Jack Graham - Word of God Speak
Psalm 19 is a profound testimony to the word of God. Psalm 19 according to C. S. Lewis is the greatest poem in the psalms, one of the greatest lyrics in the world. And Psalm 19 is a description of God's revelation of Himself, how God speaks. And so what I want to invite you to do right now, with Psalm 19 open in your hands, is to stand with me in honor of God's Word. Stand in honor of God's Word, and we're going to read out loud, I'll read, you follow, this great psalm:
"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. The voice goes out through all the earth, and the words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving the chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat. The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules 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. Who can discern his error? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression".
And then out loud with me, all of us together, verse 14: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer". Let's pray together:
We thank you, O God, for these truths, for Your word. And we do ask and pray the prayer of the psalmist, that the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts would be acceptable to You our Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. In Jesus' name. Amen.
I want to mention three ways God witnesses to us through His Word. The first way is what I'm going to call the proclamation of the skies. The psalmist said in verse 1: "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork". In other words every person on earth sees and hears the word of God by looking to the creation, to the handiwork of the heavens. And all around us is this powerful and persuasive witness of God Almighty. And when you look at the Creator, when you look up into the heavens on a starry night or to observe a beautiful sunrise or sunset, or on a micro level, when you look through a microscope and see the handiwork of God, or even to look into the face of a child, the face, the twinkling eyes of a baby, you say, "God did that! A Creator made that".
And His worlds, from the worlds beyond us in the universe are continuous and speaking. His witness is eternal, it pours out faith. It is abundant and like an ocean cascading, the order and design of the universe tell us that God exists. You see the atheist has a problem. First of all, He's got a problem in that the Bible says, "The fool has said in heart, 'There is no God.'" Only a fool could look at creation and say that this just happened. The atheist believes that nothing times nobody equals everything. You say, "Well, I'm not an atheist; I'm an agnostic". Can I just tell you gently, kindly, but firmly that the word agnostic in Latin means ignoramus. So when you say I am an agnostic, you're saying I am an ignoramus. Because any fool can look up into the heavens and know that God exists! This is why we're all without excuse. Because every person has the witness of creation.
This is what Paul said in Romans 1:19 and 20: "For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse". There is enough light in creation in nature itself for people to seek God! And when you look into the heavens, into the handiwork of the heavens, it begs you to seek after the God of the heavens. And God will get you more light as you need it, I'm convinced of that, and give you the testimony of His Son. But inexorable laws of God which govern the universe, we talk about natural laws or the laws of nature. There are in effect no laws of nature. These are the laws of God and His governance of the universe, a massive testimony to the reality of God.
This is universal, to the ends of the earth. Every person on earth has seen this witness and, therefore, is commanded to seek after the one who made it all! It is said that man was made to stand erect so that he could scan the skies and see the handwriting of the Almighty God across the heavens. David in particular celebrates the sun, the rising of the sun and the orbiting of the universe. Its power, its glory, even as he, David, under the divine inspiration of the Bible, knew that we could not exist without the sun. So he celebrates the sun that God has made. Not celebrating the sun as some have done, but celebrating the Creator who made it! The creation, the nature of God's creation is beautiful and powerful, but it is incomplete. It is not enough to worship the heavens or even a distant God who made the galaxies. We need to know more. And like the commercial says, but wait, there is more.
And that's not only this witness of the skies, the declaration, the proclamation of the skies, but now we see the inspiration of the Scripture. Because we are not saved by looking to the heavens. We don't go to heaven by looking at the heavens or praying to the sun. Creation is currently under a curse, and therefore groans. And so we get ambiguous messages regarding creation. A beautiful ocean, a majestic ocean may say one thing about God, His majesty and His glory, but what does a hurricane say? The smile of a child speaks of a Creator who made that child even in the womb, but what does the death of a child say? An inexplicable terrible tragedy, what does that say about nature and about God Himself? So we need more revelations, don't we? We need to know more about who God is and what He is like. And that is why we see in verses 7-11 the inspiration of the scripture.
Now I want you to note in your Bibles a phrase, "of the Lord". You see it there? It repeats six times in verses 7 through 11. "The law of the Lord". "The testimony of the Lord". "The precepts of the Lord". "The commandments of the Lord". "The fear of the Lord". This Book, the Bible, and all of these are references, the law, the testimony, the precepts, the commandments, the fear, all of these are synonyms, they are references, descriptions to God's Word, the Bible. And these are of the Lord, of the Lord, of the Lord. This Book is not a human book; it is "of the Lord". "All Scripture", 2 Timothy 3:16, "is given by inspiration of God", inspired, meaning the breath of God! The life of God is in this Book. This is not a dead ancient archaic museum piece, but it is the living, eternal Word of God.
And so when God gave us the Bible, He gave us this complete revelation of Himself in the Scriptures that we now know is fulfilled in Christ. He calls this Book perfect in verse 7, meaning it is complete. We don't add to the Scripture or we don't take away. Both Old Testament and New Testament is the complete revelation of God. You don't need other religious books or amplification even of this Book; you have the Word of God! His Word! God's Word, sure and trustworthy and timeless, and never failing. It means that you can trust what God says in His Word! And these are the attributes of the Bible. These are the virtues of the Bible, if you will. Look at them again. Verse 7: "The law of the Lord is perfect. The testimony of the Lord is sure. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandments of the Lord is pure (that is, it is not corrupt) enlightening the eyes".
Psalm 119:105 says "Your word, O Lord, is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path". "The fear of the Lord (which speaks of the worship of God) is clean, enduring forever. The rules of the Lord are true and righteous altogether". These divine attributes of God remind us of the content and the character of God's Word. And to what end? To what purpose? Verse 7: "the converting of the soul, the restoring of the soul"! That word converting there or reviving there literally means transforming the inner life, transforming the inner person! This Book, the Bible, is the book of salvation; it is the book of redemption. It is not a book of science, though when it speaks in scientific terms and descriptions, you can be sure that it is accurate. But it is not a book of science. Not a book to tell us how the heavens go but how to go to heaven. And all of it, from cover to cover is this great story of redemption, pointing to Jesus Christ the Savior of the world.
This is why 1 Peter 1:23 we are told that we "are born again by the living word of God". This book is alive and will always be alive. As surely as God is alive, His Book is alive because His life, His breath is in this Book. So when we are born again, when we receive this new life, this conversion of the inner person in Christ, this is the work of the Spirit of God in the Word of God. The word is described as a seed bringing forth life. And so, therefore, we have this word which is life and the message of God's love. The only way to be saved is to trust in Christ and Christ alone. You're not saved by believing the Bible; you're saved by believing in Jesus, by trusting in Christ and Christ alone.
But how do you think you're going to know who Jesus is without the Bible? How are you going to know what Jesus did for you on the cross apart from God's Word? How would you ever know the end of the story, that He came out of the grave and rose again, apart from the testimony of reliable witnesses recorded in the Scripture? So Romans 10:17 says, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God". And so to trust in Jesus means that you believe His Gospel, His word, the word of Truth, the word of the Gospel, the word of salvation. Again, you're not saved apart from Jesus Christ! You can believe every verse in this Bible and not be a believer in Christ. But when you believe the Bible, it points you to a Savior who Christ and Christ alone will save. This is why we preach Christ, the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus, because the Bible is the testimony of Jesus.
Well, one final word and with this I close. Not only does God speak to us in the proclamation of the skies, the handiwork of the heavens, and in the inspiration, the infallible, inerrant word of God, in the inspiration, the revelation of the Scriptures, but according to the Scripture, He also speaks in the illumination of the Spirit. There is the illumination of the Spirit. And this also is a miracle. The author of the Scripture is God by His Spirit, working through human beings so that when they wrote, they wrote the very words of God, not the words of men, but not only is the Spirit the author of salvation, but the Spirit of God is the One who activates salvation and the Scripture in our lives. God speaks to us personally in and of the Spirit. There is proclamation in the heavens, there is inspiration in our hands, God's Word, and there's illumination in our spirit, in our hearts.
Before you and I can know and relate to God, the Holy Spirit must convict us and convince us of our need for the Savior, and in our walk to help us in detecting errors in our ways and clarifying our decision making, convicting us, detecting sin. And this is why the psalmist said, look at verse 12, chapter 19, verse 12: "Who can discern his errors"? He's talking about himself. It's a rhetorical question. "How can we discern our errors? The errors of our own ways"? Sometimes people say things like, "Well, I just let my conscience be my guide". That's a mistake, because your conscience can be misinformed. Your conscience is only as good as it is informed by God's word. Someone described a human conscience like an old sundial. A sundial can only reflect the sun; our conscience can only reflect the Son of God, the Spirit of God.
So you need to be careful about saying, "Well, I'm going to do this according to my conscience". Make sure your conscience is directed and dominated by the Spirit of God! So he says, and the word of God. For he says, "Who can discern his errors and declare me innocent from hidden faults"? Moral collapse, spiritual failure typically does not happen because of a big blowout. Moral earthquakes take place because of secret faults. And David is concerned about those secret faults in his own life. Those undetected weaknesses. Even some of our strengths that can become our weaknesses. Oswald Chambers says, "An unguarded strength is a double weakness". That's sort of a mind twister, isn't it? "An unguarded strength is a double weakness". It's because you can rely on your strengths rather than depending upon God. So how can I be protected? God's word.
David said, "Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against God". The Word of God is like a sword and shield to protect us. Someone said a long time ago that this Book, the Bible will either keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this Book. So David is honoring here the work of the Spirit of God with the word of God that exposes our hidden thoughts so that we can confess them and be delivered. So often these sins, these presumptuous kinds of sins are spiritual bondages, their addictions of all kinds that dominate our minds. That's why we need the Word of God to break the chains. The power of the Word of God is like a hammer that breaks to pieces any chain in your life. I've seen the Word of God hammer out hate from a person's heart. I've seen the word of God break addictions. I've seen the word of God change the worst of addicts, and the worst of sinners.
That's the power of the word of God! But then he closes with these words in verse 14: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer". What does that mean? That means that we are to constantly meditate and concentrate and upon God's Word. As the Scripture says in Colossians 3:16, "Let the word of God dwell in you richly". It's the same thing that Joshua said in Joshua chapter 1: "Be strong and courageous for you shall cause the people to inherit the land that I swore to the fathers to given them. Only be strong and courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it the right hand or the left that you may have good success wherever you go".
Look at verse 8: "The Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, and you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go". The psalmist is closing with a prayer. A prayer that we all ought to pray diligently, daily. "Let my words, let my meditation, my thoughts, the intents of our heart, my words, my deeds be pleasing to You, O God". Word of God, speak to me. And this is the miracle of transformation as God speaks to you personally through His Word. Word of God speak: S-P-E-A-K. When you're looking at the Scriptures and listening to God as He speaks, ask yourself these questions:
S - Is there a sin I need to confess?
P - Is there a promise I need to keep or claim?
E - Is there an example I need to follow?
A - Is there an action that I need to take?
K - Is there a key to spiritual victory in my life? Word of God speak.