- A psalm of David. For the music leader.1
The sky’s message about God
- 1 The sky displays the splendor of God.
Its sprawling canvas testifies of his power.
- 2 The sky speaks to us every day.
The sky teaches us every night.
- 3 There are no words, as we understand them.
There is no voice we can hear.
- 4 Yet the message reaches everywhere.
It carries to the end of the earth.
This huge sky is the tent home of the sun.2
- 5 The sun comes out glowing,
like a new groom stepping out of his bedroom,
And like a runner eager to race.
- 6 The sun rises on one side of the sky
And it sets on the other.
All the earth feels its heat.
The LORD does it right
- 7 The LORD’s laws are perfect.
They put life into a soul.
The LORD’s words are reliable.
They put intelligence into a head.
- 8 The LORD’s teachings are right on target,
They make a person happier in life.
The LORD’s rules are pure goodness.
They help people understand life better.
- 9 Respect for the LORD is righteous,
And that’s guaranteed forever.
His judgment calls get it right.
They’re always good, and nothing but.
- 10 God’s laws are worth more than gold.
More than the purest gold of all.
They’re sweeter than honey
Dripping deliciously from the honeycomb.
- 11 These laws are a warning to your people.
There’s sweet reward for those who obey.
- 12 Who can see their own faults?
So, forgive me for sins I didn’t realize were sins.
- 13 Also, steer me away from sins I recognize.
Don’t give them the power to control me.
I want to live in innocence,
And have nothing to do with terrible sins.
- 14 These are my words.
These are my thoughts.
I hope they’re okay with you.
LORD, you are my rock and my savior.
The subtitle wasn’t part of the original psalm. And the possible byline “of David,” isn’t necessarily a byline. The vague phrase could mean the song was written by David, about David, or was inspired by David. Almost half of the psalms are attributed to David in this way, 73 of 150. Ancient Jewish history tells of David playing a lyre and writing songs. For one, he wrote a song of mourning at the battlefield death of King Saul and his sons: “How have the mighty fallen!” (2 Samuel 1:19-27 New American Standard Bible). An ancient Jewish scroll from about the time of Jesus, discovered among the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, reports that David wrote 3,600 songs.
The metaphor suggests the sun rests in its tent at night and travels the sky in the daytime. When the sun comes out in the morning, it’s as glorious as a new groom or an athlete eager to race (19:5).