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Psalm 19, today’s lectionary psalm, speaks of the divine voice in all of creation. It must be obvious, by how often these blog posts point to the natural world, that I can relate to this theme. My heart soars with the message immediately when I hear the words, “Through all the world their voice resounds and to the ends of the earth their message!” (PS 19: 1) Today, however, my appreciation for this psalm was deepened as only the second part appeared in today’s readings.

Verses 8 to 10 do something different from what we read and experience in the first seven. As we fly with the psalmist throughout the universe (vs. 1-7), the voyage is described: the way we hear it and who (day & night) passes it along as we go. It’s the “how” for the transmission of the message. What I have never seen so clearly, and what appears today, is the content, the characteristics and the effect of God’s voice in the universe. That is to say that we hear the “what” and the “why” of the message. Listen:

The law (content) of the Lord is perfect (characteristic), refreshing the soul; (effect).

The decree of the Lord is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The command of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eye. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true, all of them just.

And as a finale to the entire recitation, we have a summary statement of what will be the result if we follow all of the above instructions. One might say, if we “taste and see” the goodness of the Lord: They are more precious than gold, than a heap of purest gold; sweeter also than syrup or honey from the comb. (vs. 11)