Sermons

Summary: " He is the God of creation and He is the God of revelation. The human race stands accountable to Him because of His nonverbal and verbal communications. "

April 25, 2014

Tom Lowe

Psalm 19 (KJV)

Title: The Glory of God in the World and in the Law.

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.

3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.

4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,

5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.

6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.

7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

8 The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.

10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.

11 By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.

13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.

14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Introduction

We shall study this psalm as if it consisted of 2 poems; the first poem is verses 1-6 and the second 7-14. Many expositors agree that this psalm has these two distinct parts because there are two different names for God and two different compositions, one ancient, and one more recent. In the first part (1-6) the shorter form of the name “God” (El) speaks of His power, especially that power exhibited as Creator, and which can be observed in the sky—in worlds, infinite worlds. In the second part (7-14)—the Scriptures—“LORD” (Yahweh) fits the relational theme found there. God has revealed Himself to mankind through these two avenues, what He has wrought and what He has written. He is the God of creation and He is the God of revelation. The human race stands accountable to Him because of His nonverbal and verbal communications. Psalm 19 eloquently summarizes these two prominent avenues of God’s self-disclosure.

Outline

1. God’s General Self-disclosure in the World (1-6)

a. The Publication of the Skies (1-4b)

b. The Prominence of the Sun (4c-6)

2. God’s Special Self-disclosure in the Word (7-14)

a. The Attributes of the Word (7-9)

b. An Appreciation for the Word (10-11)

c. The Application of the Word (12-14)

Poem 1 (Vs. 1-6)

God’s General Self-disclosure in the World

The testimony of the universe comes forth consistently and clearly, but sinful mankind persistently resists it. For this reason, general revelation cannot convert sinners, but it does make them highly accountable (Rom. 1:18{1]). Salvation ultimately comes through special revelation alone, that is, as the Word of God is effectually applied by the Spirit of God.

This poem begins, as does Psalm 8, with the poet gazing at the heavens and wondering at the mystery of creation. But man does not see God by looking at the sky; what he sees is the glory of God’s creation. “No man can see God and live” (Ex. 33:20). Glory, to Old Testament man was the outward “clothing” of God. It did not hide or cover His “being,” rather it revealed His actions. As the living God, He is always doing, creating, recreating, producing order out of original chaos (Ge. 1:2{6]), bringing light at each dawn out of the darkness of night.

To say that we see the glory of God in this poem, means that as modern, scientifically-minded persons we are reading something into it. The poem talks of hearing the Word of God, which is proclaimed by the skies. It declares that behind the whole majesty of nature there is sound, the sound of the Word of God. The whole creation, even without the use of words, sounds forth the divine Word; when put into Greek, this is the word Logos that we meet in John 1:1. But Logos can mean more than word. It can also mean reason, meaning. And so this poem is proclaiming that the heavenly bodies are not mere matter, to be understood merely as scientific phenomena. They shout to all who have ears to hear that behind them and their movements lies the meaning of the universe. Joseph Addison’s well-known hymn, “The Spacious Firmament On High” expresses this well.

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