I was very inspired today by Psalm 19. I feel led by the Spirit to write about it, so I am going to obey. Psalm 19 is all about God’s revelation of Himself through His natural creation and through His Word, the Scriptures.
It begins by proclaiming, “The heavens declare the glory of God!” The first 6 verses are all about how the sun, the moon and the stars are constantly “talking” through all the earth (v. 4). As is stated “There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world” (vv. 3-4).
This is what Paul was talking about in Romans 1:20 when he said “they are without excuse.” He was saying that since “the heavens declare the glory of God,” that all men have no excuse for not knowing Him or seeking Him. Paul adds to this thought in Romans 2:15-16: “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.”
So what David and Paul are saying is that God’s creation and His law both declare His glory and goodness, as we will see as we continue. Verses 7-11 talk about the Scripture in many different ways. It refers to Scripture as the “law of the Lord” and says that it is perfect. It is a “testimony” that is sure, “precepts” that are right, a “commandment” that is pure and “rules” or just decrees that are true.
Verse 9 tells us that “the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.” What brings about fear of the Lord? His creation (vv. 1-6) and His Word (vv. 7-11). Many people see the Scriptures as burdensome and full of rules. Of course it will appear this way to those who do not know God and do not understand that His “yoke is easy and [His] burden is light (Matt. 11:30). But really, the Word of God, or just decrees or whatever you want to call them are “more to be desired…than…even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey” (v. 10). These are the words that show us the Way to eternal life with the perfect Creator of the universe who is all good, and in whom “there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
Even better, they are the words that help us know our Creator better when we humbly seek Him and ask Him to daily teach us from His Word and when we humbly depend upon Him to help us to be disciplined unto a life of holiness. We know from His Word that only He can give us the enabling to love Him and seek Him with our whole heart. It is a humbling truth. Will we mess up? Most certainly, for we still live in a fallen world and we still have the flesh to contend with. That’s why it’s called the discipline of grace.
Lest anyone misunderstand me, I do not worship the Scriptures nor do I believe that they are a fourth person of the Trinity as some may suggest. I believe that Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse put it quite well. He said: “…as it is the Word of God it is identical with God. Do not misunderstand; we do not worship the Bible. We KNOW that there is no value whatsoever in the leather binding, or in the paper, or in the ink that is impressed on the paper. The value is in the heart of the message. And that message comes from God, and as you cannot separate a man’s word from the man, so you cannot separate the Word of God from God.”
The Psalm ends with a prayer. Part of this prayer is similar to the Lord’s prayer, and ends with praise to God. This should be our daily prayer to God! “Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! (Deliver us from the evil one) Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.” And the great part, verse 14: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart (my thoughts) be acceptable in your sight, oh Lord, my rock and my redeemer!” Let that be our prayer!