THE GLORY OF GOD’S LAW Part 1 of 2

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

The law of the LORD is perfect

The law of the LORD is perfect

2-26-05

TITLE: THE GLORY OF GOD’S LAW

Text: Psalm 19

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
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,
5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
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.
7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.
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.
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.


INTRODUCTION

Psalm 19 is an eloquent song of praise to the glory of God’s law, even though David begins his song of praise in adoration toward God solely in terms of His glory in nature. Yet the most prominent feature of this psalm is praise to God for His law (His Word). It can be divided into three sections: first, “the glory of the Lawgiver” (vv. 1-6); second, “the glory of the law and its applications” (vv. 7-10); and third, “the law in relation to man” (vv. 11-14).

The goal of all Bible study is to obtain knowledge of Jesus Christ and of yourself. This psalm tells you what the Bible can do for you if only you will read it, meditate on it, and obey it. The better you understand your Bible and obey it, the more you will appreciate God’s creation and the better you will understand yourself and others. God’s Word is the basic book; it is our textbook.


THE GLORY OF GOD’S LAW

The first thing I want you to consider is, “The glory of the Lawgiver” (vv. 1-6).

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.
2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
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,
5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
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 psalm begins with, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” The “heavens” are plural, describing their variety; there are the watery heavens with their clouds, the higher heavens with their calms and storms, the solar heavens with their glories of the day, and the starry heavens with the marvels of the night. The word “declare” indicates that every moment God’s existence, power, and goodness are being expressed by the heavenly heralds that shine upon us. “Day unto day …and night unto night” the heavens give their information. Each day is poetically pictured as informing the next day of God’s glory; therefore, the Good News has been nonstop through the ages. In verse 3 “speech” and “language” indicate that in all languages, humans have recognized in some way the glory of God in nature. “The heavens declare the glory of God.”

Paul, in his letter to the Romans said it in this way, “For the invisible things of him from

the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20). The heavens tell about the wisdom of God, they tell about the power of God, and they tell about, I think, something of the plan and purpose of God.

From the beginning, the heavens have been the primitive witness of God to man. In the Old Testament, creation is credited exclusively to God the Father. But when you come to the New Testament, where there is further explanation even of the act of creation, you find that it is not exactly accurate to say that God the Father is the Maker of heaven and earth. The Trinity was involved in the creation of the earth. The New Testament tells us that the Lord Jesus was the instrument of creation, and the Holy Spirit came in and refurbished and revamped it. Genesis 1:2 says, “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

The apostle John tells of another beginning: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:1-3). This is the Lord Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:6, speaking about the Lord Jesus, says, “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him.” The Lord Jesus was the agent in creation.

The first chapter of Ephesians tells us that all the members of the Trinity were involved in our redemption: God the Father planned it, the Son paid for it, and the Holy Spirit protects it. This applies to God’s creation as well: God the Father planned this universe; the Son carried out the plan, and He is the One who redeemed it, and the Holy Spirit today is moving and brooding over this creation.

According to verse 5, the bridegroom went forth to meet the bride in glorious apparel, and he was preceded by a blaze of torchlight. He scattered the darkness before Him. It’s interesting to note that the sun is likened to a bridegroom coming out of his chamber.

When I visited the Rocky Mountains I saw some glorious sunrises. It was a thrill to see the light breaking through the clouds to create long shadows that ran from the valleys to the mountain tops. It was thrilling, and it was a picture of another bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of Righteousness. Some day He is coming in glory to this earth, but before He comes, He is going to take His church out of this world.

He is the Bright and Morning Star. The Bright and Morning Star always appears before the sun rises. What a picture we have here of creation! There is nothing quite like it. This wonderful, wonderful psalm pictures creation.

In verse 6 David dwells on the vastness of the course traveled by the sun. He was writing poetically and symbolically in light of the understanding of his day.

Next, let’s consider that, “The glory of the law can be seen in verses 7-10.”

7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

I read a good translation offered by a good preacher, Dr. Gaebelein; he said it like this: “The law of Jehovah is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of Jehovah is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of Jehovah are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of Jehovah is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of Jehovah is clean, enduring for ever; the judgments of Jehovah are truth, they are all together righteous. More to be desired than gold, than much fine gold, and sweeter than honey, and honeycomb. By them thy servant is warned, in keeping them the reward is great.” This psalm has seven things to say about the commandments.

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