I’m going to tell you girls a secret. I love tacos. Specifically, Taco Bell. It’s cheap, it’s yummy, and it’s tacos. You can’t go wrong. There’s a rumor I once ordered $11+ worth of Taco Bell and consumed it all by myself. I can neither confirm nor deny this, so we’ll just move right along. Several years ago, my husband and I were deciding where to go for supper. He suggested Taco Bell, and I just wasn’t feeling it. He responded, “Who are you and what have you done with my wife?!” To him, my outright rejection of Taco Bell was completely out of character. It wasn’t me.
If we are not careful, we can find ourselves saying the same thing about God. Without fervently studying and meditating on God’s Word, we are tempted to create and worship a false God that doesn’t even exist. We recreate Him to be who WE want Him to be, ignoring who the Bible says that He is. Before we realize it, we reduce God to the role of a genie or puppet master. Then, when we turn to the Word, we find that the one true God is unrecognizable. Our question then to the created imposter is no longer, “What have you done with God?”, but rather “What have I done with God?” Psalm 19 clearly defines the LORD, allowing us to easily recognize the alias of idols we create.
After the era of judges, Samuel appointed Saul king, who David eventually succeeded. Psalms reflects David’s full range of emotions through his many triumphs and struggles. Psalm 19 is a song of praise and adoration that mentions God’s general revelation to every man through creation, and His special revelation through His Word.
It highlights three key truths about God and His Word. First,
All of Creation Testifies to the Power and Might of God
In Psalm 19:1-6, God reveals Himself through His handiwork. All the world tells of His glory. The expanse of the heavens is so great that it extends eternally for “nothing is hidden from its heat” (v.6). Romans 1:19-20 emphasizes how knowledge of God is evident in creation. Viewing God as He reveals Himself in creation should bring us to a place of great wonder and awe; however, it often does not. Why? Personal unconfessed sin builds a wall around our hearts making us spiritually blind and famished for fellowship with the Father. The true God is a masterful creator, while the gods we harbor are masters of deceit. These burdensome false gods claim to support us when, in reality, they lead to destruction and separation from God. God has given the entire world as a testimony of His power and might, but He doesn’t stop there. His holy Word, the Bible, is a book about…you guessed it- Himself! God’s Word is His special revelation to His people. Next we see
God’s Word Brings Truth to Light
His Word and law are promises that bring the truth to Light like fresh water to our souls. Verses 7-11 magnify the sufficiency of God’s Word and why we should depend on it for knowledge of Him. God’s Word is an open invitation for believers to know Him intimately, to worship Him wholly, and to live freely. Verses 7-9 discuss attributes of God revealed through His Word and promises of their work in His people:
|Verse 7: “The law of the Lord is perfect,”||“Restoring the soul.”|
|“The testimony of the Lord is sure,”||“Making wise the simple.”|
|Verse 8: “The precepts of the Lord are right,”||“Rejoicing the heart.”|
|“The commandment of the Lord is pure,”||“Enlightening the eyes.”|
|Verse 9: “The fear of the Lord is clean,”||“Enduring forever.”|
|“The judgments of the Lord are true,”||“They are righteous altogether.”|
The declared trustworthiness of God’s promises is nourishment that delights our soul. Perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, true. These all describe God’s Word. Restoring, making wise, rejoicing, enlightening, enduring; these are results of God’s Word in action. Can we use these to describe the gods we create in place of our Heavenly Father? Are our idols true and pure? Do our idols enlighten our eyes and endure forever? NO! They never will! Most importantly, Verse 11 says “Moreover, by them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” In other words, God’s law warns us against sin, as idols cannot. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 also values God’s Word, describing it as “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” It is essential for life, and we cannot expect to persevere in righteousness without His guiding Word. Following God’s general and special revelation, Psalm 19 ends with a call to respond.
God’s Word Calls Us to Repentance and Holy Living
We respond to God’s Word by repenting of sin and pursuing righteousness. Verses 12-14 display David’s prayer of confession for “hidden” sin while asking for protection from future sins of arrogance. The psalm ends with David’s desire for his words and life to be acceptable in God’s sight. This should be our soul’s ultimate desire: to submit to the Father and glorify His name.
Psalm 19 showcases God’s power and emphasizing the sufficiency of His inspired Word. The God of the Bible is trustworthy. If the god we submit to is not the God of the Scriptures, we must repent and flee with haste, returning always to Him who is displayed in the Word. I believe the importance of Scriptural meditation and study cannot be overstated. Here’s why:
A few years ago, I worked at a sports store. Yes… ME. The worst athlete of all time…at a sports store. We sold everything from t-shirts to license plates for every sports team in the country. We had televisions scattered around that played ESPN. All day long. Every girl’s dream, right? I naturally watched and listened to ESPN 8 hours a day. Quickly and without much effort, I became educated in the world of sports (my husband can attest to this absurdity!). I could tell you just about anything sports-related: the rules, the endless politics and scandals in the industry, etc. My point: I unintentionally gained knowledge of something I hardly cared for simply by hearing it a few hours each day. How much more could I learn about God with disciplined, intentional study and meditation on His Word? When I daily spend time in God’s Word, I learn about Him, and how to adjust my life accordingly. When I fail to spend time in God’s Word, I settle for the gods I create in my own heart.
We are capable of idolizing just about anything. Idols will never be worthy of our worship for they are not God. When we turn to the Word, we find that the one true God is unrecognizable in contrast to the false images we have created. Have you replaced God with an imposter? Are you in bondage to gods that rule your heart? Ask the Father for help and assurance from His Word. If you don’t study the Bible currently, don’t wait another day to start! If you don’t know where to start, don’t fret my friend, you are not alone! I can confidently say that every single believer (myself included!) has struggled with knowing how to read Scripture and how to pray, but the key is to start. I suggest praying straight from Psalms. Many are prayers. What better way to communicate with God than by using His own Word? God has miraculously made a way for us to be reconciled with Him, while also giving us the tools to persevere in the faith. Don’t waste one more day apart from your Creator; He loves you, and He desires your faith in Him alone.
Lord, I love you. No words fully describe Your goodness and mercy. Thank You for saving me, sustaining me, and never leaving me alone. I confess that I have strayed from the truth of Your Word and replaced You with worthless gods that do not love me, but cause me to sin. Please forgive me. Help me to believe in Your Word, depending on it for all of my needs. Reveal Yourself to me daily through Your all-sufficient Word, and help me fight against sin with Your sword of truth. Thank You, Father, for Your promises.
1 Peter 1
Praying the Bible by Donald Whitney