DOCTRINE OF CREATION - GOD SPEAKS PSALM 19
GOD SPEAKS - PSALM 19
INTRO: God's revelation to man is the theme of this psalm. It is amazing that God speaks to us at all! Men are sinners and have no desire to listen to God, yet He graciously continues to speak, God speaks to men in three ways:
ILLUS: Several years ago Our Daily Bread carried a devotional piece entitled "There Is No God." I want to read it to you:
"All the wonders around you are accidental. No Almighty hand made a thousand billion stars. They made themselves. The surface of our land just happened to have topsoil, without which we would have no vegetables to eat, and no grass for the animals whose meat is our food. The inexhaustible envelope of air, only 50 miles deep and of exactly the right density to support human life, is just another law of physics. Water expands when it freezes, while other substances contract. This makes ice lighter than water and keeps it floating on the surface. Otherwise lakes would be solid ice down to the bottom, and no fish could survive. We have day and night because the earth spins at a given speed without slowing down.
Who made this arrangement? Who tilts it so that we get seasons? The sun's fire does not generate too much heat so that we fry, but just enough so that we do not freeze. Who keeps this fire constant? The human heart will beat for 70 or 80 years without faltering. How does it get sufficient rest between beats? A kidney will filter poison from the blood and leave the good things alone. How does it know one from the other? Who gave the human tongue flexibility to form words, and who made a brain to understand them? Is it all accidental? Is there really not a God?"
I. THE REVELATION OF GOD IN NATURE or GOD’S NATURAL BIBLE – HE SPEAKS IN THE SKIES - 1-6
A. Nature Preaches to Us in Four Ways vs. 1-2 Nature preaches a thousand sermons a day to the heart of man!
1. The heavens declare (tell of ) the glory of God. – They are preaching to us 1) glory, honour, abundance, riches, splendor
2. The firmament sheweth (displays) the work of his hands. They are reflecting his handiwork. Ex: Cloud, Sunset, Sunrise.
3. Day unto Day uttereth (welleth forth) speech. They are bubbling forth a testimony day in and day out.
4. Night unto Night sheweth (breatheth out) knowledge. They are making known wisdom night after night – continuously.
B. Nature Preaches to all of mankind. vs. 3-6
1. No speech or language (no people of any race or background) fails to hear this glorious voice. What about the heathen?
2. Their line (sphere of influence) is world wide.
3. The specific example -The great expanse houses the sun.
a. The sun is likened to a bridegroom coming out of his chamber.
b. The sun rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
c. The sun source is from the far extremities of the heavens, and its path or circuit is for one extreme end to the other.
d. The suns heat or influence is felt everywhere.
19 ¶ Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 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:
II. THE REVELATION OF GOD IN SCIRTURE or GOD’S SUPERNATURAL BIBLE – HE SPEAKS
IN THE SCRIPTURES The heavens may declare God's glory, but the Scriptures declare His grace. See Heb. 1:1-3. This, of course, is a personal revelation from God; for the name used is not "God" but "LORD - JEHOVAH" - the personal, covenant name for God.
A. What the Bible is:
1. The perfect law – There is no error in the Bible, either in historical fact or in spiritual truth. Of course, the Bible records the lies of men and of Satan, but the total message of the Bible is that of truth. Ps. 119:128 & 160.
2. The sure testimony – The Word does not change; it is sure and steadfast. Ps. 118:89. It is God's testimony to man, His witness of what is true and right. Mt. 5: 18.
3. The right statutes – ‘Statutes’ = "precepts, rules for daily living." Some rules are wrong rules; God 's Word is right. Obeying the Word brings blessing to daily life.
4. The pure commandment - See Ps. 12:6 and 119:140; Prov. 30:5. Many of "the sacred books" of world religions are full of filth; but God's Word is pure, even when dealing with sin. Nothing in the Bible, rightly understood, could lead a man into sin.
5. The clean fear of the Lord –The phrase "fear of the Lord" is another term for "the Law" since the Word of God produces a reverence for God. To fear God makes a man clean; to worship heathen idols makes man filthy. See Dt. 4:10; I Pt. 2:17; Ps. 111:10
6. True, righteous judgments - Gods' evaluations of men and things are true; He knows all things completely. It pays for the Christian to believe what God says and not to go by his own evaluation. Lot made this mistake and lost everything!
7. Better than gold - What a treasure is the Bible! Ps, 119:72; Prov. 8:10, 16:16.
ILLUS: Pastor Rittenhouse and his family were on vacation travelling down the highway when they saw a suitcase fly off the top of a car going in the opposite direction. They stopped to pick it up, but the driver of the other car never stopped. The only clue to the driver's identity was a twenty dollar gold piece inscribed, "Given to Otis Sampson at his retirement by Portland Cement Company."
After extensive correspondence, Otis Sampson was located and contacted. He wrote a letter telling them to discard the suitcase and all its contents, and send only the gold piece. Mr. Sampson used the phrase "my most precious possession," several times to describe the gold piece. Pastor Rittenhouse sent the gold piece, and wrote a cover letter telling Otis Sampson about his most prized possession, the Lord Jesus Christ.
A year later, the pastor received a Christmas package. In it was a twenty dollar gold piece. Mr. Sampson wrote, "You will be happy to know that we have become active members of a church. We want you to have this gold piece. I am seventy-four; my wife is seventy-two. You were the first one to tell us about Jesus. Now He is our most prized possession."
8. Sweeter than honey - Ps, 119:1037 The spiritual Christian does not need the artificial things of this world for satisfaction; the Word satisfies his spiritual appetite.
B. What the Bible does:
1. Converts - This is the same as "restores" in Ps. 23:3. The Word converts the sinner from his ways and restores the saint when he wanders. It refreshes him and heals him.
2. Makes wise - Read Ps. 119:97-104; Isa. 8:20; Jer. 8:9; Col. 1:9; Jas. 1:5.
3. Rejoices - Jer. 15:16 The spiritual believer finds joy in the Word.
4. Enlightens - "The entrance (opening) of Thy words giveth light" (Ps. 119:130)
5. Endures - Other books fade and are forgotten; but God's Word endures.
6. Enriches - It is better than gold or silver, Prov. 3:13-15.
7. Satisfies - The honey satisfies the body; the Word satisfies the soul.
8. Warns - It is better to prevent sin and avoid trouble than to confess sin and try to remedy mistakes. Knowing the Word and obeying it guides the believer on the safe path. See Prov. 2
9. Rewards - Money cannot buy the rewards of a godly life: a clean conscience, a pure heart, joy, peace, answered prayer, etc. Note that vs. 11 says there is a reward in keeping the Word, not for keeping it. The reward comes in the doing; James l:257 “This man shall be blessed in his doings"
C. What the Bible should do:
1. Cause desire – more than gold or silver, sweeter than honeycomb.
2. Continually warn – God’s people are guarded by the word of God
3. Contribute to our welfare – when we keep God’s word – obey it we have reward in this life and in the life to come.
III. THE REVELATION OF GOD IN EXPERIENCE or GOD’S LIVING BIBLE – HE SPEAKS IN THE SOUL - 12-14
A. No man can understand his own heart, Jer. 17:9.
1. We need the mirror of the Word to reveal our own sins to us, James 1:22-25. The psalmist closes by asking God to reveal his secret sins to him; see Ps. 139:23-24.
2. The OT law provided for sins of ignorance, Lev. 4 and 5, Num. 15:22ff.
a. MOST OVERRATED ADAGE: "If anything can go wrong, it will" was well known in the fifties and sixties, when it passed for just another bit of clever bulletin-board wisdom. All that changed in 1977, when an enterprising fellow named Arthur Bloch came out with a small book of sayings that he grouped under the rubric MURPHY'S LAW. Bloch's blockbuster touched off a commercial frenzy (sequels, calendars, T-shirts) over little more than a misunderstood idea that everyone would have been better off without. Even Murphy himself - Capt. Edward A. Murphy, Jr., an Air Force development engineer - claimed we got it all wrong. His field experience led him to conclude, ruefully but logically, that "if there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in catastrophe, then someone will do it." That is, if it is physically possible to break your foot with an air bag or drown in two inches of water, some idiot will find a way to do it. Unfortunately, the American public seized upon Bloch's adage as the ultimate "get-out-of-fail-free" card. No more responsibility, no more guilt. The fallout has been nothing less than catastrophic. Aside from inspiring other guilt-free mantras such as "Don't worry, be happy" and "[Stuff] happens," what began as merely a funny saying turned the work ethic on its ear and made accountability a dead letter. You mean you left the children in the car with the windows rolled up? Yeah, I hate it when that happens.
b. But for sins of open defiance and rebellion, there was no sacrifice; see Num. 15:30-31. He asks not only to be cleansed of secret faults, but to be restrained from running head-long into open sin. 'Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation." This kind of wicked abandonment to sin leads to slavery, and sin becomes the master of the life. Rom. 6 tells us that "sin should not have dominion over us." Of course, it is by allowing the Word of God to control our lives that we get victory over sin. By "the great transgression" in vs. 13, the psalmist seems to mean a "sin unto death" or a repeated rebellion against God that brings forth His wrath. It is by an accumulation of the little secret sins of vs. 13 that the person gradually walks into the great sin. It is important that the Christian confess sins immediately and allow the Word and the blood to cleanse the heart.
B. The prayer of vs. 14 ought to be on our lips and in our heart all day long.
1. The meditation of the heart controls the words of the mouth; Mk. 7:14-23. The word "meditation" here has the image of a musician plucking the strings of a harp. Who controls the music of your heart, God or Satan? Meditation is to the heart what digestion is to the body; it is the taking in of the Word of God and making it a part of the inner man. As the heart and mind think on the Word all day long, the Spirit guides the life. This is what it means to walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16) and to have the spiritual mind (Rom. 8:1-8).
2. Is your Bible all to you that God wants it to be? Read this psalm again and ask God to enable you to love the Word, live in it, and obey it - and He will bless you!
CONCLUSLION: The Revelation of God in Nature, in Scripture, in Experience. God speaks to us in three ways. How do we answer?
There is a call for obedience to the word of God here. There is a call for victory over sin here. There is a call for complete dedication to God’s word in meditation here. It is no accident that the one Major example extracted from the heavens for our perusal is the Sun. It is the intent I believe for God to drive home our need of relationship to His Son. He is the Word – *Psalm 119:11