Psalm 19 basically talks about how has God communicated to human beings. Man has fallen into sin, and you and i are not what God has intended us to be. Fallen human beings only use 10-20% of their potential brain. We are drastically hindered from the marvelous creatures made in the image of God, and because of that, we walk through a glass darkly (cf. 1 Cor. 13:12). We do not quite know who we are. We do not quite know what we are about. So God has broken into this fog, and has given us some very clear and very precise guidelines and information on how to live during this time on earth.
First of all, God has spoken. But what about those who have never heard, who have never seen a Bible? How about those who have never neard the Name of Jesus? That’s a relevant question, and i’m not really sure the Bible fully answers it. But if it does answer it, it answers it in Psalm 19 and in Romans chapters 1 and 2. And the answer would be, God has communicated with all human beings at some level. In Romans 1:19 and Romans 2:14, it seems to say that God has spoken to all humans in creation. It doesn’t say exactly how that works, i would assume it’s something of the beauty, the intricacy, the order, the power, and the majesty of the created order. The heavens declare the glory of God, and this is known as ‘natural revelation’. The whole of creation including man is the work of His hands. God through Jesus His Son formed man into existence (cf. John 1:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:16). Creation speaks silently, albeit powerfully of His majestic power. And He has spoken to each one of us whether we’ve ever heard of the Bible or heard about Jesus; He has spoken to us in an inner moral witness. Anthropologists have discovered that in pre-literate societies, there has always been within the tribe a sense of moral responsibility; a sense of appropriate moral action within homogeneous tribal groups. We could argue about the extent of that, but there is some kind of ethical behaviour written in the DNA of man. A person may have never heard of the Name of Jesus, and he will not be judged for denying Jesus, but he will be judged on how he lived up to the light he has had. And the bad news is “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” which is the summary of Romans 3:23. So the good news is all men understand something about God. The bad news is no one of us has followed after God. “None seek Him; all we like sheep have gone astray. None have turned after Him ” – that’s the problem.
Verses 7 through 14 speak of a subject we call ‘special revelation’. Starting verse 7 through 11, this is synonymous parallelism. Notice the number of words used to describe revelation – “the law of the Lord; the testimony of the Lord; the precepts of the Lord; the commandment of the Lord; the fear of the Lord; the judgments of the Lord”. These are all parallel, and this is talking about the Word of God, in this context this is what we call the Old Testament. Notice how it characterizes this revelation: verse 7, “it is perfect”, verse 7b “it is sure”, 8 “it is right”, 8b “pure”, 9a “clean” 9b “true”. Wow! And what is the purpose of this revelation in the life of the believer? What is this special information from God to fallen man meant to do? “It restores the soul; it makes wise the simple; it rejoices the heart”. Look at 8b, “it enlightens the eyes”; verse 9 “enduring forever”. These are all characteristics of God’s special, written revelation – the Bible. The Bible is the only clear, and inspired self-revelation of God, and it is the only authoritative source for faith and practice. This is our crucial faith affirmation. But the tragedy is, a vast majority of Christians today don’t study the Book; don’t read the Book! If the Bible is the Word of God – it is crucial to make us happy; make us wise; give us guidelines for life, then why is our life in such turmoil and tumult? Because we don’t know Scripture for ourselves. God is speaking and our receiver is turned on what your pastor said. Praise the Lord for your pastor, but he isn’t authority. Thank God for your favorite Bible commentary, but it isn’t authority. Thank God for our denominational creed, but neither is it authority! The Word of God, the Bible is authority and we need to learn to self-feed on the Word of God!