Why did God make the world? That was the question posed to me by my seven year old daughter a few weeks ago – out of the blue, we were talking about something else completely and this popped out. Daddy why did God make the world?

And of course, as these things do, they kind of catch you off guard – you aren’t always ready so I spluttered out a well, umm, you see, er… the thing you need to understand is… and I was close to blurting out something about how God was lonely and needed company, which of course, is a bit of a trap and implies that God is in NEED and is lacking something so I didn’t say that and by then I was really in my own head trying to answer a simple innocent question.

But then I stopped. I am told that sometimes the best way to answer a question is with another question, and you see my Sylvie, she loves to paint and she loves to draw and she likes to write little letters to her friends..

So I asked her – Sylvie, why do you like to paint? Which stunned her into silence and bought me some time to google a better answer – but we chatted agreed that she like to paint because she like making pretty things and it was a chance to express herself and creating something brought her joy….

And you see where we got – Sylvie’s eyes may have glazed over if I had said something like – God created the world for his glory….. like huh Dad? What are you talking about?

But I think we weren’t too far from that in my lucky fluke answer – God created the world in a sense to express HIMSELF to tell people about HIMSELF. The whole universe is a picture and a description of God. The whole universe is a message from God.

Now listen to our text this morning coming to us from Psalm 19.

We are, by the way, in the 2nd week of a six part series on the Psalms of David - Last week we were in Psalm 18, with David seeking shelter and refuge, looking for strength, looking for God HIS ROCK to deliver Him from all the very real present danger that surrounded him.

But this week David lifts his eyes to the heavens.

Psalm 19

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;

the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

2 Day after day they pour forth speech;

night after night they reveal knowledge.

3 They have no speech, they use no words;

no sound is heard from them.

4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,

their words to the ends of the world.

In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.

5     It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,

like a champion rejoicing to run his course.

6 It rises at one end of the heavens

and makes its circuit to the other;

nothing is deprived of its warmth

Very cool reading – This is clearly – a Psalm of Praise- a Psalm of worship – a song, poetry about the Glory of God, as revealed by the heavens – creation – the Sun moon and stars.

The Glory of God is being declared – it is being proclaimed – shouted out – speech is pouring forth – gushing out – ongoing night after night knowledge knowledge of the Glory of God is being revealed.

SO what do we see, and what do we hear?

Well, firstly this is a picture of craftmanship – the handiwork of the Lord – when you walk into a luxury house and they have a beautiful kitchen designed and built by Lawrence and Regan of Core Interiors (be sure to ask for the Medway discount now), you are sure to get a sense of high end quality – of good workmanship – everything fits, everything looks good, everything is well made – it is good.

We see a picture of beauty. Picture a beautiful sunrise or sunset – picture a clear night as you stare up into the stars, Are you picturing something ugly that makes you go – ugh or something that warms your heart and your soul – that brings joy and pleasure.

We look to the skies and we see order- the moon rises, the moon falls, the starts light our way – we used to use them to navigate – this is not chaos and dis order – but beautiful unity, with every piece working together for the whole – designed perfectly.

We see strength and power and might, and vast celestial bodies that move around in space – crossing light years to twinkle in our eyes – we see the moons influencing the tides  - moving oceans up and down. We feel the sun burning down on our backs – we feel its warmth,  and we feel it’s fire too.

We look up into the vast expanse of space and we see no end – no limit, no edge – and it tells us of an infinite God. It speaks to us of a God who cannot be contained.  The vastness expanse – the glory and the majesty – of it all. Artists, Writers, Poets, this is what they are trying to put into Human language – but it speaks to us in a way the written down words could never.

This is revelation towards us – this is God showing us his hand, his story, telling us about himself. That it doesn’t take too much effort for us to actually see Him and recognise him.

What about His Faithfulness - The created world speaks of God’s faithfulness – as sure as the sun rises, and sure as the new day dawns – is His love towards us. He is dependable. He is trustworthy. If this created world wasn’t steady, and constant, and predictable – I would have a very difficult job to do as a structural engineer trying to keep bridges and buildings up. But the world is steady, and cyclic -through day and night thought season of after season – designed for sure trust and dependence.

And it speaks of His goodness.

James 1:17 'Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows'

So the message tells us in not only about His creation – but it really extends to tell us about HIMSELF. We have to make that step – otherwise we’re missing the point. And we won’t find the answers that God is shouting at us.

Last week I put on my engineers hardhat for a bit, and this week I’m going to do it again.

So indulge me if you will – right now at work we are working away feverishly on a project called the Square Kilometre Array – and I think I’ve mentioned it to Medway before. My company is designing the foundations  - yes, foundations that go down to solid ROCK. But we are designing foundations that will be used to mount these incredibly fancy, expensive, satellite dishes – and there are hundreds of these things, all over the world – pointing out into space – why? Well, let me read you their goal from the SKA website.

The key science goals

From challenging Einstein’s seminal theory of relativity to the limits, looking at how the very first stars and galaxies formed just after the big bang, in a way never before observed in any detail, helping scientists understand the nature of a mysterious force known as dark energy, the discovery of which gained the Nobel Prize for physics, through to understanding the vast magnetic fields which permeate the cosmos, and, one of the greatest mysteries known to humankind…are we alone in the Universe, the SKA will truly be at the forefront of scientific research.

Yikes – I didn’t understand any of that, but what I think they mean is:

We are spending billions of your taxpayer rands and dollar and pounds  – looking into the sky to answer questions – to find answers – to hear from the stars.

Questions about our creation and our beginning? Questions about how the world works – answers to these mysteries - How did we begin? Are we alone?

I love it – heavy science, hectic science, lots of professors with PhDs gathering data from space, wondering what the universe can tell us.

And here we have David – staring up into the night sky, thousands of years ago - no telescopes, no satellite dishes, no PhD – just the supernatural inspiration of the omnipotent, omniscient God over all creation, saying -

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;

the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

2 Day after day they pour forth speech;

night after night they reveal knowledge.

3 They have no speech, they use no words;

no sound is heard from them.

4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,

their words to the ends of the world.

These wondrous things we see with our eyes, this language that speaks to us without using words – is talking to us about God.

The creator, not the creation – we might be tempted when thinking of these things, to go along the lines of - isn’t nature wonderful, lets worship it – like ancient Egyptians worshipping the Sun God Ra. But we remember the creator behind the creation. He is telling us a message about himself. God is not the universe – he created the universe.

But people don’t want to hear this message do they. The apostle Paul picks this up in his first letter to the Roman Church.

Romans 1:20 'For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from His workmanship, so that men are without excuse.'

Hows that – clearly seen and understood, so says Paul. So there is no excuse – that means you don’t get to say, what, nobody told me anything, I was out of the loop. Nobody told us – we’ve been left out – it’s a message for all people, every tribe every tongue every nation. Not a holy huddle – a small church sitting in Rome – but to the very ends of the earth.

Sounds like he’s contradicting himself  there – he says his invisible qualities are clearly seen – but he’s referring to his so called invisible qualities. Not only are they seen, they are understood – which links with David's Psalm talking about Knowledge being poured forth – It’s more than just a pretty picture that makes us go ahhhh well gee that’s purdy.

A few verses later in that same portion of Romans 1, Paul extends his argument to talk about

– people who exchange the truth of God for a lie – and serve the creature rather than the creator,

Those foolish people hey.

But hold on a moment here.

Who do you serve? Your families, your communities, sure, noble – but most of the time – I don’t know about you but I feel like I serve the bank that holds my home loan, or I serve my boss.

Service is great, and intended – but we need to serve whom we are supposed to serve – whom we are created to serve.

Not money, land, houses, education, fame, status, power, etc. and certainly not ourselves. We should look to serve God above all.

But let’s get back to Psalm 19. In verse 5 the tone changes slightly.

Verse 5 uses an analogy to try to put into words this wonderful bursting forth of expression and communication

It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber - like a young man on his wedding day – best day of his life – bursting forth with joy and happiness and excitement – in his best clothes – seeking to join in union with his love – you see the picture?

It is like a champion rejoicing to run his course – here’s a picture relevant to us now – have you been watching the Olympics? Did you manage to catch the video of our Tatjana Schoenmaker winning her race – it really is something special – she comes home strong and takes the lead in the final stretch – she hits the wall pops her head out of the water and she is elated – she knows she has won the race – you can see the joy and pride and emotion coming through – and then it even goes to the next level – she looks up and they put the time on the screen and she realises that she has smashed the world record – and she lets out a scream – she can’t control herself – she bursts forth with a shout, and with tears, and all that. Not only is she the best in the world right now – but the best of all time – you get the picture here don’t you David is trying to describe the wonder and the depth and the glory of God as revealed to us by his creation. The best of the Best on display for us. Nothing compares.

Isaiah 40

25 “To whom will you compare me?
   Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
   Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
   and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
   not one of them is missing.

This morning – Psalm 19 is reminding us of Gods message to written in the skies. He shouts to us – calling our intention in a visual, visceral language much greater than our own simple words. If last week we were encouraged to stand upon God our Rock – this week, let’s stand upon that rock beneath our feet, and lift our eyes to the Glorious Heavens, and hear our God speaking to us. Hear our God calling us out into his world – to walk in it, to experience it, to hear from it. To be changed by it – and to return our time here in His creation to God, as a pleasing service.

Psalm 19 ends with the following – and we’ll end this morning with it too:

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in your sight,
    Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

That right there is a good prayer to take into your week.

Thanks for tuning in this morning – I look forward to seeing you all again in person soon. God bless.