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Summer of Psalms:

Psalm 19: The Revelation of God

The Bible is the most widely read book in all the world.

It is also true that the book of Psalms is the most read book in all of the Bible. The psalms provide a window for the soul through which we can express our worship toward God. The psalms reveal the heart of man for God and the heart of God for man. The psalms are songs, hymns of the Hebrew people. They are principles of praise and ways to reverence God. They are the words to congregational singing.

The Greek word psalmos are songs sung with the accompaniment of a stringed instrument. The Psalms are also Hebrew poetry. This kind of poetry was not based on rhyme, but on parallels of thought. The most common kind of Hebrew parallelism is synonymous parallelism, where the second line, stanza or paragraph reinforces the first. As an example, in Psalm 19, the message of God’s revelation in nature is compared to and reinforced by God’s revelation of Himself in His Word. Where nature gives indications of God, the Word of God gives us specific information about God. Psalm 19 also illustrates a second kind of parallelism where the second paragraph elevates the thought of the first. It is like putting high octane gasoline in a high-powered engine.

Thus, Psalm 19 both builds on two ideas: vv 1-6, the revelation of God in nature or natural revelation and vv 7-11, the revelation of God in His Word, or special revelation. This building concept, which elevates the thought of the author, is seen when God reveals His existence in nature. But His precise revelation of Himself in what is written in the Bible. We know that God’s self-revelation of Himself in salvation is not revealed in nature, but only in the Word of God. The lasting value of His revelation to us comes from what He has written.

But Psalm 19 does not end there. The study of the psalm must be applied in order for it to be life changing. That is why the author concludes His psalm with a prayer. In his prayer, he prays that the principles he has learned from all of this would create within him a life that pleases God. Psalm 19 teaches that it is one thing to be in the Word, but it is another to allow the Word to be in you, to change you. When the Word of God changes a life there will by necessity be a personal holiness in that life that will please God.

Psalm 19 is like a “V” in which God’s revelation of Himself is focused in upon the author. The goal of Psalm 19 is to bring change and transformation in the life of a believer. This comes from the Word spiritually cleansing our behavioral “blind-spots” that keep us from being effective for the Lord. In essence, this psalm says that to know God is to know His Word. To know His Word means we need to change. In the New Testament, this change is observable. We become more Christlike, “conformed to the image of His son” (Rom 8:29).

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