As I was contemplating what to share with you, I found myself thinking about one of my favorite psalms—Psalm 19. As the world continues to grow darker with the spread of evil and rejection of God and His word, I believe the message of this psalm is one worth hiding in our hearts.
Psalm 19:1–3 “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.”
The heavens sparkle in declaration of the magnificent glory of God. From sunset to sunset, the heavens shout of His majesty and the knowledge that HE IS. The word for knowledge includes more than just knowing facts; it includes the power to instruct, to make known, and to give understanding. In reference to verse one, the instruction and revelation being given is about Almighty God. Whereas we humans communicate through the language of words, the Almighty can reveal Himself to us by the wonder, majesty and amazing design of His creation. God declares Himself through His creation in a way that can be understood by everyone.
In my study of Genesis I ran across an article by Wayne Walter in which he made a beautiful observation concerning God’s placement of the sun, moon and stars.
Genesis 1:16–17 “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth….”
“The Hebrew word for set means enhance, show off as a jeweler might magnify the brilliance of his diamond by placing it in a case of black velvet. The firmament surrounding the earth enhanced the beauty of the luminaries even as a magnifying glass.”
Psalm 19:4–6 “Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.”
The word for line includes the idea of being measured and connected. I think David is saying that the heavens have been designed with purpose for the good of planet earth and its inhabitants. The dominant body of the heavens is the sun, and it rises in the morning with a brilliance that David compares to the joy reflected in the face of a bridegroom on his wedding day and to a runner who is strong and confident in his ability to win the race. The rising and setting of the sun are continual and dependable from day to day, and all of planet earth is affected by its light and heat.
Psalm 19:7 “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.”
As David contemplates the heavens and how they are a reflection of the wisdom and design of their Creator, he automatically makes a jump to the wisdom and dependability of God’s purposes for man. God gives us His law, His commandments, for a purpose—to bring man back into fellowship with Him. Everything contained in the law represents truth. The Hebrew for the word sure included the idea of a parent nurturing and building up a child. God’s word is meant to nurture us and build us up to be wise in mind, word, and action—a people who are no longer deceived by the enemy and slaves to our sin nature.
Psalm 19:8 “The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.”
The word of God provides guidelines for living that are right and just; they are intended to bring us joy and pleasure. God isn’t sitting up in the heavens trying to think of ways to make our life miserable; He takes pleasure in our happiness. His commands are meant to protect us and enrich our enjoyment of life. Every command of God is intended for our well-being and to bring a shine of joy to our eyes.
Psalm 19:9 “The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.”
The fear of the Lord is reflected in our attitude and actions; the reveal whether or not we recognize God for Who He Is—all-powerful, seeing everything, knowing everything, worthy of our praise and worship. When we fear the Lord, we will choose to be morally clean and pure in our thoughts, words, and deeds—a mindset that will extend into eternity.
Every decree or judgment of God is certain, trustworthy, and morally right.
Psalm 19:10–11 “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.”
David is saying that we should desire to know God’s word and live by His laws more than we desire earthly treasure or delights. Why? Because they provide enlightenment and teaching and result in great reward from God. This implies a reward of greater treasure and greater delight than those available to us now on planet earth.
Psalm 19:12–13 “Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.”
As David continues to meditate, his thoughts turn back to himself. He doesn’t want his life to be full of mistakes. He wants God to forgive him and wash him clean from the sins in his life of which he is ignorant—or maybe this is a reference to sins that he has tried to hide from everyone else, but he knows that they are not hidden from God. David also recognizes that he needs God’s help to keep him from sins rooted in pride; pride is a powerful influence in our lives. He doesn’t want pride to rule his choices and actions. With God’s enablement David knows that he can live a life that is pleasing to God—a life that is free of rebellion and sinful practices.
Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”
David closes by expressing a desire for the words of his mouth and the meditation or thoughts of his heart to delight and bring pleasure to God. David claims YHWH, the God of Israel, as his strength and his redeemer or deliverer.
I can’t help but think of the words of an old hymn:
O Lord my god! When I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy hands have made. I see the stars; I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee; How great Thou art, how great Thou art! Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee; How great Thou art! How great Thou art! --Carl Boberg