For Our Protection

By them your servant is warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19:11

There are many very good reasons why the Word of God cautions us about certain things in life: for our protection. How often, though, do you hear people say that the Bible restricts us from doing things? God knows mankind and our tendencies, appetites, desires, and thinking. He understands how we were wired because He wired us that way. So then, when He warns us not to do something, it’s for our own good! Often He’ll even tell us why it’s not good to do it.

Thank God for his many cautions and warnings in the Bible that are able to keep us from falling if we obey.

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Pure Gold

The fear of the Lord is pure,
    enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
    and all of them are righteous.

They are more precious than gold,
    than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
    than honey from the honeycomb. Psalm 19:9-10

David describes the Word of God as firm, righteous, precious, and sweet. He’s absolutely right. And while we accept that truth, I’m not sure it’s fully sunk in.

Throughout these years of writing this blog, I’ve used the phrase “if we could full grasp what the author means…” The Word of God and its Author are completely like that. There are so many things that we could fully grasp, and all of them would be life-changing.

We do what we can, though, and pray that the Holy Spirit would illuminate these truths within us. Meditate on the words above and ask God to open your spiritual eyes to see truths you’ve not seen before.

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A Resolution?

The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving light to the eyes. Psalm 19:8

When we take the time to open the Word of God and try to understand it, it can mean the difference between light and darkness, joy and sadness. Even though there are some troubling stories in the Bible about people who had great lives but also were great sinners, we come away inspired by what the Holy Spirit can do through these people.

If God can restore broken and destitute lives of those mentioned throughout Scripture, He can certainly do the same for us. Same God, different people.

We all know the Word of God is powerful because we’ve experienced its power. And yet it ceases to amazes me how little time I spend in it. I suspect most of that is the spiritual battle we wage daily.

So this year, as the year unfolds I am committed to delving into the Word of God more, letting more wisdom and truth sink deep within.

Maybe it’s a resolution; maybe, though, it’s just the best thing I could be doing.

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The Heavens

Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world. Psalm 19:2-4

If you’ve been able to look up into the sky at night for any length of time, you know these verses to be true. Often, though, we get distracted and are unable to focus for even a few minutes. (The exception of course would be those who’ve ever seen the Northern Lights – you will stay until the “light show” is finished!) The heavens do talk, though I don’t suppose what they say has any deep philosophical or theological meaning except to shine forth the glory of God.

Do it some time this week. Go outside at night and just focus on the night time sky. Take these words with you and meditate on them. You’ll be glad you did. If they’re pouring forth speech and revealing knowledge, we might just want to be in on those sessions.

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The Glory of God

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1

Mere days after the Christmas story from the shepherds’ viewpoint comes this verse from Psalm 19. It’s a continuation of the Luke 2 text we just discussed if you see it through the shepherds’ eyes. What did they see that was so fantastic? The Angel of the Lord, the host of angels, and of course, the baby in the manger. It started in the heavens and proceeded through the shepherd boys and to the people as they spread the word. The Glory of God, “the manifestation of the holiness of God” (John Piper)

The general understanding of this text is the creation and all its wonders, but what could be more important to display the glory of God than the chosen Messiah being born?

As we head into the new year, consider these words from John Piper

The glory of God is the goal of all things. “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). All things were created for God’s glory (Isaiah 43:6–7).

The great mission of the church is to declare God’s glory among the nations. “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” (Psalms 96:1–3; Ezekiel 39:21; Isaiah 66:18–19).

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