God’s Creation, God’s Law and You
- The psalm before us, Psalm 19 is a psalm of David.
- It is a song of praise that magnifies God’s glory in Creation and extols the beauty of God’s Law.
- When we step outside of our front doors what we see in Creation has great relevance for both our worship of God and our evangelism. In our psalm, we also see David praising God for His law. What does that mean practically for us?
I. What God’s Creation Reveals (verses 1-6)
- Here the psalmist reminds us, that when you look up into the sky, the sky isn’t just there, existing, doing nothing.
- Rather, he says the heavens, the sky, the firmament are actually preaching a sermon.
- The message the sky is proclaiming is ‘All that you see — God did this. God created the heavenly expanse. This is God’s doing, God’s handiwork and therefore, it all preaches God’s glory.’
- Every 24 hour cycle since the first day of creation has had a period of light and a period of darkness — of day and night.
- This speaks of purpose, intentionality, design, order. It speaks of a sovereign, all-wise, all-powerful, Creator. That’s why David says — the skies ‘reveal knowledge.’ In other words, the sky, the firmament — teaches, it imparts understanding about the God of the universe.
- Verse 3 says there are no actual words to this sermon, yet verse 5→this sermon is spoken “through all the earth.”
- In verse 5, we read of how the sun bears glorious testimony to God’s glory.
- In all of this, the firmament, the sky, the heavens — are declaring the glory of God.
- Theologians have historically called this; they have called God’s revelation of Himself in creation, natural revelation or general revelation.
- Explain general revelation and special revelation and the implications for our evangelism.
- As believers, we don’t worship creation. However, it is right and good for us to allow creation to stir our hearts to worship our Creator and Savior.
II. Why God’s Law Matters (verses 7-11)
- In verses 7-11, the psalmist goes on to extol the perfections of God’s Law.
- To be clear — when David speaks of the Law of the Lord here – he is referring to the Torah. Broadly speaking, the word Torah refers to the first five books of the Old Testament — Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
- More specifically, the word Torah refers to the commands of God in the law of Moses.
- So when we read verses 7-11, we should read them as extolling not only the Word of God in general — but more specifically extolling the goodness of God’s law.
- Explain the relevance of the law in the New Covenant Era.
- Application Question: Do you view the law of God with the same kind of delight as the psalmist?
- It can help us appreciate the value and desirableness of the law to consider the blessings that come from obeying it.
- The psalmist says of God’s commands — “By them is your servant warned; In keeping them there is great reward (vs.11).”
- This reminds us—God’s law was originally given to us for human flourishing.
- Great spiritual blessing always follows obedience; often earthly blessing will attend obedience as well.
- Disobedience to God has consequences — both spiritually and oftentimes as well in other ways. A man reaps what he sows.
- As Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden illustrates, disobedience to God brings all manner of disorder and chaos. And that is always the case. Disobedience to God– in an individual, a marriage, a family, a community, a nation–it inevitably results in chaos.
- The choice every human being faces is Christ or chaos — submission to Christ, His Lordship, His law or chaos, disorder and eventual eternal separation from God.
- The gospel makes it possible for us to live in submission to Christ and His Lordship.
- We won’t obey God perfectly until we are with Him in glory, which is why we thank God that we aren’t justified in God’s sight by our law keeping, but by grace and grace alone.
- However, by the power of the Spirit within us we are transformed from one degree of glory to another over time.
- Note: The engine that propels the car of the Christian life is not God’s Law. Rather, the engine of the Christian life is the Holy Spirit who transforms from one degree of glory to another us by daily pointing us to Christ—to his person and work (2 Cor 3:17-18).
- We still need the law because the law is like a spiritual GPS of sorts. The law directs away from all that is evil and towards everything that is right and good and wise and makes for human flourishing.
- May we regularly meditate upon God’s law. Martin Luther, the one who helped the church to re-discover the gospel of grace and doctrine of justification by faith alone—daily took time in his devotions to pray through the 10 Commandments.
- Let us prayerfully meditate on Gods commands, allowing them to direct us and convict us where necessary.
- When we sin, may we flee to the Cross and repent.
- Encouragement to parents to teach their children the priority of obedience to God’s law. When they fail, lead them to the Cross where forgiveness has been abundantly provided.
- Recommend: New City Catechism Questions 8-12 .
III. Our response (verses 12-14)
- Having considered God’s glory as revealed in Creation — as revealed in the heavenly expanse, the skies and then having also considered the excellence of God’s law–the psalmist is moved to pray.
- Here David humbly recognizes that is heart is so sinful that it is possible for him to sin without him even knowing it. So he pray’s ‘God forgive me of those sins. Declare me innocent from them.’
- Thank God for the gospel and for Jesus blood and sacrifice. His blood covers even the sins we’ve committed that we know not that we’ve committed.
- In verse 13, David goes on to pray that God would keep him from willfully sinning. That’s what presumptuous sins are. They are willful sins, flagrant sins, sins that you step into full well knowing what you are doing yet committing them anyway. David says ‘Lord keep me from those kinds of bold sins.’
- David sums up his prayer in verse 14. We pray similarly:
Lord I love you.
Lord I thank you for saving me.
Thank you for giving your life for me.
Lord now help me to please you.
Help me to honor you, Jesus, with my life.
And when I fail…Lord I thank you that you are my redeemer.
Who forgives my every sin. Amen
Questions for Discussion/Application:
- Re-read the text, Psalm 19:1-14. What initial insights and observations do you have from reading this passage?
- What does God’s creation reveal about God?
- What are some ways we see God’s glory in creation?
- Describe a time when you personally marveled at God’s glory in creation.
- How can we grow in taking opportunity to worship God for the ways we see His glory in creation?
- What is the value of God’s law in the life of the Christian?
- How can we grow to delight in the law of the Lord, like the psalmist does here?
- As Christians we have been justified in God’s sight through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Our sin was imputed to Christ, at the Cross and his righteousness was imputed to us at the moment of our conversion. When God looks at us, he sees not the filth of our sin, but the perfect righteousness of His Son Jesus. Legalism is when we begin to smuggle our works, our law-keeping into our justification. How can we simultaneously value, cherish and pursue obedience to God’s law and rest in our justification? In our attempt to obey God, how can we avoid legalism? What does it look like practically to do that?
- Re-read verses 12-14. In what ways do you resonate with the psalmist’s prayer. Consider taking time to pray along the same lines as David does in these verses.