Sermon – June 11, 2017
In this Psalm, David reflects upon how it is that we can know about God. And he is not merely discussing how it is that we know God exists, but more than that he is unpacking how we can know God personally and what implications that has on our lives. Through God’s creative action and his revealed word, mankind can know about the creator God, can know personally the covenant-keeping God, and can be reconciled to him through the promises of God.
1. Reflection of God’s Glory (v. 1-6)
In verse 1 it says, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Simply put, the heavens have something to say about the one who made the heavens. When we read Psalm 19, David is not merely looking at the world around him and saying “Wow, isn’t God great.” He is doing that, but it’s more than that. He is looking at the creator God, the God that is described in Genesis 1, the God that created everything out of nothing and ascribing glory to that powerful and creatively beautiful God.
David goes on to describe how God has revealed himself in creation to all of mankind. Both day and night display the awesome power of God. There is a sun in the sky above, and there are heavenly bodies including a moon, and planets, and stars that are on display at night. All of this, he says, speaks to the awesome creative power of our God. It communicates to all mankind that there is a God who is responsible for creating everything, and he is completely other than us.
For you, then, how does this affect your day to day? What do you see here that should drive action? Be in awe of God’s creative power. We should look to the sky above, and with David we should see the glory of God reflected in the handiwork of God. God is great, and he is beautiful and powerful and grand. This is an awesome God we serve.
2. Revelation of God’s Word (v. 7-11)
First, he says that it is perfect, reviving the soul. It is listed first, as the completeness and sufficiency of God’s word is the foundation and basis for the other characteristics of the law. God’s perfect word awakens the soul, and as it stirs within us we are convicted of sin and we repent or turn around back toward our God. Secondly, he says that “the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” God’s word is sure; it is trustworthy. We look to the Scriptures, and we see in them instructions for wise interaction with others and for right interaction with God. God’s inerrant word is reliable and sure, and it makes wise and matures those who look to it by faith.
Third, David says, “The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.” God’s precepts, or God’s commandments for right living are given to us. We don’t have to wonder what God expects of us. Finally, he says, “The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.” God’s word opens the blinders, it allows the truth of God to shine, and through his word we are made alive. God illumines our darkened minds and gives us new understanding and insights. We are made alive, livened through his word.
We see that God’s word is sufficient, reliable, relevant, life giving, true, and righteous, and this makes it valuable. David compares its value to gold, and its sweetness to honey. We value this word because without this word, we have no hope of being made right and whole before God. We value this word.
3. Response of God’s People (v. 12-14)
After reflecting upon the revelation of God to mankind, he now examines the response that this should evoke among God’s people. As God’s people, we have seen his glory reflected in creation. We have seen his character revealed in his word. And we must respond to him in repentance and faith, pleading for his mercy and asking for his forgiveness. We are sinful, and we cannot achieve a state of sinlessness.
We have violated God’s law, and we stand condemned before a righteous and just judge. We have been shown God in creation, we have heard from God in his word, and even so we have lived lives that do not reflect the glory of God and uphold his righteous standard. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and this includes me and every one of you. But the story does not end there. We have the full and complete revelation of Jesus Christ. The old covenant pointed forward to the one who would inaugurate the new covenant. Jesus came and fulfilled the law perfectly. He is the one who upheld God’s righteous standard. He is the one who was perfect and complete. He is the one who brings joy, and it is by his Spirit we are enlivened and our blind eyes are opened. All those who call out to God for mercy, repent of their sin, and trust in the promises of God as revealed in his Word and in the person and work of Christ are redeemed.
We submit to God’s word, we repent of sin, and we live a life of faith in the promises of God and a life recognizing the Lordship of Christ. In all this, like David, we humbly depend on God’s mercy and grace as our redeemer.
Through God’s creative action, mankind can know about the creator God. Through God’s revealed word mankind can know personally the covenant-keeping God, and can be reconciled to him through the promises of God.