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Psalm 19:7-12 The Word of God is part 3/3 of Journeying Closer to God With a Study in Imagery and is a Biblical exposition of Psalm 19:7-12. Many ways God's Word impacts our lives is taught.
These two sections are like curtains pulled back beckoning us to step forward to explore what is hidden, disguised or just plain ignored.
It is suggested that these Project Explore! sections are done before the extensive readings where the answers will normally be found.
Let's also begin this section with an exploration of what images David used to convey His thoughts. Read Psalm 19:7-12 and share what various imageries are used. Again explain:
(1) The image (symbol)
(2) What the image represents
(3) Explain why this image is helpful or appropriateThe subject shifts from what God has made to what the Lord has spoken, starting in verse 7. We notice this by the use of Yahweh (LORD 19:7) rather than God (19:1). Similar to Genesis 2, LORD is not used until later when relationship with mankind is inferred. Up to this point, God was spoken of in His Majesty. Verse 7, however, refers to God's communion with mankind. Let us look at these phrase by phrase less we miss some important function of the Word of God to our soul.
7 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether. 10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. 11 Moreover, by them Thy servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward. 12 Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.
Let us look at these phrase by phrase less we miss some important function of the Word of God to our soul. Try first exploring 7-9 by following the project below!
Explore the meaning of each phrase of the following verses (Psalm 19-12) on your own! Try to understand each phrase by making your own paraphrase. They often have a cause and effect relationship (because of this, that happens). Each phrase will be stated below with room for your paraphrase. Think through it until you have one or more possibilities.
Your personal paraphrase: "Since the Lord's law is so whole, it purposes to renew and revive my life by straightening out my relationship with Him and others through Christ.
What is being taught? God shows the supreme purpose of His law to revive His people back to how they were before the fall of man - special harmony and peace before God.Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul.
The law of Yahweh (the Torah, the truth) is complete and perfect. It specially enters the soul and restores it. Since it is whole, it reveals the places which lacks the fullness that ought to be there.
It bears witness of the greater light and by the Spirit brings the soul to open up and desire this wholeness. I treasure how the Lord is so able and willing to penetrate the hardness of my soul which in turn leads to a revival of my soul. If we are to grow closer to God, we must not fear the decrepit image of our soul. He convicts so that He might heal and restore. "He restores my soul" (Psalm 23:3).
All we need is for the Yahweh to speak, and He brings great insight into our lives. How many times had I been overwhelmed by fear, troubles, anxieties, that the Lord spoke forth from His Word and brought that "peace that passes all understanding" (Philippians 4:7). Where I was ignorant, God brought insight. I was confused but through His faithful Word makes me wise so I can make good decisions.
God's Word is always right (literally 'straight'). There is no ambiguity, no compromise, no hidden small print. God is always leading us to fully rejoice in Him. Does this mean that God does not take us through hard times? No, but whenever He leads us through difficult times, He is bringing us into a more abundant place. Think of how He led Abraham up Mt. Moriah. The Lord never tempts but only leads to greener pastures.
Purity is speckless, consistent, concentrative and powerful much like a laser beam of light. The word of the Lord is pure because it reflects with great intensity and vivacity the person and will of the Holy One. "And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5).
The purifying aspect of the Lord's Word becomes beautiful because it reveals all the corruptions of my life. Most important is my immediate response to listen to God's Word and beckon His Word to enter and shape my life. Without His Word my mind is darkened and sullied. Notice the difference between God's Words and man's, "Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge?" (Job 38:2).
Although not technically a description of God's Word, the context seems to force us to understand the fear of the LORD as that which comes from God's Word. This would be consistent with the way these three verses (19:7-9) amplify the power and effect of God's Word. Most of us would not first associate the fear of the Lord with being 'clean,' but with a little thought, it makes much sense.
My son got a severe cut on his leg when he stumbled on some glass. He is continuing to put the purifying agents on it to keep it from an infection. The fear of God keeps us from doing wrong. By instigating a fear of the consequences of wrong, we are protected from those situations where we would actually do wrong. The fear of the Lord continues to bring about a special spiritual force that keeps us from the delusions of the evil one and thus keeps right on functioning as needed.
God's insights and decisions are always good and trustworthy. They are true. There is no question about it being the most righteous thing to do. Satan instigates doubts about God's person and works. God, however, does not possess a 'grey' side where imperfect judgment is allowed. Nor does He devilishly work His way about. He might not speak, but when He does, it is good, perfect and completely trustworthy.
Whenever we might doubt the integrity of the Lord, we should instantly confess our foolish assault on God. He and His Word are always just and right. We are the crooked ones weaving in and out of darkness. Never doubt His Word. That is our standard, our point of hope and salvation. We have no other. Altogether, we find that they perfectly convey God's holy and right character.
10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Psalm 19:10-12 maintain the same focus as the former three verses (7-9), but they shift the way it expresses itself. 7-9 clearly enunciated synonyms of the Word of God. Here starting in 19:10 David begins to simply use 'they' to describe the word of God (was he only thinking of the written scriptures?). The description of the power of God's word in one's life continues.
The word of God is like gold, even the most finest gold because it is a most desirable item. One gathers what is beautiful, pure and valuable. Perhaps as a summary of the statements above, David describes his great longing for God's Word. There are many kinds of material, but gold is the one he desires to collect. And so it was with the Word of God.
The Word of God is not just desirable but delectable. It is sweet and ever so delightful. It is compared to the honey and drippings of honeycomb. We are physically gratified with honey's sweet richness. And so the Word of God has moved in David in a similar way.
We should ask ourselves whether we have in a regular way found God's Word such an attractive and sweet aspect of our lives. Many believers give up regularly reading God's Word. This will happen when they lose their desire for God's Word. They actually have lost faith that God can bring good as stated above into their lives through His Word. The Word of God is no longer a valuable and attractive aspect of their lives. Ask God to revive you.
11 Moreover, by them Thy servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward.
God's Word also warns us of trouble. The fear of God is that heightened sensitivity to the consequences that might occur if we do not obey. Warnings are part of that whole process. They are good in that they keep one from evil and on the right path. The Lord told Joshua do not turn to the right or the left. When we keep God's Word, we do not only keep out of trouble but bring the greatest good to us. There is 'great reward.' God is not trying to neutralize us but fill us with His wonderful blessings. These blessings come from obedience. We cannot obtain them without this obedience.
Lord, bring me into the garden of your delights! Let me not merely stay out of trouble but to seek your very best. Let me not question your work in my life but to focus on simple obedience.
12 Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. 13 Also keep back Thy servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.
We are tough. Our hearts naturally resist the work and word of God. If it was up to us, we would never be able to rightly respond to God's Word. It is God's mysterious power that is able to thaw our hardened hearts. If it was up to us, we would never be able to rightly respond to God's Word. God's Word like a beam of light shines into our dark hearts and through the Holy Spirit enables us to discover our faults and seek for a Savior. And so David breaks the tone of the psalm and asks God for acquittal. He desired and asked for forgiveness.
I was talking to someone about our recent prayer meeting. She seemed somewhat renewed. She said it started with the confession time. She hadn't confessed her sins for a while. And the quiet time to reflect, allowed God's Word to lead her to confession, forgiveness and freedom. I noticed the difference in our countenance. Is it not true of all of us. May we all seek God's forgiveness. If we truly seek Him, God's Word is already working in us and will lead us to life abundance!
David seeks acquittal for sins (12) but also to keep back from presumptuous sins (13). It is possible that David wrote this after one of his presumptuous sins.
A presumptuous sin is one in which a person thinks that what he or she does is not sin. They esteem their activities as right in their own eyes even though it goes counter to God's Words. We know of three presumptuous sins of David.
In the more serious events (#1 and #2) a great number of people were either seriously hurt (David's concubine's were raped by his son) or killed.
We can assume he asked himself a thousand times, "Why did he just not obey the Lord? Why? Why?" It would be then that he and others would be protected from these 'great' sins. And so he concluded with verse 14,
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer."
David knows that he is free and full of great favor if he would obey and his words and thoughts would be acceptable before the Lord. Why is it that so many believers want to waffle about in their sins? Would it not be more grand to seek God's blessings for our lives? No one is saying they are perfect. David admits to his sins that brought horrible consequences to 'innocent' people.
We do not focus on our failures but on the Lord who is our Rock and Redeemer. He is the Rock which shows how much David needed the Lord's strength in his weakness. He could not do it. Only God and His grace could keep him.
David also called him His Redeemer. He knew how a price would be paid and set him free. Paul quotes David in Romans 4:7-8 where David speaks of the need for forgiveness through another.
"BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED. "BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT" (Romans 4:7-8).
Psalm 19 beckons us to respond and draw close to the Lord. We first are brought to the curtain of creation where He unfolds His mighty works.
When we are impacted by God's amazing design of creation, a cloak of humility is thrust upon us and guides us to the next curtain where the ministry of His Word purges us and we seek the cleansing work of the Savior.
God is constantly calling all of us closer. He wants all men everywhere to repent. Where are you at in your journey? Are you blind to His message? Do you dare go through the second curtain where God through His Word reveals your sin. Indeed step forward and you will discover God's love in Jesus Christ.
Next -> Psalm 8