1 The LORD, the God of gods, has spoken; *
he has called the earth from the rising of the sun to
2 Out of Zion, perfect in its beauty, *
God reveals himself in glory.
3 Our God will come and will not keep silence; *
before him there is a consuming flame,
and round about him a raging storm.
4 He calls the heavens and the earth from above *
to witness the judgment of his people.
5 “Gather before me my loyal followers, *
those who have made a covenant with me
and sealed it with sacrifice.”
6 Let the heavens declare the rightness of his cause; *
for God himself is judge.
7 Hear, O my people, and I will speak:
“O Israel, I will bear witness against you; *
for I am God, your God.
8 I do not accuse you because of your sacrifices; *
your offerings are always before me.
9 I will take no bull-calf from your stalls, *
nor he-goats out of your pens;
10 For all the beasts of the forest are mine, *
the herds in their thousands upon the hills.
11 I know every bird in the sky, *
and the creatures of the fields are in my sight.
12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you, *
for the whole world is mine and all that is in it.
13 Do you think I eat the flesh of bulls, *
or drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving *
and make good your vows to the Most High.
15 Call upon me in the day of trouble; *
I will deliver you, and you shall honor me.”
16 But to the wicked God says: *
Why do you recite my statutes,
and take my covenant upon your lips;
17 Since you refuse discipline, *
and toss my words behind your back?
18 When you see a thief, you make him your friend, *
and you cast in your lot with adulterers.
19 You have loosed your lips for evil, *
and harnessed your tongue to a lie.
20 You are always speaking evil of your brother *
and slandering your own mother’s son.
21 These things you have done, and I kept still, *
and you thought that I am like you.”
22 “I have made my accusation; *
I have put my case in order before your eyes.
23 Consider this well, you who forget God, *
lest I rend you and there be none to deliver you.
24 Whoever offers me the sacrifice of thanksgiving
honors me; *
but to those who keep in my way will I show
the salvation of God.”
A Prayer for Knowledge of God’s Creation
Almighty and everlasting God, you made the universe with all its marvelous order, its atoms, worlds, and galaxies, and the infinite complexity of living creatures: Grant that, as we probe the mysteries of your creation, we may come to know you more truly, and more surely fulfill our role in your eternal purpose; in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Image Credit: Birds and Flowers of the Four Seasons, late 16th century
Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Open Access Collection – https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/44523