Question: "What does it mean that the heavens declare the glory of God?"
Answer: Psalm 19:1 states, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.” This is one of the clearest biblical statements that nature itself is meant to show the greatness of God. These words are in the present tense. That is, the heavens “are declaring,” and the sky “is proclaiming” the creative work of God. It’s a continual display. What we see in nature is meant to constantly show us that God exists and tell us how amazing a Creator He truly is.
One of the strongest arguments in favor of the existence of God is the teleological argument, or the “argument from design.” This approach claims that observations of design in nature are best explained by a deliberate, intelligent act of creation rather than by randomness or luck. The conveyance of information is a key aspect of this. Information is always seen as the product of intelligence. Some patterns are complex but random. Others may be well-defined but carry no information. But whenever we see a specific, complex arrangement that displays information, we recognize that it was the work of a mind, not mere chance.
Psalm 19:1 connects this idea to Scripture. The more we learn about the universe, the more clearly we can see the work of God. A perfect example of this is modern “Big Bang” cosmology. Prior to this theory, scientists and atheists assumed that the universe was eternal. The combination of Einstein’s theories and advances in physics made it clear that, in fact, the universe did have a “beginning.” At first, this idea was rejected by scientists as being theology, not science. Over time, however, it became impossible to deny. The fact that the universe “began” is something we can see purely by observing the heavens and the sky—just as Psalm 19:1 says.
Romans 1 also ties into this idea. God has revealed enough of Himself in nature that nobody has an excuse for rejecting Him or for doing what is wrong. “Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities . . . have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made” (Romans 1:20). The heavens declare the glory of God.
Because “the heavens declare the glory of God,” we can be confident in using science to explore. The more we know about the world around us, the more glory we give to God. The more we discover, the more evidence we have that He is the One responsible for nature and its laws. A person needs the Bible and personal faith in Christ in order to have a proper relationship with God. However, a person needs only to look honestly at the world around him in order to realize that God exists.