Monday, 26 September 2011
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
- David’s voice: The message of this section is “creation speaks!” Describe what it says, how it says it, and to whom it speaks.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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
- 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.
- Jesus’ voice: What did Jesus think of God’s law? See Matthew 5:17-20, and 7:12
- Paul’s voice: What did Paul teach about God’s law? See Romans 3:31 and 7:12
- 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
- David’s voice: What does David compare the law to? Why is it desirable? Restate these 2 verses in your own words.
- 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
- Paul’s voice: What did Christ accomplish for us by keeping the law? See Romans 7:22, 8:1-4 and 10:4.
- 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
- 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?
- 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.
- 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
- 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!