In Scripture, the GLORY of God is first mentioned in Exodus. Following the redemption of Israel from Egyptian bondage, the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea, and the destruction of the entire armies of Egypt in the sea, Moses and the Israelites sang a hymn to God, In the song, they were praising God, extolling His great name, and thanking Him for His mercy with words like these: “Who is like You O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, GLORIOUS in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders”? (Ex 15:11). The Psalms mention the GLORY of God over 70 times, most of these by David.
Psalm 19:1 is a perfect example of David’s writing: “The heavens declare the GLORY of God and the firmament shows His handiwork” In fact, upon further examination we see that this Psalm reveals two ways in which the Lord demonstrates His own GLORY and one way in which we as His children can show His GLORY. This beautifully sacred piece is easily divided into three parts clarifying these three points.
I. Verses 1-6: GOD’S CREATION SHOWS HIS GLORY. Since the Beginning when Jehovah God CREATED the Heavens and the Earth, every CREATED thing and every CREATED being have proclaimed and testified of His GLORY. Those demonstrations and proclamations continue daily, as the natural events of every 24 hours occur. “Day unto day utters speech and night unto night reveals knowledge”. (19:2). The silent heavens speak to all the universe revealing the knowledge of WHO God IS and WHY He is worthy to be praised, honored, worshipped and GLORIFIED. Very eloquently, all created things bear witness to their CREATOR and speak of His GLORY. “There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their sound has gone out throughout all the earth and their utterances to the end of the world”. (19:3-4a). All of nature teaches us about our God and speaks to His righteousness and faithfulness in all things!
Because our SUN is such an awesome sight in the sky and it’s light and power cover all our universe, David chose it to carry the message of God’s GLORY and majesty to all CREATION. “In them He has set a Tabernacle for the Sun. Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber and rejoices like a strong man to run its race. Its rising is from one end of Heaven and its circuit to the other end; and there is nothing hidden from its heat. (19:4b-6). Simply by observing nature and the workings of CREATION we can see evidence of God’s GLORY at every turn!
II. Verses 7-11: GOD’S WORD SHOWS US HIS GLORY. The Psalmist made some very bold assertions and claims in these verses concerning the Word of God. Using terms like Perfect, Right, Enlightening, Clean, Pure, Enduring Forever, Righteous Altogether, and Worth More than Gold; David makes his case. Reading Verse 7 from different translations, we find that God’s Word is Perfect, Complete, Restorative, Refreshing, Faithful, and Trustworthy. If we know nothing else, this one verse should convince us that the Bible is the only writing we need to guide our lives here below and lead us to an eternal home in Heaven. Verses 7-8 go on to tell us that the Bible reveals to mankind all the Testimonies, Statutes, Commandments, and Judgments we need from our Creator and Judge. “The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The Testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes”.
God’s Word is not only authoritative, but it is also fair and just. “The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. The judgments are true of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb”. All of Scripture is clean, and true, and righteous. The Words of the Bible are extremely desirable for anyone seeking to please our Maker and reap the promised rewards for doing so. As God’s people, the level of our Bible KNOWLEDGE directly reflects the level of our Desire for His Word
His own experiences with sin, repentance, and God’s forgiveness helped David fully comprehend what he was directed to write in verse 11: Moreover, by Your words your servant is warned and in keeping them there is great reward”. David understood the value of God’s warnings and the great advantages of heeding and obeying His advice and wisdom. This Psalmist also wrote in Psalm 17:4 – “As for the deeds of men, by the WORD of YOUR lips I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer”. The revealed and inspired Word of God teaches us all we need to know about our Lord, especially about His wisdom, His majesty and His GLORY.
III. Verses 12-14 PROCLAIM THAT IT IS OUR DUTY TO SHOW GOD’S GLORY AND TELLS US EXACTLY HOW WE CAN DO THAT. “Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of secret faults”. (19:12). No man recognizes all his iniquities and often cannot discern within himself if he sinned or not. The chief reason for this is that it is extremely difficult for us to be completely honest with ourselves. Often, we do not acknowledge when we sin and/or are unable to distinguish our sins. The main point of this verse is that the first step for us to show God’s GLORY is to tell ourselves the TRUTH concerning our faults and errors and seek forgiveness for each one.
“Also keep back your servant from presumptuous sins. Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless and shall be acquitted of great transgression”. (19:13). Presumptuous or willful sins are those committed in arrogant disregard for God’s divine commands, which David realized could be enslaving. At that point he prayed that he would not be guilty of such iniquities and that he would never be ruled by them. He also understood that if God helped him do that, he would be found blameless and acquitted of all charges, bringing GLORY to HIS great name.
The Psalmist concludes this amazing hymn/prayer with a succinct statement on how he could personally show God’s GLORY in his life. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer”. If our words, our thoughts, and our deeds are approved and acceptable to God, others will notice, and we will certainly show God’s GLORY to all.
The N.T. also emphasizes our duty to GLORIFY God in our lives: “So that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth; and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the GLORY of God the Father”. (Phil 2:10-11). So when we surrender ourselves to Christ, name Him Lord of our lives, and confess Him before men, we bring exalted GLORY to God, the Father.
We close our thoughts with two questions for each of us to ask ourselves:
Am I doing my part each day to demonstrate God’s GLORY to the world?
Is my lifestyle detracting in any way from His GLORY?