Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏩ ⏹️
The Thankful Poor, by Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1894
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
— Psalms 19:14
Psalm 19 is a strong, beautiful poem praising the glory of God from the creation of the world, The heavens declare the glory of God1 to the founding of the Mosaic covenant, The law of the Lord is perfect.2 On reading this psalm the author and theologian C.S. Lewis was moved to write,
"I take this to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world."3
Praise is important, as is recognition of the glory of God in the world. But God lives within us too, and the poet recognises this. These closing lines of the psalm reign it in from exaltation to contemplation. What we feel in our hearts and speak with our mouth is of equal importance to what man does for God in the world, in the eyes of the witness. If we can be impeccable with our word we are more likely to speak the word of God to those we are in community with, thus praising God each in our own quiet way. Glory does not have to be loud, showy and magnificent. It can be a quiet word of comfort, an expression of love, a moment of connection with our fellow human.
1 verse 1
2 verse 7
3 Quoted in The Heavens, the Word and the Glory of God by David Guzik, Enduring Word 2020
Music Short extract from Rivers of Babylon by Boney M., 1978, included here to show the sheer exuberance of these lines.