We need to talk!
Those four words have a way of causing increased levels of anxiety.
It usually means, there is an issue we need to discuss, something that is out of line that needs to be addressed. We need to have a difficult conversation.
As followers of Jesus, we have the responsibility to be the salt of the earth. We have an obligation to speak the truth in love. This could mean having difficult conversations with our friends, family and especially in the church.
We live in an age where to disagree with someone is regarded as hateful and unloving. However, to confront someone with the truth is the most loving thing we could do.
We live in an age where truth is suppressed and even the most fundamental human truths are no longer definable if you want to be accepted. But this is nothing new, Satan questioned the truth of God in Genesis 3:1 when he tempted Eve.
When talking about truth and God’s word as the authority for our conversations, we must establish what the Bible says and begin there. We don’t have the option to discard selected truths in the Bible because we find them hard to accept in our post-modern culture.
So, at the outset of this series, we must look at the foundation of truth. Without the foundation of the Word, we cannot speak truth in our culture. We have no authority and no basis for the truth.
Psalm 19 begins as the Psalmist declares the general revelation of God through nature, but then David changes from the general revelation to the special revelation of God in verses 7 to 9. In these verses we see six different names, six attributes, and six ministries of the word in the lives of those who read and obey this revelation.
Verse 7a: The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The word “Law” refers to the Torah or the instructions of God. It refers to helpful teaching and a set of instructions for life.
The first attribute is that this Law is perfect, it doesn’t need to be edited. It is the fine surgical instrument that God uses to turn people from darkness to light.
The first ministry of the Word is that it, “it revives the Soul.” The word of God is supernatural in its application. Reviving the soul means to convict and bring people back to their original place. Spiritual new life is found in the Word of God.
Verse 7b: The testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple.
A testimony is a recalling of what God has done. All Scripture testifies to the nature and character of God as it is the revelation of Jesus.
The attribute of this testimony is that it is sure, reliable and trustworthy. The Bible is a foundation on which we can safely build. There is no foundation as secure as the Word of God on which to build your life.
And the ministry of this testimony is that it makes wise the simple. The term for simple here means inexperienced but teachable (Psalm 119:130).
Verse 8a: The precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart.
Precepts are the practical instructions and can also be translated as orders. The Bible contains the instructions spoken with the authority of Almighty God.
The attribute of these precepts is that they are right and true.
And the result of living according to these precepts is “rejoicing the heart”. By following the instruction of God’s Word, we will know true joy (1 John 5:3).
Verse 8b: The commandment of the LORD is pure,
enlightening the eyes.
Now the Psalmist gets more specific, from precepts to Commandments, these are rules for life. The way we respond to these commandments is life or death.
But these commandments are pure and will lead to purity (Psalm 119:11). God only gives what is good for us.
The ministry of the Commandments is that they are “enlightening the eyes”. The eyes are the window to the soul (Matthew 6:22-23). What we meditate on determines our purity.
verse 9a:The fear of the Lord is clean,
The fear of the Lord may not seem to fit, but the fear of the Lord is the natural response of the person who meditates on God’s word. The fear of the Lord is a holy reverence. God’s word does not submit to our will, we must submit ourselves to God’s word.
The attribute of this fear is cleanness and purity, as we submit ourselves to the word of God, we will be made clean (Ephesians 5:25-27). Reading aloud God’s word has a cleansing effect.
And the ministry is that God’s word endures forever (Isaiah 40:8).
Verse 9b: The rules of the LORD are true,
and righteous altogether.
The sixth and final description of the Word of God is rules or judgments. These are God’s final pronouncements and His final authority on all things. God’s judgments reflect His righteous character. We see God’s righteous judgment on our sin as Jesus took our punishment on the cross.
These judgments of God are true (John 17:17), Jesus prayed that the Apostles would be set aside for the ministry of truth, declaring God’s word.
The final ministry of the rules of God’s word is righteousness. Our righteousness is only because of faith in Jesus as our Lord and savior and another example of why John introduced Jesus as the word in John 1.
The Psalmist closes in prayer asking that God would help him to live in purity and holiness (Psalm 19:14). This is only possible as the Holy Spirit transforms us and makes us more like Jesus.
Without the Holy Spirit’s presence in your life, this book will just be a collection of words on a page.
As we apply the words of truth to our lives, we will see supernatural transformation taking place, we will see lives transformed as we have life giving conversations.
We need to talk!