Eat the Law and Live

| December 12, 2014

Editors' note: This series analyzes perplexing passages of the Bible. Previously:

Psalm 19 has been on the Top 40 charts for a couple thousand years. Understandably. It’s a classic. It’s short, but loaded with theological goodies (vv. 1-2, 13), great imagery (vv. 4-6), and zippy one-liners (vv. 9b-10, 14). But if you’re like me, you breeze past these rich passages in a bleary morning state during devotionals. So we often need an exercise in sitting with the depth of a passage to be nourished, instead of rushing along. Psalm 19 is the perfect place to start.

Psalm 19 has three sections.

  1. Psalm 19:1-6: The psalmist lyricizes creation with fabulous imagery, depicting the cycle of each day as a “strong man” running his course (v. 5).
  2. Psalm 19:7-10: The topic switches to God’s law (tôrāh), which along with God’s judicial features is perfect, sure, right, pure, and so on.
  3. Psalm 19:11-14: The psalmist moves toward application, exhorting the reader to keep the law, asking that God remove temptation, and praying for mercy.

Biblical themes are strewn through it all. Which almost makes it…

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