Teaching Sermons For Pastors and Laymen

2-26-05

Title: The Glory of God’s Law

 

Text: Psalm 19

 

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.
13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

 

 

Introduction

 

Psalm 19 is an eloquent song of praise to the glory of God’s law, even though David begins his song of praise in adoration toward God solely in terms of His glory in nature.

 

Yet the most prominent feature of this psalm is praise to God for His law (His Word). 

 

It can be divided into three sections: first, “the glory of the Lawgiver” (vv. 1-6); second, “the glory of the law and its applications” (vv. 7-10); and third, “the law in relation to man” (vv. 11-14).

 

The goal of all Bible study is to obtain knowledge of Jesus Christ and of yourself.

 

This psalm tells you what the Bible can do for you if only you will read it, meditate on it, and obey it.

 

The better you understand your Bible and obey it, the more you will appreciate God’s creation and the better you will understand yourself and others.

 

God’s Word is the basic book.

 

The first thing I want you to consider is, “The glory of the Lawgiver” (vv. 1-6).

 

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.
2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

 

The psalm begins with, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” 

 

The “heavens” are plural, describing their variety; there are the watery heavens with their clouds, the higher heavens with their calms and storms, the solar heavens with their glories of the day, and the starry heavens with the marvels of the night.

 

The word “declare” indicates that every moment God’s existence, power, and goodness are being expressed by the heavenly heralds that shine upon us.

 

“Day unto day …and night unto night” the heavens give their information. 

 

Each day is poetically pictured as informing the next day of God’s glory; therefore, the Good News has been nonstop through the ages. 

 

In verse 3 “speech” and “language” indicate that in all languages, humans have recognized in some way the glory of God in nature. 

 

“The heavens declare the glory of God.”

 

 

 

Paul, in his letter to the Romans said it in this way, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20).

 

The heavens tell about the wisdom of God, they tell about the power of God, and they tell about, I think, something of the plan and purpose of God.

 

From the beginning the heavens have been the primitive witness of God to man.

 

In the Old Testament, creation is credited exclusively to God the Father. 

 

But when you come to the New Testament, where there is further explanation even of the act of creation, you find that it is not exactly accurate to say that God the Father is the Maker of heaven and earth. 

 

The Trinity was involved in the creation of the earth. 

 

The New Testament tells us that the Lord Jesus was the instrument of creation, and the Holy Spirit came in and refurbished and revamped it. 

 

Genesis 1:2 says, “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” 

 

The apostle John tells of another beginning: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:1-3). 

 

This is the Lord Jesus Christ. 

 

Colossians 1:6, speaking about the Lord Jesus, says, “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him.” 

 

The Lord Jesus was the agent in creation.

 

The first chapter of Ephesians tells us that all the members of the Trinity were involved in our redemption: God the Father planned it, the Son paid for it, and the Holy Spirit protects it. 

 

This applies to God’s creation as well: God the Father planned this universe; the Son carried out the plan, and He is the One who redeemed it; and the Holy Spirit today is moving and brooding over this creation.

 

According to verse 5, the bridegroom went forth to meet the bride in glorious apparel, and he was preceded by a blaze of torchlight.

 

He scattered the darkness before Him. 

 

It’s interesting to note that the sun is likened to a bridegroom coming out of his chamber. 

 

When I visited the Rocky Mountains I saw some glorious sunrises. 

 

It was a thrill to see the light breaking through the clouds to create long shadows that ran from the valleys to the mountain tops. 

 

It was thrilling, and it was a picture of another bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of Righteousness. 

 

Some day He is coming in glory to this earth, but before He comes, He is going to take His church out of this world. 

 

He is the Bright and Morning Star. 

 

The Bright and Morning Star always appears before the sun rises. 

 

What a picture we have here of creation! 

 

There is nothing quite like it. 

 

This wonderful, wonderful psalm pictures creation.

 

In verse 6 David dwells on the vastness of the course traveled by the sun.

 

He was writing poetically and symbolically in light of the understanding of his day.

 

Next, let’s consider that, “The glory of the law can be seen in verses 7-10.”

 

7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

 

I read a good translation offered by a good preacher, Dr. Gaebelein; he said it like this:

 

“The law of Jehovah is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of Jehovah is sure, making wise the simple.  The precepts of Jehovah are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of Jehovah is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of Jehovah is clean, enduring for ever; the judgments of Jehovah are truth, they are all together righteous.  More to be desired than gold, than much fine gold, and sweeter than honey, and honeycomb.  By them thy servant is warned, in keeping them the reward is great.”

 

This psalm has seven things to say about the commandments. 

 

In verse 7 we are told, “Whatever comes from God is perfect.”

 

The law cannot save us, because it is perfect and we are not. 

 

We cannot measure up to it, but there is nothing wrong with the law. 

 

Paul, who wrote so much about the grace of God, had this to say about the law, “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, and just, and good.  Was then that which is good made death unto me?  God forbid.  But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.  For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin” (Rom. 7:12:14). 

 

There is nothing wrong with the law, but it is dealing out death to us because there is something radically wrong with us. 

 

The law was given to show us that we are sinners before God. 

 

The law is perfect, and it provides true wisdom, in revealing how to live a life pleasing to God (Deut. 29:14).

 

The fact that salvation doesn’t come by keeping the law, is not the fault of the law, but of humans, who cannot keep the law. 

 

The law itself “is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good,” according to Romans 7:12. 

 

But I am not talking only about the Law of Moses, the Ten Commandments, but the entire doctrine of God, the whole Bible.

 

We are also told in verse 7 that the law is useful for “Converting the soul.”

 

The law, by instructing people, restores them from moral blindness to the light that is theirs by nature (Romans 1:19).

 

And in many cases it restores them from sin to righteousness as they repent of their sins and receive Christ as Savior.

 

Verse 7 also says, “The testimony of the Lord is sure.”

 

Don’t bank on God changing to the “new” morality. 

 

God is not reading some of the new views of psychology, and He is not listening to the decisions that some judges are handing down. 

 

God is going to punish sin—He says that is what He is going to do. 

 

The testimony of the Lord is sure. 

 

Judgment is coming. 

 

The commandments reveal that.

 

 

In verse 8, God’s rules “rejoice the heart” of the ungodly. 

 

The verse says, “The statutes of the Lord are right.” 

 

Someone says, “There are certain commandments I don’t like.” 

 

Well, maybe you don’t like them, but God does. 

 

They are right. 

 

What makes them right? 

 

In a college sociology class years ago, there was a professor who was always saying, “Who is going to determine what is right?  How do you know what is right?” 

 

When I was young, I couldn’t answer a question like that, but now I know that God determines what is right. 

 

This is His universe; He made it, and He made the rules. 

 

Maybe you do not like the law of gravitation, but I advise you not to fool with it. 

 

That is, if you go to the top of a ten-story building, don’t step off, because God will not suspend the law of gravitation for you. 

 

It operates for everyone, doesn’t it?

 

God’s rules are not meant to be stern commands, but gracious revelations of what God wants people to do for their own good.

 

In addition, the commandments of the Lord are not only right, they are pure. 

 

Friends, His laws are pure and they will do something for you; they will dignify you and lift you up.

 

According to verse 9, every commandment, is designed for humankinds benefit.

 

There are not any laws of God that have no influence for good on the person expected to keep them.

 

The first thing you notice in verse 9 is, “The fear of the Lord is clean.” 

 

We are told that the word fear means “reverential trust.” 

 

I believe it means more than that. 

 

It means fear. 

 

We do well to fear God, folks. 

 

I loved my dad, but I sure was afraid of him. 

 

He kept me in line, and I think in the final analysis, that’s what kept me out of jail. 

 

I knew that when I did wrong there would be trouble. 

 

The fear of the Lord is clean; the fear of the Lord will clean you up. 

 

Fear of my dad made me a better boy, but I still loved him.

 

This verse also states, “The judgments of the Lord are true.” 

 

Do you want to know what truth is? 

 

Pilate wanted to know. 

 

He asked the lord, “What is truth…” (John 18:38), and Truth was standing right there in front of him in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Finally, “The judgments of the Lord are righteous.” 

 

They are right. 

 

Whatever God does is right. 

 

This is a tremendous psalm. 

 

We ought to learn to love the Word of God—all of it. 

 

Someone might have the opinion I am opposed to the Ten Commandments. 

 

But I think the Ten Commandments are wonderful; I am not opposed to them. 

 

I am opposed to Tom Lowe—he can’t keep them. 

 

If you can keep them, then you can ask God to move over; and you can set beside Him because you have made it on your own. 

 

But God says you cannot keep them, and I agree with Him. 

 

He told me I would not make it on my own, and I agree with Him. 

 

I have to come to God as a sinner. 

 

Verse 10 says that God’s law is of far greater good to humans and therefore far more to be desired than any amount of riches.

 

Listen to the verse again, “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”

 

The sweetness of honey indicates the satisfaction God’s Word brings to the individual who takes it into himself.

 

If you will keep God’s commands, there is great reward.

 

Although the wicked may seem to prosper on every hand, we must be assured that keeping the commandments of God’s Word will prove to be our ultimate benefit.

 

The final thing to see today is, “The result of keeping God’s law (vv. 11-14).

 

That’s found in the last four verses:

 

11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
12 Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults.
13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

 

David felt that God’s law was a constant source from which he was taught and instructed.

 

 

He knew that the reward that comes to one who endeavors to abide by God’s commandments is immeasurable

 

In verse 12 we are challenged to “know thyself,” but who can do it?”

 

I use deception, to get my way and I believe Sierra would tell you I’m pretty good at it. 

 

I can give excuses, but God won’t accept them. 

 

God says that you cannot understand your errors. 

 

Just take His word for it that you are a sinner.

 

David asked God to “Cleanse thou me from secret faults.” 

 

Secret faults are a problem with a great number of people today. 

 

They must even be secret from themselves, because they don’t think they are sinners.

 

The believer must pray the preventative prayer, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil …” (Mt 6:13).

 

Then you and I will be upright, or blameless.

 

Believers know they can never be sinless in this life, but we must strive to be blameless.

 

Furthermore, we see in verse 13 that David feared that in times of weakness he would be guilty of committing “presumptuous sins,” or willful, deliberate, intentional sins.

 

David couldn’t understand why he did some of the things he did, and he felt frustration which was made more severe as he studied God’s law. 

 

He prayed that God would keep him from sins committed unconsciously and in ignorance, and then he would be innocent of the great transgression.

 

Do you know what the “great transgression” is? 

 

It is the rejection of Jesus Christ, the One who is the subject of this psalm.

 

Finally, we see in verse 14 that David was concerned that not only what he said, but also what he thought in the depths of his heart, would meet with God’s approval.

 

And he knew he could do this only as the Lord was his constant “strength and redeemer.”

 

Now listen to how David ended this psalm.  This is the verse you hear many times in a Believer’s prayer. 

 

“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”

 

Who was David’s strength? 

 

Christ! 

 

Who was his redeemer? 

 

Christ! 

 

He is also my strength and my redeemer. 

 

He becomes that through the grace of God. 

 

What a wonderful psalm this is.

 

Conclusion

 

I want to end by pointing out that the cry of David’s soul in this psalm was that he might always recognize the glory of God’s law and, as God gave him strength and wisdom, have the determination to apply it daily to every part of his life.

 

Remember, God’s law still applies; what was sin back then is still sin.

 

But God has a remedy for sin, and His name is Jesus Christ. 

 

If you believe in Him, you will be saved.

 

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