Sermon Title: Glorious Redemption
Sermon Text: Psalm 19:12-14
Memory Verse: Psalm 143:10
MAIN IDEA: Humbly ask the Redeemer to make you an acceptable servant in His Sight
Introduction: David and the Psalms
God’s Glory Speaks
God’s Glory Scorned
God’s Glory Triumphs
NOTE: “Scripture quotations are from the NASB." This manuscript is provided as a courtesy and is not intended for publication. The audio and video message differs from the manuscript. Thanks for understanding.
Introduction: David and the Psalms
King David is a significant figure in history. When we hear his name, what sort of things about him come to mind? We know of his father, brothers, and work as a shepherd boy. We know how he is a triumphant brave warrior who overcomes Goliath and leads the army of Israel over their enemies. We read of David’s wives and children. His sin and failure are plainly in view for all of us to see (Imagine having your life written down in a book for millions and millions of people to read about and study.) And, we know he is in the lineage of the Messiah, and God promises his throne to be eternal.
We don’t always think of David as one of the greatest song writers in history. He wrote songs as a shepherd boy and became famous enough among the Israelites to be called in to play music to soothe the troubled King Saul. The Psalms of David are among the most cherished of all songs. How many times have we been comforted by Psalm 23 in the death of a loved one? How many times have we turned to Psalm 139 for encouragement?
Do we ever think of David as among most important Biblical writers? Neuroscientists complete studies about brain mechanisms and memory. They all agree that information set to music is much easier to remember.
Because of this, it makes for a compelling argument to say that of all the doctrine in the Bible, it may be that our Creator, the One who made music and our brain, wants us to remember the Psalms above all things.
David is the author of 76 of the 150 Psalms. Perhaps God wants us to think about Him the way David does (not live like David, but express our feelings for God as David does). Jesus says that out of the abundance of our heart, our mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). It is in the Psalms we hear David’s heart for God. He expresses profound affection for God and a deep-seated belief that God is very good. Listen to a few examples.
You are my Lord; I have no good besides You. (Psalm 16:2)
As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake. (Psalm 17:5)
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness (Psalm 30:11)
… those who seek the Lord lack no good thing (Psalm 34:10)
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:11-12)
David expresses his love and yearning for the Lord beautifully. God is David’s Strong-Tower, Rock, Provider, Deliver, and Savior.
The Psalms teach us how we are to think about God in our times of pain, sorrow, despair, loneliness, discouragement, joy, blessing, delight, fear, or anger. Psalms express deep theology because they touch us where we need to be touched the most; they touch our heart
Psalms are fittingly described by Hebrews 4:12, the Psalms are “living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
The goal this morning is that we read Psalm 19, not only with our mind but with our heart. We want to think and feel the glory of God. Our desire is the Psalm touches our soul, mind, heart, and our eyes and brings us to fear the Lord and to call upon Him for our salvation.
God’s Glory Speaks
The Psalm is written to make us think deeply. The intent of Psalm 19 is to have us look at life from the zoomed-out big picture and see the evidence of the glory of God.
King David, filled with God’s Holy Spirit, looks up at the stars and sees God’s glory speaking in the heavens. The heavens unceasingly pour forth speech of God’s power and wisdom day after day and night after night. Every inch of the earth hears the heavens speak of the glory of God.
David sees the sun rise and set every day. He feels its heat, and he knows of the suns incredible strength. As King of Israel, he is powerful. But, as a man, David is awestruck and feels very small because of God’s handiwork. To express his adoration and feelings, David writes verses one through six of Psalm 19.
Not only do the heavens speak, but God’s Word speaks of His glory. David listens to the Torah. He reads about God’s account of creation, the judgment and destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah, the deliverance of God’s people in Exodus, the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, and much more.
The Word speaks of God’s glory to reaching beyond the heavens. Only a perfect God may write a perfect Law. It takes an all-wise God to write words making the simple wise. A glorious, joyful God speaks rejoicing to the downcast heart. The righteous Judge makes right judgments. A God of mercy and lovingkindness speaks restoration to the soul.
The revealed Word of God, is perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, and true. It is more desirable than any other thing; even more valuable than fine gold or honey. To disobey the commands of God brings curse and destruction. To keep the Word brings promises of blessings. David ponders these truths and pens verses seven to eleven.
God’s glory speaks in the heavens, and God’s glory speaks in God’s Holy Word. David intends for his subjects to obey the Lord God for He knows, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD” (Psalm 33:12). Psalm 19 instructs God’s people that they are to fear the Lord. David desires for God’s people to listen to the heavens pour out speech and feel the heat of the sun as they express God’s unrelenting glory and majesty. God’s people are to read God’s Word and know He is the perfect Judge, filled with truth, and the Sovereign Lord. In the Psalm, the people of God must know that God is Lord and we are servants created to fulfill His purpose and plans.
God’s Glory Scorned
King David speaks of himself in the last three verses. After hearing the heavens speak of the power of the Creator of the universe and listening to the holy Word of God calling to perfect obedience to God’s commands, he is brought to a place of great fear and trembling. David understands that sin scorns the glory of God.
As the psalm proclaims, we have errors, hidden faults, and presumptuous sins.
The sin of error is to sin by mistake because we do not know any better. It is an unintentional sin. We break God’s law, but we didn’t mean to do so. Manslaughter is accidental. It is not the same as murder, which is intentional, but still, requires punishment.
Hidden faults are sins we don’t know we are committing. When we consider the holiness of God and compare that to our fallen nature, we can’t help but wonder how many sins we commit without even realizing we have committed them.
Presumptuous sins are the worst of all sins. Presumptuous sins are when we intentionally, knowingly, sin against God. All sin is grievous, but to sin on purpose is worse. We might as well look God in the face and say, “I see Your handiwork, and I don’t care. I read Your commands, and I don’t care. I will do whatever I like.”
Presumptuous sins are blaspheming the Lord because they defy God blatantly.
‘Also if one person sins unintentionally, then he shall offer a one-year-old female goat for a sin offering. 28
The priest shall make atonement before the Lord for the person who goes astray when he sins unintentionally, making atonement for him that he may be forgiven. 29
You shall have one law for him who does anything
unintentionally, for him who is native among the sons of Israel and for the alien who sojourns among them. 30
But the person who does anything
defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the Lord; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. 31
Because he has despised the word of the Lord and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be
on him.’” (Numbers 15:27-31)
Presumptuous sins presume upon God’s grace and forgiveness. We commit them thinking we will sin, but we know God will forgive us. We trust in God’s grace. When we sin, we know grace abounds. The Apostle Paul teaches on this in his letter to Rome. He writes,
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! (Rom. 6:1-2)
Here’s the bottom line, every person reading this Psalm is guilty of being in rebellion to God. We don’t sin because we must. Nobody says, “I don’t want to sin, but I think I really should.” We sin because we want to sin.
Sinners scorn the glory of God. We see the holiness of God, and we say it is not for me. We look upon the greatness of God’s power and defy His commands. We hear of God’s promise of blessing, and we don’t trust Him but turn to find other sources of joy. We look in the face of an all-knowing, holy, eternal Judge and show no respect for His justice.
What does God’s Word say about sinners?
Don’t be deceived. It is because of sin the wrath of God comes upon those who disobey His commands. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry, holy, and just God. God’s wrath as a cup from which sinners will drink. The Bible says they will drink it to the very dregs, which is the sediment residue at the bottom. Sinners will feel every drop of God’s righteous anger and will suffer eternal weeping and gnashing of teeth.
King David is guilty. Every Israelite is guilty. All of us are guilty. God’s Word proclaims, “In God’s sight no man living is righteous” (Ps. 143:2).
The Apostle Paul summarizes our guilt like this:
There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12)
Let’s stand in King David’s shoes. Being the most powerful man in Israel will not save him. All the gold in the national treasury will not give an escape from God’s wrath. The mighty army at his command doesn’t stand a chance at fighting off the heavenly hosts at God’s command. There is no lawyer able to convince the Judge of our innocence. David stares in the face of eternal condemnation, and we share the same fate.
We are unable to save ourselves. We have but one hope.
God’s Glory Triumphs
God’s glory speaks in the heavens, and God’s glory speaks in the Word of God.
We scorn and sin against the glory of God, but it is the glory of God which gives us hope.
Our salvation relies completely on the mercy and forgiveness of God. We depend upon the glory of God to triumph over our sin.
King David knows of Gods’ glory. Every Israelite knows of God’s glory. God proclaimed His glory to Moses when He promised to be with the people of Israel.
Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” 19
And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” (Ex. 33:18-19)
Our salvation depends upon one thing. The Apostle Paul interprets what God says to Moses in his letter to the Romans. He writes:
So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. (Ro. 9:16)
King David knows this all too well, so he cries out to God, invoking upon Him three ways: Lord, Rock, and Redeemer.
He calls upon God as Lord. The name Lord throughout the Psalm is the Hebrew word Jehovah; the Jewish national name of God. David is the King of Israel and God is Lord. In calling God Lord, David is calling upon the covenant relationship between God and His people.
David calls upon God as his rock. O Lord, my rock. Describing God as a “rock” occurs several times in the Old Testament (e.g., Deut. 32:15; 2 Sam. 22:47; Ps. 95:1). It is identifying God as being a place of security and stability where one may go to hide. David often sought shelter among the rocks in caves and mountain crevices. David won many battles on rocky battlefields. God is David’s rock and protects him from harm. Think of the irony. David is seeking God to be the rock who protects him from God. It is as if David is saying, “God, I am guilty of sin and face the wrath of an almighty God. Will You be a rock and protect me?”
Lastly, David calls upon God as his Redeemer. A redeemer is one who delivers. To redeem is to be a liberator or a rescuer. God is our Savior who renders the judgment of acquittal of great transgression.
David knows he is forgiven of his sins because he places his faith in the sacrifices offered in the Covenant. It is the glory of God be forgiving and loving. David places his faith in God’s offer of forgiveness through sacrifice. He kneels before the throne of the God of the universe and knows his trust in God as Savior is his only hope.
We are like David. We kneel before the throne of God and cry for mercy. Our testimony before the Judge is that we put our faith in Jesus Christ for our salvation. His blood sacrifice cleanses us from sin. He is our High Priest, and He gives His blood for our atonement. Because of our faith in Christ, we are declared blameless and above reproach. We offer nothing. It is not our good works which save us from the punishment of sin. We don’t get time off for good behavior. It is not our gold or silver which saves us. Paying a fine will not give forgiveness. The shedding of blood is the required price to pay the penalty for sin, and Jesus pays the price. Jesus is our Redeemer.
In the Psalm, David cries out for more than salvation. He lifts his cup to God and cries out for more. He says, “Here is my cup Lord, I am saved, but I want You to fill it more!”
David wants more than being saved from the punishment of sin. He is asking God to rescue him from sin. “Help me, God. Keep me back from sin. Don’t let sin rule my life. Don’t allow sin to destroy what You are building. Help me Redeemer, Savior. Rescue me.”
Let’s think about this for a moment. Is David only asking for rescue from that which makes him unholy, or is there more? Too often we think of sin as a moral obligation. We should not lust. We should not lie, cheat, or steal. Is this the totality of sin? Is being a good Christian about making moral choices? Dare we think that as long as we keep our nose clean, we are doing good?
God is building His Kingdom. The building of His Kingdom is the work in our lives of sanctification, the building of the church, and putting all things under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, King of kings. We are to pray for God’s Kingdom to come in our life.
Sin is more than disobeying God’s demand for holiness. Sin is also disobeying God’s commands to serve Him. God is our Lord, and we are His servant. We are saved to serve God. We let sin rule over us when we fail to wake up and live for God as His servant; accomplishing His will. Whenever we are not participating in Kingdom building, but building our kingdom, we are sinning.
David states his life goal in the last verse.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer. (Ps. 19:14)
David doesn’t just want salvation from condemnation, David seeks to be acceptable before the Lord. He wants he speaks and all of his thoughts to be acceptable to God. In another Psalm, David says this another way. He writes:
Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. (Ps. 143:10)
As we ponder these truths, let’s ask a few challenging questions.
Do we find our satisfaction being complete in being saved from the wrath of God? Do we see Christianity as salvation from hell and that is enough? Is it that we are happy to be saved, but when it comes to everyday life, we have our plans to pursue? To what extent do we cast ourselves before God to be used by Him for the building of His Kingdom?
Are we waking up each morning saying to God, “Make me the person You want me to be and not the person that I want to be. Keep me from sin. Teach me Your will. Make me a willing servant. Show me how to give towards the building project of Your Kingdom. Help me serve in the body of Christ. Help me honor Christ by caring for the widows and orphans. Help me be a laborer of the gospel in the harvest field because the fields are ripe for harvest. To not participate in the building of God’s Kingdom is just as much a sin as lying and stealing. At the same time, God promises to those who keep His commands; there is a great reward.
Perfect obedience to God is perfect submission to God’s will.
God is incredibly awesome. His handiwork in the universe speaks of His glory. God is all-powerful, and we are to fear God above all things. Fear of the Lord who creates the universe is where wisdom begins.
God’s glory speaks in His Word and reveals God is true, pure, righteous, perfect and sure. God’s Word reveals our sin and our need for salvation. God’s Word restores our soul, makes us wise, rejoices our heart, and reveals how we may serve God.
We find joy in serving God and building His Kingdom. To obtain joy, we need to cry out for help. God is glorified when we demonstrate our dependence upon Him for all things. We need God for air to breathe and food to eat. We need God for salvation. We need God to make us acceptable servants. Humbly ask the Redeemer to make us an acceptable servant in His Sight.