Cosmos: a shared experience. Psalm 19

The natural world speaks to us, constantly sending information our way. It comes 

from the stars, the moon, the sun, the ocean and the mountains. Psalm 19 explains,

“There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard” but then we read that

no sound is heard from them. It is a poetic way of saying this is nonverbal communication.

Why does nature fill us with wonder and grandeur? Why does it take our breath away?

Why do we write poems about it? Why does it move us like art? These verses are

saying because it is art. Nature is God’s handiwork: it proclaims the work of His hands.

There is a benevolent cosmic consciousness behind it all.

What does it feel like to hear this voice? Prominent physician, biologist and

etymologist, Lewis Thomas, once wrote: “I cannot make peace with the randomness

doctrine: I cannot abide the notion of purposelessness and blind chance in nature. And

yet I do not know what to put in its place for the quieting of my mind.” The nonverbal

communication will not be silenced. It reminds me of what is sometimes called the

proximity effect in a classroom. A teacher walking around the room increases her

perceived presence even though she doesn’t have to say a word. 

 

Of course, much more than nonverbal communication must take place in a classroom

if students are to learn, and so it is with Psalm 19. In the second half of the chapter God

is said to articulate Himself more clearly through His Word, the Bible. While the

cosmos will not allow the quieting of our mind towards Him, God’s law, precepts and

commands are said to revive the soul, make wise the simple and give joy to the heart.

Like trying to find the right words to explain how you feel, and then experiencing relief

and elation when they are found because you have been able to express yourself truly.

An experience is good, but to have someone to share it with is better. While we can

appreciate a work of art, to know the artist in person is something else altogether. God

reveals Himself in the Bible because He wants us to have more than an experience of

His cosmos, He wants a relationship. That’s why He sent Jesus, the perfect articulation of everything God has to say (Hebrews 1:1-3).

Dave Assender