Psalm 19

Sunday Morning Bible Study

October 5, 2003

Psalm 19 - God’s Library


An Engineer and a Sales Guy are sitting next to each other on a long flight from LA to NY. The Engineer leans over to the Sales Guy and asks if he would like to play a fun game. The Sales Guy just wants to take a nap, so he politely declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks. The Engineer persists and explains that the game is real easy and a lot of fun. He explains, “I ask you a question, and if you don’t know the answer, you pay me $5. Then you ask me a question, and if I don’t know the answer, I’ll pay you $5.” Again, the Sales Guy politely declines and tries to get to sleep. The Engineer, now somewhat agitated, says, “OK, if you don’t know the answer you pay me $5, and if I don’t know the answer, I’ll pay you $500!” This catches the Sales Guy’s attention, and he sees no end to this torment unless he plays, so he agrees to the game. The Engineer asks the first question, “What’s the distance from the earth to the moon?” The Sales Guy doesn’t say a word, but reaches into his wallet, pulls out a $5 bill, and hands it to the Engineer. Now, it’s the Sales Guy turn. He asks the Engineer, “What goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four?” The Engineer looks at him puzzled. He takes out his laptop computer and searches all of his references. He taps into the air phone with his modem and searches the Net and the Library of Congress. Frustrated, he sends e-mail to his coworkers—all to no avail. After about an hour, he wakes the Sales Guy and hands him $500. The Sales Guy politely takes the $500 and turns away to try to get back to sleep. The Engineer, more than a little miffed, shakes the Sales Guy and asks, “Well, so what’s the answer?” Without a word, the Sales Guy reaches into his wallet, hands the Engineer $5, and turns away to get back to sleep.

Where do you go for your answers? Do you have a resource that can answer your questions? Do you have a library that can answer the very questions of life?

:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

As a young boy tending his father’s flock out in the field, David grew up with two books in his library, Nature and Scripture. In this Psalm David talks about where he finds his answers for life, his reference desk.

:1-6 God’s first book - Creation

:1 The heavens declare the glory of God

If you ever wonder if God exists, all you need to do is look up.


George MacDonald writes, “Something is wrong in the man to whom the sunrise is not a divine glory, for therein is embodied the truth, the simplicity, and the might of the Maker. ... Alongside the gentle meeting of earth and sky, ... the great burst of a new morning, the sordid affairs of mammon sink to the bottom of things and have little more interest.”


In the evening, Theodore Roosevelt and his friend, the naturalist William Beebe, would go out and look at the skies, searching for a tiny patch of light near the constellation of Pegasus. “This is the Spiral Galaxy in Andromeda,” they would chant. “It is as large as our Milky Way. It is one of a hundred million galaxies. It consists of one hundred billion suns, each larger than our sun.” Then Roosevelt would turn to his companion and say, “Now I think we are small enough. Let’s go to bed.”

:3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

The word “where” should be omitted. It was added incorrectly by the translators. The communication of God’s creation is “non-verbal”.

(NAS) There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard.


Creation’s Witness

The witness of creation is a silent one. It is something seen, but without words.


Several years ago a scientist wrote an article entitled, “Seven Reasons Why I Believe in God.” He said, “Consider the rotation of the earth. Our globe spins on its axis at the rate of one thousand miles an hour. If it were just a hundred miles an hour, our days and nights would be ten times as long. The vegetation would freeze in the long night or it would burn in the long day; and there could be no life.”

He said, “Consider the heat of the sun. Twelve thousand degrees at surface temperature, and we’re just far enough away to be blessed by that terrific heat. If the sun gave off half its radiation, we would freeze to death. If it gave off one half more, we would all be crispy critters.”

He said, “Consider the slant of the earth.” I think he said twenty-three degrees. “If it were different than that, the vapors from the oceans would ice over the continents. There could be no life.”

He said, “Consider the moon. If the moon were fifty thousand miles away rather than its present distance, twice each day giant tides would inundate every bit of land mass on this earth.”

He said, “Think of the crust of the earth. Just a little bit thicker and there could be no life because there would be no oxygen. Or the thinness of the atmosphere. If our atmosphere was just a little thinner, the millions of meteors now burning themselves out in space would plummet this earth into oblivion. These are reasons,” he said, “why I believe in God.”

-- Frank Pollard, "Our Greatest Victory," Preaching Today, Tape No. 175.

The world has a different perspective on creation – that it was some big cosmic accident.


Paleontologist Stephen J. Gould concluded: We are because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of million years ago, had managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a “higher” answer but none exists.

How very sad. He’s also wrong.


I’d like to suggest that “to say that a well-precisioned, mathematically created universe just happened is about as credible as saying Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary was accidentally published because of an explosion in a printing factory, or that a Boeing 747 was assembled when a tornado swept through a junk yard.”


Prior to his death in 1984, Paul Dirac was called “the world’s greatest living physicist.” His pioneering discoveries led to the Nobel Prize in physics in 1933 and led to the study of quantum mechanics. Called by some the equal of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, at age 30 he became the youngest person ever to hold a professorship at Cambridge University.

When Dirac was asked once why gravitational forces were getting weaker, he responded, “Why? Because God made it so.” Dirac insisted that science and religion were not at odds; rather, “they are both seekers after truth.”

The scientist believed that God used “beautiful mathematics” to create the world. “Beautiful, but not simple. My theories are based on faith that there is reason for all the numbers nature provides us with.” He said, “God is a mathematician of a very high order, and He used very advanced mathematics in constructing the universe.”

:4 Their line is gone out through all the earth

The words that creation speaks are heard all around the world.

:6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven

David is using poetic language about the sun here. There are some people who would look at this language and try to find fault in the Bible.

Yet at the same time we all use the terms “sunrise” and “sunset”. If we were to be technically correct, we would eliminate those terms because in one sense the sun isn’t the object that’s moving.

Yet there is still truth to what David says, even if you take it literally.

The sun actually travels across the galaxy at 64,000 miles per hour.

In addition to this,

The earth spins on its axis 1,000 miles per hour.
The earth travels around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour.
The galaxy moves 481,000 miles per hour across the universe.
That means that right now you are moving at over 630,000 miles per hour through the universe. And you thought the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Disneyland made your head spin!


There is a God

Here’s the “Cliff Notes” on God’s “first book” (creation) - There is a God. There is a Designer, a Maker. And the whole world knows it.
Man is without excuse – the knowledge of God is obvious.
(Rom 1:18-25 KJV) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; {19} Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed 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: {21} Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. {22} Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, {23} And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. {24} Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: {25} Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Man has the witness of creation before his eyes, but he chooses to ignore it. As a result, man has to lie to himself and without a Creator, man descends into a moral mess.

:7-11 God’s Second Book – His Word

:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul:

perfecttamiym – having integrity; what is entirely in accord with truth and fact

This means that God’s Word is perfect, without error. The total message of the Bible is about Truth.


Billy Graham writes, “On the cover of your Bible and my Bible appear the words “Holy Bible.” Do you know why the Bible is called holy? Why should it be called holy when so much lust and hate and greed and war are found in it?
“I can tell you why. It is because the Bible tells the truth. It tells the truth about God, about man, and about the devil. The Bible teaches that we exchange the truth of God for the devil’s lie about sex, for example; and drugs, and alcohol, and religious hypocrisy. Jesus Christ is the ultimate truth. Furthermore, He told the truth. Jesus said that He was the truth, and the truth would make us free.”

convertingshuwb – to return, turn back


God’s Word changes you

If our “library” was based in Hollywood, and we learned life’s lessons by watching movies, we’d think that to get through life you just need to “listen to your heart”.

Yet the Bible says,
(Jer 17:9 KJV) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
(Prov 28:26 KJV) He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

That’s why we need to go to something greater than our hearts – God’s Word.

(Heb 4:12 NLT) For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.

The Law shows us our need for a Savior.

A lot of people feel like they don’t need a Savior. They think they have life all figured out. But the Law exposes our sins to us, revealing that we need a Savior:
(Rom 7:7 KJV) What shall we say then? is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

The Word shows us our Savior.

Not only does the Word show us how needy we are, but it shows us the solution to our need.
(Rom 3:20-25b NLT) For no one can ever be made right in God's sight by doing what his law commands. For the more we know God's law, the clearer it becomes that we aren't obeying it. {21} But now God has shown us a different way of being right in his sight--not by obeying the law but by the way promised in the Scriptures long ago. {22} We are made right in God's sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done. {23} For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard. {24} Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. {25} For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God's anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us.

:7 the testimony of the LORD is sure

sure‘aman – (Niphal) faithful, to be carried by a nurse; verified, confirmed; reliable


God’s Word is trustworthy

The idea is that you can count on God’s Word. It does not change, it is trustworthy.


Contemporary Christian musician Kathy Troccoli was a rebellious teen who drank, partied, and was caught in a vicious cycle of bulimia. But at a summer job, she couldn’t escape the Christian witness of co-worker Cindy:
“She was the epitome of a girl I could not hang out with. When she started telling me about Jesus, I made fun of her. And yet, deep down inside, I admired her. I liked that she didn’t seem to care what people thought about her. I even suspected she was right, and I was on the wrong path.
“Finally, Cindy said to me, ‘You know, Kath, Jesus is Lord whether you accept him or not.’ I went home thinking about that. If Jesus was real, I had to check him out. I plowed through the Gospel of John and when I got to the end, I knew I had to make a decision. Everything would have to change. And sixteen years ago, it did.”
-- Kathy Troccoli with Jim Long in Campus Life

God’s Word is true, whether you believe in it or not.

:8 The statutes of the LORD are right

rightyashar – straight, level; right, pleasing, correct


God’s Word is right

Some people have certain rules for how they operate.


You’ve probably heard of Murphy’s Law: If anything can go wrong, it will.
There’s Lorenz's Law of Mechanical Repair: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch.
There’s the Dilbert Principle: The most ineffective workers will be systematically moved to the place where they can do the least damage - management.
And there’s “Cole's Law”: Thinly sliced cabbage.

Sometimes people’s “rules” can get them into trouble.

Some live by the “Golden Rule”, in other words, “The One with the Gold Rules”.
Sometimes we only want to listen to the things that “tickle our ears”, things that give us permission to do what we know is wrong. Like picking up the “Playboy” lifestyle, if it feels good do it.

But the Laws of the Lord are “right”. Obeying them brings blessings to daily life.

:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever:

Here the phrase “fear of the LORD” is referring to God’s Law because God’s Law produces a reverence for God.

God’s Word is not only clean, but it makes us clean as well.

:9 the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

God’s judgments or His evaluations of mankind are things we ought to pay attention to. We need to be careful that we don’t pay attention to what man says about himself, but what God says.

:10 More to be desired are they than gold


Desire the Word

This is an incredible Book.
A man was out walking in the desert when a voice said to him, “Pick up some pebbles and put them in your pocket, and tomorrow you will be both sorry and glad.”
The man obeyed. He stooped down and picked up a handful of pebbles and put them in his pocket. The next morning he reached into his pocket and found diamonds and rubies and emeralds. And he was both glad and sorry. Glad that he had taken some—sorry that he hadn’t taken more.
And so it is with God’s word.

:11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned


If you were in New York visiting the top of the Empire State Building, and a fellow breaks out some wire cutters and begins to cut a hole in the fence so he can jump out. He says to you, “I have this theory. I think I can fly. I found something that looks like Pixie Dust, and since I’m thinking happy thoughts, I think I’ll be able to fly”. And as he crawls out on the ledge, you say to him, “Don’t do it, don’t jump! If you jump you will die. When you hit bottom every bone of your body will be broken.” He says to you, “Hey, stop being so negative! You’re just bumming me out. You only want to ruin my fun.” So he turns his back on you, takes a minute to think his “happy-thoughts”, and jumps. What’s going to happen? Should he have paid attention to you, or paid attention to his Pixie-Dust-theory?

Pay attention to the warnings in God’s Word. God means what He says. He doesn’t warn us to ruin our fun, He wants to save you from destruction.

:12-14 Prayer for grace

:12 cleanse thou me from secret faults.

secret faults – These are sins of ignorance.

:13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins

presumptuous sinszed – arrogant, proud, deliberate violations.

David expresses openness to God warning him.

:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight

All of life flows from your heart. It starts in your heart. Words come from what’s in your heart. Actions come from what’s in your heart.


God’s Word can change you

That’s the point of God’s Second Book. But you have to give God permission to go to work in your life.
Have you given God permission to do what He wants to in your life?