Summary Psalm 19:
The heavens and skies proclaim God’s existence and His glory. God’s laws are perfect, his commands radiant, his statutes trustworthy. Keeping God’s laws is rewarding. May I follow God’s laws. May my words and heart be pleasing to you, God.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 11, Day 4: Psalm 19:
9) All attributes of God are revealed through Creation: his goodness, his perfectness, his omniscience, his omnipotence, his holiness, his justness, his everything.
10) Part personal Question. My answer: Perfect, radiant, right, giving joy to the heart, reviving the soul, trustworthy, making wise simple, giving light to the eyes, sure, altogether righteous, more precious than gold, sweeter than honey, great reward when kept. David said this much more eloquently than I ever could, but I love God’s rules. It gives life structure, meaning, and boundaries. God’s laws are good as He is good.
11) Part personal Question. My answer: Studying God’s Word according to David revives the soul, makes wise the simple, gives joy to the heart, gives light to the eyes, sweeter than honey, warns the servant (us), and rewards us. Studying God’s Word has kept me from totally being full of sin. My knowledge has deepened, my relationship with God is closer, and I grow more and more like Jesus with each passing day. I have hope I can someday be a good person.
Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 11, Day 4: Psalm 19:
Beautiful in its simplicity, God’s law gives us a reason to live and God’s Creation affirms his glory and power.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 11, Day 4: Psalm 19:
The title tells us both the author and the audience of the Psalm: To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. Some believe that the Chief Musician is the Lord God Himself, and others suppose him to be a leader of choirs or musicians in David’s time, such as Heman the Singer or Asaph (1 Chronicles 6:33, 16:17, and 25:6).
C.S. Lewis said of Psalm 19: “I take this to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.”
Aristotle said, “Should a man live underground, and there converse with the works of art and mechanism, and should afterwards be brought up into the open day, and see the several glories of the heaven and earth, he would immediately pronounce them the works of such a Being as we define God to be.”
Astronomer and physicist Robert Jastrow, “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
Paul later clarifies David’s sentiments in Psalm 19 in Romans 1. Paul explaines God’s invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:20). Because this testimony had gone out through all creation, all men are without excuse for rejecting the God who gave us such clear (and beautiful) evidence of His power and wisdom.
God’s Glory announced in Creation
- Goodness and kindness
“Pour forth speech” is stronger in the Hebrew text than it appears to be in English, for the image is literally of a gushing spring that copiously pours forth sweet, refreshing waters of revelation.
The heavens never cease declaring and proclaiming God’s majesty and glory.
Verse 7 has David shifting from praising the God who reveals Himself in creation to praising the same God for revealing Himself in His word.
Philosopher Kant’s famous quote: Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe… the starry heavens above and the moral law within.”
God’s word tells us much more tells us about God than Creation. It reveals Him as the covenant God of love, as reflected in the structure of this psalm. In Psalm 19:1-6, God is referred to as El – the most generic word for God in the Hebrew language (even more generic than the commonly used Elohim). Yet here at Psalm 119:7-9, God is referred to as Yahweh (the LORD), the God of covenant love and faithfulness to His people. This is the personal name God revealed to Moses from the burning bush (Exodus 3:15).
In Psalm 119, David used a variety of expressions to refer to the word of God (law, testimony, statutes, commandment, fear, judgements.)
How is God’s Word perfect?
- The word gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). While it does not give us all knowledge, all the knowledge it gives is true and perfect. Understood in its literary context, God’s word is never wrong in science or history or the understanding of either divine or human nature.
- Part of the perfection of God’s word is that it is effective; it does the work of converting the soul. There is power in the reading, hearing, and studying the word of God that goes beyond intellectual benefit.
The Hebrew word translated here as converting is perhaps better understood as reviving; that is, bringing new life to the soul.
How is God’s Word simple?
- The word of God is sure, being reliable and certain. As the Psalmist would write at Psalm 119:89, Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.
- Because God’s Word is so sure and certain, it does the work of making wise the simple. Many people of simple education or upbringing have tremendous wisdom unto life and godliness because they study and trust the sure word of the LORD.
How is God’s Word right?
- God’s word and the commands are right. They are morally right, practically right, and universally right. They are right because it is the revelation of a God who is holy, true, and always right.
- Right means to make straight, smooth, right, upright.
How is God’s Word pure?
- God’s word comes from a God who is Himself pure and holy. A pure God can communicate no other way. We never have to worry about the word of God leading people into sin or impurity; if it seems to have happened, it is evidence that the scriptures have been twisted (2 Peter 3:16).
How is God’s Word clean?
- The word of God is clean, and therefore is enduring forever. It will never fade or corrode, diminishing because of impurity. It is clean and it makes us clean.
Here David called the word of God the “fear of the Lord.” One who reads, hears, and studies the word of God will have an appropriate appreciation of God’s awe and majesty.
IMPORTANT FACTS TO REMEMBER ABOUT KING DAVID:
- Remember King David wrote this with only a fraction of what we have today as the word of God; and by most accounts his portion was not as glorious as the complete revelation of God. David would have had the first five books of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy); Joshua, Judges, a few Psalms, and perhaps Job and Ruth. We can only imagine what King David would have written about Isaiah or Hosea or the entire Psalter; much less any of the books of the New Testament. We can say with confidence that God’s word is far more glorious than King David knew!
- King David was a massively wealthy man, yet he is rarely known for his riches. He is much more known for his great heart towards God. His son Solomon was even more wealthy than David, and was known for his riches – yet not nearly as much for his heart towards God and his love of God’s word.
Why is the Word of God greater than material wealth?
- God’s Word gives instruction (warning) to use for sins and dangers we cannot see, but God does.
- God’s word gives benefit (reward).
Obeying God’s Word brings peace of mind and an unburdened conscious.
We all make errors before God; a lot of which we cannot see ourselves.
What are willful sins?
- Sins we commit when we know better.
- Sins we commit when friends have warned us.
- Sins we commit when God Himself has warned us.
- Sins we commit when we have warned others against the same sins.
- Sins we commit when we plan and relish our sin.
The Progression of Willful Sin:
- Chosen thought
- Object of meditation
- Wished-for fulfillment
- Planned action
- Opportunity to perform action
- Committing of the sin
- Repeated action of sin
- Delight in sin
- Becomes a habit
- Becomes an idol
- Demands sacrifices
- We become a slave to that sin.
During this whole time, the Holy Spirit – and hopefully our conscience – warns us to stop. We are given the way of escape by God (1 Corinthians 10:13), if we will only take it. Yet if we do not, and end up in slavery to sin, it legitimately questions the state of our soul (1 John 3:6-9).
Note the man after God’s own heart prayed this. Think of how much then we need to pray this. If we do, as Paul wrote, For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law, but under grace (Romans 6:14).
David closed this glorious Psalm with a humble surrender of his mouth and heart to God. He knew that real godliness was not only a matter of what a man did, but also of what he said and thought in his heart.
Redeemer is that great Hebrew word goel, the kinsman-redeemer. It was the goel who bought his relative out of slavery; who rescued him in bankruptcy and total loss. It was Boaz in the book of Ruth. King David looked to God Himself as his kinsman-redeemer.
Take away from Psalm 19:
Recognizing the glory of God in creation and the glory of His written revelation, David knew himself to be small and sinful. Yet this great God was also the glorious God of personal relationship and redemption for His people. King David knew this; so should we.