“Psalm 19: God’s Revelation for Our Blind Spots”
Outline avl HERE
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above[a] proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
4 Their voice[b] goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
5 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
6 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.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect,[c]
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the Lord is clean,
the rules[d] of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13 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.
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.
Pastor Thom Rittichier
This morning, on this weekend, we are going to talk about a matter of truth that sets free. Jesus said that to some folks who believed on him in John 8:31,32, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”. But you know, the fact of the matter is, that we all have blind spots, we have the blind spots. We have them physically, let me demonstrate this to you. I’d like you to take your outline sheet and we’re going to take this and put it about a hands breaths in front of your face. I want you to hold it so those two shades are directly in front of your nose. And I want you to close your right eye or cover your right eye. And then with your left eye, focus on the little face that’s on the opposite side. When you do that, do you notice something? Now switch and close your left eye and focus on the cross. Do you notice what happens? The face, when you focus on the cross, disappears. When you focus on the face, the cross disappears. And the reason for that is because we all have a blind spot. Here’s a diagram that shows the blind spot. You see that there’s an optic nerve…And if you want to find out more about this talk to Dr. Stewart, okay, because he’s a physiology undergrad on anatomy. And he can tell you a whole bunch more….But anyway, this is the basics of it. That right there, that optic nerve puts a blind spot out in our vision. And this little exercise demonstrates that to us. Here is our center of vision. And this is peripheral. And that optic nerve causes a blind spot. And we all have it. Now the interesting thing is that our brain, the way God designs it, fills in that blind spot so it isn’t always evident to us, but it’s always there. It’s always present. That’s physically a blind spot. We all have it. In both eyes, we have it, so it’s a blind spot.
Here’s another blind spot that we often encounter experientially. You ever have this experience when your driving? It’s a blind spot. As a matter of fact, right here, as you look at this picture, that is the extent of the blind spot that we have in driving. And there are other things that can cause blind spots, such as the roof pillars that are on the car, they can do that. Here is what a teenager came up with to project an image where the pillar is to fill in the blind spot for the pillar. Interesting innovation has come up with some of the trucks. I think I saw it on GM trucks. Do you know that when you put a trailer behind you, you’ve created a tremendous blind spot? I found that out, pulling our camper this year, tremendous blind spot. But the GM truck now has some technology that it’ll look behind the trailer and give you the full vision, filling in your blind spot. We have that blind spots experientially. By the way, we put on an extra mirror on our vehicle to fill in our blind spot. It doesn’t work completely, like the technology on the GM trucks, but it does help out. There’s one other area that we have blind spots, not only physically, not only experientially, but also we have them attitudinally, concerning our attitudes. Have you ever heard this statement? Love is blind. The eyes of love are blind. Love is blind. How about this, blind rage? Heard that expression, seen that expression? You just kind of lose it. That’s an attitudinal thing. And this morning, in Psalm number 19, God fills in for us, concerning our blind spots. Yeah, he does fill in for them all but today we’re going to look particularly at the attitudinal one.
Our Lord God reveals, filling in, our blind spots for us. I’m going to ask you to turn with me, if you would, to Psalm 19. Psalm 19 is a poem, like we have been seeing in the book of Psalms. It’s a poem set to music. Psalm means to put it to music. This is a psalm of David, set to music. And you know, anybody ever hear of CS Lewis around here? He was a world renowned and is still a world renowned author, by both believers and unbelievers. He was also a professor concerning literature. And concerning Psalm 19, I’d like you to hear what CS Lewis said in his book “Reflections on the Psalms”. He said, “Psalm, the 19th. I take this to be the greatest poem in the Psalter”, the Book of Psalms, “and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.” The words were intended by David to be set to music. And you know, they have been over and over and over. When I was teaching middle school, there was a song we used to sing based on Psalm 19. And they would sing the phrases that are in here with a good melody. Now my voice isn’t good today, so I’m not going to sing it for you. (congregation laughs) Isn’t that growth? You have to admit, that’s growth, isn’t it? Normally, I sing would sing it anyway, but this is growth. (again laughing) There are seven Psalms which often appear in hymn books, and some based on Psalm 19. It was and is some of the greatest lyrics and yet this Psalm is very simple. It is poetry put together in a very simple fashion, but it’s, it’s beautiful. As a matter of fact, this Psalm, like CS Lewis said, these are great lyrics. And it’s endearing. It’s heart tugging, in the way that the Lord presents this to us, as he clears the vision of our blind spots.
What I’m going to give you this morning is this simple outline which tracks how the psalm is presented, how the poem is laid out. First of all, without words, we see God’s general revealing. That’s in the first six verses. Then with words, our Lord’s special revealing, what he intensionally gets across, verses 7-11. And then finally, within His words to us, we have this personal revealing, that is a response to what he’s been telling us, a response on where we go, verses 12-14. That this psalm is not only being eloquent, greatest lyrics according to CS Lewis, not only heart tugging, but it’s also very helpful. It’s very instructive. As God clears our vision and the blind spots are filled in. Now I’m going to pause for a moment here to pray and ask the Lord to do like the Psalms talk to us about, open our eyes to wonderous things that are in His instructions. Father in heaven, we pause this morning and we do this, in the name of Jesus, being called by his name, his promise to us is life. And Father, that life begins now. Eternal life isn’t a future thing we have only, it’s life that begins now, and goes on through eternity. We pray this morning that you will open our eyes to behold these wonderous things in your instruction, in your law to us, that we will grow in wisdom, will grow in following our Lord. In Jesus name, amen.
So the first thing we’re going to look at this morning is we’re going to follow this outline and read through the psalm. Now remember, Hebrew poetry is different than English poetry. You remember that? What is the rhyme generally in English poetry? The rhyming is of words. Yeah, words. And you remember my preaching on Mary Had a Little Lamb? Okay. Just an illustration for the rhyming of the words. Here in this psalm, Hebrew poetry rhymes, very simply, it rhymes the idea. This first line is rhymed by the second line, only it expands it a bit. And it enriches it. So first off, Without words-God’s general reviewing, verse one, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse”, the arc of the sky is what that refers to, “is declaring the work of His hands” or his handiwork. The first line is rhymed in the second line, in regards to the idea that’s being presented here. It’s enriched though. Verses 2-6, “Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard. Their line or sound has gone out through all the earth, And their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; It rejoices as a strong man to run his course, Its rising is from one end of the heavens, And its circuit or its revolution is to the other end of them; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.” Now a transition, With words-our Lord’s special revealing. Verses 7-11, “The law of the LORD is perfect, it’s complete, restoring 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 judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than the honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward.” And the last transitions in the Lord’s special revelation, Within His word-personal revealing. It’s opening our eyes to blind spots. Verses 12-14, “Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous, arrogant sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.” I have to confess that when I got to the part that we used to sing in middle school, I almost started to sing it, because that is the nature of this thing. It engages your heart and pulls you in.
Now I need to explain this a little bit. General revealing refers to the unveiling that God has given to the whole world. Special revealing refers to those who He has specially delivered what His Word is. There are some things we know from what God has just generally revealed. But we get very specific in this special revealing, and it takes us to this, always does, this personal revealing that is brought out in our hearts, the words of my mouth and the meditation, what I’m musing in my heart. Now, I want to try and keep this as simple as I can this morning, because the psalm is written simply. It’s easy poetry, but it’s the greatest lyrics. What God shows, first of all, in his general revealing, his general unveiling to every one throughout the whole world, every one, in every place, at every location, you can’t escape it. That’s what he’s saying here. The heavens are declaring, telling, the glory of God. This is what is being said, this is the account. That’s what this word means. The telling is the giving of an account. This is the account that is going out. And it is declaring, it is announcing the glory of God. Now the word that’s used here, as God talks about what he did in creation, is the word that refers to him in his strength and his power. I like you to, if you would, turn to the book of Romans, chapter one. Because in Romans chapter one, it appears very, very forthrightly, that the Apostle Paul is thinking along the lines of this ancient poem. This poem was written by David, centuries before Paul came on the scene, centuries before the birth of Christ, even though Christ was of the line of David, it was generations and generations that had come and gone. In Romans chapter one, Paul references this same thing. Look at with with me, Romans, chapter one, verse 20, “since the creation of the world His invisible attributes”, meaning things that can be known by him, things that are characteristic of him, “His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they, human beings, are without excuse”. This is the general unveiling that God is giving of His glory. His power, when in his strength he acted by a word, to bring everything we know into existence. What happens when you say something? Sometimes I say something to the dog, and nothing happens. Sometimes we experienced that with kids and grandkids. When God says something, “let there be”, suddenly it is. And the amazing part of his power is he does nothing but say it. And the vibration of his words brings it into existence. As a matter of fact, even in physics, they tell us everything is really vibrating energy. That’s what it is. I am teaching physics to my grandkids right now. It’s middle school physics, okay. But we’re talking about that very thing right now. Thermal energy, it’s caused by the vibration, the potential energy that’s in every molecule, because it’s moving. God spoke and it came to be. And the scripture says, he maintains all of it by the word of his power, the vibration. This is a demonstration of his power, his eternal power. And his divine nature is here also. The glory of God is being given an account to, it goes out. He said it’s declared. The idea of the declaring is that it’s being announced. It’s being announced. But it goes without words.
How does this announcing account goes out? It goes out with out words, he says verses 2-6. Notice how this goes out. “Day to day pours forth speech.” Now the Hebrew language here is a lot more colorful and vivid than this. It’s gushing it. It’s just gushing, like you walk up to a natural spring and it doesn’t have a tap where you turn it off and turn it on. It’s just gushing. It’s pouring out this clear, cold, usually filtered well by the earth, water and it’s just pouring it out and pouring it out and pouring it out and pouring it out and pouring it out. And it goes out continuously, non stop, day to day, this speach gushes out he says. And night to night, it doesn’t take the night shift off. It goes forth. It reveals this knowledge, this awareness of God. Now note this, verse three, “there is no speech”. That’s the same word that’s used up there in verse two, when it says it pours forth speech. But it’s saying there aren’t words here. There is no utterances. There’s no voice that’s heard, yet the account goes out. Verse four, “their line”, their sound, what this refers to is the chord, like a strand on a guitar, a line, a string, a guitar string, that makes this sound. That sound, he draws it into a picture of a musical sound. That’s why CS Lewis says these are the greatest lyrics. It’s like a sound being struck morning by morning and night by night. It’s just gushing out. It’s gushing out, non stop, continuous going on, this musical chord, this musical sound. He goes on to says it goes “through all the earth”, verse four, “and their utterances”, meaning that this is put in a symphony. It is a collection of these sounds that are struck and sent throughout the whole earth. Day by day by day by day to the extremities of the earth, to the end of the earth. God sends out this symphony. To what? To his glory, to how splendid, powerful, splendid it is.
Do you know I can tell you absolutely that God loves color. He loves variety. Because in this general unveiling of his glory, his splender, he has filled it with color and variety. Beauty is seen there. You know, we have some really beautiful scenes in this planet, don’t we? Can you imagine when it’s broken and fallen and it looks like this, what the unbroken and non fallen looks like? Heaven, as it’s described in Revelation, kind of attempts to give us a little picture of that. It’s a struggle for words, as he takes all of these beautiful gems and he talks about gold but gold that’s translucent and he talks about light that emanates from within and having all these beautiful colors in this The Eternal City of God. The music cord is struck. It’s sent out like a symphony. Every day, every day, no speech, no utterance, but to the end of the earth. And then he introduces in this picture of the arc of the sky. He’s writing from a human perspective, what we see is the sky as this vault, this arch of the sky. And in that arch, we have beauty. The Stewart’s have talked about that, other people too, but I can think of them primarily. They talked about when they were in Africa and got away from the city lights. Do you know how dark it is without our artificial light? And do you know how deep black velvet that arc is? And these glimmering diamond like stars that shine there. In that arc, he introduces for us, in this general unveiling of God’s glory and his handiwork, this. Verse four, “He has placed a tent”, that black velvet canopy with those sparkling stars, a tent. You know a tent is for a nomad, a transient person, right? A tent is a temporary thing. “He placed a tent for the sun”. The sun is a transient thing. It’s always moving, well we’re moving, it appears to be moving to us. But he’s writing from the point of view on us on earth.
And there’s motion going on here, constant. And he describes this, “Which is as”, verse five, “a bridegroom coming out of his chamber”. Hey, question for you. How does a bridegroom, on his wedding day, come out to greet his wife? How does he do it? Yeah, eagerly with great gusto. It’s like, I’m invested here. I’m engaged. I’m interested in this. Amen? Amen? Hey, guys, come on. I know it’s beyond Valentine’s Day. But hey, Father’s Day is coming. So you better bear that in mind. It’s amen, it’s engaged, it’s interested, it’s involved. That’s a matter of fact, there’s these heart palpitations. When God first did this with Adam and Eve, Adam said, WHOA NOW! This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh! The Hebrew there is excitement. That’s how the bridegroom comes out of his chamber. And that’s how the sun, in its circuit, as we perceive it on earth, comes out. Day by day by day by day by day and night by night by night by night and it goes from one end, from our perception, of the heavens to the other. It goes on its circuit.
You know, I have so many pictures on my phone of sunrises. My wife spends her mornings, during this kind of weather, out on the front porch. And she takes sunrise pictures day after day. Matter of fact, sometimes it’s several pictures on one day and then again on the next day and the next day, of the sunrise. Because they are so amazing and you know what, I have a daughter who is 21, as of Friday, my baby is 21, as of Friday. I mean, I didn’t even know I was 21! Okay, I knew I was but she will be on Friday. And she’s now taking pictures. And you know, the thing is, when I’m running in the mornings, sometimes I come up over the hill and the colors, the pastels, the greens, the blues, the aquas, the pinks, the gold, all mixing together there. And I too have to take a picture, just to add to this collection. Some of those days you come over the hill and you think, Oh God, You made this place so beautiful. And we enter into worship, we just have to stop and thank him for that. And then you begin to think, personally, Lord this is a beautiful sunrise. And then you begin to think, biblically, because here’s the reality, the sun is always rising somewhere. It is always daybreak, around the world, some where it’s always rising, it always is. And he is sending out this orchestra continuously since the day he said, “Let there be” a greater light to rule the day and a lesser light to rule the night. He has been continuously bringing those and striking the chords of the sonnet that goes out to the world without words. That’s what he’s telling us here. The sun, on its circuit, over and over and over. It communicates. You know, it’s no wonder that CS Lewis said, these are the greatest lyrics. It’s endearing.
And by the way, nobody escapes. Verse six, “nothing is hidden from its heat”. It’s telling, it is continuously telling, it is just continuously declaring, there are no words, but the notes go out and no one escapes feeling it. Not if you’re in Saskatchewan, or you’re in Siberia, or you’re in Miami Beach. The heat may be a little different. But it’s there. And it’s felt. And it’s noted even in Alaska, during the night season, it’s noted and felt and seen.
So now, verses 7-11, God’s general revelation, with words, God’s special revelation. This gets more particular. This is I AM, because the name changes from God in His strength, to Gods Exodus chapter three personal name, I AM, who I AM, always and forever, what you need. This is His name to every generation. This is how He want to be known. Always and forever, I AM, what you need. I AM. And he switches to this. And verses 7-9, he gives us six statements that are synonyms for the word that God delivers to us. Six of them. He calls it the law, the testimony, the precepts, the commandment, the fear, and the judgments. Now fear here, fear is not an exact synonym. But it is an idea concerning what this establishes in us. The law of the Lord, which means his instruction, his direction, it is complete. It is everything we need, it is all put together to make us whole. The testimony of the Lord means the witness that he gives, the witness of I AM, it sure, its steadfast, it’s reliable, you can count on it, it’s firm under your feet. The precepts of the Lord and the commandment of the Lord. The precepts refers to his precise mandate, and the commandments are his orders. These are the precise orders of the Lord that give order to our life. The fear, which I told you is not an exact synonym for the word. Nevertheless, what it creates, it’s wholesome, he says. It’s pure. This deep seated respect for God, it brings wholesomeness. And the judgments of the Lord that He talks about here, meaning the evaluations that he makes, and the decisions that he comes to that he has communicated to us. These things are true. They are straight up, they are like it is, this is the way it is.
And after giving this description, he tells us what this is to us, verses 10-11. It’s sweet, sweeter than the honey. How do you look at the Word? Is this like, sweet? Notice what he says after giving all the descriptions that I just went through. He says, “They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb”. You know, the Robb’s give us honey. It’s organic honey. And I can’t take much of that stuff. It is like pure sugar. Sweet. I can’t take much of it, just a little bit. And it’s enough. And they gave us a great big jar. Is that how the Word is to you? And the value, the value of it? More than much fine gold. Hey, let me ask you this. If you had some gold laying around your house, would you just kind of let it lie here and there. And maybe every once in a while you’d kind of walk by. I have one gold thing, my wedding band. It’s genuine gold. You know, the karats aren’t too much but nevertheless. I want you to know, that I have had this as of this week, for 42 years, 42 years. Our anniversary was Wednesday, 42 years, and I’ve still got this ring. Do you know, I didn’t know how I have kept this for so long? Because I put it away in special place every night and I make sure it gets there and it gets back up when I get up. That is, if I’m not working outside or something and it goes back on this finger. That’s how we value this Word more than much gold, much sweeter than the honey. Because this is all true of the Word.
Now, I’m going to conclude this way. I’m going to talk about the impact of what the Word does. Because those same verse that gave us all those descriptive things, tells us the impact this Word, the law of the Lord, the testimonies, the law, all this restores the soul, verse 7. Do you ever have a saggy soul? Do you ever get down about life? Does it ever seem hard? Does it? Some of you are afraid to answer, it does. It does, the weariness of life, read Ecclesiastes, it gives us the picture. But this restores the soul, the life, that’s in you. That’s what his instruction does. When I hear it for what it’s saying, it picks up a saggy soul. I remember one time when I was living in Lafayette. And life was kind of going on like that. I had a couple of different jobs. There were a lot of demands. And I went into the church service. And I was sitting there on a Wednesday night, and they open to the Word and I just had to tell the assistant pastor, who presented that night, I said, this is really a pick me up for a saggy soul. That’s to be the intent of what the Word does. I hope it’s doing that to your soul today. When we hear it, it makes wise, he said, those who are open minded, this testimony of the Lord, his witness makes wise those who are open minded, verse 7. He goes on to say, this makes the heart glad, verse 8, the precepts of the Lord, rejoice the heart, the commandment of the Lord illuminates the eyes, that deep seated respect that this brings for the Lord is forever. And then he says, to wrap this up, he says, the judgments of the Lord, they are altogether righteous, verse 9.
This all gives warning and reward. Augustine, who was a teacher in the church for a while, says, sin is its own punishment. You see, there comes a misery with sin. For a little while, there’s a temeral enjoyment. But in the end, there’s a misery. Have you ever said something about your life like this? I would do it that way again! Or is it , I wouldn’t do it that way again. That’s the sense he’s talking about here. And that’s our warning. And we all have it. We all get it. Every one of us. I’ve never heard a genuine believer really happy that they sinned. “Oh, good, I did that. It was so far off God’s mark that I really the pleasure of it. And what I get now from it is so much better.” No, what I usually hear is, I wouldn’t do it that way. That’s what I hear. Is that what you say? That’s good. Because that’s the warning. And it has its own reward. Because following the Lord now has reward now. I heard people say it this way. I must be living right. Why? Because they anticipate a reward, has a reward inherent.
But he brings us to this, within His Words, this person revealing, what we need concerning our blind spots. Oh, we’ve got good, good rear vision. I mean in hindsight is 100%. But our errors and our hidden faults, and David’s plea is, rescue me from these Lord, acquit me of these, acquit me of these hidden faults, verse 12. Okay, these hidden faults are real and these get us but it’s these, in verse 13, are the plague, the ones that are presumptuous and arrogant. And I think I can do this without following your counsel on that, without even hearing your voice. I think I can do it. And that’s exactly what Eve did. She wouldn’t even hear his voice as she arrogantly presumed that she knew what was best, without God’s counsel. And Adam, he went right with her on that. He went right with her. And these are the ones that we’re rescued from. Notice how he says this, Keep back your servant from arrogant sins. Let them not rule over me, then I will be acquitted. Then I will be without blame. You see what David’s talking about? Hey, let me ask you this, did David sin? Yeah. What kind of things did he get into? I don’t even need to ask, do I? You pretty well know, if you’ve been around the Bible at all, what he got into. And you know that God said he was a man after his own heart, fully aware of what David would do. Why could God say that about him? Because David’s heart bent to the Lord. Remember Nathan coming in and talking to David, laid out the picture? Do you know what kings could do then? It was an Alice in Wonderland world. Off with their head! Off with their head! And guess what? Nobody could stop them. That was the extent of their authority. Psalms talk about it. Proverbs talk about it. You don’t do this with the king because you put yourself in a precarious position. And guess what? With the King of the universe, it’s a precarious position. And yet because of our heart bends, like a heart after God’s, it bends. David was honored. Rescue me from these hidden things. And these presumption things, let me be acquitted of this great transgression.
And where we go with this, verse 14, the last verse, he says this, “Let the words of my mouth”, let the things that I say Lord, “and the meditations”, the things that I think about, “in my heart”. Do you know everybody is continuously thinking? When you have an opportunity to sleep, your mind still does it. When we’re unconscious, it’s still go. Matter of fact, Dr. Stewart did a paper on that, rapid eye movement. He had trouble with it at the end, but you can ask him about that. I’m not saying that’s a he did it wrong, he just had some trouble. It had to do with his experimentation for his graduate program, but I won’t give you details on that. I’ll let you talk to him. It still goes on. It still does. These are the musings of your heart. And where this takes us is, Lord, help me bring my thoughts in line and the words because out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. And that’s where believers go. Because of the power of God Almighty, and the personalness of Yahweh and his talking to us. We go there. We do, saying this, Oh, Lord, my rock. Oh, Yahweh, my Redeemer. You brought me back.
In Romans 1:18-20, the sad thing is, people push down this truth. The truth that God sends out day by day by day, the truth that He’s revealed in His Word, they push it down. Don’t do that, let the Word of the Redeemer, of Jesus Christ death, burial and resurrection, that paid our sin debt win your heart and come to Him. No matter what you have, that you grasp, or you wouldn’t do that again, come to Him because He is our Redeemer. He is our Father in heaven. You are good. You are good to us. And this Psalm is so good, well it’s the greatest lyrics, CS Lewis thinks. It is so heart tugging. In Jesus name, amen.