June 28, 2004
Read Psalms 18 - 22
In Today's Reading:
Thanksgiving for deliverance; creation and Covenants of God; a prayer for God's people; cry of anguish and song of praise
The effects of the Word of God are beyond compare, for it was by His Word that the worlds were created and by which they are still upheld (Hebrews 1:3). The heavens declare (are telling of) the glory of God; and the firmament (expanse) shows His handiwork (Psalm 19:1). Most exciting is the transforming power of Jesus, the Word of God made flesh, upon all who receive Him as Lord.
The first six verses of Psalm 19 refer to the works of God in the world, and the remaining eight refer to the marvelous influence of His Word on the lives of all who love and obey Him. It reveals the fear of the LORD (19:9), a reverential admiration for His holiness and a fear of offending His majesty.
In this short psalm, five names are used to express the Word of God:
1. It is the Law of the LORD and, as such, is perfect (complete), converting the soul (restoring the whole person) (19:7). It is as far superior to the words of man as the heavens are above the earth. Then why settle for less than to receive with meekness the engrafted (implanted) Word, which is able to save (deliver, preserve) your souls (James 1:21)?
2. The testimony of the LORD is sure (never fails), making wise the simple (Psalm 19:7). The Apostle Paul confirmed this to Timothy, saying: You have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise to salvation (II Timothy 3:15).
3. It is the statutes (precepts) of the LORD and, therefore, right (Psalm 19:8), because they are founded solely on the righteousness of God. His Word reveals what we are, as well as what God has planned for us to be.
4. It is the Commandment of the LORD (19:8) - not merely suggested alternatives to popular opinion; it is the expression of the holiness of God. His Commandments provide a new life free from sin's bondage.
5. It is the judgments of the LORD (which) are true and righteous altogether (19:9).
The psalmist expresses well what our feelings should be concerning the incomparable Word of God. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey (Psalm 19:10).
As the One to whom the psalms refer when they speak of the nails that pierced His hands and feet on the cross and the parting of His clothing (Psalm 22:16,18). They crucified Him, and two other with Him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst (John 19:18; see also Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34.
18:2 horn of my salvation = my strong deliverer; 18:26 froward (first use) = crooked; perverse; froward (second use) = hostile; 18:45 close places = fortresses or strongholds; 22:5 confounded = put to shame; 22:7 shoot out the lip = ridicule, hurl insults; 22:17 tell = count.
Government Officials: Rep. Jane Harman (CA), Rep. Jim Kolbe (AZ), Sen. Carl Levin (MI), Rep. Major R. Owens (NY), and Rep. Ed Pastor (AZ) · Country: Greece (11 million) in southeastern Europe · Major languages: Greek and English · Government restrictions on witnessing to others about Christ · 97% Greek Orthodox (2% churchgoers); 1% Muslim; .4% Roman Catholic; .1% Protestant
Prayer Suggestion: Pray and fast in secret so that only the Lord knows (Acts 10:30).
Optional Reading: Colossians 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 2:11