By Wade Pursell, CCPC ACF Teacher and former Clerk of Session
It might not be appropriate to have “favorite” chapters in the Bible, but my favorite Psalm for a very long time now has been Psalm 19. Last year, in our Bible study class we were studying 1 Samuel and we came to 1 Samuel 3 where God speaks to young Samuel during the night and he does not recognize His voice. I remember thinking, “wow, how cool would it be to hear God’s voice some time.” Psalm 19 almost immediately entered my thoughts! I am clearly not alone when it comes to treasuring this amazing piece of Scripture.
“I take [Psalm 19] to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.” C.S. Lewis
1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.
2 Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
3 They speak without a sound or word;
their voice is never heard.
4 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
and their words to all the world.
God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.
5 It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding.
It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.
6 The sun rises at one end of the heavens
and follows its course to the other end.
Nothing can hide from its heat.
We call this general revelation. What a powerful reminder that God speaks to us every day and every night in every language through His incredible Creation. Just “listen”!
Psalm 19 continued…
7 The instructions of the Lord are perfect,
reviving the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The commandments of the Lord are right,
bringing joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are clear,
giving insight for living.
9 Reverence for the Lord is pure,
The laws of the Lord are true;
each one is fair.
10 They are more desirable than gold,
even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey,
even honey dripping from the comb.
11 They are a warning to your servant,
a great reward for those who obey them.
12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins!
Don’t let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt
and innocent of great sin.
We call this special revelation. Charles Swindoll says, “The heavens may declare God’s power and glory, but they do not declare His will or His plan and promise of salvation.” God speaks this to us in His Word. Notice how David changes from “God” in the first six verses to “Lord” in these verses to reflect the more personal, relational aspect. It is indeed sweeter than honey as we consume it, but it is also bitter in our stomach as it exposes our sin (also see Revelation 10:9-10).
Most importantly, Jesus is revealed through His Word.
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.
And we have the Holy Spirit guiding us and teaching us from the Word which He wrote!
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26
For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:21
Psalm 19 continued…
14 May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
After spending time in God’s presence through creation and His Word, David closes with a prayer of longing to obey and please his God (rock) and Savior (redeemer).
What a wonderful reminder of how God speaks to us if we just listen. So, I encourage myself (and all of us) to go enjoy God’s wonderful creation. Take a bike ride, or a walk, or a run, and before you start simply pray, as young Samuel did, “speak Lord, for Your servant is listening.” And spend time in His Word…starting with the same prayer, “speak Lord, for Your servant is listening.” And then don’t forget to LISTEN.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, thank you for not just creating me, and saving me, and forgiving me (all incredible as they are!) but also being a God that communicates and speaks to me. I confess I can be very distracted by this world and not always listening to You. Thank you for speaking to me through Your creation and through Your Word. Speak Lord, for Your servant is listening. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen
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