Today’s Scripture Lesson: Psalms 19
My studies still have me in the Psalms and at my current rate, they’ll have me there for a while. As the last Bible Study To Go article revealed, I entered the Psalms for a deeper understanding of worship. While the Holy Spirit is teaching, guiding, and instructing me in that regard, He has revealed something else about the nature of the Psalms.
What I have found is what I can only describe as a filter. As I read the Psalms, I find God drawing my attention toward more and more junk and baggage that I continue to carry with me. While the Psalms reveal glorious truths about our Creator, they shine a light on the meditations of my heart. That light isn’t always pleasant and has repeatedly revealed empty falsehoods I have claimed and spoken as truth – falsehoods focused on rewards outside of God’s very presence.
As I understand more deeply how easily my heart is deceived by the pleasures of this world, I pray for deliverance and that He will soften my heart into a deeper state of surrender.
What’s in Your Heart?
Primarily, I want to spend some time with Psalm 19, today. I encourage you to open your Bible and read this Psalm in its entirety.
This Psalm reveals the meditation of David’s heart. He begins with a wondrous word of praise, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; their expanse is declaring the works of His hands.” The first thing David does in this Psalm is to bring recognition to the fact that we only look upward to witness the proclamation of the glory of God. Verse 3 reveals that the heavens do so without speech, without words, and even without voice.
Before we dive into the middle section, let’s look at how David closes this Psalm. He closes seeking forgiveness and in a state of surrender. Verses 12 – 14 state:
Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.
Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins;
Let them not rule over me;
Then I will be blameless,
And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.
I find an interesting connection between four phrases from this little section.
- Who can discern his errors? (a question of self-awareness)
- Presumptuous sins (things to which we give ourselves a free pass)
- Words of my mouth (we could do a whole study on that…oh we already did)
- Meditation of my heart
What’s on Your Mind?
I have a friend who pointed out how we’re all excellent at meditation. If you believe that to be a false statement, chances are good that you’re only thinking about meditating on the Bible. Truth be told, when all is quiet (and not necessarily in the silence), there is self-talk going on. “I’ve got this.” “This is easy.” “No problem.” “They’ll be glad I was the one to take care of this.”
Of course, those are the positive phrases we say, aren’t they? We also say things like: “They don’t deserve me.” “No one appreciates me.” “I’m a loser.” “I’m a failure.” “God doesn’t care.”
Our mouth speaks directly out of the meditations of the heart (Matthew 15:18). Those are the things which defile us. When you consider the idea that your heart has been meditating on lies, do you see how that leads to an inability to discern your own errors? Do you see how this inability can lead to presumptuous sins?
It’s pretty easy to fall into what David calls presumptuous sin. Let’s clarify what this sin is, though. Doing a little word study, you might come to the conclusion that it is sin rooted in pride and arrogance – both of which are manifestations of unbelief. It turns my attention to Jeremiah 6:15 and Jeremiah 8:12 where God is speaking to the prophet. In both verses He says to Jeremiah, “They were not even ashamed at all; they did not even know how to blush.” Pride and arrogance have a central focus of self, but it is often masked by focusing on the sins of others. At the same time, this sin can easily be about knowing right from wrong and choosing sin with an attitude of unbelief.
So, What’s the Play Call?
What does David use as the meditation of his heart? We ding the answer to this question in the middle of this Psalm. He meditates on God’s revealed truths, and he does so in faith.
Meditate on the following verses (truths) from Psalm 19:
The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether. (7-9)
As you meditate on these truths, remember how David viewed these truths:
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. (10)