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With New Testament Eyes: 50 - God's two great books

By Henry Mahan

      Psalm 19:1-14

      David devoted himself to the study of God's two great books-- the book of nature (v. 1), 'the heavens declare the glory of God;' and the book of holy scripture (v. 7), 'the law (the word or doctrine) of the Lord is perfect.' How foolish are those who spend their time and wits trying to resolve discrepancies and contradictions instead of accepting these two sacred volumes and coming to know the author (Rom. 1:18-20; John 20:31). I appreciate the man who is a student of the world-book and the word-book and can say, 'My Father wrote them both.' Creation and the Scriptures have one author, the living God, and one objective, the glory of God! Creation is the outer court where we look, admire, and adore our God (Psalm 8:3-4) ; and the word of God is the inner court where we kneel, worship, and praise him (Psalm 119:9-12).

      This Psalm may be divided into three parts:

      The creation shows God's glory. (vv. 1-6)

      The word reveals God's grace. (vv. 7-11)

      The prayer of the man who understands both. (vv. 12- 14)

      1. The heavens declare the glory of God (vv. 1-6)

      v. 1. The heavens are three. There is the third heaven spoken of by Paul in II Cor. 12:2-4. There is the heaven of stars, sun, and planets; and there is the heaven above the earth with clouds. All are constantly declaring the glory of God and showing his handiwork. If every preacher on earth were silent and every tongue still, the heavens above would never cease to declare the wisdom, power, and majesty of our God.

      v. 2. 'Day unto day pours forth speech.' Where one day leaves off, the next day takes up the sermon. The day speaks of 'Christ, the light of the world.' The rising sun declares. 'The sun of Righteousness arises with healing in his wings' (Mal. 4:4).

      While the night speaks of his rest, it also declares, 'I must walk and work while there is light, for the night cometh when no man can work.' There will come an eternal day and eternal darkness.

      The passing of day and night speaks of the brevity of life. 'Teach me to number my days that I may apply my heart to wisdom' (Psalm 90:12).

      vv. 3. Many are the languages of men on earth; but there is no speech nor language on earth where the voice of God's heavens is not heard, for the teaching of creation is not directed to the ear but to the eye and heart. 'God hath showed it unto them' (Rom. 1:19).

      v. 4. The teaching and instructions of God's creation is gone out through all the earth. No man living beneath the heavens is beyond the reach of God's outer court preacher. 'In the heavens God has made a tabernacle for the sun.' Like a mighty king, the sun continues on its way, attended by the moon and the stars.

      vv. 5-6. Who is this sun? It is a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ--the sun of righteousness!

      Jesus Christ, like the sun, is the center, light, and life of God's new creation (Rev. 21:23).

      Jesus Christ, like the sun, dwells in the midst of revelation. He tabernacled among men in all his brightness. All that was made was made by him, for him, and by him it is held together (Col. 1:16-17).

      Jesus Christ comes forth as the bridegroom of his elect church.

      Jesus Christ rejoices as the strong man who wins the battle over the forces of evil and death (Isa. 53:10-12).

      His going forth is from everlasting to everlasting (Micah 5:2). His circuit of mercies blesses the farthest ends and remotest corners of the earth (Rev. 5:9).

      There are none who believe who shall be denied the warmth and comfort of his love, and none who don't believe who shall escape the heat of his wrath.

      2. The word of God reveals his grace (vv. 7-11)

      v. 7. 'The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.' This is not the law of Moses but the whole text of holy scripture. The great means of conversion is the word of God (Rom. 10:13-17; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23; Rom. 1:16-17). 'The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.' What God has to say in his word about himself, his dear Son, our sin, and salvation is sure, certain, and infallible (1 John 5:10-13). Humble, teachable minds receive the word of God and are made wise unto salvation (1 Cor. 2:8-10).

      v. 8. 'The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.' The statutes of the Lord are his counsel and decrees. his covenant of mercy and grace and these statutes are founded in righteousness. God will be just and justifier! God will be righteous and merciful! (Psalm 85:10; Isa. 45:21; Rom. 3:25-26).

      These righteous decrees rejoice the heart of those taught of God. There is a reason for rejoicing when one understands how that in Christ, God can redeem us and still be God! 'The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the understanding.' The pure, holy word of God (Who will by no means clear the guilty) is revealed to us in Christ Jesus; and our eyes are opened to his glory (2 Cor. 4:3-6).

      v. 9) 'The (reverent) fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.' Still the word of God is intended, which teaches men an awe, reverent fear, and worship of God. The word of God directs us to the blood of Christ, which cleanses us from all sin and fear of the curse and leaves us only to love and worship our God.

      While the ceremonial law is done away, the gospel is forever.

      vv. 10-11. 'The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.' His decrees, his covenant, his mercies, and his condemnations are founded on truth and righteousness. They shall stand and shall bring both riches and pleasure to all who believe. By hearing them a man is warned, and by obeying them a man is greatly rewarded.

      3. The prayer of the man who can read the two books (vv. 12- 14)

      The man who knows God and his word knows himself. 'Cleanse me from sins which even I do not see. Keep me from presuming on the mercy of God. Let not the flesh have dominion over me, and deliver me from apostasy and departing from the living God.

      Let my words praise God, speak peace to my brother, be free from malice and murmuring. Let the meditations of my heart be sincere, submissive to thy will, and dwell much on Christ.'

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See Also:
   Foreward & Acknowledgements
   1 - The Fall
   2 - Abel's Offering
   3 - The Ark Of Noah
   4 - Sarah and Hagar; Law and Grace
   5 - The Lord Will Provide
   6 - A Bride for the Heir
   7 - Bethel - The House of God
   8 - Peniel - The Face of God
   9 - Joseph Opens the Storehouses
   10 - Joseph and His Brothers
   11 - Shiloh
   12 - The Passover
   13 - The Manna
   14 - Water from the rock
   15 - The Blood Before the Lord
   16 - The Ram of Consecration
   17 - The Day of Atonement
   18 - Caleb - The Faithful Dog
   19 - The High Priest Intercedes
   20 - The Brazen Serpent
   21 - A Prophet Like Moses
   22 - The Cities of Refuge
   23 - Joshua
   24 - The Scarlet Line in the Window
   25 - The birth of Samson
   26 - The Kinsman Redeemer
   27 - The Song of Hannah
   28 - Give us a King
   29 - Saul's Great Sin
   30 - David and Mephibosheth
   31 - Why God Permitted David to Fall
   32 - Comfort from God's Covenant
   33 - I Will Not Offer to God that which Cost me Nothing
   34 - The Queen of Sheba Comes to Solomon
   35 - Three Examples of Faith
   36 - Where is the Lord God of Elijah?
   37 - Empty Vessels Filled
   38 - Naaman, the Leper
   39 - Open his Eyes that He may See
   40 - Four Lepers Teach us a Lesson
   41 - Nehushtan--A Piece of Brass
   42 - Bringing Back the Ark
   43 - Uzziah's Great Transgression
   44 - Four Things Learned in Trouble
   45 - How Can Man be Just With God?
   46 - Three Vital Questions
   47 - I Know that my Redeemer Liveth
   48 - Now Mine Eye Seeth Thee
   49 - The Psalm of Messiah the King
   50 - God's two great books
   51 - The Psalm of the Cross
   52 - The Lord is my Shepherd
   53 - True God - True Israel - True Redeemer
   54 - Eight Great Precepts
   55 - My Hope is in Thee
   56 - Many, O Lord, Are Thy Wonderful Works
   57 - A Song of Love
   58 - The Sinner's Prayer
   59 - My Rock and my Salvation
   60 - Our Lord's Sufferings for Our Sins
   61 - Mercy and Truth are Met Together
   62 - The Victory of the Messiah
   63 - Bless the Lord, O my Soul
   64 - Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So
   65 - The King-Priest
   66 - The Chief Cornerstone
   67 - The Observer and the Observed
   68 - Praise the Lord O my Soul
   69 - Wisdom in Christ
   70 - The Conclusion of the Whole Matter
   71 - Remember Now Thy Creator
   72 - My Beloved is Mine and I am His
   73 - What is Thy Beloved more than Another Beloved?
   74 - The Lord Our Righteousness
   75 - The Believers Hope
   76 - From Nothing to Everything
   77 - Lost, Driven Away, Broken, Sick
   78 - Can These Bones Live?
   79 - Four Things God Taught Nebuchadnezzar
   80 - Thy God Will Deliver Thee
   81 - Hosea--Type of Christ
   82 - A Famine to be Feared
   83 - Salvation is of the Lord
   84 - A Fountain Opened for Mourners
   85 - The Messenger of the Covenant


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