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Bible: What Does Psalm 19-21 Teach Us About God's Creation,Word, and Salvation?

Updated on September 15, 2016

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Psalms 19-21: The Works and Word of God/Petition for Salvation/The Blessings of Salvation

The writer discusses both natural revelation (vv. 1-6) and special revelation (vv. 7-11).

Daily and nightly (v. 2), the vast universe nonverbally communicates (v. 3) the existence of the Creator to all peoples.

The apostle Paul employs 19:4 in Romans 10:18 to demonstrate that everyone knows that God lives.

[Natural revelation leaves human beings without excuse before God (cf. Rom. 1:20), but it is not the special revelation found in the gospel.]


By using the sun’s daily excursion above to illustrate his point, David shows the awesome wisdom of its Designer (vv. 5-6).

[The psalmist did not intend his reference to the sun’s movement as a scientific statement, but simply as an observation.

He compares the sun to a bridegroom and a strong man.]

[What does it mean to “set a tabernacle (tent) for the sun?]

The Word of the Only True God

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The Word of God Described

Even more wonderful is the word of God; the author refers to it in various ways:

(1) As the law and the testimony (v. 7)

[Instruction for the people and witness to God’s wisdom]

(2) As the statutes and the commandment (v. 8); and

(3) As the “fear” and the judgments (v. 9)

[The “fear of the LORD” is the beginning of knowledge (Prov. 1:7).

The psalmist equates it here with God’s word itself, and not with the effect it produces.]

He also describes it with superlatives:

(1) Perfect (v. 7);

(2) Sure (v. 7);

(3) Right (v. 8);

(4) Pure (v. 8);

(5) Clean (v. 9); and

(6) True and righteous altogether (v. 9)

In addition, the word of God works as an agent of conversion (restoration to fellowship) [v. 7], and as a source of moral education (v. 7), emotional encouragement (v. 8a), and spiritual understanding (v. 8b).

Its ability to produce fear of God will never fail (v. 9a). Its value exceeds any earthly treasure or delicacy (v. 10).

It admonishes the servant to honor God, and encourages him to practice its principles; obedience will lead to an honorable and happy life (v. 11).

Aware of his sinfulness, David prays for divine protection from his own depravity [presumptuous sins, secret faults]; by experiencing some level of victory over it, he will escape shame (vv. 12-13).

Cognizant of his dependence upon his “rock” and his redeemer for this victory, the psalmist asks the LORD that his speech and his thoughts might please Him (v. 14).

[Worthy of complete memorization, this psalm is rich in moral and literary beauty].

Psalm 20

Most of this psalm's first five verses consist of David's prayerful desire that God would defend (v. 1), strengthen (v. 2), favor the sacrifices of (v. 3), and answer the petitions for salvation (vv. 1, 4, 5b) of certain of His people who are undergoing trials of their faith.

Verse 5a records David’s [and other’s (?)] commitment to rejoice when their deliverance comes.

[What does it mean to “set up our banners”?]

David knows assuredly that God saves His anointed (v. 6)—Which “Messiah” does he have in mind here? — and that the believers' faith in and remembrance of the LORD’s “name” cause them to stand victoriously (vv. 7b, 8b).

By contrast, disbelievers fall (vv. 7a, 8a).

Verse 9 appears to be David’s final petition, requesting the King in heaven to save His people.

[Interesting pronoun changes—from “you,” to “we,” to “him,” to “we”—occur here. Intercession for other people involves commitment and interest in the outcome of their trials].

Thanksgiving for God's Blessings

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Celebrate the LORD's Salvation

Psalm 21

David celebrates the blessings of the LORD's salvation as the answers to his deepest longing (vv. 1-2).

[Does David write here about himself as the “king,” even though he uses the third person pronoun?]

A golden crown (v. 3), everlasting life (v. 4), great glory [honor, majesty] (v. 5), and surpassing spiritual joy (v. 6) comprise the good gifts God has given him. His trust and the Almighty's mercy make him strong (v. 7).

On the other hand, David also prophesies the LORD's fiery judgment upon His enemies (vv. 8-9) and their descendants in the future (v. 10), because they plotted against Him (v. 11).

He concludes by praising the LORD in His power (v. 13).

[In order to maintain the joy of one's salvation, one must rehearse this truth often and count on it always].

© 2013 glynch1

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