He Spoke, and It Was Done (Mike Riccardi)

Psalm 33:6-9   |   Sunday, May 27, 2012   |   Code: 2012-05-27-MR


I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but people are fascinated with the idea of speaking things into existence. The notion of saying or demanding something, and having it come to pass has a rather fantastic allure to it. Even from the time we’re young, we read in storybooks about characters who were granted three wishes from a genie. And we think, “Oh, wouldn’t that be great! To be able to just say something, or wish for something, and have it happen!” And it doesn’t even really matter what it is, right? We just like the idea of being able to do it. That’s why if you ask a little child, “If you had three wishes what would you wish for,” if the child’s clever he answers, “More wishes.” 

We got a more sophisticated version of that, though only slightly, with the science of mind proponents that were very popular some years ago, and still are to some degree today. These are intelligent, well-educated adults who believe that you can use your mind to create things. In his book, Just Imagine, psychologist William Fezler writes, “All scientists agree that matter can be converted to energy. Surely the reverse is possible. Energy must be capable of converting to matter. … We eat an apple and it becomes energy, it becomes mind. Why is it so difficult for some to grasp that the thought is capable of becoming apple again? Not an imagined apple,” he says, “but a real one. …materialization is possible.” Now, as far as I’ve been able to find out, Dr. Fezler typed and published his book the old-fashioned way; it did not materialize out of thin air. 

Sadly enough, the desire to speak things into existence has even crept its way into the church in a most unhealthy way. The Word of Faith, “name-it-claim-it” movement, spearheaded by men like Benny Hinn and Creflo Dollar, says that Christians can “speak victory” into their lives. Are you sick? Well, start speaking health into your life. Declare that you’re healthy. Are you poor? Well, start speaking financial success into your life. Declare that you can be rich. Joel Osteen said, “Some of you would see your life go to a whole new level if you'd just zip up the negative words and start speaking faith and victory into your future.” You see? You have the power in your words to speak into existence the fulfillment of all your dreams.  And that kind of blasphemous nonsense goes on and on. 

But it doesn’t always have to be as harmful as that. On a smaller, more innocent scale, we observe this fascination with speaking things into existence in ourselves, even as we desire for things to be done when we say, and how we say. This is especially the case for parents with young children. We even have voice-activated computer and cell phone software. You speak to your phone and it will call people for you. Or you speak into your computer’s microphone and it will type your words for you. 

What is it about this concept of having things done according to your word that captivates so many of us? Why do so many people wish that they could just speak and have things happen? I think it’s because we realize that that would be the ultimate demonstration of power—the ultimate demonstration of control. We like to feel on top of things, in control of things. Surprises and unexpected events throw us off. We don’t like to be caught off guard. And it feels good to at least believe that no matter what’s going on, I’ve got things under control.

Not only would it be the ultimate demonstration of power and control, it would be quite the demonstration of glory. We’re quite impressed with parents whose children obey them when they give them instruction. For that matter, we’re impressed with people who can get their dogs to sit, stay, and roll over when we command them to. 

In all the various ways this manifests itself, people are enamored with the idea of being able to say something and have it be accomplished. 

In the passage that we’re going to study this morning, we find out that God lays exclusive claim to both the power… and the glory that are associated with the ability to speak things into existence. Try as we might, we can’t make things happen simply by our words. But when our God speaks, worlds leap into existence!


Text Introduction and Context 

And so we come to Psalm 33, an absolutely glorious hymn of praise in which the community of believers is called to overflow in song, joyful praise, and thanksgiving to Yahweh their God. It’s a worship song!, likely to be used in Israel’s congregational worship. And as we go through a portion of it today, you’ll be able to tell. One commentator said of Psalm 33 that “from beginning to end, [it] is one sustained, exuberant shout, with a fervency and energy seldom equaled.” He even goes on to say that you could almost say that “what the Hallelujah Chorus is to Handel’s Messiah, Psalm 33 is to the Psalter.” 

It most certainly is a glorious psalm of praise. Let’s take a quick, bird’s-eye-view of the content of the psalm. Verses 1–3 comprise the call to praise. With a string of five commands to “Sing for joy,” “Give thanks,” “Sing praises,” “Sing to Him a new song,” and “Play skillfully with a shout of joy,” the psalmist stirs up God’s people to worship the Lord. The body of the psalm, verses 4–19, make up the cause for praise. The psalmist gives four reasons for which we are to praise God: for His glorious character (in vv. 4–5), for His creative power (in vv. 6–9), for His unassailable plan (in vv. 10–12), and for His compassionate omniscience (in vv. 13–19). All these reasons for worship culminate in verses 20–22, the conclusion to praise, where God’s people declare their hope (v. 20) and trust (v. 21) in Yahweh, and conclude with a petition for His lovingkindness to be upon them in abundance (v. 22). 

Now, usually the Psalms are usually preached as an entire psalm at a time—it’s sort of its own self-contained unit. And we have a clear structure there, as I mentioned: the call to praise, the cause for praise, and the conclusion to praise. But the devotional richness and theological depth of these inspired songs are inexhaustible. Certain statements in the Psalms are so pregnant with meaning and significance, so insightful into the believer’s living and breathing relationship with God, that entire sermons could be preached on single verses. And that’s not necessarily out of the bounds of their intent. The Book of the Psalms was Israel’s inspired hymnal. Not only were these songs Scripture, a fact which alone makes them worthy of meditation, but they were also the worship songs that the Israelites would sing in corporate worship and hum to themselves throughout the week. These were words that God’s people would reflect on—sometimes a whole Psalm at a time, sometimes a few verses at a time, and other times even a single verse or a single phrase at a time. 


In the time we have together this morning, I want to zero in and dwell on that second reason to praise God: for the creative power of His Word. As we celebrate His power along with the psalmist in verses 6–9, we will discover two characteristics of Yahweh for which all the earth is called—for which we are called—to worship Him in reverent fear. The goal of this text is to get you to see God clearly, be thrilled by what you see, and respond in worship and adoration. 

I. God’s Sovereign Omnipotence (vv. 6–7) 

That first characteristic is found in verses 6 and 7. There the psalmist celebrates God’s Sovereign Omnipotence

He says, “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deeps in storehouses.” 

1. He is Creator (v. 6) 

And here we see that the psalmist displays God’s sovereign omnipotence in two ways. Number one: he celebrates God’s sovereign power as the Creator of the universe. All of creation was called into existence by the spoken command of Almighty God. 

The psalmist is amazed by this! And he emphasizes his amazement by writing in a particular way. For one thing, he uses two similar phrases to repeat the reality that God’s spoken command is the instrument of creation: “by the word of the Lord…and by the breath of His mouth.” And not only that, but he brings those phrases to the beginning of their clauses. He could have easily said, “The heavens were made by the word of the Lord,” and that would have even been a more natural word order for the Hebrew. But he throws those phrases to the front to emphasize, “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made.” 

And this of course hearkens back to the opening chapter of Genesis, to the narrative of the creation of the world. Even though you probably remember it so well, turn to Genesis 1 so you can follow along with your own eyes to see the emphasis in this text. Over and over again, almost like a refrain, we read, “And God said…and it was so…” 

  • Verse 3: “Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”
  • Verse 6: “Then God said, ‘Let there be an expanse…,’ and,” end of verse 7, “it was so.”
  • Verse 9: “Then God said, ‘…let the dry land appear;’ and it was so.
  • Verse 11: “Then God said, ‘Let the earth sprout vegetation…;’ and it was so.
  • Verse 14: “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse…,’ and,” verse 15, “it was so.”
  • Verse 20: “Then God said, ‘Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of heavens,’ and, verse 21, “God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves…and every winged bird after its kind.”
  • Verse 24: “Then God said,” and the beasts of the earth were created.
  • And finally verse 26: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our own image…’ And, verse 27, “God created man in His own image.” 

And so we see clearly that God’s word is the instrument of creation. 

Which is why it always puzzles me to hear people say things like, “The Bible tells us that God created, but it doesn’t tell us how God created.” No less than 8 times in Genesis 1, we are told that God said, and it was so. We most certainly are told how God created the world and everything in it: He spoke it into existence. Just like that! The world, and all of its fullness! The heavens, and all their host! God spoke, and every plant, every bird, every beast, and even human beings, came into being! 

But of course that’s absolute foolishness to those who subscribe to secular naturalism and evolutionary biology. But professing believers who want Christianity to remain “relevant” to the world try to find ways to insert evolutionary principles into the text of Scripture. And of course, they don’t fit. They’re just not there. God said, and it was so. Verse 9 says clearly, “He spoke, and it was done.” There is no billions-of-years gap in between those two. You simply believe the text of Scripture or you don’t. 

That’s why, in that great eleventh chapter of Hebrews—that wonderful treatise on the centrality of faith in the Christian life—that’s why the very first thing that the writer mentions is the creation of the world by God’s very word. Hebrews 11:3 says: “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.” In Romans 4:17, Paul says that Abraham believed God, who “calls into being that which does not exist.” 

Everything. Didn’t exist. And in a moment, God spoke, and then it did. All of it. The psalmist says all the host of heaven was created by the breath of His mouth, verse 6. 

The word “host” there can refer both to angels and the armies of heaven (1 Kgs 22:19), as well as to the celestial bodies—like the sun, moon, and stars (Deut 4:19). And we don’t have to pick between them. The psalmist here is talking about both. He’s emphasizing that God has created the world and everything in it

And he likes that word, “all.” He uses it eight times in this psalm:

  • Verse 4: “All God’s work is done in faithfulness.”
  • Verse 8: “Let all the earth fear the Lord.”
  • Verses 13 and 14: He looks from heaven and sees all the sons of men.
  • Verse 15: He fashions the hearts of all men, and understands all their works 

He’s emphasizing the vastness and limitlessness of Yahweh’s power. The power of Yahweh’s word extends to all the host of heaven, which God tells us in Jeremiah 33:22 “cannot be counted.” God created “the heavens and everything in them” by His spoken command. 

What is our response to this truth? What affections are stirred up within you as you contemplate this awesome reality? We need to marvel at the powerful Word of Yahweh. Take some moments during the week to slow your minds down from making it to your next appointment, and take a look around at this beautiful creation! Trees, mountains, sunsets, stars—it only took a word.  We can command things all day and have nothing accomplished. God simply speaks, and worlds leap into existence. 

And the power of God’s word displayed in creation should comfort our hearts in regards to His faithfulness. You know why? Because for those who worship Him through faith in His Son, the word that makes every promise of blessing is as sure as His word that commands the universe to come into being out of nothing. Are there promises that you fear God will not deliver? Do the struggles and trials of daily life cause you to doubt the certainty of what God has promised to those who love Him? You can put that doubt to death with the dagger of this truth: this same Word that promises you that all things are working together for your good is the Word that creates the world out of nothing. “I will be with you always, even to the end of the age.” “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” “Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ.” “There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” If He can fashion the Milky Way with His Word, He can certainly keep His promises. 

And so the sovereign omnipotence of God’s Word is displayed by His power as Creator.  

1. He is Ruler (v. 7) 

But it is also displayed by His power as Ruler over creation. He is not merely a God who created the universe by His Word, and now simply stands back, aloof and uninvolved with His creation. No, He intimately interacts with the world He has made, as its Sustainer and Ruler. We see this in verse 7: “He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deeps in storehouses.” 

Notice the tenses of the verbs there: “He gathers…He lays up.” These show characteristic action. The One who sovereignly spoke all things into existence is the kind of God who gathers the vast oceans together as a heap. He controls even the unpredictable and volatile oceans to their depths. He can pile them into His storehouses like a farmer piles up a heap of grain. He created the oceans with a word, but He also sustains, and controls, and governs every drop of them at His will. 

Now, as we read this verse, it’s important to remember that the Israelites were not a seafaring people. Their familiarity with bodies of water was restricted to activities such as constructing “little dams in the wilderness to hold the tiny quantities of water that could sometimes be retained from a winter storm.”[1] In comparison to that, the Israelites viewed the ocean depths as ominous and insuperable. The seas were a chaotic force that no man could tame. That’s why in Revelation 20:13, the sea is compared with death and Hades regarding how many lives it has claimed. But the Lord God controls them at His whim.

  • Psalm 89:9 – You rule the swelling of the sea; when its waves rise, You still them.
  • Psalm 93:4 – More than the sounds of many waters, than the mighty breakers of the sea, Yahweh on high is mighty.
  • And Psalm 95:5 simply declares, “The sea is His, for it was He who made it.” 

But of course the psalmist also has in mind those monumental times in Israel’s history when Yahweh actually did gather up the seas together as a heap. Turn to Exodus 15. 

First, when He redeemed Israel out of the oppressive slavery in Egypt, He piled up the waters of the Red Sea so His people could cross through it. And when they had made it safely across, He destroyed their enemies by bringing those very waters crashing down on Pharaoh’s army as they pursued them. And at that time, Moses led Israel to praise Yahweh with a very similar song. In Exodus 15:8 he exclaimed, “At the blast of Your nostrils the waters were piled up, the flowing waters stood up like a heap; the deeps were congealed in the heart of the sea. The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; My desire shall be gratified against them; I will draw out my sword, my hand will destroy them.’ You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; They sank like lead in the mighty waters. Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?” They beheld the sovereign omnipotence of Yahweh, and responded in awe-filled worship. 

And then again 40 years later, when Yahweh led Israel across the Jordan River into the promised land, Joshua 3:16 tells us that “the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap,” and the priests of the Lord carried the ark of the covenant into Jericho. 

And all future generations of the people of Israel would look back to these events as reminders of Yahweh’s awful power and gracious lovingkindness poured out on them abundantly. Just think about how many times in Scripture is Yahweh called the one who “brought His people out of the land of Egypt” (Exod 20:2; 29:46; Deut 6:12; 2 Kgs 17:36; Dan 9:15)! This is the premier example of Yahweh’s redemptive faithfulness to Israel! 

Another thing that I think is going on, based on the historical context, is that the psalmist is also creatively extolling the uniqueness of Yahweh’s power. He’s proclaiming Yahweh as the only true God by stepping on the toes of a well-known Babylonian account of creation. In the Epic of Creation, the supreme Babylonian god Marduk was said to have waged war with the goddess Tiamat, who represented the waters of chaos. Eventually he defeated her and created dry land among the seas. But David exalts Yahweh’s creative power to a level greater than that of Marduk. Marduk may have had to do battle with Tiamat until he was able to subdue her, but Yahweh, as one commentator said, is one “whose majesty and power are infinitely more sublime.”[2] There was no battle or struggle for power; Yahweh effortlessly gathers the oceans into storehouses—He simply commands and the whole created order obeys. 

By the sovereign omnipotence of His Word, He is both the Creator and Ruler of the world. He spoke the universe into existence, and does now uphold all things by the word of His power (Heb 1:3). 


II. God’s Supreme Worthiness (vv. 8–9) 

And so the only legitimate response to such sovereign omnipotence is to worship God in reverent fear. And that brings us to our second characteristic. Not only must we worship God in reverent fear because of His sovereign omnipotence, but also because of His supreme worthiness

A God who can create galaxies and planets and plants and animals simply by His spoken command is a God who is supremely worthy to be feared. And so in verses 8 and 9 we read: “Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” 

1. The Call for Reverent Fear (v. 8) 

In verse 8 we see the call for reverent fear. All the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world are called to fear the Lord. A lot of people struggle with understanding what it means to fear God. They have trouble reconciling a delightful, loving, and merciful God with being called to respond fearfully to Him. Does it literally mean to be afraid of God? Does it simply mean to have a healthy reverence for Him? Can there be aspects of both? 

Well, the Hebrew verb yare’ has at least three senses in which it is used. The most literal is the sense of bare terror and being afraid. Adam feared the presence of God in the garden after he had sinned (Gen 3:10). This was not a respectful or worshipful fear. Adam knew he disobeyed God, then heard Him in the garden, and hid himself because he didn’t want God to see him naked. He was afraid. Similarly, this word is used of Israel’s fear of the theophany at Sinai. Moses says in Deuteronomy 5:5 that the people “were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain.” And so there is the sense of literal fear. 

Another sense of yare’ is respect or reverence. This is not literal fear, but it’s also not quite worship. It’s used of reverencing one’s parents (Lev 19:3), revering Yahweh’s sanctuary (19:30), and even Israel’s revering Moses and Joshua as their leaders (Josh 4:14). It’s not that they would be totally afraid of Moses and Joshua. And at the same time they’re not worshiping them. They’re not worshiping the sanctuary. This is a healthy awe, or reverence. 

The final sense of yare’ is the fear that is associated with worship, which was central to the life of the faithful Israelite. Deuteronomy chapter 10, verses 12 and 13, list out the basic requirements of the faithful follower of God. The Lord says, “Now Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the LORD’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?” So there is an aspect of this worshipful fear of the Lord that has to do with love and adoration, and an aspect that has to do with obedience and service. 

Which of these three senses, then, fits in Psalm 33:8? It’s true that in the Psalms, there is a category of people called “the fearers of Yahweh.” They even make an appearance in this psalm, in verse 18: “Behold, the eye of the LORD is on, literally, the fearers of Him. Most translations have, “those who fear Him.” This is a group of worshipers to whom, according to Psalm 25:14, Yahweh has made known His covenant. The fearers of Yahweh fear Him in that third sense of awe and worship. 

But in Psalm 33:8, it’s not merely the covenant community of Israel that is called to stand in awe of Him, but all the earth. And that fear doesn’t come from a covenant relationship, as is the case with the fearers of Yahweh in verse 18. It comes from witnessing God’s mighty acts of creation and dominion, that everyone can see. In fact, back in Exodus 15—where we were earlier reading about the wonders God worked at the Red Sea—Moses goes on to say in verse 16: “Terror and dread fall upon them; By the greatness of Your arm they are motionless as stone; Until Your people pass over, O LORD.” 

In that same context, then, in Psalm 33:8, we have a call for the nations, being as yet God’s enemies, to become terrified of Him. But why does that make sense? How does that fit in a praise psalm? Well, when the people of God witness His enemies falling down before Him in terror and dread, it causes them to worship their God for His worthiness and majesty. He is the kind of God that bows the nations over in fear. And He’s our God! Does that cause you to worship Him? Can you admire God not only for His tender meekness, but for His terrible majesty? There is delight to be had in the character of God for His instilling fear in the nations. 

But! While this terrifying fear is definitely what the psalmist is after, that’s not all he’s after. The fear he’s calling for moves beyond terror and into worship! As I mentioned, the fear associated with worship is also associated with a covenant relationship with God. That’s why you see the term “lovingkindness” used in verse 18. Lovingkindness is an attempt to translate the Hebrew term chesed, which denotes the loyal, covenant faithfulness and love of Yahweh for His chosen people. But you’ll notice that in verse 5, God declares that the whole earth is full of His chesed, through His mighty acts of creation. 

Further, Scripture ascribes both literal fear and joyful worship to God’s people at the same time. In Psalm 119:120, the psalmist can confess that he is afraid of Yahweh’s judgments expressed in His law. He says: “My flesh trembles for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments” (Ps 119:120). But in that same Psalm, he also declares that that very law which causes him to tremble in fear is His delight: “O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day!” “How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Ps 119:97, 103). In fact, back in Exodus 14:31, when God gathered up the waters of the Red Sea to allow Israel to pass through and to destroy the Egyptians behind them, the text says that “When Israel saw the great power which the LORD had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in His servant Moses. Israel’s fear of the Lord led to faith in Him. 

So, we should understand these verses to be a proclamation of the sovereign majesty of God that indeed means to invoke terror in His enemies, but then also calls those enemies to repent, become part of His covenant people, and then worship Him as one of “the fearers of Yahweh.” 

And so if you’re here this morning and you have not come to terms of peace with the Creator and Ruler of the world—the One who speaks and it is done, the One who holds the depths of the oceans in the palm of His hand—be afraid of this God! It is a terrible thing to be His enemy! This is the God that the Scriptures call “a consuming fire” (Heb 12:29)! He is utterly, unspeakably holy. 1 John 1:5 says that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. And you, because of your sin, have offended  this holy God! You have treated His glory lightly. You have worshiped yourself and your own pleasures in the place of this God who alone is worthy of worship. The Sovereign King that you have all your life refused to bow to holds your life in the palm of His hand, just as He holds the oceans. And God’s enemies can only await, as it says in Hebrews 10:27, “a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb 10:31). 

But don’t stop there! Let that fear drive you to forsake your sin and the pursuit of your own glory and fame and recognition. That same Sovereign King that you have offended so grievously sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to live a perfect life—the life you should have lived, but couldn’t live—and to die on the cross as a spotless lamb, a perfect sacrifice for sin. And on that cross, that offended Sovereign King exercised the fullness of His righteous wrath against His innocent Son as a Substitute for sinners, and on the third day He raised Him from the dead to demonstrate that the requirement of His justice was satisfied. And now, because of that perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, this Sovereign King, who was once your enemy, stands ready to forgive everyone who repents of their sin and trusts in the righteousness of Jesus Christ for their acceptance with God. Turn away from yourself. Stop trying to be the Lord of your life, and submit yourself to reverently worship and serve this most glorious King. 

1. The Reason for Reverent Fear (v. 9) 

Such is the psalmist’s call to reverent fear. But he also displays God’s supreme worthiness by reiterating the reason for this reverent fear in verse 9: “For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” He can’t get away from it! He can’t get over it! This God of ours spoke, and it was done. He commanded, and it stood fast. 

The original Hebrew here repeats the personal pronoun “He,” when it’s not even grammatically necessary to use it once. The psalmist is emphasizing the uniqueness of Yahweh. He spoke, and it was done; He—and no one else—commanded, and it stood fast. He is contrasting the Lord God with anyone or anything else that might vie for the title of Creator. Dr. William Fezler, Creflo Dollar, and the Babylonian idol Marduk notwithstanding, God and God alone is the One who speaks and it comes to pass.

  • He and He alone is the One who commands nothingness to become something, and, as it were, have it obediently stand at attention and await further instruction.
  • He is the majestic Creator of all the wondrous works of creation that we behold and enjoy.
  • And so He is the only one to whom our worship is due. He alone creates, and so He alone is worthy of worship. That connection is clear in Scripture. Psalm 96:4: “For great is Yahweh and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.” Why? “For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But Yahweh made the heavens.” Revelation 4:11: “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power.” Why is He worthy of glory and honor and power? “…forbecause—You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” 


Just like the people the psalmist is writing to, we too are the people of God. And we too must fix our eyes on the glory of His sovereign omnipotence and His supreme worthiness, and overflow in praise and worship in response. And that first response should be a fear that causes us to forsake our sin afresh and commit our lives to following Him, in holiness and integrity. And then that fear should move to delightful worship, for this sovereign, Almighty God, is our God. He is not just a terrible, awe-inspiring deity. He is yours by a relationship with Jesus Christ. … 

… Precisely because, in His abundant, matchless grace, the creative power of His Word didn’t stop with creation. In 2 Corinthians 4:4 Paul tells us that the problem with the entire human race is that their minds are blinded to the glory of Christ. But then in verse 6 he says, “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”—Jesus Christ, whom He sent to live a perfect life, fulfilling the righteous requirement of the law (Rom 8:3–4), and to die on the cross to pay the penalty of our sin, and to rise again three days later for our righteousness before God (cf. Rom 4:25). 

The God who calls nothingness into existence has done that very same thing in our dark, blind hearts. He announced, “Let there be light!” and an 800,000-mile-wide burning star that has sustained the lives of billions of people for thousands of years on a planet 93 million miles away just leapt into existence. And just as sovereignly, with that same amazing wealth of power, He commanded, “Let the glory of Jesus Christ shine as an irresistible beauty”[3] in your heart! And it did! 

And then we, who were by nature blind to the glory of Jesus, could finally see. And because you could finally see Him, He became so sweet to you. For that first time, when you finally saw Him as He was, you loved Him! You couldn’t resist Him! And then the allure of all the pleasures of sin and the world couldn’t hold a candle to the glory of Jesus and a life of following Him. And so you forsook your sin and embraced Christ with the glad, open arms of faith, and you were saved. 

Israel could look back to their redemption from Egypt, accomplished supremely by their God gathering the seas together as a heap and leading them across the Red Sea, and know without a shadow of a doubt that their God was faithful. Well in that very same way, we as the Church can look back to our redemption from sin, accomplished by Christ in His death on the cross, marvel at His power displayed in destroying the works of Satan, and rest in unshakable confidence in the faithfulness of our God. 

He is that powerful. He is that glorious. The God who speaks worlds into existence and creates spiritual life in the deadest of hearts is your God. And the word of His promise is as sure as His word that commands galaxies to come into being. 

And if you knew that when you were saved, and you trusted Him with your life then, you can trust Him with your life today. And tomorrow. And the next day. And every day until He comes, or calls you home. 

And until that day we can pray as the psalmist does down in verse 19: “Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart rejoices in Him, because we trust in His holy name. Let Your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us; according as we have hoped in You.” 

[1] Goldingay, Psalms 1–41,  467.

[2] Weiser, The Psalms, 291-92.

[3] Piper, A God-Entranced Vision of All Things, 263.