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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible

Psalms 19



Verses 1-14

This Psalm teaches us the excellence of the two revelations which God has made to man. The first is the revelation which he has made in nature, and the second is that which he has made in his inspired Word. The psalmist first sings of God as he displays himself in his works in creation: —

Psalms 19:1. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.

So much is this the case that it has been well said that “an undevout astronomer is mad.” There are such traces of the Infinite and the Omnipotent in the stars, and especially the more thoroughly they are studied, and the science of mathematics is brought to bear upon them, in order, in some degree, to guess at the incalculable distances and mighty weights of the starry orbs, that a man must perceive in them traces of the divine handiwork if he is only willing to do so: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.”

Psalms 19:2. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

Every day speaks to the following one, even as the day that went before it spoke to it, and each day has its own message. Its history is an echo of the voice of God, and if man had but ears to hear, he would perceive that the things which happen from day to day proclaim the presence and power of God. And even night, with her impressive silence, reveals the Most High in the solemn hush and stillness. In the great primeval forests, the winds seem, with songs without words, to declare the presence of the Most High. There is something there, in the stillness of the night, as weird-like and so solemn, which has made unbelief retreat, and caused faith to lift up her eye, and see more in the heavens at night than she had seen by day: “Night unto night sheweth knowledge.”

Psalms 19:3-4. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.

Though nature does not speak, yet its words go to the ends of the earth; and, silently, they sing the- praises of God. To the inner ears of an enlightened man, there is a measure of spiritual teaching ever going on.

Psalms 19:4-6. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

All this is emblematical of the spread of the gospel; so Paul tells us in the Epistle to the Romans: “Their souls went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.” Our Lord Jesus, up-springing from the couch whereon he slept awhile, has sent his light even to the ends of the earth.

“Nor shall his spreading gospel rest,

Till through the world his truth has run, —

Till Christ has all the nations blest,

That see the light, or feel the sun.”

There are brighter days yet to come to us. The strength of Christ, as he daily runs the gospel race, has not diminished, indeed, he puts it out yet more and more, and the day shall come when, as the full sunlight makes the perfect day, so shall the full revelation of the gospel to the eyes of all men fill the whole earth with the praises of God. Now let us read concerning the Book of God. We have read about his works, now let us read about his words.

Psalms 19:7. The law of the LORD is perfect, —

“The doctrine of the Lord (as it may be read,) is perfect,” —

Psalms 19:7. converting [or, restoring] the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure,

Oh, what a mercy that is! What could our souls do with ifs and buts and perhapses? But the teachings of God’s Word are certain, positive, infallible.

Psalms 19:7. Making wise the simple.

No matter how foolish, how childlike, we may be to begin with, so long as our minds are free from gunning and craftiness, and as are simple and sincere, this Book will make us truly wise.

Psalms 19:8. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart:

You know they do. Oftentimes has your heart leaped for joy when the statutes of the Lord have been made known to you.

Psalms 19:8-11. The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned:

Do you not find it so, — that, oftentimes, a test of scripture comes to your mind just at the moment when you were about to suffer spiritual shipwreck? When you would have done something that would have caused you lifelong grief and vast damage, the Word of God has stepped before you with the flaming danger signal, and you have been stopped in time.

Psalms 19:11. And in keeping of them there is great reward.

Not, for keeping of them, for it is not of debt; but, “in keeping of them.” It is always best to do as God bids you. You never forget a duty, or refuse to do it, without suffering loss, and every mistake you make, with regard to your Lord’s will, is a damage to yourselves. The keeping of his commands is most soul-enriching. The most profitable business that a child of God can carry on in the business of obedience to his Lord’s commands: “In keeping of them there is great reward.”

Psalms 19:12. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.

The man who searches his heart most will yet leave some sin undiscovered;

and he who says, “I have no sin; I am living without sin,” has surely never seen into his own heart at all, he must be an utter stranger to the condition it is in. Let this be the prayer of each one of us: “Cleanse thou me from secret faults.”

Psalms 19:13. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins;

“Let me never dare to do what I know to be wrong. Let me not say, ‘I will go just so far, and then stop.’ Let me not tempt the Holy Spirit of God. Oh, let me never tempt the devil to tempt me, and put myself into a dangerous position under the notion that God will keep me if I am his child: ‘keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins;’” —

Psalms 19:13. Let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

You will never go into apostasy if you are watchful against presumption. Those men who, like Judas, commit the great transgression, and utterly perish, are men who knew nothing about watching their own hearts, but who presumed, and were sinfully bold and self-confident, and so came to an ill end. You know where John Bunyan says Heedless and Too Bold went to; and there are many like them.

Psalms 19:14. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight; O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.


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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Psalms 19:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". 2011.

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