Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Prayer in Response to God’s Self-Revelation – Psalm 19

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Prayer in Response to God’s Self-Revelation – Psalm 19 Submitted by Kay Crumley


What is a revelation? Have you ever had a revelation about something? Please take time to read all of Psalm 19. David is writing about what he knows about God and how he came to that understanding. One definition of revelation is ‘a surprising and previously unknown fact, especially one that is made known in a dramatic way. You have experienced a revelation about how delicious something tasted that didn’t have an appealing appearance. Another definition for revelation as it relates to God is ‘the way in which God reveals Himself.’  There are two kinds of revelations described in the first verses of this Psalm. General revelation and special revelationGeneral revelations are general truths that can be known about God through natureRomans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Special revelation refers to the more specific truths we know about God through His Word, through prophets, or other supernatural ways He reveals Himself2 Timothy 31:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. Both types of revelations are addressed in the first 10 verses of Psalm 19. 


General revelations, those things we can observe in nature, are shown in verses 1-6. The psalmist states that all we need do is look at the heavens observing what is happening daily to see the glory of Creator God. One day follows another with no interruption in the process. The sun rises and sets and gives warmth to the whole earth. It rises every morning with the anticipation of a bridegroom or an athlete ready to start the race. It is new every morning, Lamentations 3:22-23 tell us that His love and mercies are new every morning just as we see the dawn of a new day. This example of the natural laws reveals the truth of a Divine Creator who put all that into existence. 


Special revelations, those revealed through His Word are listed in verses 7-10. In verse 7 David states that His laws are prefect, complete or whole. There’s nothing left out of His laws or instructions. These instructions or commands are trustworthy or reliable so they can make even the inexperienced, simple, or foolish able to make wise choices. The divine laws are right making those who obey them happy. They are just or radiant meaning eye-opening. They bring understanding to the obedient. We are to fear the Lord, give Him reverence because He is unchanging. His judgements or verdicts are righteous, true, and fair. Having His laws to guide our lives is more desirable that gold. His Word of Truth is more valuable than any paycheck ever received. It is sweeter than the purest honey. We must experience the sweetness of His Word by applying it to our daily lives. Ps 34:8 says, ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good.’ 


Following that expression of the glory of God found in nature and in His revelations of Himself with His creation, David ends with a prayer to the God of Creation because He is good. 


Psalm 19:11-14 (GNT) 

11 They give knowledge to me, your servant; 
    I am rewarded for obeying them. 

12 None of us can see our own errors; 
    deliver me, Lord, from hidden faults! 
13 Keep me safe, also, from willful sins; 
    don't let them rule over me. 
Then I shall be perfect 
    and free from the evil of sin. 

14 May my words and my thoughts be acceptable to you, 
    O Lord, my refuge and my redeemer! 


Like the psalmist, we must recognize the value of keeping the commands of His scripture. Studying His Word gives us knowledge of His commands as well as understanding of His judgements.  In this prayer we find that we are rewarded by our obedience. Our sinful nature makes obedience challenging. There are sins we are not even aware we’re making, errors that are concealed, that we must seek forgiveness for. There are also sins we commit that are of our own choices. These sins we must take control of so that we can be free of that desire. Finally, he prays that his thoughts and words be acceptable to God. He is our refuge, place of safety, and redeemer, savior.  


May this be our prayer every day. Just as the sun rises daily, so is His love and faithfulness new to us each day. He is worthy of our obedience and faithfulness. One way to demonstrate that is to commit to Him our heartfelt desire that all our words, thoughts, and deeds be acceptable to Him. 


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