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Romans 10:18

Romans 10:18
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Romans 10:18, “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”

When faced with the question of whether the refusal to believe in Jesus as Lord is due to a lack of hearing the word about the Christ, Paul responds that it is certainly not due to a lack of hearing, and to substantiate this claim, he cites Psalm 19:4 about the word of the heaven’s declaration of the glory of God that has filled every corner of creation. What is Paul’s rationale here?


He seems to be applying Psalm 19:4 to the Apostolic preaching of Christ which has—like the wordless voice of creation—filled “all the world.”  But if that is so, why choose Psalm 19:4? Why go to Scripture at all? Why not just say, “…we have filled the world with the preaching of the Gospel”? I think part of the answer must be that Paul understood the Apostolic preaching of the crucified and risen Jesus to be analogous to the Celestial preaching of the glory of God recounted in Ps.19….Indeed, Paul recognized that the content of the two proclamations was the same, since the glory of God proclaimed by the heavens is the same glory that appears now—with definitive concentration—in the face of the crucified and risen Jesus whom Paul proclaims as Lord (2 Cor.4:5-6).


Paul realized that the Apostolic preaching put specific words to the wordless voices of the Sun, Moon, and Stars….What creation has been heralding without words since the beginning, the Apostolic preaching of the cross now proclaims in intelligible language. The Gospel is the authoritative translation of sunrise and sunset, and of the moon’s light, and of the corn’s growth, and of the rain and the snow and the light and the wind….it is the transposition of the song of the stars into the register of human words….it is the concentration into spoken language of all that the morning mists and evening shadows and singing birds and rushing rivers and stoic mountains and light-washed trees and towering clouds have been saying in the wordless voice of imaged mystery since the beginning of time.


In a manner analogous to the incarnation itself, the declared word about Christ in the Gospel gathers the majesty of Creation’s witness into a single, specific form that “dwells among us” and can be received by us. Just as the “Word became flesh,” so—in the word about that Word—the wordless song of the Cosmos finds articulation.


When ministers faithfully speak the word of the crucified Jesus who is raised up again and is revealed as Lord and Christ, they are translating the voice of nature….They are speaking for the Sun and the Moon and the Stars….They are saying what the trees long to say….They are giving human words to the witness of the morning and the evening, to the majesty of the mountains and the splendor of the valleys and the mystery of the oceans…..And in this way they are helping to bring all of Creation to its appointed consummation (and final actualization) as a unified witness to—a harmonized symphony of—the Beauty of God as manifest in the crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ.