Unfortunately the sermons we deliver are never perfect. This is not a reason for frustration, but it is unfortunate that sermons cannot be updated and revised like editions of books. Or, perhaps that is an apt analogy, since those possessing the first edition inevitably miss out on the further additions. Similarly, sermon manuscripts can be amended, but its hearers will not benefit from the changes.
I’ll start posting on this blog about my omissions and give detail to vague or unclear concepts as time permits. To start, here are some specific observations from Psalm 19 to correct the idea that David simply uses synonyms for the Word of God and relates it to believers:
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple – Reviving the soul is a good translation, since the Hebrew is literally “converting.” The law brings to repentance. This is an obvious reference to how an unbeliever becomes a believer, the gift of faith in response to special revelation. The idea of making wise the simple emphasizes this point, as simple or naive is used primarily for unbelievers in the OT.
8 the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes – Every particular law causes the heart to be happy. This is an idiomatic expression for gaining understanding. Pure is a synonym of clean, which is used in the next verse. However, pure refers in particular to character or quality.
9 the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether – Here we have a transition. The fear of the Lord is not a synonym for the Word of God, but is the result. This is better understood as the fear of the Lord making us ceremonial clean, which is the overwhelming usage of this term. It makes us able to come and worship; it makes us righteous. This is not judicial righteousness, but behavioral. In patriarchal times the idea of holiness had not be developed, but the word they used to express the same concept was righteousness. The Word of God plays a part in conversion and sanctification.