April 6, 2020

Sweeter Also Than Honey

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from the insolent; do not let them have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.
✙ Ps. 19:7-13 ✙

Psalm 19 is one of the best loved chapters in the entire psalter, but that doesn't mean it's not complicated (read "confusing"). In it, I move immediately from the wordless speech of the first six verses to a beautiful section of praise for God's law. Does this mean that my understanding of God's will for the me cannot be described in human language? Cannot the ways I approach God and interact with my neighbors be laid out in a clear path? Or must I be held responsible for how God speaks to me wordlessly in nature (meaning my understanding of God's self-revelation varies according to my mood)?

The bad news is that the Bible is just the tip of a holy iceberg, a way that God's perfect law gets communicated to imperfect minds. I cannot always see clearly how God is at work in the world, or even what God is saying to me in scriptures written thousands of years ago in a language unrelated to English.

But the good news is that neither do those who try to represent God's will to me, who tell me I am wrong and that they are right. They have no clear idea themselves, unless they understand the music of the spheres (which they do not).

If Psalm 19 opens up to me too many confusing possibilities, however, it also gives me the perfect prayer to approach God, and to humbly request of God the understanding I need. And it is with this prayer—the last verse of this 19th Psalm—that I will close this morning's devotion.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
—Ps. 19:14
I pray this in the Name of the One who taught me to pray: Our Father...

I know I frequently use this hymn in my devotions, but it's beautiful and theologically sound, and there are so many nice arrangements of it out there.

1 comment:

  1. BLESS YOU, my child! Uplifting! to say the least... Thank you for your words, thoughts, and deeds... and THANK YOU for sharing that WONDERFUL rendition of This is My Father's World... Picked me right up this morning, and now I'm ready to meet it! :)

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