Psa. 19:0 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

This is a psalm (song) that David has given to the head musician, the director of music, at the Temple. 

 

Psa. 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

The heavens (the sky and all the celestial bodies) declare (celebrate, show forth) the glory (splendor, copiousness/richness) of God.  The second phrase is a poetic rephrasing of the first with an added reference to God as the Creator of all that is seen in the heavens.

 

Psa. 19:2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

Psa. 19:3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

Continually, from sunset to sunset, the heavens declare the power, majesty and knowledge of God.  The word for knowledge includes more than just knowing facts; it includes the power to instruct, to make known, and to give understanding.  In reference to verse one, the instruction and revelation being given is about Almighty God.  Whereas we humans communicate through the language of words, the Almighty can reveal Himself to us by the wonder, majesty and amazing design of His creation.  He doesnŐt just use Hebrew or English or French or                        ; the declaration of His creation is universally understandable.

 

Psa. 19:4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,

Psa. 19:5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.

Psa. 19:6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

The word for line includes the idea of being measured and connected.  I think David is saying that the heavens have been designed with purpose for the good of planet earth and its inhabitants.  The dominant body of the heavens is the sun.  The sun rises in the morning with a brilliance that David compares to the joy reflected in the face of a bridegroom embracing a new day and to a runner who is strong and confident in his ability to win the race.  The rising and setting of the sun are continual and dependable from day to day.  All of planet earth experiences the effect of the heat of the sun.

 

Psa. 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

As David contemplates the heavens and how they are a reflection of the wisdom and design of their Creator, he automatically makes a jump to the wisdom and dependability of GodŐs purposes for man.  God gives us His law, His commandments, for a purpose—to bring man back into fellowship with Him.  Everything contained in the law represents truth.  The Hebrew for the word sure included the idea of a parent nurturing and building up a child.  GodŐs witness, His word, is meant to nurture us and build us up to be wise in mind, word, and action—a people who are no longer deceived by the enemy and slaves to our sin nature.

 

Psa. 19:8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

God gives us guidelines for living that are right/just; they are meant to bring us joy and pleasure.  God isnŐt sitting up in the heavens trying to think of ways to make our life miserable; He takes pleasure in our happiness.  His words and guidelines are meant to protect us and enrich our enjoyment of life.  Every command of God is intended for our well-being and to bring a shine of joy to our eyes.

 

Psa. 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

The fear of the Lord is a reflection in our attitude and actions that recognize God for Who He Is—all-powerful, seeing everything, knowing everything, worthy of our praise and worship.  When we fear the Lord, we will choose to be morally clean/pure in our thoughts, words, and deeds—a mindset that will extend into eternity. 

 

Every decree or judgment of God is certain, trustworthy, and morally right.

 

Psa. 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Psa. 19:11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

David is saying that we should desire to possess and live by the law of the Lord and the words of the Lord in fear of the Lord more than we desire gold (earthly treasure) or the taste of honey (earthly delights).  Why?  Because they provide enlightenment and teaching and result in great reward from God.  (5/07) This implies a reward of greater treasure and greater delight.

 

Psa. 19:12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.

Psa. 19:13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

As David continues to meditate, his thoughts turn back to himself.  He doesnŐt want his life to be full of mistakes.  He wants God to forgive him and wash him clean from the sins in his life of which he is ignorant—or maybe this is a reference to sins that he has tried to hide from everyone else, but he knows that they are not hidden from God.  David also recognizes that he needs GodŐs help to keep him from sin that results from pride; pride is a powerful influence in our lives.  He doesnŐt want pride to rule his choices and actions.  With GodŐs enablement David knows that he can live a life that is pleasing to God—a life that is free of rebellion and sinful practices. 

 

Psa. 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

David closes by expressing a desire for the words of his mouth and the meditation/thoughts of his heart to delight and bring pleasure to God (from the Hebrew for acceptable).  David claims YHWH, the God of Israel, as his strength (rock, refuge) and his redeemer (deliverer).

 

I canŐt help but think of the words of an old hymn:

 

O Lord my god!   When I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy hands have made.  I see the stars; I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

 

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee; How great Thou art, how great Thou art!  Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee; How great Thou art!  How great Thou art!                                     --Carl Boberg