Restoring the Soul (Psalm 19)

I am preparing to teach a Sunday School class tomorrow on Psalm 19. I want to think through the lesson in written form with this article.

I. God reveals Himself through His creation

As the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 1, God has revealed Himself to mankind through His magnificent creation. Every person on the earth has looked at creation at one time or another and realized that there is a God. Scholars call this “general revelation”. Simply by looking around at this amazing creation, people realize that there is a God. As Paul wrote Romans, chapter 1, I imagine the writings of the psalmist were going through his mind. He may have been pondering the teachings of Psalm 19. The psalmist begins this Psalm with the fact that the creation is a testimony that God exists.

1 The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. 2 Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard. 4 Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; It rejoices as a strong man to run his course. 6 Its rising is from one end of the heavens, And its circuit to the other end of them; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

The heavens, what we know as the sky and space, the heavenly bodies, all that we can see is a testimony that the creation has a Creator. As Paul explains in Romans 1, mankind is without excuse, even if we have never opened the Bible or heard the Gospel. At this point, the Creator is not personal to us. He wants to be known by His creation and that is why He did not stop with just allowing the creation to testify about Him. God has also given mankind His Holy Word. This is what Scholars call “special revelation”.  We will discuss this idea more in the next section of this article. Simply viewing the creation around us leads us to be in anticipation to know this Creator, the way that a bridegroom waits enthusiastically to know his bride. While he is the bridegroom and she is the bride, he does not know her intimately yet but, he cannot wait for that moment. The creation is a wordless testimony that peaks our interest about who this Creator is and can He be known. The anticipation to know the Creator is the same anticipation that a runner has just before the race begins. He knows that he can win, he just has to wait for the race to begin and then he can fully know victory. When you look at creation, does it peak your interest to know the Creator intimately. God, in His goodness, builds the anticipation with His creation and then makes it possible for mankind to know Him intimately through His Word.

II. God reveals Himself through His Word

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.

In verse 7, there is a shift in the narrative. The psalmist changes from the general revelation that God offers to us in nature to special revelation, the Word of God. He begins by stating that the Word of God is perfect. The Word of God is complete. As the Apostle Peter teaches, the Word of God has everything that we need for life and godliness. There are no mistakes in God’s Word. It is perfect from beginning to end. It is trustworthy. What we learn from the Word of God is the Truth about reality, the truth about ourselves, and the Truth about who God really is. In the first 6 verses, the psalmist wets our appetites for a desire to know God personally. In verse 7, the psalmist begins to show us how we can know this Creator God, and it is through His perfect Word. There are many benefits to knowing God and we will cover them in the next section of the article. There are at least 16 benefits to knowing God intimately. Now, back to the Word of God, it is sure. This means that the Word of God is reliable. We can depend on what we learn in the Word of God and if we do what It teaches, the benefits that follow will happen. The Word of God is also right. This means that the Word of God is level or sound. The Word of God is also pure. God has polished His Word. It is refined as silver. The psalmist emphasizes the validity of the Word of God. What we find in the Bible is not the combined writings of men. What we find in the Bible is the very mind of God, His communication to mankind. We can trust what we read within the pages of the Word of God. This is how we can know God and we can trust what we learn. How much time do you dedicate to reading and studying the Word of God so that you can learn who God is and know Him intimately? The Word of God is more desirable than God and sweeter than honey. Do you desire the teachings of the Word of God as much as you desire wealth and possessions? Do you spend more time attaining wealth or gaining knowledge of God through His Word? What are the benefits of seeking to know God intimately through His Word?

III. The benefits of knowing God

As I wrote earlier, there are at least 16 benefits to knowing God through His Word and applying what you learn.

11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward. 12 Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. 13 Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous (arrogant, boil to rebellion, brazen, cocky, rude, shameless) sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will 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 Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

The first is that you have your soul restored. When we are born, there is a yearning in us to connect with our Creator. We are disconnected because of our sin nature. God teaches us how to reconnect with Him and brings the restoration that we seek for all of our lives. The next benefit that we acquire is that we gain wisdom. Acquiring knowledge is the first step to wisdom. Wisdom is putting knowledge into action. When we apply knowledge and demonstrate wisdom, this brings joy to our lives. Once we are reconnected to God, we are in a place to connect with God and do what He says. This produces great joy in us. Our eyes are opened to the reason we were created, to connect with God and enjoy a personal relationship with Him. The more we walk with God in obedience, the more respect we develop for Him and the more we want to walk with God in obedience. A relationship with God is better than gold and sweeter than honey. It is an eternal relationship. Wealth and possessions are temporal. The next benefit is that you get to serve the Lord. This is why God created us. We find our calling in this life. The Word of God warns us and keeps us from making terrible mistakes and carrying the scars that come with disobedience. There is great reward here on the earth when we follow God and there will be great reward in heaven. One of the best things that knowing God does for us is that our hidden faults are revealed and can be corrected when we cry out to God for help. The Word of God also keeps us from sin. Sin enslaves us and wants to dominate us yet, God intervenes to help us stay away from sin’s dominance over us. As a result, we will be blameless before the Lord. God will expose our hidden sins for our own good so that we can come out of the entrapment of hidden sins. God also teaches us about and offers forgiveness to us. Have you reconnected with God? The pathway is in His Word. It is through the Lord Jesus Christ. Are you ready to bow your knee to His Lordship and accept His sacrifice so that you can have a personal relationship with God? There is no better day than today to accept God’s offer.

One comment on “Restoring the Soul (Psalm 19)

  1. Pingback: God, My Protector (Psalm 141) | Erik and Elena Brewer's Weblog

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