Today’s reading: Psalms 6, 8-10, 14, 16, 19, 21
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
CS Lewis considered Psalm 19 “the most perfect lyric in any language.” It is a perfect Psalm about God’s perfect Word.
The first six verses describe how God has made Himself known in creation: “The heavens declare the glory of God.” Theologians call this “general revelation” because it is a revelation of God that is available to all people, regardless of religion or culture (“there is no speech or language where their voice is not heard”). The evidence of God’s existence is plain to anyone with eyes to see. Paul makes this same point in Romans 1:20: “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.”
Significantly, verses 1-6 use the generic name for God (“El” in Hebrew). But then, verse 7 shifts from “El” to “Yahweh” as the Psalm moves from describing the glory of God in creation to the glory of God in His Word. “Yahweh” is the covenant, personal name of God. David is teaching us that while creation provides evidence of God, only through God’s Word can we have a relationship with Him.
- Through His law, He revives the soul.
- Through His testimonies, He makes the simple wise.
- Through His precepts, He rejoices the heart.
- Through his commandments, He enlightens the eyes.
- When we fear God, we will endure forever.
- When we obey His rules, we understand His righteousness
So, through Psalm 19 we can praise God for His perfect creation and his perfect Word. The last verse brilliantly captures both halves of Psalm 19: David calls God “my rock,” an image from creation that can be known by general revelation. But he also calls Him “my redeemer,” a truth that can only be known by special revelation.
Here is the poem that came to my heart as I reflected on Psalm 19 this morning:
O my God, Your Word and Your world proclaim You,
And so my soul will praise You.
For your stars and your statutes!
Your canyons and Your commandments!
Your creation and Your covenant!
Your oceans and Your ordinances!
Your works in the heavens and Your words in the Hebrew!
Creation proclaims Your existence.
Scripture praises Your character.
Christ proves your love.
Let all creation sing, and sing my soul as well.