During World War II a proverb developed among military men: “There are no atheists in foxholes.” The meaning is that in times of crisis every human being seeks a Higher Power-even those who strenuously object to the existence of God during times of peace. The Bible supports the idea that every person understands that there is a God-even atheists. The Bible also adds in Romans 1:18-32 that humanity has a sinful aversion to acknowledging the proof that God exists. This proof can be found in Psalm 19.
Psalm 19 reveals the God who continually speaks to us through His deeds and His Word. He does this to reach us. He even uses nature to speak to us. God is not limited to words when He speaks to us. He uses angels, visions, dreams, impressions, and mental pictures. Since God is the communicator, we need to hear Him speaking to us beyond the limited capabilities of our lives. His presence may not be verbal, but it is real. Humanity is accountable to God because of His verbal and non-verbal communications.
This psalm points out the two areas where God has chosen to reveal Himself. “The heavens” refer to what appears in the sky above. “The firmament” means the expanse of God’s creation. The entire universe testifies to the Creator and brilliantly displays the glory of God. God has placed the sun (an object of worship among the pagans) in the heavens and is therefore supreme over it. The figures of the bridegroom and the runner picture the sun’s glory and power as it moves across the sky. Since it is so glorious, how much more glorious must its Creator be.
The elements of creation declare God’s glory in such a way that humans are without excuse because they are surrounded by the evidence of God’s existence. This evidence is found in nature, so why do so many people refuse to acknowledge it? In Romans 1:18,22,25 and 28, Paul writes that the reason is because people have exchanged the truth of God for the lies of Satan, They worship God’s creatures instead of God. Paul goes on to argue that they are fools when they deny that God exists.
God also speaks to us through the Bible. It is filled with so many gems of wisdom to help us live. It tells us how to have healthy relationships, raise our children, how to work, and provides comfort when we experience feelings of loneliness, depression, grief and other emotions. The hidden treasures in this book are endless, but if we keep the Bible on a shelf and never bother to read it, we will experience spiritual poverty and never know the riches that the Bible contains. We have to study it and put it in practice in our lives to experience the benefits and live abundantly.
In Old Testament times, God spoke to the Israelites through the Law. It revealed His holiness and the sins of the people. The full revelation was given when the work of the Law was done. That happened when Jesus died on the cross, especially when He said, “It is finished.” When God speaks, He tells the truth. We can put our weight on God’s testimony and it will hold us up.
The Ten Commandments are pure because they were given by a holy God. They are literally clean and morally right. They are sanctified by God and therefore they bring enlightenment to our eyes. Our eyes transmit the light of God to our souls. In Christ we become light, and we are to live in that light. When God reveals His will, it is awesome. It is also fearsome because of our sin. We cry out the words of Isaiah 6:5: “Woe is me.”
Testimony, statutes, commandments, and judgments are all synonyms for God’s law, the Bible. The connection between verses 1-6 (also known as creation) and God’s word in verses 7-9 is that as the sun is the centrepiece of creation, so must God’s Word be the centre of believers’ lives.
While God may seem silent at times, the problem is not that He isn’t communicating; it’s that we aren’t hearing Him. Withdrawing from the pain of life may have cut us off from the many ways God expresses His love: through the inner transformation of the Holy Spirit, through nature, through caring family and friends, through opportunities to serve. Our ears may be clogged with self-pity. Because of weak faith, we may refuse to believe God cares or continues to demonstrate His love.
The Bible teaches that man is basically sinful and he is born sinful. He is not a sinner because he sins; he sins because he is a sinner. Sin comes naturally to all of us. The Bible tells us that. It also tells us that human beings are capable of very evil things.
All of us have hidden sins. We are aware of some of them, and those are sins we often try to hide. Our hidden sins are also those that we are not aware of. There are so many things we should do in obedience to God that we have not done. There are also sins that we commit daily such as selfish or spiteful thoughts, and hurtful words and actions. How can we discern every sin? How can we know if we have committed a sin? We can find out through God’s Word-both written in the Bible and through nature (because of things such as climate change and pollution). God knows all of our sins, even the hidden ones. We cry out along with the psalmist “Declare me innocent from hidden faults.” If we accept Christ as our Saviour, we are declared innocent by God.
God has given us spiritual laws not to take away our joy and freedom, but to give us the fullness of life as well as eternal life. We defy these laws to our eternal destruction. We heed these laws not because we are legalists and have to obey them, but because we want and choose to obey them because we know we need to for our own well-being and that of our loved ones. His boundaries are for our good. God set them out of love for us. His commands are perfect, trustworthy, right, clear, true, fair, desirable, sweet, and a warning. When we follow His commands, our soul will be revived. We will gain wisdom. We will receive joy and insight for living. We will receive a great reward. God has even promised to help us obey.
The psalmist’s rhetorical question in verses 12-14 expresses that without God’s Word, it is difficult for people to know if or when they violate God’s will. The Word brings hidden faults to light and offers strong warnings about what displeases God so that the believer’s actions, words, and thoughts may receive God’s favour.
The writer of Psalm 19 warns about the danger of succumbing to those who are arrogant and insolent, who have no regard for God’s Law or creation. The psalmist asks God to restrain him and not allow arrogant people to take control of his will. The psalmist gives us a good example to follow. We must ask God to restrain us and not allow arrogant, sinful people to control our lives. We must ask God to take control of our wills.
The world can’t satisfy the human heart. Humanity was created for eternity, which leads to a longing for something beyond this world. This longing for eternity is a reflection of humanity being created in the image of God. Humanity contemplates eternity and the need for something bigger because of a longing to reconnect with the God of all creation.
Our understanding of God based on creation alone is not adequate for a saving knowledge of God. Our sinful natures must be quickened by the Holy Spirit to cause us to embrace the specific truth about salvation through faith in Christ. There is enough evidence, even to sinners, that God does exist.
To hear His Word and obey it is to build our house on the rock. To seek, study, and obey His Word is to labour with that which lasts. No precious metal can compare to God’s Word. There are three rewards in obeying God’s Word:
- The reward of doing God’s will.
- The reward of living a fulfilled life-converted, wise, rejoicing, enlightened, enduring, true, and righteous.
- The assurance of living ready to stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Because of sin, God’s Word is not our natural instruction or our natural delight. The power of the Holy Spirit has to bring the Word and its power to convict us of our sins and cleanse us from our sins. The Holy Spirit will baptize us and protect us from sin. It sets us free from the bondage of sin so we can love God, serve God, and be acceptable to Him. The God who made the universe wants to use that same power on our behalf to help us speak, think, and act in a way that honours Him. He wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives.
Meditating on Scripture is like a song that lingers in our heads all day. We whistle and sing that song until our lives are consumed with the song. Meditating on God’s Word is to have God’s Word echo in every moment of the day. God values people who trust Him and boast in Him. Every part of the Christian life depends on the Word of God.
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