Signal Fires: A Meditation on Psalm 19:1-4


Photo furnished by NASA.

The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.  Psalm 19:1-4, ESV Bible

Like noble signal fires on lofty mountaintops

silhouetted against velvet night

the stars shout out Your glory.

Above the frenzied clamor of earth

they guard the pages of unfolding history,

bearing silent, sacred witness to humanity’s entangled story.


They were there at the beginning when Adam,

surveying his pristine domain,

lifted his face to contemplate their wordless beauty,

and human eyes beheld the vastness of their heavenly expanse

for the very first time.


And when, with innocent delight,

Ishshah* first gazed upward

to laugh with pleasure at their twinkling light,

they playfully embraced her,

their tender glow diffusing across her silken face.


They watched silently,

somberly signalling their consternation one to another

across endless space and time,

as humanity departed the garden of its innocence

and the heavens reverberated with God’s harrowing cries.


They trembled in wonder as Moses,

trembling with them,

laden with humanity’s weight,

ascended a desolate mountain


and entered its smoky darkness

to mediate for his fallen race.


Uniting with angel song they burst forth

in unimpeded celebration,

piercing the night with pulsating radiance,

harmoniously heralding to a sleeping oblivious world

the incarnation of its newborn King.


And then, holding their light hidden,

with all creation breathless,

they gazed from deepest darkness

as that same King surrendered life and breath

to rescue Adam’s children.


And still they hold their posts,

these faithful fiery beacons,

pirouetting their timeless, lustrous ballet of light

leaping blithely through galaxies untamed,

choreographed by You,

Who alone knows their number

and calls them each by name.


Blazing brightly upon cloudless heavenly peaks

amid streams of infinite brilliance

each trumpets Your glory to another,

echoing Your excellence in a vivid celestial display,

one uninterrupted broadcast across eternity’s distance:


“God IS, and He is good”


*Ishshah is the Hebrew word for woman, Genesis 2:23

© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2016. All rights reserved.

Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included.     To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.

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