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THE LORD’S TWO GREAT “BOOKS” (Psalm 19)

 

God has given us two great books: His Creation and HIs Word.

Nonverbal and verbal communication,

reinforcing one another, shouting the glory of God.

There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.


psalms-19vs1_10241I am so excited about this week. This is my surprise — and I hope it delights you too. A month ago I asked our own Rebecca if she would help make Psalm 19 live in your hearts through her gift of music. Years ago I memorized Psalm 19 with the help of T. M. Moore, who has put the psalms to familiar hymn melodies. He paraphrased Psalm 19 and put it to the music of “Beneath the Cross of Jesus.” Rebecca, with the help of her nephew on guitar, has done it for us and we can see them on vimeo. I want us to take a verse a day and ponder it, and I really encourage you to memorize at least one of the five verses. This psalm is  such a beloved psalm — and we have a great free Tim Keller sermon on it as well.

Begin today, with the first verse. Below are T. M. Moore’s lyrics. Then listen to Rebecca sing it — you can stop after the first verse or listen to her sing it all. Here is Rebecca, anointed by Him!

http://vimeo.com/92613958

Psalm 19, paraphrased by T. M. Moore (to be sung with the melody of Beneath the Cross of Jesus) Beginning today, we will go through it slowly.

Sunday: Verse 1

The heavens declare God’s glory, the skies His worth proclaim!

From day to day and night by night they shout His glorious name

No speech, no words, no voice is heard, yet all across the earth

The lines of His all present Word declare His holy worth!

Monday: Verse 2

Behold, the sun arises, a bridegroom strong and bright,

Rejoicing as he runs his course form morning unto night.

From east to west across the skies his circuit he completes,

And none can hide his sinful eyes or shelter from his heat.

Tuesday: Verse 3.

The Law of God is perfect, His testimony sure:

The simple man God’s wisdom learns, the soul receives its cure.

God’s Word is right, and His command is pure, and truth imparts:

He makes our eyes to understand, with joy He fills our hearts.

Wednesday: Verse 4 and 5.

The fear of God is cleansing, forever shall it last,

HIs judgments all are true and just, by righteousness held fast.

O seek them more than gold most fine, than honey find them sweet;

Be warned by every word and line, be blessed with joy complete.

Verse 5

Who, Lord, can know his erros? O keep sin far from me!

Let evil rule not in my soul that I may blameless be.

O let my thoughts, let all my words, before Your glorious sight,

Be pleasing to You, gracious Lord, acceptable and right.

Sunday: Icebreaker

1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

2. What stands out to you from the first verse of Psalm 19, as paraphrases by T. M. Moore and sung by Rebecca?

Ask the Lord to show you which verse to memorize, using the song and the paraphrase.

 

Monday: THE FIRST BOOK

3. What do verses 1-4 tell us that creation does?

4. Romans 10:18 quotes this psalm — what is the point made there?

3. Romans 1:18-20 goes further with this point. What does it say?

4. Tim Keller has said that according to this passage, everyone believes at first — but they suppress the truth. What thoughts do you have on this?

Behold the sun arises, a bridegroom strong and bright, rejoicing as he runs his race from morning until night
Behold the sun arises,
a bridegroom strong and bright, rejoicing as he runs his race from morning until night,
from east to west throughout the skies, his circuit he completes — and none can hide his sinful eyes or shelter from the heat

5. Read Psalm 19:4-6

     A. To what does God compare the literal sun? How is the Son of God like the literal sun?

     B. Listen to Rebecca sing this verse. Then, reading the lyrics in the caption of the picture above, sing it yourself to the tune of Beneath the Cross

         of Jesus. Let it soak in. Then comment.

Tuesday: THE PERFECT BOOK

lawofgod

  6. Read Psalm 19:7-8

         A. What do you learn about God’s Word?

       B. Listen to Rebecca sing this verse. Then, reading the lyrics in the caption of the picture above, sing it yourself to the tune of Beneath the

           Cross of Jesus. Let it soak in. Then comment.

Sweeter_than_Honey7. Read Psalm 19:9-11

A. Jonathan Edwards says there is a difference between knowing honey is sweet and tasting it. What do you think he means?

      B. How have you experienced the power of God’s Word recently?

      C. Listen to Rebecca sing this verse. Then, reading the lyrics in the caption of the picture above, sing it yourself to the tune of Beneath the

          Cross of Jesus and let it soak in. Comment.

Wednesday: Our Response to God’s Two Great Books

woman-praying-on-knees1

psalm-1914

Thursday-Friday Sermon

Listen and share your notes and comments. LINK

What verse are you (or have you) memorized, using T. M. Moore and the music?

Saturday:

What is your take-a-way and why?

Leave a Comment

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234 comments

  1. I am thankful for Rebecca’s lovely contribution of song. I love scripture set to music because it brings it to my mind so easily.
    This Psalm brings out my favorite subjects: God’s creation and his word! I returned to Vermont on Friday and the beauty of spring shows forth God’s creation in a marvelous way. His creation speaks to me of his power and magnificence.  It reminds me of his faithfulness. I loved Elizabeth’s sharing of releasing the butterflies! I am always joyful when I hear the birdsongs, Laura, as they just seem to be joyful!
    God is faithful and good, turning darkness to light, winter to spring. Yet what stands out most is the verses 12-14 which is  a prayer, “O keep sin far from me! Let evil rule not in my soul that I may blameless be.”
    Studying this psalm is exciting to me.

    1. Shirley-love this “God is faithful and good, turning darkness to light, winter to spring.” I have never been to Vermont but it has always sounded so beautiful! Love how you soak in His gifts in creation.

    2. Shirley, I just have to tell you that when I was a high school senior (in a class of 39 students) we completed a  ‘senior profile’ and they were all compiled in a booklet for us to remember each other.  To the question:  “What are your three wishes?”   My first answer was ‘to live in Vermont’ !And, to this day, I have actually never been there.  (I’ve been close…..to some of the other New England states) but someday, I will visit your beautiful state, Lord willing.   I have always been enamored with it. 🙂

  2. 6. Read Psalm 19:7-8
    A. What do you learn about God’s Word? It is perfect. The perfect law revives the soul. The statues (is this the same as rules?) of God are trustworthy. “Making wise the simple” – this makes me think of how simple God’s law really is – love God, love people. Which is so very wise when you think of the multitude of situations this covers. And yet how I struggle with both trying to be complicated and unsimple – trying to manage my idols when really I just need to love. This is a conviction I will be pondering…
     
    B. Then comment: When I simply come to Him through His Word I receive my cure. I receive my joy. Simply. Humbly. No ulterior motive. Trusting. Open eyes. When I am simple – just desiring Him – He gives me wisdom, truth, direction (command), healing (cure), understanding and joy.
    The simple man God’s wisdom learn, the soul receives its cure – my soul was dead in sin, when I learn God’s wisdom He cures my sin – takes away lethality of it both in eternal consequences and in this life, my soul breathes and is healed from its wounds.

  3. Jonathan Edwards says there is a difference between knowing honey is sweet and tasting it. What do you think he means?

    Sometimes I have known a true thing from scripture for a long time in a matter of fact sort of way, but then it comes alive to me with intensity, the penny drops, I ‘ingest’ it and it become part of me in a lasting way. I think about this when I think about Christ saying that his disciples must eat his flesh and drink his blood. Jesus is the Word, the Bread of Life. When I feed on him, and the Holy Spirit brings that truth to life inside of me, I have tasted it, it becomes a life giving part of who I am in Christ.
     
          B. How have you experienced the power of God’s Word recently?
     
    I was recently reading 1 Kings of Ahab and his wickedness. I was struck by the complete depravity of the man and yet when he repented but a little, God was inclined to show mercy towards him.  I keep thinking about it and it inspires me to seek Gods mercy quickly when my thoughts go down a dark path. Gods kindness is leading me to a quicker repentance, a desire to stay closer to him.

    1. I keep thinking about it and it inspires me to seek Gods mercy quickly when my thoughts go down a dark path. Gods kindness is leading me to a quicker repentance, a desire to stay closer to him.
       
      What a good reminder of God’s mercy and of our need to confess to Him right away.  Thank you Chris.
       
       

  4. 5. Read Psalm 19:4-6
    A. To what does God compare the literal sun? How is the Son of God like the literal sun?
    The sun is alike a Bridegroom. Jesus is like the sun, as He leaves His chamber or Heaven and comes to bring Light into the world, rescuing us from darkness. Nothings can darken His light. Not even heat cannot destroy Him, His power is greater.
    B. Listen to Rebecca sing this verse…comment.
    “rejoicing as He runs…His circuit He completes” It brings Him joy to come to us, to rescue us—and He will not stop until His work is complete. He never gives up, He never hesitates, He runs.
     
     6. Read Psalm 19:7-8
    A. What do you learn about God’s Word?
    God’s Word is perfect, life-giving, pure.
    B. Listen to Rebecca sing this verse. Then sing it. Let it soak in. Then comment.
    I love this “the soul receives its cure”. He has come to save the sick—He cures us of all our sin.
    7. Read Psalm 19:9-11
    A. Jonathan Edwards says there is a difference between knowing honey is sweet and tasting it. What do you think he means?
     
    Knowledge versus experience. There is a difference between possessing knowledge of God’s holiness from having read about Him, and knowing His sweetness from having experienced Him ourselves. You can know of Him without experiencing Him, but you cannot experience Him and not know Him.
     
    B. How have you experienced the power of God’s Word recently?
    I have always loved verse 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.” Usually though as I have prayed it, I have this “background noise” of –‘well, it’s not exactly possible for me, but I like the sound of it’. Today I was meditating on it and it struck my emotionally to realize, to accept that my words, my heart, is made acceptable to Him through Jesus. I know we know this, but the weight of it went from my head to my heart—when I think of how incredibly sinful my words and thoughts actually are, to know that He makes the acceptable to God—it magnifies the cleansing, the power, the beauty of the Cross. Fills me with deeper gratitude.
    C. Listen to Rebecca sing this verse. Then sing it, comment.
    “O seek them more than gold most fine,” Do I seek His Word, seek Him, more than anything else? So many days I think I seek rest, understanding, acceptance…oh Lord, that I would seek You first and nothing else is needed.

    1. Elizabeth…your answers were awesome!   Loved the one about the honey!

    2. Elizabeth, thank you for sharing what happened in your heart (7. B.) while meditating on verse 14…to realize that our words, our hearts, are made acceptable to Him through Jesus, though they can be incredibly sinful…”it magnifies the cleansing, the power, the beauty of the Cross.”

    3. Oh yes, Elizabeth, the comparison of God’s word, sweeter than honey, is also my experience. I know the joy of the realization of these words being true in my life. The picture also captures a sweet emotion.

    4. I really like your A and B answers too….such good insight.

  5.   6. Read Psalm 19:7-8
             A. What do you learn about God’s Word?
     
    God’s word is perfect, if people read and study it they will be blessed in many ways.
     
     

  6. This is one of my favorites, I think it really fits this week “Speak O Lord” by the Gettys

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth.   I loved it!       

    2. Thank  you  for sharing  that beautiful  song!

  7. 5. Read Psalm 19:4-6
     
         A. To what does God compare the literal sun?
     
    A bridegroom, a champion runner, Jesus. 
     
               How is the Son of God like the literal sun?  
     
    The sun travels from the east to the west, its light can touch every part of the world.     Jesus was present at the creation of the world and has been present throughout all time, and his work (our salvation) has been completed and Christ reaches out to everyone.  
      
     
         B. Listen to Rebecca sing this verse. Then, reading the lyrics in the caption of the picture above, sing it yourself to the tune of Beneath the Cross of Jesus. Let it soak in. Then comment.  
     
    Okay, while listening to Rebecca again, I see I haven’t paid enough attention to the lyrics that say “And none can hide his sinful eyes or shelter from the heat.”     It’s true that there is “nowhere to hide.”   Sometimes we don’t like to admit that!    
     
     6. Read Psalm 19:7-8
     
             A. What do you learn about God’s Word?
     
    God’s Word, including his law and commandments, revive us, make even the simplest of us wise, gives light to our eyes (revelation), and gives joy to our hearts.   
     
           B. Listen to Rebecca sing this verse. Then, reading the lyrics in the caption of the picture above, sing it yourself to the tune of Beneath the Cross of Jesus. Let it soak in. Then comment.
     
    I’m ashamed to admit that I am still distracted by the tune 🙂 Someday one of us is going to remember what other song uses this same tune!     Of course, I haven’t read 100% of the comments, so I may have missed when someone provided that info.    
     
    7.Read Psalm 19:9-11 
     
    A. Jonathan Edwards says there is a difference between knowing honey is sweet and tasting it. What do you think he means?
     
    There is a huge difference between intellectual knowledge of something and actual experience of it.    Experience goes far deeper into our soul and psyche!     For instance, “sweet” is a very general term which could cover a broad spectrum of tastes – by experience we can tell the difference between sweet sugar, sweet molasses, sweet watermelon, and sweet honey.   If you are told that some unfamiliar food has a sweet taste, that only gives you a general idea.  There’s still a lot you do not know about the taste of that food.  
     
     
          B. How have you experienced the power of God’s Word recently?  
     
    Due to the activities of this week on this blog, I have gotten more deeply involved with the Scripture we are studying – first by hearing Rebecca sing it, but then by singing it with her.   I have also experienced the power of God’s Word by discussing it with others in a small group  – at Keenagers’ breakfast and Bible Study at my church, and also by the sharing that has occurred in this blog with all of you.     Memorizing helps to carry the Word around with me.  I have to be honest and say I haven’t managed to memorize as much as I should have, but I am rewarded by the memory work that I have done.   
     
    I just want to give another little shout out to Rebecca:   “Thanks, Rebecca!  Sharing your gift with us this week has made our study special, and it has made me feel like I know you a little better now!”     
     

    1. I love your humor, Deanna 🙂  I am also still distracted by trying to figure out that melody……but I had to go back to the ‘St. Christopher’ melody to work on learning it.   Otherwise, I get too mixed up!

      1. Wanda, I tried to help you in my comment below! 🙂 I didn’t put my reply in the right place. 🙂

        1. You did help me, Rebecca!  Thank you so much for the song.  It’s such a good way to remember Psalm 19….a blessing to have it in our hearts now.

    2. Deanna, Well I am enjoying getting to know you here too! 🙂 

  8. A. Jonathan Edwards says there is a difference between knowing honey is sweet and tasting it. What do you think he means?
     
    I don’t think there’s really anything in life for which head knowledge is the same as really experiencing it.  When we experience tasting honey, we have a personal basis for describing it.  We can come up with our own adjectives to describe it.  Our own praise.  Our own reasons for liking it.  And our own applications.  On toast?  or cornbread? or to sweeten tea?  Whatever suits our fancy.   The basic properties are the same but different people have different personal biases of how they most enjoy it. 
     
    Psalm 34:8 says ‘Oh taste and see that the Lord is good.  Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him” 
    Just like with honey, our own personal experience with the Lord is what is good and sweet.  And although the basic properties of redemption are the same for all, He individually loves us and meets us where we are.
     
    I’ve heard several times and again just recently, that honey never spoils.  Wasn’t it found in some ancient tombs from thousands of years ago and was still valid?  Maybe, our resident science expert, Laura knows. 🙂  how to explain this.    But, it occurs to me that if honey is sweet and never spoils….and God’s Word is ‘sweeter than honey’….Wow!  It’s still true.  It’s still valid.  It never gets old!!!

    1. I was thinking the difference between knowing and tasting might be in the calories or insulin response — but then, we must consider what I’ve been (and haven’t been) reading for the past week or two.

      1. : D      yes…a big difference there.  ha!   Soon your mind will be clear of school for awhile….(hopefully?)
         

        1. Middle of the last week of May 🙂  for teaching, and then I can think more about the other parts of my job!

    2. Wanda, I like this application you make: “When we experience tasting honey, we have a personal basis for describing it. We can come up with our own adjectives to describe it. Our own praise, Our own reasons for liking it…” I do like to hear others’ personal experiences with God. I listen a lot to Charles Stanley who, at 80 years old, has a lot of stores to share about how God has worked in his life. It makes me long to have my own experiences with God. As wonderful as they are, someone else’s experiences can never be yours.
      Also liked your info about honey, that it never spoils!

    3. Wanda I love what you said about honey never spoiling, my mom used to put honey on our band aids when we were kids, she always used to say “germs can’t live in honey” which has proven to be true:
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100630111037.htm
      Made me think of Jesus resisting Satan by quoting scripture to him.

      1. Thanks for the link, Chris!  I will open it soon.   That is SO interesting about your mom putting honey on your band aids.  I love that.  She was ahead of her time in understanding the benefits of honey! 🙂

    4. Your  statement, Wanda, really touched me. Yes, I agree that really experiencing the truth of God’s word is the wonderful  knowledge. I am having a challenge to put it into words, and probably because words are not enough to describe it!
      Psalm 34:8 is the truth that describes it best, “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good.”
      His love to me is the sweetest experience. And Rebecca’s singing, “O seek them more than gold most fine, than honey find them sweet. ”
      brings the message so beautifully.

  9. Renee….you  make me laugh!

    Rebecca….I have been enjoying your video every day!!

    1. Joyce-You are encouraging! :))

  10. 5. Read Psalm 19:4-6
         A. To what does God compare the literal sun? How is the Son of God like the literal sun? (I answered the question for B. here too.)
    To a Bridegroom coming out of his chamber; a champion rejoicing to run his course rising at one end of the heavens making it’s way to the other end and NOTHING is deprived of it’s warmth..wow. 
     
    When I think of the night I think of it being cold and dark and things are hidden-even flowers close up, but oh when the Sun comes up it infects everything-it lights up everything-no hiding and the flowers open up It is more intensely personal for it lights up what was once hidden.
     
    Jesus is the bridegroom like the Sun-He comes out of His chamber and lights up our darkness-because of the cross and resurrection we don’t have to sit in the destruction of our sin-we don’t have to hide and then be destroyed-we don’t have to be alone-He is intensely personal. He lights up our darkness every day via His word along with creation, and through other believers.  
         
     

  11. 3. What do verses 1-4 tell us that Creation does?
     
    Creation declares the glory of God…it proclaims that this is the work of the Creator. It is as if Creation is speaking-it has a story to tell if only we will listen, and it displays the knowledge of God-Someone very intelligent had to design all of this. This “language” of the knowledge of God can be seen and heard all over the earth.
     
    4. Romans 10:18 quotes this Psalm – what is the point made there?
     
    Faith comes from hearing the message (the good news) and the message is heard through the word of Christ (v.17). Paul then asks, “Did they not hear?” The answer is yes, they did, because “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” This is the “nonverbal communication” that there is a God, there is a Creator. Even those who don’t have the Bible can look at creation and know that Someone made this.
     
    3. Romans 1:18-20 goes further with this point. What does it say?
     
    God is not trying to hide from man-He has made it plain that He exists through His Creation. Creation is the evidence for God that shows His invisible qualities or attributes, that He is powerful and divine – this is clearly seen and can be understood through what has been made. So man is without excuse if he ignores the evidence, which many do, suppressing the truth about God.
     
    4. Tim Keller has said that according to this passage, everyone believes at first – but they suppress the truth. What thoughts do you have on this?
     
    This is probably true…at some point, a person considers that all of this didn’t just happen, or get here by accident…and you see just looking at history that man’s tendency is to pervert the truth by worshipping the creation – people have worshipped the sun, “Mother Earth”, etc…
    Then our self-serving hearts get hardened because we don’t want to be accountable to anyone; we want to be our own boss, run our own lives, so we close our eyes, so to speak, and ignore the evidence for God. God will require something of us, and we don’t want anyone telling us what to do.

  12. Sweet Wanda-I apologize for I know it is a struggle for you with the song-I don’t want you distracted. 🙂  This might help- I listened to the St, Christopher tune yet my voice isn’t classically inclined  so I looked up another version for a more contemporary idea and found the Getty’s version-I think theirs is similar but I am not sure. With Wes’s guitar and my voice, our version ended up being a mix of our own ideas, and the Getty’s with T.M. Moore’s paraphrase lyrically. In my perfectionist ways-if I had more time I would have done things a bit differently, like putting a bridge in the song. 🙂  

    Off topic a bit, but I ended up having a half hour to learn it, then 20 minutes to work the song up with my nephew-Kind of crazy but a lot of times that is when great worship can happen -and it did, He came -That is why I sing and what I live for! Nothing else is like communing with Him in song. 🙂  

    1. Oh….don’t get me wrong, Rebecca.  I LOVE your version.  And it’s truly your signature with a blend of the melodies.  I was just not able to remember the words and the melody when the familiar tune kept running through my head 🙂  I didn’t realize there was a Getty version.  Will look theirs up also.  THANKS

      1. Wanda and Dee-I was not offended in any way..:)) I just wanted to help Wanda because I care about her and Deanna and don’t want them to be distracted with my hodge podge..lol. 🙂

        1. Well Rebecca, I accepted your version wholeheartedly because, not growing up in church, I am ignorant still of many hymns…so I don’t have any past history to confuse me:))) When I sing it, I just have to lower the key a bit because I can’t get my voice to go as high as yours!

    2. Rebecca, Love your singing and version and thanks for solving the mystery!!  I held my phone up to the computer and played it to me sister to see if she could tell me which tune it is, and she thought it was a combination — not entirely pulled from one version!   So then I quit listening to various hymns trying to find the “right one!”  (and I also listened to a few unfamiliar tunes that had been used with “Beneath the Cross)

      1. Renee-I really do think we need to connect when you come in town again-I know I am going to just love you!! :))) 

  13. 6. Read Psalm 19:7-8
             A. What do you learn about God’s Word?
    V.7-8 hearkens back to the Bridegroom coming out of his chamber delightfully-joyously running His course His rays penetrating, warming everything-opening our eyes! His word like the Sun’s rays is ALIVE and active- sharper than any two edged sword PENETRATING the soul- dividing the soul and spirit-bone and marrow, and He gives light to our eyes, wisdom to the foolish. He is our wisdom-His Word is a light to our path and lamp to our feet. Praise Him!
          
     
     

  14. I am terribly behind on reading the comments, but I wanted to let Wanda know that her story about Charlotte is so touching. I love seeing how over the years she never forgot the seeds that were planted in her childhood and who helped plant them.

    1. Thank you Dawn.  I have been so blessed by how things have come together lately and in so much I see God’s hand in Charlotte’s life all through these years.  (and I am way behind in reading as well!  Was away from my computer for an entire 14 hours today…..and I can feel it)

    2. Wanda, I too wanted to comment on Charlotte. Your story about her is such a good reminder that we don’t see the big picture and God is at work behind the scenes. A great encouragement! Thank you!

  15. A. Jonathan Edwards says there is a difference between knowing honey is sweet and tasting it. What do you think he means?
     
    Well, since I don’t like honey I may be at a disadvantage…… I know honey is sweet, and I do like sweets :), however, when I taste honey it’s different than the sweet taste of say, chocolate! 
    It is one thing to know but another to actually taste. We know the Word is good, but do we really take action with the Word?
     
     

  16. About the honey. ..it’s like we know God is good ..(.like honey is sweet)…but how many really experienced God’s awesome….goodness and wonder and been filled with his fruits of the spitit…..(actually tasting the  honey)?
     
    Many people say they know Jesus…but do they really feel  the love and intimacy that we all do?   I can’t get enough of him…my day is never complete without him.    Some people go about their day and never taste the true sweetness of his joy.  He is  sweeter than honey…He lives within me and  I see and experience his  sweetness  everyday. …Every moment!

    1. Joyce–I LOVE this in you “I can’t get enough of him”. Beautiful you-inside and out

    2. Joyce-I agree with Elizabeth-beautiful you inside and out! I so love this comment and I have heard wonderful things about you from those who know you for you exude His love..and this comes from tasting His sweetness every day.

    3. Oh Joyce, this warms me…“He lives within me and I see and experience his sweetness everyday…Every moment!”

    4. Sweet answer, Joyce.  In every way! 

  17. Sermon Notes: 
    The Doctrine of the Word-Tim Keller-Psalm 19
    Psalm 19 is filled with doctrine. Doctrine is a set of beliefs taken on faith; something we trust in; and something we promote.
    Psalm 19 is about the 3 ways God communicates with us:
    I.    The Soundless Word of God
    Nature, the stars, moon, sun, ocean, mountains, is non-verbal communication from God. Nature takes our breath away because it is the greatest of fine art; it is God’s handiwork. We are the product of the passion, imagination of the greatest Artist of all time. Nature says ‘we are not an accident, we were made for a purpose’—and so is man.
     
    Verses 1-6 give us the highest view of the natural world. Elisabeth Elliot said ‘a clam glorifies God better than (we) do’. This was interesting to me because it reminded me of what God brought to my mind Sunday when I first read this post. Creation, nature, perfectly reflects God’s glory—man does not.
     
    Regardless of what someone believes, God is telling them that life is meaningful, it matters. But nature does not tell us enough about God. It doesn’t give us the full picture. When tragedy occurs in nature, we get a mixed view. Non verbal communication isn’t completely clear—we can be confused by the message, and details are not communicable.
     
    II.    The Perfect Word of God
    Every verse of Scripture is perfect-flawless; trustworthy; right—standard of measurement for truth; sure.
    Scripture is powerful—it revives the soul. Kidner says this tells us Scripture has the power to show us who we are, restore our identity.
    Scripture makes wise the simple. We are fools, be warned!
    Scripture delights our heart. We must be ravished by Beauty. If we want Scripture to make us wise, to revive our identity, to rewire our heart motivations, we must let it delight our heart.
    The only way to be sure we are listening to God and not just listening to our culture—is to embrace the text we find most offensive.
     
    III.    The Searching Word of God
    How can the Scripture come in and rework our heart so that the Law is sweeter than honey?
    The best we can hope for is to avoid our willful sin, but we can never overcome the sins of our heart, because we don’t even see them. We don’t see the sins that hurt us most, because we justify them, they are most characteristic of us. But David has confidence that the words and meditation of his heart could be without blemish. If we can know God is delighted in us, we can be delighted in His Law. The only way the Law can delight our heart is to see Christ in the Psalms. Jesus answered every temptation, every trial, with Scripture. He so delighted and meditated on Scripture, that He bled, He screamed Scripture. On the Cross, He took all of our punishment for disobedience, so that when we believe in Him as Savior, we receive His reward. That is what re-wires the heart. Moralists obey out of fear. Relativist are indifferent to the law. The Christian looks at the Law and sees Beauty. If we looks at Scripture as a set of examples and rules to live up to, it will only crush us, we can never be enough. But if we read Scripture thorough Jesus, who fulfilled the Law, it is now a delight and not despair. Every word of Scripture is about Him. Jesus is the true and better Adam, who passed the test. The true and better Abel, better Abraham, better Isaac, better Joseph, better Job, better David, better Esther, better Jonah. The Bible is not a set of rules for us to follow, it is about Jesus. The Law becomes a honeycomb, through Jesus.

  18. Sermon on Psalm 19 by Dr. Timothy Keller:
     
    Psalm 19 is filled with doctrine.   Doctrine and dogma are looked at negatively in our society.  Doctrine is something that (1) you take by faith, (2) you trust in, (3) you promote.
     
    Even if you say we don’t have to have a doctrine, even in that you have a doctrine that conforms to the three points above.   There is no way to avoid a doctrine-based life.  
     
    How does God tell us anything?   There is:   
    1. The soundless Word of God
    2. The perfect Word of God.
    3. The searching Word of God
     
    Verses 1-6 – The Soundless Word of God.   
     
    These verses use words like “speech, “declaring,” and “proclaiming.”    Where is this coming from – the natural world – the ocean, mountains, birds, etc.     There is non-verbal communcation from God.   Why, if you watch the ocean or the birds flying or the stars, do they fill you with a feeling of grandeur?   Why does ist move us?   Why do we write poems about it?    Nature can lift you just like great literature or art.   It is.   Nature is saying to you “We are not an accident. We are the result of design, passion and intention.”   
     
    Even if you mentally don’t believe in God, you are affected by it.  At some level, everyone is hearing this: We are works of art and you are a work of art.   Life is meaningful, people are important, everything around us is a work of art, and there is a God behind it.   
     
    Eastern philosophy says the world is an illusion and it will pass away. 
    Western philosophy says that life is the survival of the fittest. 
    Christianity humbles you before your fellow works of art.  
     
    1.   No view will be higher.    Elizabeth Elliot said that a clam glorifies God better than you do.   The clam is being exactly what God made it to be, but you aren’t being the person God meant you to be.   Therefore the clam has got one leg up on you.  
     
    2.  People who don’t believe in God or read the Bible are nonetheless going to be filled with wisdom, love, and joy.   Everyone is getting this message at some level. 
     
    3.  Psalm 19 can’t end at verse 6 – nature is not enough.     Verse 7 starts talking about Scripture.  Non-verbal communication is mixed and not clear.   Non-verbal communication is okay but it can be subject o misinterpretation.   
     
    The Perfect Word of God – verses 7-11
     
    The words law, ordinance, commandments and precepts are all synonyms for the Scripture.  Scripture is perfect, trustworthy, sure and right.  You judge all standards by the Scripture.   The Scriptures are altogether righteous – equally true and right.
     
    –The law revives the soul.      The Scripture has the power to show you your true identity.  It can wake you up and make you who you ought to be.   That can’t be done by nature.   Only the Scripture will show you your mistakes.    But it also shows you that you are more loved.  So you are far worse and far better.        Your 15-year-ago identity now appears that you were a fool and a jerk.   You say, “I can’t believe what I believed!”      However, your 15-year-later self tells you that you are now a fool.   
     
    – It makes wise the simple.      If you want the Scripture to make you wise, to completely redo your identity, you’ve got to let the Scripture completely rewire the drive of your heart.  
     
    It is written that absolutely every verse of Scripture is true and is to be trusted.    However, some say “There are certain texts that are offensive and regressive, and we can’t follow those any more.      Keller says there is no universal set of offensive teachings – it varies from culture to culture.   The set of texts you are offended by is due to where you live culturally.   The only way you can be sure you are listening to God is if you embrance the texts you find most offensive.    Your great grandparents’ views are embarrassing to you.  In 50 to 100 years the culture will change.    C.S. Lewis said “Anything that is not eternal is eternally out-of-date.”  
     
    – It delights your heart.   
     
    The Searching Word of God – verses 12-14
     
    “Who can discern his errors” (verse 12) That is a rhetorical question and the answer is “No one.”
     
    The best I can hope for is to overcome my willful , deliberate, overt, and external sins.   I might see them and avoid them.   I cannot see sins of my heart: pride, self-justification, defensiveness, greed, prejudice, resentment, and unkindness.    I can’t see those sins.    
     
    Jesus always answered Satan with Scripture.  He also answered the Pharisees with Scripture.  Jesus was intent on fulfilling the Scripture.   He was so saturated with Scripture that when he was stabbed by the sword on the cross, he bled and literally screamed out Scripture.  
     
    The moralistic person obeys the word out of fear.
    The relativistic person is indifferent to the word. 
    The Christian says he  delights in the word “because God delighted so much in me.”
     
    Read Psalm 19 through Jesus and suddenly you can see that Jesus fulfilled the law.  Only because the incarnate Word has completely fulfilled the law can the written word be a delight to you and not an eternal despair.    
     
    Jesus said in Luke 24 that everything in the Scripture is about me.   
     
    Keller shared from a theological text he recently read that – 
    Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is now imputed to us.
          
    Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain,   his blood now cries out for our acquittal not for our condemnation.
     
    Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all of the comfortable, familiarity of home to go out into the void, not knowing whither he went to create a people of God. 
     
    Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered by his father, but sacrificed on the mount and when God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me because you did not withhold
    your only son whom you loved from me.”      Now we can say to God, “We know you love us because you did not withhold your Son from us.”   
     
    Keller went on to list other  “true and better” instances of Jesus:    Joseph, Job, David, Esther, and Jonah.      Jesus is the True prophet, priest, king, sacrifice, lamb, and bread.   
     
    The Bible is not about you – it is about Him!!  Only Jesus makes the law a honeycomb.  If the law becomes a honeycomb through Jesus for you, it will radically rewire the way you think and do anything.   And all the world will sing to you!     
     

    1. Deanna, your notes are a blessing to me, I listened to the sermon while driving and while working in the kitchen, it was a lovely reinforcement to go over your excellent notes.

    2. I so agree.  Your notes are wonderful!  I hope it’s okay that I copy and paste them into a Word document….so I can print and put with my other notes.  Between Deanna’s and Elizabeth’s notes,  it will be a transcript.  THANK you so much.

  19. Awesome comments!  
    I just listened to a beautiful song on Christian radio….maybe you’ve heard it….
    YOU MAKE THE MOST OF ME……BY MARIE MILLER
    Sorry…I just have my cell and don’t know how to get it for you on youtube!
     

    1. Joyce, Thanks!    http://youtu.be/vaQl8h57OeY   Hadn’t heard this before.

      1. Thank you Renee!

  20. 7. Read Psalm 19:9-11
    A. Jonathan Edwards says there is a difference between knowing honey is sweet and tasting it. What do you think he means?
    We can know of Him but not really know Him..When I think of the word ‘knowing’ I am reminded that in many places in scripture, ‘knowing’ is the act of becoming one in marriage-the consummation of marriage. This means tasting Him, experiencing Him not just knowing about Him. So we can know about God-and we can go to church thinking what we do will please him or earn favor-but OH when we know Him we have His favor because we are covered in Jesus righteousness, and we are a pleasing aroma to Him. We obey Him not to please or earn favor but because we are compelled out of Love and affection for Him-because we are one with Him.
         
    B. How have you experienced the power of God’s Word recently?
    Every day-specifically yesterday in regard to the Sun with Psalm 19: 5-6 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.
    – Just communing with Him-Who He is, His love for me and how he rejoices in not depriving me of His affection every day. So I was reminded of this yesterday while training for this new management position at work. I sensed His warmth around me and peace came as He reminded me He has this. I was worrying about managing hard to manage people-and I didn’t realize it but I was so concerned it became an affection over Him..so He came through this and powerfully reminded me that this isn’t as big of a mountain as I think for He is bigger and more worthy of my affection. So when I place my trust in the One who is all powerful-Who is the Word-Who is Psalm 19-these fears take a back seat and I rest in the One who has me and loves me-and I remember why He has raised me up at my job-to bring Him Glory-and He is the God of redemption who is good and desires to clothe and feed us and so what I am doing at work does matter for He is empowering me to do His work there in many ways.  
     
    Our worship pastor read this last Sunday-an excerpt from a book he is reading. It is an answer during an interview from Joni Earkison Tada.  For some reason it powerfully hit me and He quickened me with it:  
    Joni Earkeson Tada was asked how she kept going-how she kept leading and serving and creating despite her obvious physical challenges. She said, “This is the only time in history when I get to fight for God. This is the only part of my eternal story when I am actually in the battle. Once I die, I’ll be in celbration mode in a glorified body in a whole different set of circumstances. But this is my limited window of opportunity, and I’m going to fight the good fight for all I’m worth.”
    6       
          

    1. Wow! Great Joni quote … brought tears. And thank you for sharing how God is working in you at work, Rebecca.

    2. That quote is powerful and convicting.
      I love that you were overtaken by peace in the midst of your doubts 🙂

    3. YAY to your answer to “B”….”and I remember why He has raised me up at my job-to bring Him Glory…”

    4. Rebecca,    Your whole “B” is wonderful.  Your response resonates with me so deeply because the Bridegroom/sun image was and is so powerful for me and because I see God changing me through obstacles at work.  Love the Joni quote!

  21. 5. Read Psalm 19:4-6
     
    A. To what does God compare the literal sun? – to a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, to a champion running his course
     
         How is the Son of God like the literal sun? – Jesus is so glorious, so awesome…when He was here among men, He had to veil His glory; the disciples got just a glimpse of it at His Transfiguration. There are so many shadowy pictures of this glorious bridegroom, awesome as the sun, in the OT…in the Song of Songs, in Psalm 45…and “nothing is hidden from its heat” – I think of Peter, after seeing Jesus display His power, saying “Go away from me…I am a sinful man”. Jesus is the Light of the World.
     
    B. Listen to Rebecca sing this verse. Then, reading the lyrics in the caption in the picture above, sing it yourself to the tune of Beneath the Cross of Jesus. Let it soak in. Then comment.
     
    “Let it soak in” – my thoughts are, “Does it EVER soak in?” Meaning, can I ever truly “take in”, comprehend, the fullness of the Son of God, the full weight and height and depth of His power, His glory, His brightness. I can’t stare at the sun without it hurting my eyes, and there’s no possibility of getting near the sun without burning up. Yet Jesus, fully God, got up close with sinful men and women, wrapped, veiled in human flesh. His mercy that those who actually touched Him, walked and talked with Him, were not immediately vaporized.

    1. I love that you brought our the Transfiguration in likening Christ to the sun Susan! I think I will remember that from now on when the brightens of the sun is too much for my eyes.

    2. I can’t stare at the sun without it hurting my eyes, and there’s no possibility of getting near the sun without burning up. Yet Jesus, fully God, got up close with sinful men and women, wrapped, veiled in human flesh. His mercy that those who actually touched Him, walked and talked with Him, were not immediately vaporized.
       
      This is so deep, Susan.  I agree with Chris.  I will (I hope!) remember this when the sun gets in my eyes.

  22. “Loving Well” by  William Smith has been one of my favorite reads this year, Ed Welch (and others) highly endorse–I just got an email from New Growth for a free download today–thought someone may like it:
    http://issuu.com/newgrowthpress/docs/loving_well?e=5972195/7762725
     
     

    1. Thanks for this Elizabeth, I was pondering this morning 1 John & 1 Corinthians 13. How we as Christ followers are to be known by how we love, I was feeling my need and prayed again for a softer heart and to be led away from self focus. And here you are shedding some light for the path 🙂 

    2. Thanks for the recommendation of the book “Loving Well”, Elizabeth. It looks great. I can’t see how to download it but I can read it online at the moment. I bookmarked it so hopefully I can get back to it.

  23. What verse are you (or have you) memorized, using T. M. Moore and the music?    I am thrilled that now Rebecca’s melody is clear in my mind and I can sing it even without the video 🙂  I really think her melody suits the words best (and now I don’t get the words to Beneath the Cross of Jesus mixed up with Psalm 19 🙂 ) I’m working on memorizing the whole song.  Printed and made copies, so I could put one in my car…..one in my Bible…..etc.  The words are becoming more clear and more meaningful to me all the time.

    1. Wanda-Yeah! :)))) So true-they are becoming more meaningful to me too as I meditate on them. He is so good.

  24. Listen and share your notes and comments.      I don’t think there are any more superlatives to describe Keller’s sermons.   My husband came in while I was listening to the last ten minutes.  It occurred to me that I learn more from 10 minutes of any given sermon of his, than I do with years of teaching from other sources.  He is so abundantly gifted.  And the timing of this message was so amazing for me.  I have already emailed it to three different people who, just within this week, have voiced questions about God, His word and life in general that I think are clearly addressed by Keller here.  I am praying that they will take the time to listen.    And as for me, personally…..I still need to compile my thoughts.  I took notes for about half the sermon and then just wanted to close my eyes and listen.  I will read through Elizabeth and Deanna’s great notes (maybe other’s too…..I am very behind in reading the blog this week)….and sort through my thoughts.  There’s a lot swirling around in my mind right now.  And that is good. 

  25. From Keller’s sermon, The Doctrine of the Word.     As usual, I think everything in the sermon speaks to me.  I don’t even know where to begin but this sentence (copied from Elizabeth’s notes…thank you!)….really challenges me a lot.
    “The only way to be sure we are listening to God and not just listening to our culture—is to embrace the text we find most offensive.”  
     
    I think we could have a long discussion about this.  I believe he is absolutely right, but this is a really hard one.  Sometimes, I think I am guilty of trying to hold a few doctrinal things  ‘at bay’ and kind of think that we just must not be interpreting the scriptures right about them.  But, Keller is saying to face them head on and embrace them.    The timing of this is so good for me.  I just had a conversation along these lines with a Christian friend who is really questioning some of the hard realities in life and why God doesn’t seem to care.  I sent her the link to this sermon.  I had also been telling her how much Keller’s teaching speaks to me…..and how he sees things in such a big view of the whole Bible and explains things in ways I’ve never heard before.  I think this message is a perfect example of that. 
    And here I quote from Deanna’s notes:  (thank you!)
    2.  People who don’t believe in God or read the Bible are nonetheless going to be filled with wisdom, love, and joy.   Everyone is getting this message at some level.    3.  Psalm 19 can’t end at verse 6 – nature is not enough.     Verse 7 starts talking about Scripture.  Non-verbal communication is mixed and not clear.   Non-verbal communication is okay but it can be subject o misinterpretation.  
     
    The above thoughts,  along with the statements he made distinguishing between  Eastern religion, Western secularism and Christianity helped clarify some things for me regarding my loved ones who are such good people and who do such good and wise things many times…..yet are so far from God.  The segue to vs. 7 and the introduction to why the scripture has to follow God’s general revelation in nature was such a good reinforcement for me.    There is SO much more that touched my heart from this sermon.  I am so appreciative of this teaching.

  26. 6. Read Psalm 19:7-8
     
    A. What do you learn about God’s Word?
     
    I like all of the nouns David uses for God’s Word – “law, statutes, precepts, commands”. He says that they are perfect, reviving the soul; trustworthy in making the simple wise; right, giving joy to the heart, and radiant, giving light to the eyes. I think the one speaking to me is “reviving the soul”. How often I am weary and in need of being revived and refreshed by His Word!
     
    B. Listen to Rebecca sing this verse. Then, reading the lyrics in the caption of the picture above, sing it yourself to the tune of Beneath the Cross of Jesus. Let it soak in. Then comment.
     
    “The simple man God’s wisdom learns” – this is so wonderful. All one needs is simplicity of heart and a willing heart to learn, and you can learn God’s wisdom. I think of simple meaning that you don’t think yourself wise in and of yourself. “The soul receives its cure” – the cure for the terminal illness of sin, the cure for desperation, hopelessness, meaninglessness. “Truth imparts…” – those two words pack a punch. Just think of everything that God’s word “imparts” to us (too much to write). But you have to be careful about what your source of truth is, because the world and our culture/society have their truths that they want to impart to us, but they are very different from God’s truth. “With joy He fills our hearts” is wonderful too. It doesn’t happen every time, but the times when I’m in His Word and I am filled with peace and joy because He speaks to me-I never forget those times.

  27. 7. Read Psalm 19:9-11
     
    A. Jonathan Edwards says there is a difference between knowing honey is sweet and tasting it. What do you think he means?
     
    There is such a difference between knowing about something and having a personal experience with it yourself. I am always encouraged and inspired by listening to other men and women of faith tell their personal stories about how God has spoken to their hearts or worked in their lives, but I can’t live off of their experiences. Their experiences won’t carry me through hard trials. I have to have my own experiences with God. That builds-up my faith and my trust in God.
     
    B. How have you experienced the power of God’s Word recently?
     
    It would be through our Bible study here…this week, memorizing and singing the Psalm has made it come alive, and caused me to keep my thoughts more focused during the day on Scripture. Then, this morning when I was just waking up, I was praying a little, though my thoughts get fuzzy and drift, but without any conscious thought to it, the words “I love you, O Lord, my strength” popped into my mind…from last week’s Psalm 18.
     
    C. Listen to Rebecca sing this verse. Then, reading the lyrics in the caption of the picture above, sing it yourself to the tune of Beneath the Cross of Jesus and let it soak in. Comment.
     
    I’m seeing the gospel here, I think…“The fear of God is cleansing, forever shall it last” – Jesus made Himself obedient to the Father, obedient unto death on the Cross. His reverent fear of God to give Himself as a sacrifice for us is what cleanses us from all sin, and His cleansing work lasts forever.
    “His judgments all our true and just, by righteousness held fast” – some people think the idea of Jesus dying on a Cross to forgive sins is silly, or a big mistake. But God’s plan for how to make us right with Him is a plan that is true and just, and by His righteousness was Jesus held fast to the Cross until it was accomplished.

  28. Take-away:
    When I focus on the beauty of creation, I feel wooed by Him. It is part of His great Love Song to me. Like creation is the courtship and His Word the proposal. Or creation is the invitation and the Word is the feast. Creation draws us in and the Word is how we really get to know Him deeply, it is the Love Letter that accompanies the Song. They complement one another, together they are the dance.
     
    I am a nature girl. I’ve grown wimpier with age, but I grew up camping and love doing anything outdoors, love hills and lakes, the mountains, trees, flowers, ladybugs…It has always felt like part of His love song to me. This week I went on a field trip with my 7 year old through an animal “safari” and I am still talking about all the animals we saw—who rested their big heads on us—Brahmas and Lamas and ones I’d never heard of—amazing uniqueness in everyone. But nature only tells us part of the story. As Keller said, nature can confuse when we thing of the great tragedies caused by winds and storms, fires.
     
    Scripture, to me, is the next layer—the deepest layer, revealing more of His heart. I love that Scripture is perfect, flawless. I love that it has power, it is active—to convict, to restore, to give hope, life. It shows us who we are and restores our identity. Rebecca’s singing the words of Scripture was a perfect model of “experiencing” the Word—tasting and knowing its sweetness as honey.
     
    I think I feel a funny sadness to leave this week’s post! All of my life I have felt Him love me through Creation. As I read through the posts, so many stuck out to me—seeing Him love through each of your eyes so blessed me, I saw more of Him, more facets of His love. I wanted to share some because I think it is so powerful to see how we each see His beauty, how personal He is to each of us. I wish I could’ve gotten everyone’s thoughts here—but this is a sampling:
     
    Laura: “No words, just beauty in the bird songs, the wind blowing, the daffodils blooming, the green grass, and sunny skies. It is glorious! He is glorious! No words……”
    Susan  “…it is a cry made to awaken us out of our sleep, to awaken us to the voice of our Creator God.”
    Deanna : “God did not have to go to such lengths when He created the earth…”
    Wanda S. “… the stars… Telling me that God is here.” 
    rebecca “…when I place my trust in the One who is all powerful…these fears take a back seat and I rest…”
    Diane “Pondering His Word, knowing its truth, its sure promises, its hope DOES give joy to my heart …”
    Nanci J. ‘Jesus never wavered from the course…similar to the sun rising and setting as appointed”
    Shirley- “God is faithful and good, turning darkness to light, winter to spring.”
    Chris “seek Gods mercy quickly when my thoughts go down a dark path.”
    And Joyce:  “I can’t get enough of Him”.

    1. Oops, put this comment in the wrong place: 
       
      Oh Elizabeth-YOU ARE A WRITER with depthy insight-you remind me of Dee! I just posted my response to Keller’s sermon and then read your takeaway. I sensed a quickening to connect the Word and Creation in a beautiful way-then I read your post and I could tell he quickened you the same way-and you started off with Gold-He has given you a gift of insight and with words Elizabeth, OH: “…creation is the courtship and His Word the proposal. Or creation is the invitation and the Word is the feast. Creation draws us in and the Word is how we really get to know Him deeply, it is the Love Letter that accompanies the Song. They complement one another, together they are the dance. I hope everyone reads it- I love it when He moves on this blog…just pondering what you wrote there-getting ready to read the rest. 🙂

    2. Elizabeth-I finished reading and I can’t pick just one thing to highlight..your reflections are all so beautiful and your heart is ministering to me right now. Thank you. 

    3. I have the same feeling about this week, Elizabeth.   You voiced it so well.  Looking forward to the next one! 

    4. Elizabeth, I “second” what Rebecca replied to you…your entire take-away is beautiful! I love this idea, this picture, of nature being the courtship and His Word the proposal. Of course, God didn’t just send a bouquet of flowers, He made the whole earth and everything in it!

  29. How have you experienced the power of God’s Word recently? In the past 8 months I have, for the first time, experienced Gods Word ALIVE to me. I don’t really know how to explain it but before when I would read I would see rules and stories and try to figure out how to make my life good. But now when I read I see Christ, it is a fountain. It is 3D. I read to know more of the God who loves me and as a result He “revives my soul” and shows me who I am and “gives my soul it’s cure.” The Psalms have been amazing to me, rather He through the Psalms has been amazing to me. 

    1. Jill, this is so beautiful.   The Word is 3-D like a fountain.  What a glorious truth.

  30. Keller’s Sermon- I have listened and loved it and immediately thought I would love to have my oldest son listen with me-can’t wait to hear his response. :))))  Deanna and Elizabeth’s notes are WONDERFUL! 
    This stood out to me: 
    Why does nature thrill us, like standing on the beach watching the Ocean, or listening to the birds, or viewing the mountains with snow forever on top? The answer is that nature affects you like great art. It can move you to tears or lift you until you soar-great theatre, great visual art. Why does nature move us like art? The answer is-it is art!. We are not an accident we are the product of design, of passion of imagination. The stars, the sea the mountains are singing to you.  You can’t help it when you go out and look at it-it is speaking to you.
     
    Then he brought out how creation alone without the Word isn’t complete-it can be misunderstood. Creation alone can’t show you your true identity or wake you up and make you who you ought to be, and if we want scripture to make us wise -completely change our identity-we have to let Scripture completely rewire the drive of our heart-it is sweet like the honeycomb radically changing what I think and do. 
     
    I was thinking and this may be totally off but creation and the Word together are like a song-perhaps the Word is the melody and creation is the music-HE is the Word and He created everything and together, oh…it IS all about HIM..He is beautiful beyond description.  
     
     

    1. ….creation and the Word together are like a song-perhaps the Word is the melody and creation is the music-HE is the Word and He created everything and together, oh…it IS all about HIM..He is beautiful beyond description.  
       
      Rebecca….this is such a good description.  Wonderful imagery!  And so fitting for you to think of this.  Reminds me of the allegories that were popular many years ago,  The Singer, The Song and the Finale by Calvin Miller.   Just ran and grabbed them off our book shelf.  I don’t think I ever read them all but they are in my ever -growing ‘to read’ pile now 🙂   

  31. oops.. ;~)

  32. Keller sermon: two things really stood out to me. 
    “The law revives the soul.      The Scripture has the power to show you your true identity.  It can wake you up and make you who you ought to be. ” (copied from Deanna’s notes) I really liked Kidner’s ‘translation’ of this and the application to not only let the scripture show you who you are and then completely rewire you. 
     
    And also loved Keller’s point about until we see  ‘the good and better’ Jesus in the law and stories they will crush us. So true. Because we can’t do it, but Christ has done it. 

  33. Take-away. 
    Loved Psalm 19 set to music to make it easier to memorize. Thank you, again, Rebecca. I am working on memorizing the whole thing. Much easier with music! 
     
    The 2 Keller points I mentioned above really resonated with me and are also a take-away. I have so often gone to the Bible looking to change my circumstances, trying to find the right command or the right promise to claim in order that the situation would change. But that will crush me. When I come to the scriptures to learn of Him, commune with Him then I am changed, refreshed, renewed, given holy perspective. 
     
    And the whole of psalm 19. It is beautiful, God showed me so much. I feel like I say that every week, but it is true. And I am grateful. 

    1.  ” I have so often gone to the Bible looking to change my circumstances, trying to find the right command or the right promise to claim in order that the situation would change. But that will crush me. When I come to the scriptures to learn of Him, commune with Him then I am changed, refreshed, renewed, given holy perspective. ”
       
      This is so good,  Jill.  I really need to remember this.   

    2. This is so good, Jill…not going to the Bible “to change my circumstances, trying to find the right command or the right promise to claim in order that the situation would change.” And how often I have done that, too. Our circumstances often do not change, but we change when we behold Him, as you said, “learn of Him, commune with Him”.

  34. My takeaway: I think this weeks post is life changing and like Elizabeth I am sad  we are nearing the end of this week’s study for this has been a sweet time of worshiping Him together. 
    Two things have stood out to me this week..One is that God has used Jill to correct and encourage me with her insight into Psalm 19:7.  And Elizabeth has so beautifully brought the Word and creation together. 
     
    Secondly, when I sang the song on video he moved me with verse 3 and I couldn’t wait to get to it but this week He moved me with verse 2. 🙂
     
     Behold, the sun arises, a bridegroom strong and bright, Rejoicing as he runs his course form morning unto night….I so envision Him here and I am truly humbled..He is the ‘bridegroom’ ‘strong and bright’-He is my rescuer, redeemer, like in Psalm 18 coming out of the clouds to rescue me from myself-from my wandering, sinful heart, and from the enemy. He ‘rejoices’ as he runs His course..HE DELIGHTS IN ME, IN US, IN CREATION- DAY AND NIGHT. His Word lightens my dark places and melts me to want Him and like Keller said: The Christian says he  delights in the word “because God delighted so much in me.”  God is ‘intensely’ personal with us with His word and creation. 
     
    I am also encouraged to see how God has moved in Jill over the past 8 months..in the past she came to his word and it seemed more like ‘duty’ a way to be a better moral person, but now she delights in His word-she now sees Him as a fountain- because she sees that He delights in her-He is reviving her soul and is showing her who she is in Him..YES! :))

  35. Saturday takeaway:     This morning I had honey on my toast and immediately thought of the Law of God being sweeter,  the discussion we had surrounding this and Keller’s excitement in saying that it is not just the promises of God that are sweet, but also His Law….but only to those who are redeemed and re-wired by Him.  It makes me remember the many beautiful properties of God’s Law and all it’s nuances:  statutes, testimony, precepts, commands and how they are all perfect; trustworthy, sure, righteous, true. 
     
    After a rainy couple of days, the sun is shining gloriously this morning.  As soon as I saw it today, I thought of the bridegroom arising and making his circuit across the sky.   I thought of the glory of Jesus and Susan’s description of his brightness veiled in flesh or anyone near Him would be immediately vaporized.  And of his transfiguration, when a few saw his unveiled glory….and how we all will see Him as He is one day and fall down to bow before Him and be His bride.
     
    And I am taking away the song!   It is now printed and posted on my kitchen cupboard and the dash of my car.  🙂  I almost have the first two verses memorized, but will keep working on it.  Some phrases are more meaningful than at the first.  I love the words, The fear of God is cleansing, forever shall it last.    The redeemed experience blessing and freedom and not dread  in the fear of the Lord.
     
    I’m taking away so much from each one of you.  I look back and it’s almost impossible to think that a little over two months ago, I did not know any of you (except Renee and Dee….Dee, I do remember meeting you at Salem in Fargo,  30 years ago or so and the book you wrote about Friendship Evangelism  after interviewing many people there and also hearing you on Focus the first time! )  and now all of you have become so important and cherished to me.  You are such a blessing to me.
     
     
     

  36. Sermon comments and take away:
    Another great Keller sermon just jammed pack with insight and with quotable quotes. Some have mentioned some but here are the ones that hit me. 

    Elisabeth Eliot says “A clam glorifies God better than you do.” Psalm 19 says every beetle is praising God and singing to your heart just by being itself.
    “David is saying the Scripture is the sword that alone can destroy the illusions and distortions that keep you from finding out who you really are.” 
    The only way you can be sure you are actually listening to God and thinking for yourself (and not just believing what your culture wants you to believe) is if you embrace the texts you most find offensive. 
    If we knew that when God looked into our heart he was delighted, then we would be delighted with the law of God.
    The Christian says I delight because obeying the law delights the One who delighted in me so much He died for me. 

    And then there is the packs a real punch list of “Jesus is the true and better” Adam, Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Job … The Bible’s really not about you—it’s about Him.
    Overall, Psalm 19, as explained by Keller,  is a great incentive to worship God in nature but especially to dig into and find Jesus in Scripture, motivating us to obey because we are ravished by His love for us.
    I am loving this Psalms study. There is so much richness in them.
    I am probably the only one who did this, but I decided to go back and rememorize the first 6 verses of Psalm 19 in the King James Version. I had them still partly in my head from childhood and decided to review them from there rather than start from scratch. I will try to continue listening to Rebecca’s song until I have it in my head as well. Much depth there as well.

    1. Diane,  you are so right about the ‘punch Keller packed’ in those ‘Jesus is the better…’ statements.  I am constantly amazed at how much he packs into a sermon.  Those statements were really memorable.
       
      I also like that you went back and memorized the KJV that you knew from your childhood.  I went back and read it many times in my NASB because we used to sing much of this psalm in a ‘chorus’ accompanied by guitar,  in my high school/college years and much of it was verbatim from the NASB which was new then 🙂   I so often feel a quickening when I return to something that meant so much to me when my faith was young and exploding with discovery.   So…I completely understand! 

  37. Thank you one and all for the many compliments on my notes!   I wouldn’t want anyone to lose sight of the fact that those were just my notes on Keller’s sermon — he is the one who deserves to be complimented.     I can only imagine how wonderful it would be to hear him every Sunday morning!!     
     
    Well, it is time to wind things up and list our take-aways.    It has been such a unique and wonderful week!!       Actually my take-aways fit into the part that I skipped (actually it appeared to me that everyone skipped Wednesday.  Am I wrong about that?)    There wasn’t an actual question listed, and comments weren’t asked for, however,  it was the core of this week’s study:     The two books Creation/nature and the Bible.     I had never given a moments thought to this idea.      There are the two sources of God’s messages to me — and I guess I had always just taken it for granted and never analyzed it.     God’s creation —  the beauty and intricacies of all of nature– delivers the message that God is all-powerful and  wise,  and He has always delighted in us (every single creature and being).      However, it is in the printed Word of God that I am confronted with my sins and God’s plan for our redemption from sin is explained.   The Scriptures both foretold and then confirmed that Jesus was the Messiah who would come/came into the world for the sole purpose of establishing our salvation eternally.       If I didn’t have both forms of communication from God to me, I wouldn’t have the total picture, my knowledge would be incomplete.    However, communication needs to be two-way to be effective, so it is extremely important that I be alert to experiencing God in nature and comunicate with God through prayer, raising my praise and petitions to Him.    What could be more important to take-away?     Great thanks to Dee, Rebecca, Wes, and Dr. Timothy Keller!!

    1. Amen, to all of the above, Deanna!      I feel the same way about Keller’s sermons…..if only Manhattan weren’t such a long commute from Minnesota….I’d be there! 

  38. Take-aways:
    1) Second verse of song:   Learning this verse gave me the opportunity to bask in the message of Song of Songs again, the faithfulness of our bridegroom.  I also was intrigued that I found the following line comforting: “And none can hide his sinful eyes or shelter from his heat.”  

    2)  Thought about honey a lot this week 🙂  — it’s antibacterial properties, lack of moisture (as well as botulism spores, bee colony collapse, and Bible verses that indicate we shouldn’t eat too much honey!).  I realized that I could only take the analogy so far 🙂    I am becoming so aware of the sweetness and satisfaction that God provides through his word.  And in contrast to honey, which is metabolized and hits the bloodstream quite rapidly, the Word of God, once digested, stays with me (longer even than fat!).

     Although I was VERY sporadic this week and didn’t do all of the study, what I did learn is soaking in.  I’m also encouraged that what I’m learning (deeply) now brings back what God has taught me in the past, including — and maybe especially, here (even brought back the food safety and nutrition stuff!).  Good thing I didn’t save micro-biology textbooks or I would’ve gone way off track!

    3) The subject/object structure of the Psalm:   God is the initiator.  It’s ALL about Him (I certainly do  benefit!)

    4) I would like to go back to the T.M. Moore link I posted earlier in the week and learn some of the other Psalms he put to music.

    5) Before Rebecca solved our mystery 😉  I thought about and listened to many old hymns and contemporary songs, playing “Name that Tune!”   And even after I was done searching, the Holy Spirit has been bringing other songs to mind.  Thinking of this one right now, because it affirms what has soaked in at a heart level this week:

    Loved with everlasting love, Led by grace that love to know; Gracious Spirit from above, Thou hast taught me it is so! Oh, this full and perfect peace! Oh, this transport all divine! In a love which cannot cease, I am His, and He is mine. In a love which cannot cease, I am His, and He is mine.
     

    Good thing I was sporadic here this week or I would have written a (bigger) book!

    1. Renee…..I smiled today, when my daughter who has type 1 diabetes showed me that she carries honey packets for emergency low blood sugars.  This is new for her….she has carried other things in the past, but just discovered that the honey packets are perfect.  Reminded me of your note about insulin earlier in the week 🙂
       
       

  39. Comments on Keller’s sermon. All I can say is WOW. I loved it, every single word. I had thought I wouldn’t take notes, and ended up with twelve pages. (I won’t post them) Just a few things that stuck out to me:
     
    Creation says, “We were made for a purpose, and so were you. We are works of art, and that means you’re a work of art.”
     
    The Scripture has the power to show you who you are, to restore your true identity. The Scripture alone can show and make you who you really are. The Scripture is that sword that destroys the illusions and distortions that keep you from finding out who you really are.
     
    C.S. Lewis’ thoughts on how can “thou shalt not steal” be delicious?  How can we learn to delight in having God tell us what to do? Lewis said, “This is not the language of scrupulosity; this is the language of a man ravished by beauty. He looks into the law of God with all its demands and sees an absolute beauty. If we cannot find a way to share his experience, we shall all be the losers.”
     
    We don’t know how to make ourselves obey a set of rules except through coercion and fear. So how can you get your heart to delight in the law?
    The secret is, if you know that God was delighted with what He sees in your heart, you would be delighted in the law of God.
     
    I see beauty in the law because I see HIM…the true and better Abraham…Isaac, Abel, Joseph…only Jesus makes the law a honeycomb.
     
    C.

  40. What verse are you (or have you) memorized, using T.M. Moore and the music? – I’m still working on memorizing the whole Moore paraphrase, set to the music. I’ve listened to Rebecca over and over this week…I also am kind of sad to leave this week behind! This week just had a different feel to it. I shared Rebecca’s video with my mom today and before we watched and listened, I was able to sing the first two verses for her! The more I listen to Rebecca on the video, the deeper it seems to go, and the more deeply I am moved by her singing and appreciate her worshipping on camera for us!
     
    My take-away…I hope to take-away this Psalm and keep it in my memory…this great word picture of God’s Two Great Books. There was something about singing those verses myself, making me really think about them and what they mean. I love nature, too, and I love being outdoors. I especially love Fall when the leaves are blazing with color, and the air smells like apples and crispness. God even put different scents in the air for different seasons…summer air smells different than winter air. It thrills me to think that all of Creation is pouring forth speech in a zillion different ways…even in its silence. I also love the imagery of the sun being like a glorious bridegroom rejoicing to run his course, and how that brings Jesus to my mind, my Glorious Bridegroom who rejoiced to run His course, for me.
     
    The part of Keller’s sermon on how to read the Bible in a new way, though I’ve heard this before here, still affects me because I realize how many days I “obey” or worry about messing-up out of fear. It tells me that I still do not have the fact that God loves me down deep in my heart because perfect love casts out fear. That “down deep in my heart” – the place I’m often too afraid to look, as David said “Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.” How can God really be pleased with my words and the thoughts of my heart? Elizabeth touched on this in her post, and I think this was before she even listened to the sermon…it shows the beauty of the Cross, that because of Him it is possible.  Jesus, who earned the reward of God because He was perfect, took the punishment for my disobedience. I worry so much about pleasing other people, especially my family. There are some in my family that seem almost impossible to please, no matter what I do-it’s wrong. I can transfer that to God and think, how in the world can He be pleased with me? I think it may please Him the most when I just believe what He says in His Word-that He loves me and accepts me because He loves His Son who lived perfectly for me and was my Substitute.

  41. The wonderful notes and comments about the sermon convinced me to listen!  SO GOOD — so encouraging that I see God working in my heart in ways that parallel exactly what Keller said.

  42. Wonderful sermon from Keller….listened twice.

  43. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to devote as much time as I would like to the Psalms study as I’m involved with two other bible studies right now.  But I wanted to comment on a few things from this week if I’m not too late — I was really blessed by the music video.  Thanks for sharing that with us, Dee!  Rebecca, you & your nephew did a great job!  There were so many great blogs, but I was especially convicted & inspired by the quote Rebecca shared from Joni Earkeson Tada. She said, “This is the only time in history when I get to fight for God. This is the only part of my eternal story when I am actually in the battle. Once I die, I’ll be in celebration mode in a glorified body in a whole different set of circumstances. But this is my limited window of opportunity, and I’m going to fight the good fight for all I’m worth.”  God allowed Joni to suffer because He knew she would fight for Him and glorify Him from a wheelchair. Wow. I am without excuse! Am I making His Kingdom my #1 priority?  My favorite verse was psalm 19:14…Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord…this reminds me that God is omnipresent and if I really believe He is I will be more careful with my words, speak life not death, complain less, praise more. I want my thought life to be a constant prayer.  Thank you, Dee, for leading us closer to our Redeemer thru these timeless psalms.  God bless & Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!