Psalm 19: God’s Word Is True

sunset in the Shenandoah Mountains

The Word of God is not simple, but it is understandable to those who are willing to take the time to dig into it. Many people nowadays are biblically illiterate. In fact, this was true in Paul’s day as well. To be biblically illiterate is the greatest lack of all, because God has provided us with everything we need within the pages of His Word, and He has given us the Holy Spirit to make those truths plain.

Please join me now in the study of the final phrase of this passage of parallel statements regarding the Word of God.

Psalm 19:7-9

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:
the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

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

  1. the law
  2. the testimony
  3. the statutes
  4. the commandment
  5. the fear
  6. the judgments

Six Characteristics of the Word of God

  1. perfect
  2. sure
  3. right
  4. pure
  5. clean
  6. true

Six Benefits of the Word of God

  1. converts the soul
  2. makes wise the simple
  3. rejoices the heart
  4. enlightens the eyes
  5. endures forever
  6. is altogether righteous (provides full spiritual resources)

Six Times God Affirms That He is the Author of the Word.

  1. of the LORD
  2. of the LORD
  3. of the LORD
  4. of the LORD
  5. of the LORD
  6. of the LORD

Now, let’s look at the sixth and final title, characteristic, and benefit of the Word of the Lord given to us in Psalm 19.

Title #6: The Judgments

Judgment = a divine verdict from the bench of the Judge of all the earth

The Word of God has been judged, or determined by God to be right and to be best. It is the result of divine adjudication as to what is true, and what is best for man. God created us, He sustains us, and He most certainly knows what is best for us.

Not only has God judged His Word and found it true, but He judges us as well. However, God does not judge the way man does. Man hears both sides of the case, then forms his judgment based upon what he has seen and heard. A wise judge will make a good verdict, but men are fallible, and men lie. It is possible for the judge to make a mistake; it is also possible for the judge to be deceived by false witnesses.

Not so with God, for God sees the heart; He knows our thoughts. Therefore, God does not judge based on outward appearance, but based on the condition and motives of the heart. And since nothing is hidden from God, He is incapable of making a mistake in His judgment.

He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth.

Isaiah 11:3-4

And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.

Psalm 9:8

Judge me, O LORD my God, according to Your righteousness.

Psalm 35:24

O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for You shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.

Psalm 67:4

Righteousness and judgment are the habitation of Your throne: mercy and truth shall go before Your face.

Psalm 89:14

Characteristic #6: True

True = “stable, certain, trustworthy”

“I may not know the answers, but at least I don’t ask the questions anymore.” Some people, finding out that they cannot know the truth, simply give up their search for it. If only they would turn to the Word of God! The trouble is that some people don’t truly want to know the truth, and that is why they will not open God’s Word. And even if they did, they may not understand what they read because they do not have the Holy Spirit within them.

When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come.

John 16:13

Pearls are not easy to harvest; diamonds are not easy to mine; but that difficulty is part of what makes them so valuable. So are the truths of the Word of God. They must be harvested, and this harvesting requires diligent effort.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom….

Colossians 3:16

The word richly here means “copiously, abundantly.” How does the Word get into your heart in copious amounts except through copious amounts of meditation and study?

O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will praise Your name; for You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.

Isaiah 25:1

Benefit #6: Altogether Righteous

God’s Word is totally right. It is a complete, comprehensive, sufficient source of truth. Twice we are commanded not to add to God’s Word or take away from it. He has given us everything we need in the Scriptures, and He has not given us anything extra. Everything that was recorded and included in the canon of Scripture was put there for a reason.

You shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

Deuteronomy 4:2

For I testify unto every man who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Revelation 22:18-19

Are we to believe that we need more revelation, more visions, and words of prophecy? The Word of God is sufficient. And if it is sufficient to bring salvation, to perfectly transform the soul of a person, to provide all the skills of spiritual living, to bring full joy, to bring understanding to the dark things hard to see, to purify all sin—and if in all this it is always true—then it must be the source of everything for spiritual living. To believe anything less is to strike a blow against the integrity of the living God.

His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue.

2 Peter 1:3

Psalm 119 as a commentary on Psalm 19

Once more, let us turn to Psalm 119 to see how it corresponds to our final view of God’s Word from Psalm 19: “The judgments of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.”

Judgments
7 I will praise You with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned Your righteous judgments.
13 With my lips have I declared all the judgments of Your mouth.
20 My soul breaks for the longing that it has unto Your judgments at all times.
30 I have chosen the way of truth: Your judgments have I laid before me.
39 Turn away my reproach which I fear: for Your judgments are good.
43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in Your judgments.
52 I remembered Your judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself.
62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto you because of your righteous judgments.
75 I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are right, and that You in faithfulness have afflicted me.
102 I have not departed from Your judgments: for You have taught me.
106 I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep your righteous judgments.
108 Accept, I beseech You, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me Your judgments.
120 My flesh trembles for fear of You; and I am afraid of Your judgments.
137 Righteous are You, O LORD, and upright are Your judgments.
149 Hear my voice according unto Your lovingkindness: O LORD, revive me according to Your judgment.
156 Great are Your tender mercies, O LORD: revive me according to Your judgments.
160 Your word is true from the beginning: and every one of your righteous judgments endures forever.
164 Seven times a day do I praise You because of Your righteous judgments.
175 Let my soul live, and it shall praise You; and let Your judgments help me.

True
30 I have chosen the way of truth: Your judgments have I laid before me.
43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in Your judgments.
138 Your testimonies that You have commanded are righteous and very faithful.
142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is truth.
151 You are near, O LORD; and all Your commandments are truth.
160 Your word is true from the beginning: and every one of your righteous judgments endures forever.

Righteous
7 I will praise You with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned Your righteous judgments.
40 Behold, I have longed after Your precepts: quicken me in Your righteousness.
62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto you because of your righteous judgments.
75 I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are right, and that You in faithfulness have afflicted me.
106 I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep your righteous judgments.
123 My eyes fail for Your salvation, and for the word of Your righteousness.
128 Therefore I esteem all Your precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.
137 Righteous are You, O LORD, and upright are Your judgments.
142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is truth.
137 Righteous are You, O LORD, and upright are Your judgments.
138 Your testimonies that You have commanded are righteous and very faithful.
121 I have done what is right and just: leave me not to my oppressors.
142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is the truth.
144 The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.
160 Your word is true from the beginning: and every one of your righteous judgments endures forever.
164 Seven times a day do I praise You because of Your righteous judgments.
172 My tongue shall speak of Your word: for all Your commandments are righteousness.


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

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