“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to you,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
~Psalm 19:14 (NRSV).
Many times Psalm 19 is likened to Psalms 1 and 119 in the Wisdom realm, and it’s very well set in the Psalm 119 mould, particularly verses 7-9. ‘Law’ terms (“decrees,” “precepts,” “commandment” and “ordinances”) are the giveaways. Most of all, its mood is transparent in the worshipful solemnity ushered through its pristine fourteen verses.
The following sub-themes are apparent:
The Heavens Declare the Majesty of God (verses 1-6)
Silence communicates wonder in the loudest of ways. We praise God for the glory of the heavens and the splendour of the universe. The heavens display dramatic evidence of God’s existence; of omniscient power, ever-attending Presence, all-consuming love and care for all of life.
The heavens exist (at least in part) to shelter the sun; the life force for all creation. Like the hero of the universe this splendiferous heavenly body is mysterious as it is powerful. There exists with the sun a fine balance established to millionths of degrees, so we can subsist.
It’s appropriate to thank God for such magnificence of balance and beauty, and the truth the heavens reveal about life, creation—and none less, God. How can we not simply be in awe of this wondrous creation and The Creator behind it all?
Balance of the Law – A Godly Observation (verses 7-11)
The law of God is entirely reliable; the visibility of which is never more known than via the way life works out. When we’re in tune with it, it revives us and makes us wise, even when we’re simple in originality. The precepts of the Lord are right and in this we trust and derive much confidence.
The psalmist, here, is found marvelling at the Law. It holds all of life in sweet balance. Like all creation, there’s a unique and underpinning balance to all the Law.
As highlighted, this section of the psalm is reminiscent—a snapshot—of the majestic Psalm 119; a wonderful meditation for life (cf. Psalm 1). The truth is sweet to our taste making all of life straight, warning us when we stray from the ancient path (Jeremiah 6:16). Verses 10-11 propose the outcomes for obedience. This law revives our souls (verse 7).
Prayer for Protection from Sin (verses 12-14)
God forgives our sins immediately when we unreservedly repent from our hearts. The two aforementioned sections are valuable preludes to this, the most important worship: the commitment to trust and obey.
God protects us from sin when we seek him and keep on praying for knowledge of his will. When we receive his protection it is assuring to us and we allow the Holy Spirit to soothe us away from self-condemnation—a thing that plagues many people unnecessarily. Forgiven is how we feel.
We don’t feel guilty or ashamed when we know God loves us unconditionally, like the Prodigal Son’s father. Indeed, we have returned, haven’t we? That’s all that counts now to God.
Verse 14 is an injunction aimed toward ourselves—that instead we’d seek sanctuary with God in our thoughts and to the very uttering of our words; that our acts and motives would be weighed and found correct by the Lord.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.