NOTES FROM A SERMON PRESENTED BY DR. GREG SLOOP AT THE KANNAPOLIS CHURCH OF GOD ON SUNDAY, JULY 29, 2018 IN THE 10:30 AM SERVICE. FOR VIDEO OF SERVICES, GO TO THE CHURCH WEBSITE, HTTP://WWW.KCOG.ORG, AND CLICK ON THE LIVESTREAM LINK FOR A REPLAY OF THE SERVICES. FOR AUDIO OF THE SERVICES, GO THE THE WEBSITE AND CLICK ON THE MEDIA PAGE.
Psalm 19:1–14 (NKJV)
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. 2 Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world.
General or Natural Revelation
Nature Declares the Powerful Glory of God
The Heavens and the Firmament
Night and Day speak of His knowledge
Every nation, language, people, can see God in His creation.
Nature teaches the existence of God to all the world!
In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,
5 Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, And rejoices like a strong man to run its race.
6 Its rising is from one end of heaven, And its circuit to the other end; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.
The idea of a chamber for the sun speaks of the passage of night and day. At night, the sun is on the other side of the earth, so therefore, like a bridegroom in his chamber. Then, when morning breaks, the sun rises like a strong man and goes from one end of heaven to the other, shining light on everything.
As the sun dominates the heavens and its heat penetrates the earth, so the law of the Lord penetrates and sees all of the earth. One cannot escape the law (Torah) of God.
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 forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
Special Revelation (The Word of God)
Then the psalmist lifts up the value of the truth of God expressed in Word.
In every sense and dimension, the Lord’s Torah (law) is good: it is “perfect,” “sure,” “upright,” “pure,” “radiant,” and “true.” And each of these six characteristics of Torah is illustrated by reference to its role with respect to human beings:
(i) “reviving the life”: it is the fundamental force, restoring to full vigor and vitality the flagging spirit of mankind, and providing him with the enduring inner food without which life cannot be fully lived.
(ii) “making wise the simple”: it provides that wisdom without which life would culminate in the disasters of folly (cf. Ps 14).
(iii) “making the heart rejoice”: it creates that rejoicing which is rooted in a life of uprightness before God.
(iv) “enlightening the eyes”: it reveals the dimensions of truth and reality in human existence, for it is given by God, the giver of life.
(v) “enduring forever”: here, the nuance shifts, for it is the “fear of the Lord” which endures—namely, the reverence for God, which is rooted in response to the Torah of God, is a permanent foundation for human life.
(vi) “they are entirely righteous”: this concluding statement draws together the sum total of law, which is righteous as a consequence of its origin in God, and righteous with respect to its destination, mankind. And the poet adds force to this final description of Torah by likening its worth and desirability to fine gold and sweet honey: the treasures for which humans strive so ardently, and the food which imparts such sweetness to the tongue, are both less desirable than the Lord’s Torah.
Craigie, Peter C. Psalms 1–50. Vol. 19. Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1998. Print. Word Biblical Commentary.
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 Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.
What could be more valuable than gold, or state sweeter than honey?
Why, the Word of God which warns His servants and rewards His servants!
12 Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.
13 Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression.
The Other Part of Special Revelation (Relationship with God, through the Word Jesus Christ)
Three levels of sin are suggested here:
Errors – Perhaps unintentional missteps that nevertheless do not please God.
Presumptuous Sins – Willful, purposeful sins, committed in spite of the knowledge of their sinfulness, and done in spite of the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
Great Trangression – Perhaps limited to capital sins, often associated with adultery and other heinous acts, these are the worst acts.
But the psalmist here is calling on the Lord to forgive him and to keep him from such sins. We should follow His example!
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.
Prayer of Submission and Commitment
Prayer of Consecration
Prayer for Acceptance (Predicated on Obedience)