God Is Not Silent
The heavens may declare God's power and glory, but they do not declare His will or His plan and promise of salvation. God has communicated those marvelous truths only in His Word—the living Scriptures, the Bible. In a sudden shift in perspective, David turns from the general evidence of God's creative power to the specific evidence of God's desire for a relationship with people.
The Truth God Has Communicated
The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.
Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.
Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins;
Let them not rule over me;
Then I will be blameless,
And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.
Notice the change from "God" (19:1–6) to "LORD" (19:7–14). In the first section of the psalm, David uses the Hebrew word El, which is God's generic title. It means "God, mighty one, strength." In the second section, however, David uses God's name, represented by the four consonants, YHWH, and typically translated "LORD" in the Old Testament. God is not merely a powerful creative force; He is a person with whom we're able to have a relationship. Therefore, David includes in this second part of the song a more personal example of God's presence.
Observe first the titles God gives His Word—"law . . . testimony . . . precepts . . . commandments . . . judgments." Next, observe the characteristics of Scripture—"perfect . . . sure . . . right . . . pure . . . true . . . righteous." Then, observe the benefits it provides—"restoring the soul . . . making wise the simple . . . rejoicing the heart . . . enlightening the eyes." Talk about communicating something with effectiveness! No one could name another book or any other piece of literature that can do such an effective job in the life of mankind. While the Lord isn't likely to speak audibly to you, He is not silent! He has said—and continues to say—more than we can absorb and apply.
God is not merely a powerful force; He’s a person with whom we can have a relationship.
— Charles R. Swindoll Tweet This
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Living the Psalms: Encouragement for the Daily Grind (Brentwood, Tenn.: Worthy Publishing, a division of Worthy Media, Inc., 2012).
Used with permission. All rights reserved.