“He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.” vss. 3-4
Deism and theism are often held up as two contrasting ways to understand the existence of God. From a deistic perspective God is the creator of the universe, the first cause of all things, but not the source of inspiration or revelation. It’s a mechanistic rational approach to existence…God never intervenes and there are logical explanations for all mysteries. Deism came of age during the enlightenment and was the religion of many of our country’s founders. A theist on the other hand would argue that God not only brought all things into existence but retains an integral and sustaining connection to them. God is intimately and inextricably related to even the most insignificant parts of all that exists. God answers prayers!
The psalmist brings those two ideas together as he offers praise and thanksgiving to the God he knows so well. For him, quite obviously, God brings healing to the brokenhearted and gives sanctuary to the outcasts. But God is also the awesome creator, the one who numbers the stars and gives them their names. It’s as we blend these two notions in our daily devotion that we can begin to imagine the amazing presence of God in the universe. The one who knows the pains of our hearts is also the designer of the most distant supernovae. O God, our God, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Thought for the day: Am I more of a deist or a theist?