The character and person of the LORD is the subject of Psalm 19. I notice two parallel revelations in the psalm that prove the LORD’S glory and majesty. David invited worshipers to gaze into the heavens, and behold the glory of God revealed in His works, the creation (19:1-6). The king then turned his focus from the works of the LORD (His creation), to His Word (laws, commands, and statutes), for they reveal what manner of God we worship and serve (19:7-11). Having seen the glory of the LORD in His works, and His nature revealed in His Word, David prayed for God to reveal in him any “errors” (unconscious sins), faults, or transgressions (19:12-14). With the exception of a few brief remarks by this author, I will allow my amplifications of some of the words to serve as my devotional commentary.
The Heavens: The Stars, Sun, Moon, and Earth (Psalm 19:1-6)
Psalm 19:1-6 – 1 The heavens [sky; realm above the earth] declare [tell; shew forth; proclaim] the glory [splendor; majesty] of God [El – Almighty God; ]; and the firmament [expanse of the sky] sheweth his [makes known; declares] handywork [i.e. the product of His hands].
2 Day unto day [from sunrise to sunset] uttereth [pour out; send forth] speech [word; promise], and night unto night sheweth [make known; tell] knowledge [cunning].
3 There is no speech [word; promise] nor language, where their [Heavens and the firmament] voice [sound; thunder; proclamation] is not heard [published; announced]. [Space is not silent; there are unexplained sounds that emanate from deep space]
4 Their line [a cord for measuring; or a musical string] is gone out [go forth; proceeds] through all the earth, and their [Heavens and the firmament] words [speech; discourse; matter] to the end [edge; extremity; brink] of the world [i.e. inhabited world; ]. In them [Heavens and the firmament] hath he [God] set [put; make; appointed; fixed] a tabernacle [tent; dwelling place; habitation] for the sun, [God has set the sun in its place]
5 Which [The sun] is as a bridegroom [husband] coming out [go out; go forth] of his chamber [bedchamber], and rejoiceth [glad; delights] as a strong man [The sun emerges from the night like a “strong man;” a mighty man] to run [rush; hasten] a race.
6 His [The sun, vs. 4] going forth [go out; proceed] is from the end [edge; extremity] of the heaven, and his circuit [course; revolution; referring to what we describe as the “rising and setting of the sun”] unto the ends [uttermost] of it [i.e. the earth]: and there is nothing hid [concealed; secret; to hide] from the heat [heat of the sun] thereof.”
The Law, Testimony, Statutes, and Fear of the LORD (19:7-11)
Psalm 19:7-11 – 7 The law [precepts; statutes; i.e. Commandments] of the LORD [Jehovah; Eternal, Self-existent God] is perfect [without blemish; whole; complete], converting [i.e. to turn back; to return; restore] the soul [mind; i.e. heart]: the testimony [witness; commandment] of the LORD is sure [faithful; steadfast; endures], making wise [i.e. teaching wisdom] the simple [silly; foolish].
8 The statutes [mandates; precepts] of the LORD are right [upright; righteous; straight; just], rejoicing [i.e. to make glad;cheer] the heart [mind; i.e. the seat of the affections and will]: the commandment [precepts; Law; instructions] of the LORD is pure [clean; innocent], enlightening [brightesn; give light] the eyes [sight; i.e. countenance].
9 The fear [moral reverence] of the LORD is clean, enduring [i.e. to stand; stay; abide; remain] for ever [everlasting; perpetual; eternal]: the judgments [ordinance; manner] of the LORD are true [trustworthy; established; faithful] and righteous [just] altogether.
10 More to be desired [to delight in; covet; beloved; precious] are they [The Law, Testimony, Statutes, Commandment, Fear, and Judgments of the LORD] than gold, yea, than much fine gold [pure gold]: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb [i.e. sweeter than honey dripping from the honeycomb].
11 Moreover by them [The Law, Testimony, Statutes, Commandment, Fear, and Judgments of the LORD] is thy servant warned [admonished; enlightened]: and in keeping [watch; guard] of them [The Law, Testimony, Statutes, Commandment, Fear, and Judgments of the LORD] there is great reward [compensation].
A Prayer of Worship and Intercession (19:12-14)
12 Who can understand [discern; distinguish] his errors [i.e. moral mistake; sin of ignorance]? cleanse [clear; make clean; acquit] thou me from secret [hidden; concealed] faults.
13 Keep back [restrain; i.e. keep in check] thy servant also from presumptuous [proud; arrogant] sins; let them [errors, secret sins] not have dominion [rule; i.e. power; authority] over me: then shall I be upright [complete; perfect; whole; i.e. have integrity], and I shall be innocent [guiltless; clear; i.e. clean] from the great transgression [sin; trespass; rebellion].
14 Let the words [answer; speech; utterance] of my mouth, and the meditation [i.e. whisper; musings] of my heart [mind; understanding; i.e. the seat of the affections and will], be acceptable in thy sight [face; countenance], O LORD, my strength [rock; boulder], and my redeemer.
Closing thoughts: The works, and Word of the LORD reveal to all people the glory of the LORD.
Long before man invented telescopes, or satellites orbited the earth, David gazed into the heavens and beheld what he described as “the glory of God…and His handiwork” (19:1). The Hubble telescope has given us pictures of stars, moons, and galaxies that inspire wonder. In our lifetime, we have been privileged to see in the heavens what only the LORD and the angels have seen.
Surely, we who love the LORD must exclaim with David, “1The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament sheweth his handywork” (19:1).
Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith