As you take any time to watch the national news or surf the web today, it becomes vibrantly clear that this world is upside down. The government seems like a circus. People’s suffering hurts your heart as you read and consider it.
Where can you rest your heart? Where can you find some respite for your own soul? Let me suggest that Psalm 19 helps. There are two voices, two qualities, and two responses that can bring the spirit of Psalm 19 to life for you.
1. Seek the two powerful voices of God.
The first voice is the heavens or the firmament. Psalm 19:1-6 teach the heavens speak daily and speak every language on earth. There is not one person who does not hear the voice. It further describes the heavens as the tent for the sun.
Every person alive is under its influence as it daily makes its way across the sky.
So, what does it say? It declares the glory of God – it points people to God’s eternal power and divine nature (Romans 1:20). Every day as we go outside and see or feel the effects of the sun, it is a reminder to us of God’s eternal power and His divine nature.
Our response is to recognize the glory of God.
The second voice is the Word of God – the Bible. Psalm 19:7-9 state that as we read God’s Word, it transforms us. It restores us, makes us wise, rejoices the heart, enlightens the eyes, and help us with truth and righteousness.
God’s Word tells us of mankind’s creation and fall, the possibility of redemption in Jesus Christ, and future redemption. Through it we receive wisdom, grow in discernment, and are transformed.
2. Explore the two qualities of God’s Word.
The first quality is intrinsic value. Psalm 19:10 states, “They [God’s words] are of greater value than gold, than even a great amount of pure gold; they bring greater delight than honey, than even the sweetest honey from a honeycomb.”
The psalmist used two very valuable objects to describe the intrinsic value of the Bible. It is of far greater worth than a great amount of the finest gold. In addition, it is sweeter – and thus more desirable – than the finest honey. When the Bible was written, before modern times with all the sweets available today, honey was a delicacy. Here, the psalmist says that God’s words are even of greater delight than that.
The second quality is personal value. Psalm 19:11 teaches that by them you are warned (or in other words, reminded, instructed, and exhorted) and in keeping them through obedience there is a great reward.
So, the Bible provides you two incredible benefits – you receive a warning to help you guard your heart and life, plus you receive great rewards when you follow what the Bible teaches. This instruction and reward, of course, begins with Jesus – the warning of rejecting Him and the reward of accepting Him to receive forgiveness of sin. However, the instruction and reward are actually so much greater as the Bible’s teachings touch every part of life.
3. Respond daily in two life-changing ways to God’s Word.
The first response is the prayer of personal repentance. In Psalm 19:12-13 the psalmist prays the following prayer, “Who can know all his errors? Cleanse me for the sins I am unaware of. Plus, keep me from committing flagrant sins, and do not let those sins control me. Then I will be blameless and innocent of blatant rebellion.”
In this prayer, there is a sense of self-awareness and self-reflection. The idea is that you read God’s Word and then use its teachings to carefully consider your heart and life. You desire to follow God in every way. Therefore, you ask God to cleanse you from those sins you are unaware of that exist and to keep you from allowing the sins you are aware of to control and dominate you.
The second response is the prayer of personal surrender. The prayer of Psalm 19:14 is a daily prayer for all of us to pray each and every day after we have stopped to read and consider God’s voice in the Scriptures. “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”
In this prayer, you essentially dedicate your words and your thoughts to God throughout your day.
Your goal is that God will be honored in all that you think and all that you say. By implication, this prayer means that there are no thoughtless moments or no idle words. Instead, you purposefully engage your mind throughout the day and intentionally use your words to bring honor to God.
Your thoughts reflect a spirit of worship that comes from your love of Christ; your words demonstrate a love of Christ and love of others as they seek to encourage, enrich, and embolden others.
Furthermore, this prayer reflects a humility that recognizes from Whom your strength actually comes – the power that only God provides in Christ through the indwelling Spirit.
Feel renewed in your response to our world.
As I reflect on Psalm 19, I want to live today in awareness of the two voices of God, two qualities of the Word, and the two responses to the Word. As you do this and daily become aware of God’s voice, the quality of God’s Word, and appropriate responses in prayer, your life will change.
It is impossible to reflect on God and His Word, to increasing desire His Word, and to pray in reflection of God’s Word without changing to become more like Christ.
What are some helpful ways you can remind yourself of this?
Go outside and walk around some. Look at the sun, trees, grass, and sky. Remind yourself of God’s voice. Take along your Bible or your Bible app and read some of your favorite Scriptures.
Write out the prayer of Psalm 19:12-14. Read it every day in prayer to God, rehearse it throughout your day, and read it before bed as a nighttime prayer (at night you might add “and the dreams of my night” to the prayer).
Before long, you will have memorized it, and it will become a daily part of your prayer life.
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