There are times when a passage of Scripture is so well known to us, that in reading it we may lose sight of the context or the passage that follows. The opening praise of Psalm 19 is so catching it is easy to miss the lines that follow. It is gloriously true that all of creation sings the wonder and praise of its Creator. It is no less true that the law of the Lord is itself glorious.
This passage looks at the law of God the way we may rotate a crystal under a light. With each turn we see a new facet, a new color emerges. David rotates the law of God under a light and with each turn of phrase we learn something new and beautiful about the ways and precepts of our God.
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.
There is nothing lacking in the law of the Lord. If we are searching for wisdom, meaning and truth, there is nowhere else to go. And since each human has an insatiable longing for God, it is only He who can quench that thirst.
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
All God says is completely trustworthy. When we trust in the ways and wisdom of men, the wise become foolish. When the simple trust in the absolutely sure and steadfast word of God, they become wise.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.
We look for joy in all the wrong places. We return again and again to the empty and leaking wells of this world, when obedience to God’s precepts provides true joy.
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening our eyes.
They are pure the way light is radiant. We cannot see in the dark – there is no light for our eyes to use. But when the light shines, our eyes work the way they were created to work and we see. The commands of our Lord shine on our lives, and in obedience we see.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.
Our reverence can be measured by the thing we revere. To be in awe of empires and political schemes is to have a small and unrequited awe. But the fear of the Lord is fear rightfully and eternally placed. He is greater than and will outlast every human endeavor. Thus, the fear of the Lord is right and eternal.
The rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.
My rules are not true. Your rules are not true. Neither are ours righteous for they are by necessity stained with our sin and short-sightedness. The rules of the Lord are not easy and comfortable to follow, but they are true and wholly right. His rules do not always fit well with what I want to do with myself, but they are my only source of true, righteous and moral guidance.
These laws and ways are to be desired more than any other thing.