God's Glorious Word
(7) The law (Torah) of Yahweh is perfect, restoring the soul. The testimony of Yahweh is firm, making wise the simple. (8) The precepts of Yahweh are right, giving joy to the heart. The commandment of Yahweh is pure, giving light to the eyes. (9) The fear of Yahweh is clean, enduring forever. The judgments of Yahweh are true and righteous altogether. (10) (They are) more desirable than gold, than much pure gold. (They are) sweeter than honey, than the drippings of the honeycomb. (11) Moreover, through them your servant is warned. In keeping them (there is) great reward.
Midway through the psalm, David shifts from praising God for his general revelation in creation to extolling God for his special revelation found in the Scriptures. In this segment he describes God’s law, specifically the Pentateuch, in six parallel statements. Each statement contains words and phrases that provide a wonderful summary of both the nature and function of God’s Word.
Note the array of descriptive terms David uses to portray the beauty of God’s Word: “perfect” or complete, “firm” or solid, “right” or without deviation, “pure” or flawless, “clean,” “enduring,” “true,” and “righteous” (vss. 7-9). This section climaxes with David comparing the value of God’s Word to two rare and precious commodities in the ancient world, gold and honey (vs. 10). Finally, David mentions two specific ways God’s Word works in the believer’s life, one negative and the other positive. God’s Word both warns us when we need correcting and enriches us as we pursue a life of obedience (vs. 11).
I. The attributes of God’s perfect Word (7-9)
II. The value of God’s precious Word (10)
III. The function of God’s powerful Word (11)
As we grow in our appreciation for God’s Word, we gain a greater understanding of how it undergirds our spiritual lives.
In this middle segment of Psalm 19, David helps us grasp the exquisite beauty and inestimable value of God’s Word as he examines its attributes under the strong spotlight of the Spirit’s inspiration. Is this book we call the Bible really such a precious possession? Is it really worth studying? Is it really worth translating into the thousands of languages in the world as an army of translators has done and is continuing to do at the present day so that people of every tribe and tongue can read God’s Word in their mother language? Was it really worth dying for as unnumbered martyrs in church history have done by the sacrifice of their lives?
When we understand what the Bible is and how it functions, we will value nothing else we possess on this earth as highly as the written Word of God. To paraphrase a famous quote attributed to the evangelist, Dwight L. Moody, we will seek to become both its absolute master in knowing its truths and its absolute servant in obeying what it tells us to do.