The Bible is our manual for worship. Here, in the word fear, the psalmist refers to the Bible in the sense of what it seeks to produce. Scripture intends to produce fear, or awe, or respect for God, and so it is said to be the fear of the Lord. When you want to know how to worship the Lord, you don’t go to the denominational organization, but to the Word of God.
7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul:
the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
8 The statutes 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, enduring forever…
Review: Bible Answers for Your Every Need
Psalm 19, verses 7-9 give us six statements about the Bible that sum up the sufficiency of Scripture and answer everything that the human heart longs for.
Do you long for transformation, to be different than you are?
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.
Do you long for wisdom and discernment, to be able to sort out the issues of life?
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
Do you long for joy, lasting happiness, and deep peace?
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.
Do you long to understand the dark and hidden matters of life?
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Do you long for something that is enduring, permanent, and trustworthy?
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.
Do you long for something that is consummately right and righteous?
The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
Review: Perfect Parallelism
The parallelism in these verses is matchless, and reveals to us God’s heart concerning His Word. It is like the many facets of a diamond, resplendent from every angle.
Let us now take a brief look at the different parts of these three verses, for these will be the building blocks of our study for the next six weeks, and then we’ll jump in to the first part.
Six Titles of the Word of God
- the law
- the testimony
- the statutes
- the commandment
- the fear
- the judgments
Six Characteristics of the Word of God
Six Benefits of the Word of God
- converts the soul
- makes wise the simple
- rejoices the heart
- enlightens the eyes
- endures forever
- is altogether righteous (provides full spiritual resources)
Six Times God Affirms That He is the Author of the Word.
- of the LORD
- of the LORD
- of the LORD
- of the LORD
- of the LORD
- of the LORD
Now, let’s look at the fifth title, characteristic, and benefit of the Word of the Lord.
Title #5: The Fear
Thirty times in the Word of God you will find the expression “the fear of the Lord.” Let’s look at several of these verses in the context of the Word of God. In other words, as you read the verse, in your mind substitute “the Word of God” for “the fear of the Lord,” and see how it speaks to you of the sufficiency of God’s Word.
Wisdom & Knowledge
And unto man he said, “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.”Job 28:28
Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.Psalm 34:11
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they who do His commandments: His praise endures forever.Psalm 111:10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.Proverbs 9:10
The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility.Proverbs 15:33
And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.Isaiah 11:2
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil. Pride, and arrogance, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.Proverbs 8:13
By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.Proverbs 16:6
In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and His children shall have a place of refuge.Proverbs 14:26
The fear of the LORD prolongs days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.Proverbs 10:27
The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.Proverbs 14:27
The fear of the LORD tends to life: and he who has it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.Proverbs 19:23
Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.Proverbs 15:16
By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honor, and life.Proverbs 22:4
Let not your heart envy sinners: but be in the fear of the LORD all the day long.Proverbs 23:17
And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of your times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.Isaiah 33:6
Characteristic #5: Clean
Clean = the absence of impurity, filthiness, defilement, imperfection
By contrast to the evil imaginations of men, the Word of God is clean. When you turn to the Word of God, you are turning to something that is flawless.
The words of the Lord are pure words, as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.Psalm 12:6
Benefit #5: Endures Forever
You cannot always trust the words of men, but you can always trust the Word of God. And it endures forever, so you can follow it always. It never changes, and it never needs to be updated. The language has been updated from time to time, but the truths have never ever changed.
The grass withers, the flower fades: but the word of our God shall stand forever.Isaiah 40:8
Some people believe the Bible is not sophisticated enough for our high-tech society. They believe it is too outdated when it comes to the socio-political situations of our modern era. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Are we to believe we are more sophisticated than the God who created us? Has God’s view on sin changed? Is sin no longer sin simply because the majority accepts it?
Our world has rejected God and His Word. They choose to go their own way, and worship God according to the dictates of their own heart. But God will not play by man’s rules. He is supreme, whether anyone accepts Him as supreme or not.
Then shall they call upon Me, but I will not answer; they shall seek Me early, but they shall not find Me: because they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: they would have none of My counsel: they despised all My reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whosoever hearkens unto Me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from the fear of evil.Proverbs 1:28-32
How much better it is to read the Word of God, study it, and in those pages seek God’s wisdom and knowledge for everyday matters of living. This is the only way to find true peace, joy, and the kind of prosperity that will last into eternity.
My son, if you will receive my words, and lay up my commandments with you; so that you incline your ear unto wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yea, if you cry after knowledge, and lift up your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hid treasures; then shall you understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom: out of His mouth comes knowledge and understanding. He lays up sound wisdom for the righteous: He is a shield to them who walk uprightly. He keeps the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Then shall you understand righteousness, and justice, and equity; yea, every good path.Proverbs 2:1-9
Do we no longer believe in the power of the Word of God to purify a people on a national level? Do we need to purge politics? Or can we depend on God’s Word to do what God said it would do? Always, in the history of God’s people the Jews, whenever there was a national revival, it was when the idolatrous altars were torn down, when sin was so labeled and thrown out, and men returned to the Word of God to find out how to live, and walk, and worship.
Psalm 119 as a commentary on Psalm 19
Once again, let us turn to Psalm 119 to see how it corresponds to this view of God’s Word: “The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.”
38 Establish Your word unto Your servant, who is devoted to Your fear.
39 Turn away my reproach which I fear: for Your judgments are good.
63 I am a companion of all them who fear you, and of them who keep your precepts.
74 They who fear You will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in Your word.
79 Let those who fear You turn unto me, and those who have known Your testimonies.
120 My flesh trembles for fear of You; and I am afraid of Your judgments.
1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
2-3 Blessed are they who keep His testimonies, and who seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in His ways.
9 How shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Your word.
11 Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Your word.
101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep Your word.
133 Order my steps in Your word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.
44 So shall I keep Your law continually forever and ever.
89 Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.
111 Your testimonies have I taken as a heritage forever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.
152 Concerning Your testimonies, I have known of old that You have founded them forever.
160 Your word is true from the beginning: and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.
For the word of God is quick [alive], and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.Hebrews 4:12
Photo taken along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah, Virginia, 2014