Shavua tov! Good week to you!
I was not able to post on January 19 because of computer problems. In fact, I could not sign in at all. So this is posting one day late.
I’m not going to post much today, except to note that Psalm 19 is one of my all-time favorite passages of Scripture.
Like I mentioned for Psalm 8, my dad taught us this Psalm and recited it often at home. He taught us that there were two ways YHVH speaks to all people: through His Creation and through His written Word, the Bible.
“The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.
In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,
Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
And rejoices like a strong man to run its race.
Its rising is from one end of heaven,
And its circuit to the other end;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat” (Psalm 19:1-6).
The Psalmist emphasizes only the role that the sun, moon, and stars play in declaring God to us.
I’ll share a personal tidbit with you. The word declare (Strong’s #5608) is one of my favorite words in the Bible! It is pronounced cephar, and it means to “to count and to give an account on record.” Do you know how some people choose a word for the year, to sum up their goals for that year? The word cephar is more like my “life word,” because my desire is to count all the ways that YHVH is amazing and give an account of those, whether through my mouth or through the written word (blogs and books). The color sapphire (meaning the lapis lazuli) comes from this Hebrew word, so if someone asks me what my favorite color is, I’ll say blue. I want to be surrounded by this word to remind me of my life’s mission, even though I truly love all colors and don’t have a favorite for any other reason.
The heavens are counting out the glory of God, and they are writing all of His greatness in the sky. There is no day or night in which they stop declaring Him — and that’s how I want to be, too.
There is no country that cannot understand this heavenly language or needs a translator to understand His greatness.
Sadly, even though the “book” of the heavens is there, many refuse to “read” it. Even more sad, many people plagiarize and attribute the “heavenly book” to another author, things or beings who did not actually create it. And for that grievous sin, Romans 1 says they are “without excuse.”
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things” (Romans 1:18-23).
But it is also the great grace of God to make a way to get to know Him through a written-down book as well.
“The law of YHVH is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of YHVH is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of YHVH are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of YHVH is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of YHVH is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of YHVH are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:7-11).
The word translated law is a poor translation, in my opinion. In Hebrew it is torah (Strong’s #8451), which means “teaching, or acquired knowledge or skills that mark the direction one is to take in life. A straight direction. Knowledge passed from one person to another.” It comes from a root that means “to throw straight. A throwing of the finger to point out a straight direction. The straight throwing of an arrow. The throwing down of water in rain.”
The Father isn’t one to leave us wandering in the dark, misreading the book in the stars and getting lost in the night. Instead, He writes down our directions and then clearly points us in the way we should go.
It is our obligation to read it.
If we will do so, it will convert us, make us wise, give us something to rejoice about, enlighten our eyes, stay with us forever, help us be true and righteous, and become of greater wealth than the finest gold and sweeter than the best dessert the world can offer. It will warn us, and if we will keep or guard them, we will have great reward.
And declaring the glory of His Torah is one of my life goals, too — because I want everyone I know to have the reward I’ve found.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture in this blog post taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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To Study Further:
- I strongly encourage you to look up all the words describing Scripture in verses 7-11: testimony, statutes, commandment, fear, and judgements. First, go to Blue Letter Bible and get the Strong’s number for each word. Then go to the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon and use the Strong’s number to look up the meaning of each of these words at the time when they were penned. Write each of these definitions down in your journal. Try to memorize them!