Lectionary Calendar
Friday, December 1st, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 19

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-14

  1. Intro:
    1. Read & Master 3 books: the book of Nature, the Bible, the book of Humanity. (Warren Wiersbe; With The Word; pg.319)
      1. A scientist studies the book of nature, & a psychologist studies the book of human nature, but if they ignore God’s Book, their conclusions will be wrong. Keep balanced!
      2. Illus: Learning to Fly-fish. You can study how to cast; & how to present the fly in the right spot; but you also must know the hatch!
    2. God’s revelation is a Self-Disclosure! We don’t find Him per se, He removes the veil to reveal Himself. [Revelation=to unveil]
      1. How has He chosen to do this? - 2 ways through…
      2. General Revelation(or Natural) (see here in vs. 1–6);
      3. Specific Revelation(or Supernatural) (see here in vs. 7–14).
        1. General – Through Creation; & in our Conscience (Rom.2:14,15).
          1. Rom.1:20 “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
          2. Rom.2:14,15 “for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them.”
        2. Specific – Through Christ & the Scriptures (also, Theophanies; Dreams & Visions; Direct Communication (i.e.)“thus saith the Lord”; Angels; Miracles)
          1. Christ & the Scriptures = OT, then Christ, then NT.
      4. Judgment is based on the revelation you have been exposed to:
        1. “But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you(Capernaum).” Mt.11:24
  1. THE BOOK OF NATURE! (1-6)
    1. (1) The heavens declare the glory of God – How?
      1. By openly bearing testimony that they have not been put together by chance, but were wonderfully made by the Supreme Architect.
      2. Show - Times 10.
      3. The stars arranged in such a beautiful order, yet despite their immense number there is no confusion.
        1. (Wiersbe) “If the stars came out only once every thousand years, we’d stay up all night & look at them in awe & wonder”
    2. (3) Different nations vary from each other as to language; but the heavens have a common language to teach all men w/o distinction. (John Calvin; Heart Aflame; Psalms; pg.58)
      1. The heavenly anthem is unheard by the outer ear, but what marvelous harmony it brings to the inner ear!
      2. Sometimes were impressed by a certain wonder of a landscape scene, sometimes by a night-scape.
      3. The Psalmist draws special attention to the sun, the most prominent member of the daytime choir.
    3. (5,6) The sun & moon perform their daily revolutions flawlessly.
      1. The sun wakes in the morning like an excited bridegroom leaving his home in the morning on his wedding day.
      2. And like a champion marathoner running his course & finishing well.
    4. The Babylonian & Egyptian’s had hymns to the sun, because to them it was deity.
      1. To the psalmist it is a creation of God, set in the heavens to reveal HIS Glory!
    5. Maybe this is also 2 keys to face each day:
      1. Bridegroom – w/wonderful hope & love & joy.
      2. A strong man running a race – Start each day with glory & grace & a goal to be reached.
  2. “THE” BIBLE! (7-10)
    1. ​​​​​​​We’ve been outdoors looking at God’s world…he now leads us inside & picks up a scroll.
      1. Note the shift from “God”(1-6) to “Lord”(7-14).
        1. Lord – Yahweh(I am) used in connection of the giving of the Law.
        2. God – El denoting power.
    2. Here’s what the Bible can do for you IF you will read it, meditate on it, & obey it.
      1. And the better we understand the bible the more we’ll appreciate God’s creation, & the better we’ll understand ourselves & others.
    3. David Describes God’s Word!
    4. The Law: virtually synonyms, yet shades of distinction.
      1. Law/instruction; testimony/a witness to God’s will & man’s duty; statutes or precepts/a collection of specific injunctions; commandment/that which expresses the will of a personal God; fear/ that which brings reverence for God; judgments/it is also a group of judgments.
    5. What it is: It is perfect, sure/trustworthy, right, pure, clean/clear, true & righteous.
    6. What it does: It refreshes the inner man; makes the simple wise; brings joy to the heart, & sheds light on the way of life.
    7. The story is told of a college professor who visited the Fiji Islands. Being agnostic, he critically remarked to an elderly chief, "You're a great leader, but it's a pity you've been taken in by those foreign missionaries. They only want to get rich through you. No one believes the Bible anymore. People are tired of the threadbare story of Christ dying on a cross for the sins of mankind. They know better now. I'm sorry you've been so foolish as to accept their story." The old chief's eyes flashed as he answered, "See that great rock over there? On it we smashed the heads of our victims. Notice the furnace next to it? In that oven we formerly roasted the bodies of our enemies. If it hadn't been for those good missionaries and the love of Jesus that changed us from cannibals into Christians, you'd never leave this place alive! You'd better thank the Lord for the Gospel; otherwise we'd already be feasting on you. If it weren't for the Bible, you'd now be our supper!”
    8. (10) David considers God’s word more precious than gold and sweeter than honey.
      1. Better than all the things money can buy.
      2. The Bible is flawless – We can trust it, test it, & taste it!
    9. Magi – saw Star – read Scriptures (to figure out place of messiah birth) – met Jesus!
    10. A man was out walking in the desert when a voice said to him, "Pick up some pebbles and put them in your pocket, and tomorrow you will be both sorry and glad." The man obeyed. He stooped down and picked up a handful of pebbles and put them in his pocket. The next morning he reached into his pocket and found diamonds and rubies and emeralds. And he was both glad and sorry. Glad that he had taken some -- sorry that he hadn't taken more. And so it is with God's word!
    11. All of this leads to self-examination & Prayer! (11-14)
    1. ​​​​​​​The goal of all study should be to know God, & know yourself.
    2. Don’t worship only the God of creation, or the God of revelation. Let Him be the God of Salvation in your heart!!!
      1. Or we can say…Don’t simply worship the God of nature. Get into the Word of God & let God into you!
    3. (11) Warned by His Laws & Rewarded in keeping them!
      1. David knows that God’s word can keep him from sin.
    4. (12,13) Secret faults(accidental/unintentional sins) & presumptuous sins(willful sins, defiantly, lit. w/a high hand).
      1. For sins of carelessness the Law provided an atonement(Lev.4&5)
      2. For willful sins no animal sacrifice was provided(Num.15:30,31)
        1. In such case a man could cast himself directly on the mercy of God.
    5. Secret faults - don’t even remember them!
      1. Show long Night exposure of Romulo, in Mexico, with pin-light: In such a way, our sin presents itself before the eyes of God. Where we see only isolated or individual acts, God sees the overall web of our sinning. What may seem insignificant—even sporadic—to us and passes with hardly a notice creates a much more dramatic display from God’s panoramic viewpoint. The psalmist was right when he wrote, “Who can discern his errors?”
    6. (13) Keep back… - Acknowledge your need for a bridle!
      1. (i.e.) Something that acts as a control or restraint.
    7. (14) If we open each day(2) beholding God’s Glory: in Nature & in His Word; And if we live each day w/the devotion of a bridegroom & the determination of an athlete(5); Then at the end of each day we’ll have done what pleases Him!(14)
    8. Remember when Enoch was walking with God one day when God said, “hey we’re closer to My house, let’s go there!” (Taken from Ravi Zacharias Podcast)
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Psalms 19". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/psalms-19.html. 2017.
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