Psalm 19

God's In Control

How do you praise God for his creative activity? How do you accept God's will in your life?

Despite the chaos of social and political life, the world just goes on. No matter how we get caught up in our own problems or the crises of the moment, there always seems to be a tomorrow. God's in charge and, sometimes, that's all we need to know.

For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God.
The expanse shows his handiwork.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech,
and night after night they display knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language,
where their voice is not heard.
4 Their voice has gone out through all the earth,
their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
5 which is as a bridegroom coming out of his room,
like a strong man rejoicing to run his course.
6 His going forth is from the end of the heavens,
his circuit to its ends;
There is nothing hidden from its heat.
7 The law of YHWH is perfect, restoring the soul.
The testimony of YHWH is sure, making wise the simple.

World English Bible

The author of Psalm 19 must have had the same insight. God was in control. Creation reflected the power of his commands. In 19:1-5b, God put the order in the sky, like craftsman built a piece of furniture. His word, silent as it was, created harmony and purpose, even to the ends of the earth. In 19:5c-7, God made the sky like a tent for the sun, and like his word, God sent the sun on a predetermined journey that could be measured with regularity.

8 The precepts of YHWH are right, rejoicing the heart.
The commandment of YHWH is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of YHWH is clean, enduring forever.
The ordinances of YHWH are true, and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey and the extract of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them is your servant warned.
In keeping them there is great reward.
12 Who can discern his errors?
Forgive me from hidden errors.

The orders that regulated creation found their way into the Law; the author praised God for that power. Notice how many differed times the name of YHWH was invoked in 19:8-10. Notice, too, how the Law resulted in order in the believer's life. The perfect Law renewed life. The trustworthy Law gave wisdom. The right ways of the Law brought joy. The clarity of the Law enlightened. The edicts of the Law were true and just. The Law stood beyond sensual pleasures, for it brought sure reward to the spirit. Pleasures may be transitory, but awe of the Lord in the believer and creation remained forever.

13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins.
Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I will be upright.
I will be blameless and innocent of great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
YHWH, my rock, and my redeemer.

In 19:13-14, the author acknowledged his shortcomings when he faced the order of the Law. So, praise turned to petition. He wanted salvation from unknown faults and the forgiveness of sins. With his sins forgiven, he could end the psalm with a doxology (19:15); in word and thought he would acknowledge the Lord as "my rock and savior."

Many people criticize the Christian lifestyle as too confining; these people want their freedom but refuse to see the price that freedom demands. The faithful might not wallow in the transitory pleasures evil provides, but they do enjoy the peace and joy that the wisdom and justice God's will brings. The God who has a plan for the universe has a plan for each one of us. By acknowledging his control of creation and obeying his will, we can realize his favor.

With God in control, everything can be right in my life.

How do you see God's will in creation and in the Christian lifestyle? What has God's will brought you? How have you enjoyed the Lord's favor in the Christian life?