Psalm 19: Hearing God’s voice

As we head into our next psalm, I wanted to respond to a recent question I was asked.  Why did I pick these certain psalms to study?  Why not different ones?

We each have our favorites, so I understand the question.  We’re not even touching Psalm 25, one of my favorites, or Psalm 103, another good one.  Nothing personal, we’re just following the curriculum of a commentary on the Psalms I borrowed from my husband this summer.  I’m planning to list the book in the margin of this blog, in case you want to check it out further online.  Once I’ve added the sidebar, I’ll list other books as they become pertinent to our study.

Now for an announcement…No I’m not expecting, but this Psalm is.  Bruce Waltke writes, “The Psalm is pregnant with the gospel.”  What lies in seed form in these fourteen verses is fully birthed in the New Testament.  I am looking forward to how that insight deepens our love for this portion of God’s word.  Maybe it will be come a new favorite?

Let’s get ready to dig in by asking a question that is relevant to everyone.  How do you hear God’s voice?  There are times when even an non-religious person wants to know.  Life is perplexing.  God is mysterious.  I have questions.  But I can’t tell if it’s God’s voice I’m hearing and not just my innermost thoughts.  Sometimes I wish he would write across the sky!  Then I would know what he is saying for sure.

But that brings us to a second question, doesn’t it?  What do I do once I’ve heard God’s voice?  How do I respond?

This week’s study questions. My instructions last week were a little unclear to some of you, so I’m going to change the way I format this section.  We are still going to listen for the “three voices” (David’s, Jesus’, and mine), but this week we are going to add a fourth voice, Paul’s.  Also we will listen section by section.  I have the questions arranged by days of the week below:

Day 1 — Psalm 19:1-6

  1. David’s voice:  The message of this section is “creation speaks!”  Describe what it says, how it says it, and to whom it speaks.
  2. Jesus’ voice:  How does Jesus mine creation’s speech in his parables?  List some of the analogies he employs as a master teacher to communicate the glory of God.
  3. Paul’s voice:  Paul quotes Psalm 19:4 in Romans 10:18.  Read also Romans 1:19-20.  If David says, “creation speaks,” what does Paul say is its message?  How has mankind responded to that message?
  4. Your voice:  Meditate on creation today as you go about your day.  What do you hear of God in it?  Praise him for the glory you see!

Day 2 — Psalm 19:7-9

  1. David’s voice:  Why does David change the name by which he addresses God in these verses?  What does the LORD say?  Dig for detail by listing all the nouns, verbs, and adjectives that describe the law and its effect.
  2. Jesus’ voice:    What did Jesus think of God’s law?  See Matthew 5:17-20, and 7:12
  3. Paul’s voice:  What did Paul teach about God’s law?  See Romans 3:31 and 7:12
  4. My voice:  What would the world look like if everyone obeyed even one of God’s laws perfectly?  For example, take the ninth commandment, “You shall not steal.”  How many things about my life, my family, my city would be different if that were perfectly obeyed.  Rejoice in the beauty of the law as an expression of God’s goodness and holiness.

Day 3 –Psalm 19:10-11

  1. David’s voice:  What does David compare the law to?  Why is it desirable?  Restate these 2 verses in your own words.
  2. Jesus’ voice:  How did Jesus take the warnings of the law seriously?  See Matthew 5:27-30.  What “great reward” did he receive for keeping the law?  See Matthew 16:21
  3. Paul’s voice:  What did Christ accomplish for us by keeping the law?  See Romans 7:22, 8:1-4 and 10:4.
  4. My voice:  How does the work of Christ allow me to delight in the law instead of being crushed by it?  Praise him for keeping the law for you, especially in an area where you struggle with temptation and sin.

Day 4 — Psalm 19:12-14

  1. David’s voice:  How does David respond to the law of God?  Contrast it to the Israelite’s response in Exodus 24:3.  What does he ask? (For the difference between secret sin and high handed sin see Psalm 90:8 and Numbers 15:30-31.) What name does he call God now?
  2. Jesus’ voice:  When did Jesus show us that no sins were hidden from him?  See John 4:16-18.  How did Jesus deal with the sin and the sinner?  See John 8:10-11 and John 5:14.
  3. Paul’s voice:  How does Jesus save us from besetting sins and free us to live a holy life?  See Romans 6:12-14 and 12:1
  4. My voice:  Pray to your Redeemer today, asking him to free you from the sins that hound you.  Praise your Rock, who gives you a firm standing before your God until you are fully sanctified!

I hope you find this format a helpful map to explore this wonderful psalm.  Please give me any feedback you have.  Also, share your response to God’s voice with us, so we can make it a chorus of praise!

9 comments on “Psalm 19: Hearing God’s voice

  1. Meredith says:

    Lately I’ve been acutely aware of other religions that have seemingly been gaining momentum around the world. It has been weighing on me and tempting me to fear what lies ahead.

    God blessed me through this psalm today in a way I didn’t expect. Verse 4 says “In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun…” Those words didn’t mean much to me until I read the note in my study Bible which said that sun worship was a widespread religion in those times. And then I saw that verse in a new light. The “gods” that are worshiped around the world as the most supreme of all, God takes them and “pitches a tent” around them. He engulfs all other religions with His supremacy and superiority.

    I have nothing to fear, no matter how much prominence other religions seem to have now. In the day of His choosing, His glory will be revealed to all. Then every knee shall bow and tongue confess that He is Lord! How that humbles me that I can say it now – thank you Lord for saving me!

  2. Lissa says:

    question: Did anyone find anything out about why David switches to use LORD in verse 7? I didn’t have anything in my study bible about it..

    Also I have never really thought to think about truly how beautiful the law is. It is what points to christ, he who fulfilled it perfectly. Paul describes it in Romans 7: 12 as “holy, righteous and good,” and I thought that is what Christ is, only difference being that the law cannot save us only point us to our need for Christ, which him alone can save! What a great thing to reflect on!

    • rondi says:

      I’m glad you asked that. God or “El” is the Creator’s name, used in Genesis 1:1. So it makes sense David would call him by that name when pondering creation. The LORD or YHWH is the name God revealed to Moses in Exodus 3. That is the name under which he saved Israel from Egypt, birthed them through the Red Sea, and brought them to himself to worship him at Sinai. It is the name under which he gave them the law as the expression of his character. So when David turns to praise the law, he addresses God by that name.

      Which leads me to the question…what name has he revealed to us through his Son?

      • Lissa says:

        So God is the more general name where as LORD becomes the personal name of God specifically announced to Israel?
        As far as the NT, I know this isn’t a trick question maybe I am just tired but is it Christ. I was looking it up and Christ means, anointed (which I didn’t know), which he was the anointed Son of God. Or there is Savior, which he is the savior of our lives. Or bridegroom…hmmmmm…which one did you have in mind 🙂

        • Lissa says:

          oh my heck, it has hit me on the head like a ton of bricks. Rondi, I was journaling just now and wrote God, and instantly what you said about the name God came into my mind, his name from Genesis 1:1, and then what Mark preached on Sunday came in too, and he said, Lissa, what did my son tell you to address me as, Father, he is our Father, our ultra personal, amazingly close and lovingly to us! Oh how great!!!
          Sorry I just had to share after my crazy brain fart earlier 🙂 I am amazed still 🙂

          • rondi says:

            No need to apologize for the hard work of thinking! That’s why teachers ask questions instead of just giving answers. Not only did you get to do some pondering and “extended data bank searching”, but you were blessed with the ministry of the Holy Spirit guiding you to the truth you were seeking. Thanks for sharing your process with us.

            Rejoicing with you, too. What a high and precious privilege to lisp, “Daddy” to the Most High.

  3. Meredith says:

    I hadn’t thought much about the law being beautiful either Lissa. I usually think of the “law” and immediately feel restricted. Our study of Psalm 15 was when I began to see the law in a new light. Those ten commands are beautiful in themselves but I couldn’t see that because I was overly focusing on my inability to fulfill them.

    And now in Psalm 19, I feel like God is expanding my understanding to help me also see the law is “holy, righteous, and good” like you quoted in Romans. When I re-read this Psalm today, the emphasis for me landed on the law being “good.” And not just good in itself, but actually good for me personally. In my journal I listed all the benefits this Psalm tells us we gain by obeying the law: revives my soul, makes me wise, gives me joy, gives me light, I am warned, and gives me great reward.

    It really is amazing when I think that the law that I am tempted to rebel against (so I can have things my way and achieve the joys I am seeking) is actually the very place that I will find all of those benefits I was trying to achieve on my own. They really are more precious than gold and designed for my good. Once again I am in awe of our perfect Creator!

    • rondi says:

      So wonderful to hear Lissa’s reflection and Meredith’s response. I love the thought that the benefits I seek in rebellion are actually given to me in the fulfilled law through Christ.

      Here’s another wonder…The law’s beauty is best seen in Christ as he perfectly lived out both the letter and the spirit. When he gave us his “law keeping” as a gift of grace, we not only got his record, but his beauty. Now that beauty rests on us, and is becoming increasingly worked out in our lives–especially through trials. Now that’s a new spin on trials, huh?

      • Lissa says:

        It is true! I am being re-reminded how amazing it is that God would use trials, sufferings, and all the sort to bring about his glory and his greatness and his sovereign plan.