Friday, February 18, 2022

The Revelation of God (Psalm 19)

"The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple" (Psalm 19:7).

In Psalm 19, we find some of David’s finest poetry as he seeks to capture the awesome revelation of God in His creation and His Law. Before beginning an extraordinarily descriptive account of God’s revelation in the Scriptures, David sets before us the fabric of the world that in it we might behold the glory of God. John Calvin wrote, “When we behold the heavens we cannot but be elevated by the contemplation of them to Him who is their great Creator.” The beauty and order of God’s creation is “evident proof of His providence.” Yet man in his darkened state has refused to acknowledge God. Only through the special revelation of His Word can anyone be enlightened to fear the Lord and understand the way of salvation.

David’s use of the term law encompasses not just the Mosaic Law but the whole body of doctrine of which true religion and godliness consist. This includes not only the law itself, but the entire covenant of God with His people. God’s Word, His promises, His laws and statutes are so powerful that by His Spirit they revive the languishing soul. God employs His Word as a remedy for restoring us to purity.

Calvin said, “It is therefore of great importance to be well convinced of this truth, that a man’s life cannot be ordered aright unless it is framed according to the law of God, and that without this he can only wander in labyrinths and crooked bypaths.”

How can such teaching be reconciled with Paul who said the law is a dead letter? As we stated above, David here is including the whole covenant of God. Only in Christ can we obey the law. Paul dealt with people who separated the law from the grace and Spirit of Christ. If the Spirit of Christ does not quicken the law, the law is not only unprofitable but deadly. But in speaking of the promises of God, David includes the Gospel. What God promises in the law to those who perfectly obey it, believers obtain by grace through the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. Then, by His Holy Spirit they are enabled to obey God’s commands, not under the yoke of slavery but in freedom. For the regenerate person, God’s commands are not burdensome, but “sweeter also than honey,” “rejoicing the heart.”

Read Deuteronomy 11:18–21. What does this passage say about how familiar we should be with God’s Word? How much time do you spend studying the Scriptures? If you need to spend more time in the Word, commit to a plan that will help you do so.