. May we all say, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”
Seeker: Shalom & Selah, Preacher, Shalom & Selah!