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Saturday, June 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 19

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-14

Psalms 19:1-14

Chapter 19 is one of the beautiful favorite psalms where David does speak about how God does reveal Himself to man in nature.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard ( Psalms 19:1-3 ).

God is speaking to you every day, every night, through the world, the universe that He has created. The heavens are declaring you the glory, the awesomeness, the magnitude of God, as the earth is showing to you His infinite wisdom. The life forms around the earth.

Now this last week I had a very interesting experience. We have a fellow in our church who is the president of a polygraph firm, and so he has been doing some experiments with his polygraph machines. By hooking the connections up to a plant leaf and then watching the responses on the polygraph as the electrodes are hooked up to a plant. And he had been doing these experiments and he wanted me to come over and observe some of the things that he had discovered. And I found them very interesting.

As we are thinking about the earth showing His handiwork and day unto day they're uttering speech. And the question is, just how much understanding or knowledge is there in a plant? And so, as he hooked up the electrodes to the plant, and the needles started just moving up and down as it was measuring the responses within the leaf, he said, "Now move the needle upwards. Move in an upward position on the graph." And as he commanded it to do so, the needle started moving upward. And he said, "Now show us the downward movement." And the needle moved down on the graph. And then he said, "Now show us some violent motion," and the needle began to swing all the way across. Then he said to me, "Now you choose a number in your mind." And so he said, "Is the number one?" And of course I didn't answer. But he was just measuring the graph. "Is the number two? Is the number three?" And the needle was just going up and down, and when he got to my number seven, the needle goes way up and then came back down again and leveled off, and then, "Eight? Nine? Ten?" And I looked at the thing and I thought, "I can't believe it." What kind of communication, you know.

Now I am certain that there are many things of God's creation that we don't understand. That there are vast facets within nature that we have only begun to scratch the surface. That God has coded in many things, wisdom that is phenomenal, things that are just amazing. And I think that there is much to be learned and much to be discovered. God says that day unto day they are uttering their speech. That it's a universal language. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. You say, "Well, what do you make of it?" I don't know what to make of it; it was weird. But it was interesting. And it just sort of opens up your mind to the fact that God's creation is far vaster than what we ever dreamed. What kind of intelligence is just in a cell itself?

There was a gal who pinched the leaf, one of the leaves on the plant, not the one that the electrode was attached to, and the needle began to move violently. She went out of the room to get something and the needle settled down. When she came back in the room, the needle started moving violently again. The way this was all discovered is a fellow had attached the electrodes to a plant and he was just watching the movement of the needle, sort of fascinated with it. And he decided to water the plant, and as he picked up the water to water the plant, the needle started going crazy. So instead of watering it, he stopped and he put the water back down, and the needle settled back down again and so he picked it up as though he was going to water, deciding he wasn't going to do it, but just see what the needle would do, and this time it didn't do anything. And he made several gestures like he was going to water it, but not intending to do it, and the needle did nothing. And this guy started getting bugged. And so he finally decided, "Okay, I really will water it this time. I'll go ahead and really water it." And the needle started jumping again and he watered the thing. Now I don't know the explanations of it. I have no explanation for it. But it's interesting. "All nature," we sing, "All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres." Who knows? The wisdom of God who has created life forms, the infinite variety of life forms. What kind of understanding has He put into some of these life forms? I don't know. It is fascinating.

"The heavens declare the glory of God, the firmament shows His handiwork, and day unto day they utter their speech." They are talking to us. "Night unto night their voice goeth forth. There is not a speech nor a language where there voice is not heard." God speaks to man universally through nature. But though nature speaks to you of the existence of God, the testimony or the witness of nature then falls short because it cannot tell you of the love of God and the redemptive plan of God for your life. For that we needed the special revelation, and God has thus given us the special revelation that we might know His love and His plan for our lives. But the fact that God exists, we all know just by the fact of life around us and life forms around us.

Now David in this psalm, of course, speaks of the law of the Lord, and the testimony of the Lord, the statutes of the Lord, the commandment of the Lord, the fear of the Lord, the judgments of the Lord. All of these are a part of God's revelation to us in His Word.

The law of the LORD perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD ( Psalms 19:7-9 )

God has revealed Himself in nature, but He has revealed Himself more specifically in His Word. And thus, His law, His testimony, His commandments, His statutes, His judgments.

More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey in the honeycomb ( Psalms 19:10 ).

Oh, how sweet the Word of God becomes to us as we get into it and as we begin to draw from its sweetness.

Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward ( Psalms 19:11 ).

And so he closes the psalm with a prayer,

Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not rule over me: then shall I be upright, I shall be innocent from the great transgression. O God, let the words of my mouth, the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer ( Psalms 19:13-14 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 19". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/psalms-19.html. 2014.
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