The law of the Lord is perfect
The testimony of the Lord is sure
Making wise the simple
The precepts of the Lord are right
Rejoicing the heart
The commandment of the Lord is pure
Enlightening the eyes
The fear of the Lord is clean
The rules of the Lord are true
And righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold
Even much fine gold
Sweeter also than honey
And the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover by them is thy servant warned
In keeping them there is great reward.
The Word of God [law] is perfect: it revives the soul.
The Word of God [testimony] is sure: it makes wise the simple
The Word of God [precepts] is right: it rejoices the heart.
The Word of God [commandments] is pure: it enlightens the eyes.
The Word of God [fear] is clean: it endures forever.
The Word of God [rules] is true: it is righteous altogether.
How reliable are the 6 claims above? How reliable are the 6 claims to this couple, this believer living in contemporary context?
Exhortation; “More to be desired than gold and much fine gold, sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:7-11
The lovers, individuals are urged: The six-fold description of the counsels of God must be diligently pursued, desired and sought. The verse claims that the Word of God is as precious and valuable a treasure as gold. The lovers must make this discovery in their own lives. The lovers need the Word of God for personal survival.
Are all the Psalmist’s claims holding true for this couple, this individual reading the text today? Is the old fashioned Hebrew book written over a 1400 year period by some 40 authors, in a largely Oriental setting, valid from the contemporary challenges of a post modern Christian culture in an African setting?
Does the word of God have the therapeutic value to revive, and heal being a reservoir of well-being for marital intimacy? [Revive the soul? Perfect]
Does the Word of God have the value to expand the knowledge of God’s will for spouses in marriage? [Make wise the simple? Sure.]
Does the scripture inform? Does the scripture provide knowledge? Does the scripture give understanding?
Does the scripture broaden the intellectual grasp of one?
Does the scripture edify?
Reprove? Rebuke? Admonish? Instruct? Educate?
Does the Word of God provide insight into accessing the life of joy in spite of trials and conflicts the contemporary married couple encounters? [Rejoicing the heart? Right!]
How is the husband or wife enabled to rejoice everything while encountering conflicts in communication? How does scripture affect inner tranquillity in the lives of the spouses? Where is the value of scripture in the face of unemployment, financial stress or long term physical incapacitation? How does a couple exult to praise
God in everything, when the marriage faces instability and insecurity?
Where is the scriptural solution for mounting marital communication conflicts which go unsettled [chronologically]?
Where is the joy of the Lord when one spouse no longer feels loved and accepted?
Does the Word of God provide insight in conflict resolution? Does the Word of God skill the spouses with effective communication skills in the marriage?
Does the Word provide insight for economic problems that couples often face? How so?
How does the Word enable the spouses to develop healthy habits to groom the marital intimacy to its well-being and success?
How do the teachings found in scriptures help couples establish a policy for child rearing? [Pure: the law enlightens the eyes.]
Do couples find scriptures valuable for personal growth and maturation?
Does the Word of God provide directives for marital roles for each spouse that are relevant for marriage today as they were relevant for marriages in the Greco-Roman world at the writing of the New Testament epistle? [It is clean: the Word of God endures forever].
With regards to personal living: how are the teachings of scripture valid for today’s moral ethical challenges? In the segment on personal purity and overcoming sin, how are the instructions of the Word of God useful for the couple today?
Where called upon to weigh the value of scripture on the subject of husband, wife and family, which areas are valid today as opposed to those that are irrelevant?
Peter wrote: “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass the grass withers and the flowers fade but the Word of the Lord remains forever.” [1 Peter 1:24, 25] How is this found to be so? What is eternal? What remains forever?
How does the married couple find the scriptures to be indeed “true and righteous altogether”? How is the scripture a personal guide to righteousness to this couple today? How are the scriptures the final authority on matters of righteousness? How does the married couple see the scripture as absolute on matters of sin, purity, reconciliation and peace making? How does this couple see the authority of the Word of God in times of marital conflict and sin in their marriage? How is the teaching of the Word of God relevant on matters of confession and forgiveness in the challenges of marital conflicts today? How relevant is scripture regarding sin, confession and forgiveness?
The couple need to know the scriptures. They need to be intimately acquainted with God’s provisions. The lovers must be consistently connected with teaching ministries that build the soul. They must b disciplined to follow after marriage resources for their enrichment. They must strategize ways of arming themselves for the battles that occur in marriage.
Finally, “Moreover by them is your servant warned and in keeping them, there is great reward.” [Psalm 19:7-9]
The six claims are signals for the reader to respond to. The 6 statements weigh heavy on demanding the verdict to the reader to keep and do. To observe. To follow. To put into action. The promise of glittering gold, sweetness of the honeycomb point to the condition to obey. The married couple has the challenge:
Whatever is taught. This, do.
Whatever is warned against. Flee.
Whatever is commanded. Obey.
The lessons from Psalm 19:7-11, the Word of God is absolute resource for all life: do it. The law is perfect. Obey it. The precepts are right. Do it by obeying. The judgements are final. Obey it. The testimony is reliable. Obey the Word. The commandments of the Lord are right. Obey the Word.
The Word of God is cited as law. The Word is perfect since it ‘revives’ the soul. How does this scripture fit the description ‘perfect’?
How does the scripture revive the soul? Cite references from the book of Psalms
1 on the virtues of the Word of God
2 on specific enriching capacity to the needs of people.
Cite references from the first five books of the Bible. Demonstrate how the law is cited as a resource to the inner need of a person. Cite references from Hebrew prophets from Ezra to Malachi. Demonstrate how scripture is a treasure to the inner needs of a person. E.g reviving the soul.