Day 2 is now here! Did you write down your spiritual diagnosis and assessment yesterday? If not, do it now: Begin with a journal entry that honestly expresses where you are in your faith, your walk with God, your confidence in knowing the truth of the Christian faith, and your sense of God hearing your prayers (in a paragraph or so).
Day 2 continues the theme of the Word of God . . .
I. Read Psalm 19 (focusing on verses 7-11)
As you read, notice that Psalms are written in parallelisms (a key part of Hebrew poetry). For example:
1. Parallelisms help with the understanding of the meaning.
1′. Restatements in parallel show relationships of the ideas.
This is another way to say the same thing, but has expanded the meaning (there are other kinds of parallels, too).
Psalm 19 (NIV)
1. The heavens declare the glory of God;
1′. the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2. Day after day they pour forth speech;
2′. night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voicegoes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure,
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Introduction – Do you have any books that come in two volumes (Vol. I and Vol. II)? The “book” written by God comes in two volumes: God’s revelation in the world and God’s special revelation in Scripture. Psalm 19 covers both of these. Verses 1-6 deal with the general way that God reveals Himself in the wonders of nature around us all, especially in the vastness of the stars of heaven. This “general revelation” leaves people “without excuse” as to God’s existence and presence (Rom. 1:20). Verses 7-11, the heart of this Psalm, focus on the special revelation of God’s Word to us. There are several important things to notice about God’s Word. First, it is His Word. All of these things are, “of the Lord.” It comes from Him. He is the source. When we connect ourselves with His Word, we are connecting to Him. Second, verses 7-11 tell us what these things are: they are law, statutes, precepts, commands, fear, and ordinances. Each of these things speaks of authority, but also of guidance and connection. God has not left us to wander aimlessly in life. Finally, these verses inform us about what these things of the Lord do. They are active entities; the Word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12). The Word accomplishes positive results in us. The psalmist takes us from the general revelation of God to His special revelation in His Word, and then finally takes us to the place where it all finds a home, our heart (vss 12-14).
In your own words, write a response to these questions.
- List several results or benefits from the use of God’s Word (vss 7-9)? e.g., “refreshing the soul.”
- What results from our encounters in the Word of God (vss 11-14)?
- In your daily life, what are several ways you could enter into using God’s Word even more in order to receive some of the benefits in verses 7-9?
- The psalmist has several descriptions of sin: errors, hidden faults, willful sins, and great transgression. Honestly confess any sins in these categories to the Lord and ask for forgiveness through Jesus Christ who paid for sins, once for all.
II. Pray Psalm 19. Write out a short prayer of your own. Respond to God’s offer of making His Word active your life. Ask Him to keep you “from willful sins” and not let them “rule over” you, as well as to let “the words of [your] mouth and the meditation of [your] heart be pleasing” to Him.
III. Sing this Psalm. Worship the Lord through the singing of His word. Here are several versions and sections of this Psalm to listen to and sing.
- Listen and sing with this classic Scripture song version of verses 7-10 (note: Youtube may have commercials but a nice version follows).
- Here’s a smooth jazz version of verses 1-5 (Strawbridge House)
- Sing along with the final verse of this Psalm in a simple echo song.
- Here’s a collection of hymn-like versions with notation (in the Outline).