Read Psalm 19
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure,
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
From the broad, general revelation found in His creation to the detailed, specific presentation of His Word, God has made Himself known to mankind. And how beautifully He has done this! If we were to close our eyes, we could recall a moment when His creation has caused us to hold our breath. Maybe a colorful sunrise or sunset. It could have been the twinkling of faraway stars in the vast darkness of night or simply the realization that not once has there been a day when the sun failed to make its journey across the sky. All of these things are good and should cause us to worship this awesome Creator, but God doesn’t stop there. He has given us His perfect Word.
In Psalm 19 David uses several different words to refer to the holy Scriptures. He calls it the law, testimony, statues, commandment and judgements. In our rebellious flesh we may read those words and feel bound or constricted but in reality, the exact opposite is true. Scriptures reveal to us the truth that Jesus did not come to condemn the world but to save it. In John 8:31 Jesus says, “If you hold to my teaching, you are truly my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Just as the sun provides energy for life, God’s Word–lived in and believed in–brings life to all who will receive it.
Who better to encourage us in the purity and perfection of Scriptures than David himself? David experienced first-hand that the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. We can read about him rising from a humble shepherd boy to one of Israel’s greatest kings. Surely, he knew that the law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. He reveled in fruitful living while abiding in the Word of God and he had tasted destruction in his own life living apart from it.* For the believer, one of the greatest benefits of the law is its revelation of the Law-Giver. It teaches us what pleases Him. R.C. Sproul states, “The law drives us to the Gospel. The Gospel saves us from the curse of the law but in turn directs us back to the law to search its spirit, its goodness and its beauty.” For those of us who find ourselves sinful, broken or incomplete, the testimony of the Lord can be our light and hope of glory.
*Editor’s Note: This summer we’ll be reading all about the life (both the highs and lows) of David in 1 & 2 Samuel. Stay tuned!
- David speaks highly of God’s Scriptures in this psalm. What words would you use if you were to write out a list describing what God’s Word means to you?
- This psalm highlights God’s instructions as something to delight in, more desirable than riches. Is this reflective of your heart? What, if anything, do you delight in more than God’s Word?
- How can you cultivate a greater delight for God’s Word in your life?
By the way
David was not alone in his call to know and delight in God’s Word. Check out these verses where Jesus encourages to love the perfect Word of God:
- Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them. John 14:21
- Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. John 14:23
- If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. John 15:10
- In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3
2 thoughts on “Psalm 19”
The Psalms have taken me back to my childhood where I see early on God using his Word to shape my life. My maternal grandmother read aloud a Psalm morning and night, and when visiting her I was captivated by this. My parents also gathered our family each evening for family devotions. Growing up in the Texas hill country on a farm/ranch provided many rich experiences in nature. Planting gardens/fields and watching the plants grow and produce beautiful crops, seeing the birth of baby calves, observing the landscape come alive in spring with beautiful wildflowers, seeing deer, raccoons, fox, & birds all around me, and watching storm clouds roll in to bring much needed rain instilled in me awe and love for the Creator. I would glance around at the sheer beauty and say “only God could do this.” Creation showcased the Creator and his glory, and I never felt more connected to him than taking a walk through the pasture. But as wonderful as all of this is, my greatest treasure is his Word. I want to receive truth and live it out as my great reward. I want his instruction to revive my soul and chart my course. It’s a privilege to participate in the BRP!
I have a note in my Bible that C. S. Lewis said that this is the greatest poem in the Bible.