The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring for ever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from wilful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart(Ps. 19:7-14 NIV)
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
The Psalm moves from a consideration to special revelation. We can learn only a limited amount about God through creation. To learn about salvation, we need to hear God’s special revelation through His revealed Word. The first section is the praise of God in nature, the second part is the praise of the LORD (covenant LORD) in the Word. The revelation of God in creation is more vividly seen by those who have heard and understood the special revelation of God through His Word.
“Heaven above is softer blue,
Earth around is sweeter green;
Something lives in every hue
Christless eyes have never seen:
Birds with gladder songs o’erflow,
Flow’rs with deeper beauties shine,
Since I know, as now I know,
I am His, and He is mine.”
The Psalmist mentions six aspects of the law: Law, statutes, precepts, commands, fear and decrees. They are largely synonymous terms, yet they make up the spectrum of the law capturing the beauty of God’s Word. God’s law is perfect, trustworthy, right, radiant, pure and firm. The impact that the law of God has upon us is that it: refreshes the soul, makes wise the simple, gives joy to the heart, gives light to the eyes, endures with us forever, and convinces us of its righteousness. When our souls begin to flag, the law of God refreshes our souls back to full vigour. It provides us with food so that we flourish. We are a tree planted by the waters. When we are lacking wisdom, the word of the LORD provides us with the wisdom that we need. The law gives joy to our hearts and opens our eyes to the truth. The law has an enduring impact upon our lives. The summing up of the law is that it is altogether righteous.
Quite often in the evangelical world we can be quite negative about the law, but here we can be corrected and learn the many positive aspects of God’s law and the joy and liberty that comes from keeping God’s law. The law sets out the boundaries of holy living in the presence of a holy God. The law is not a way to gain God’s gracious presence, but is a response to the reality of the holy God dwelling already in the midst of His people.
The Psalmist knows something of the worth of God’s law: it is more precious than pure gold and sweeter than honey from the honeycomb. He has tasted and seen that the LORD is good.
Exposure to the Word of God requires a response from the Psalmist. The awareness of the presence of God in nature and law evokes in the Psalmist a sudden awareness of unworthiness. He prays for forgiveness for hidden sins and wilful sins. Exposed to the greatness of God he pleads for mercy. It is this pattern that shapes our worship services. After calling upon the great name of our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we are compelled to confess our sins. As God has spoken through creation and as He has spoken in words through His law, so the Psalmist, aware of the holiness of God, requests that the words of his mouth will be acceptable in God’s sight.
Lord we thank you for your Word that reveals to us the way of Salvation. Help us to delight in the whole of your Word from Genesis to Revelation. The Psalmist said that he had hidden Your Word within his heart that he might not sin against You. Lord help us to love and delight in Your Word, so that it searches us and shows us our faults in order than we may improve our lives. Help us to be people of the Word, found daily exploring all the things that You have said. Help us to use this time of lock down to establish good habits of prayer and studying Your Word because we ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.