My heart has been bursting all week! First, we started Women’s Bible Study at our church for the new school year last Wednesday. It is thrilling to study God’s Word together in fellowship with others. We are studying the Psalms. I believe it’s the first time in 13 years, since 2004-05, that I have been able to attend the morning session. Though I love the evening session, too, I was often tired or had a hard time sticking with it after work. There’s something special about starting my Wednesday mornings in this way, both in our small group, where we go over the week’s lesson, and then in the large group session where we hear a message tying it all together.
I cannot encourage you enough: if you don’t have a time set aside each day to read the Bible and pray, even a very short time, see if you can find a time and place. Go with an open heart, asking God to show you wonderful things in His Word. And then if you are able, find a Bible study to participate in. It helps provide a consistent focus to that time in the Word each day, while providing a place to discuss it more in-depth each week. It’s good accountability to keep going day to day, and it’s helpful to hear from others what they saw from the study, too. There are also new friendships waiting.
The bigger reason my heart has been bursting has been the study itself this past week on Psalm 19. This is why we study the Bible. We discover things we’ve never seen or gain more depth and understanding about something that perhaps has only been at a more surface level before. We learn more about who God is and then who we are. There is so much to find there!
The first incredible thing about Psalm 19 was noticing it’s focus on speech. In the first 7 verses, the heavens are declaring, the sky is proclaiming. We can all hear its voice in every language, without an interpreter. Every person in every place on inhabitable earth can hear the message of this word through creation. It declares the glory of God, the work of His hands, and reveals Him as Creator. This is a general revelation to all, much like what is described in Romans 1:20.
I remember years ago in college at a large public university having friends who would want to argue that they couldn’t accept God because “what about the people who have never heard?” It almost seemed an easy way to quickly dismiss Him, rather than seeking to encounter the truth about Him. This God who created us in His image, who loves us, who gave His life for our redemption: can He not then be trusted? Are His ways not higher and better than we can comprehend?
And yet here is an answer to that question. Everyone has a word about who God is through creation. It is seen for all of us to behold. God has ways of revealing Himself even without a human voice to give the message. When we see creation, if we don’t suppress its truth and message, we instinctively know that there is a Creator beyond it.
Verses 8-11 talk about the law of the LORD, the Word. It is also speaking a message to us and has the ability to revive our soul, make us wise, rejoice our heart, and enlighten our eyes. Whereas creation is a voice that can be heard by all, it is true that not everyone has the Bible, the Word of God. It is then a special revelation to those who have it. It is worth more than gold and sweeter than honey. It warns us, and in keeping its commands, there is great reward! I wonder if there’s anything I can do today to help someone who doesn’t have a Bible receive one.
Verses 12-13 are now David asking God to declare Him innocent—another kind of speech, this declaration from God. This is a revelation to him personally, of God cleansing him from sin to live in righteousness. In Christ, we can be a new creation, set free from sin by faith in Jesus and His work on the cross, made blameless and innocent. And as a new creation, we will likewise have a message to tell, a testimony to give.
Finally then, verse 14 is David’s responsive speech to His. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.” Given all that has been heard in the first 13 verses, how will I likewise respond to the One who has redeemed me, my rock and strength?
This is but an overview of Psalm 19. Though this theme of speech and God’s revelation in the divisions of the psalm would be enough to amaze me, there was so much more to see and hear in the days that followed the first one. I’ll share that in my next post. For now, I rejoice in this: God has spoken to us — in creation, through His Word, through His Son (who is the Word made flesh). What will I say in response?