Share This Episode
The Bible Study Hour James Boice Logo

The Big Book and the Little Book: Part 2

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
October 4, 2021 8:00 am

The Big Book and the Little Book: Part 2

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 586 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

October 4, 2021 8:00 am

David describes the Word of God as being perfect, trustworthy, sufficient, enduring and pure. God’s Word is sweeter than honey, and more precious than gold. In the second half of Psalm 19, David shows us how we can know God through the gift of His Holy Word.

Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts
The Truth Pulpit
Don Green
Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram
Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig
Moody Church Hour
Erwin Lutzer

Sweeter than honey more precious than gold last week in the first half of Psalm 19 we heard about God's general revelation to us through his creation today on the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce will learn about God's special revelation to us through Scripture as we study the second half of Psalm 19. Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce repairing you to think and act biblically. David describes the word of God is being perfect, trustworthy, sufficient enduring impure. God's word is sweeter than honey and more precious than gold. In the second half of Psalm 19. David shows us how we can know God by special revelation through the gift of his holy word or studying the 19th.

All men were particularly studying the second half of that Psalm, beginning with verse seven and Isaiah again I'm reminded of something that's found in the first chapter of second Peter in the New Testament. The apostle Peter is an old man at this time. He mentions that he is about to put off the tent of his body is expecting to die, but is reflecting on something that happened to a money was much younger during the days of the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. He's recalling that special privilege. He and two other disciples had the with the Lord on the mountain when he was transfigured before them. Parents becoming like that of an angel shining with light and hearing a voice from heaven and he refers to that says we were with him on the holy mountain eyewitnesses of his Majesty and he said we heard that voice that came to him from the majestic glory that is the voice of God saying this is my son, whom I love with him I am well pleased.

I was a great privilege for Peter to see Jesus transfigured into here the actual voice of God from heaven, but no sooner is said that that he makes some very important contrast says is important and is significant and meaningful as these things were.

We nevertheless have an even more certain word of prophecy is talking about the Scripture buddies that is in our translation. Is this. We have the word of the prophet which is more certain I was.

I say that has bearing upon the transition that we find in the middle of Psalm 19. Because the first crack at that Psalm is dealing with the revelation of God in nature. We study that the last time the second half of the Psalm that were looking at now has to do with the revelation of God in Scripture use the kind of contrast that Peter develops this second revelation is more certain, or much more highly to be valued. We look in the heavens. We see there the glory of the stars, planets, constellations, and by day, the glory of the sun say it must be a glorious God who stands behind that we are absolutely on solid ground yet. Gloria says those things are revelation of God in Scripture is more glorious. Still, and that's what this second half of the Psalm is describing how the transition from the first half of the second half or so that you find many scholars, liberal scholars, saying that what we must have here actually is a combination of two separate small interesting to study the liberal mind.

In that respect. Liberals find it.

The poet has done things differently than they would have done it, and therefore can't be the same public they would've had a transition so he had to of had a transition I would've had both kinds, and both times of the poem alike. Therefore poet Israel had to do it and he didn't do it well. The only explanation is that it must of been to Solms originally have a hidden motive for that if they can separate the first time from the second. Then they can compare the first half with the various humans that they planets than that son that existed in antiquity, and they can say well this is where the Jews got it. Lots of poems like that Babylonian corpus in the Egyptian collection as well. There's a very well known him to Afton, which is him to the slot. They say they Jews are simply people of their time reflecting the same kind of culture that existed around them.

To the east and the last, but not the first half of the Psalm is about all first half of the Psalm is not all worshiping nature anything bad it's worshiping the God of nature and its acknowledging that God has made nature in certain aspects of these being in power and I revealed quite a different thing than finding the sun to be a God of the stars, the gods are whatever the transitions that we find in the Psalm. The black one to be sure, are merely reflective of the change in David's thinking as he passes from the reality of the one the reality of the other couples significant changes. One has to do with the name of God. This is something the scholars also make a great deal of what happens here is most significant in terms of the content.

David is far more wise than they are. The first half of the Psalm uses the name L for God, not even Elohim Elohim is the plural form David simply uses the word LN is the simplest, most generic name. You can have a God, and it occurs once in the first half of the Psalm in verse one the heavens declare the glory of God is most appropriate when that half of the song. You don't learn about God's saving qualities in nature. Therefore, the God you learned about in nature is L God fact that there is a God is powerful God. He has to be a B is a God, but that's all you learn in nature the other hand, when you turn to the second half of the Psalm, beginning with verse seven.

Here, you find that the name of the Lord is not L now or even Elohim of Jehovah. The covenants name God name God revealed to Moses at the burning bush. I am that I am money is entering into this covenant relationship with his people, and it occurs not only one spent seven times there in versus seven, eight, nine, and finally the very end as well so you have that kind of change and for very good reasons is also changing the length of the lines that is evident even in the English though it's more evident in the Hebrew and again that is not any proof of this being to separate hymns or Solms put together. It simply reflects the content that long lines of the first half flow naturally from the revelation of God in the revolving spheres of the heavens you read it and it seems appropriate, even as the words flow off your tongue when you come to the second half that's talking about the lawn here you find the words literally falling over one another quickly. As David adds epithet the epithet and description.

The description in order to show how valuable the law does all that is all it accomplishes.

Recognize the difference immediately. The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul, the statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. And so on. What we have here is significant changes highlight what we come to when we come to the Psalm second now in all of the Psalms is probably no clearer example of no better example of Hebrew parallelism that we find here.

You may recall that when we were studying some of the earlier Psalms I reflected on some of the qualities of Hebrew parallelism. This is very straightforward, or six parallel statements to in verse 72 in verse eight verse nine and in each case there are three elements that are parallel now, in each case, it is a synonym for the law of God as an adjective describes what the law of God is like. And finally there's a result, something accomplished by the law because what it is. So you have a parallel between the nouns you have a parallel between the adjectives and you have a parallel between the descriptive statements placed the start of courses with the nouns as David is talking about the lawn and the nouns he talks about describe what he thinks about it. They nouns are these law statutes are seven precepts and commands verse eight fear and ordinances verse 96 and each with a slightly different connotation that word law literally the word in Hebrew is the most embracing term Torah is not as limited in the Hebrew language is the word law is an hours that word law for us generally means laws, the kind of things that are in active in human courts. Actually, the word law means instruction so it embraces everything you find in the Scriptures are nearest equivalent. If you want to do a quite meaningless and not literal translations of the word would probably be something like the word of God, the Torah is the word of God.

So when you study the law of God, what you're really emphasizing is God's words to office in all their forms, not just the first five books which are law per se, but Psalms in the writings as well. That's the first term. The second term is statutes that literally means that testimony.

In other words, it's an aspect of truth which is testified to by God himself. So what you have described in this word is reference to God's own assertion that what you find in Scripture is true. The same sort of thing. The Lord Jesus Christ did when he would say something and preface it by the word.

Verily, verily, are a man in a manner I see this to you, it means this is Pro. I attest to it and you should pray attention. Lord statutes means that precepts together with that word commands which come next mean orders indicating the precision and authority with which God addresses us, as are not just vague comments sort of dropped under the pain. Somehow these are specific things that God has to say to us for our instruction and admonition fear.

The next term is not strictly a synonym for the law. It's actually describing the effects the Scriptures produce on the house Scriptures cause us to fear or reverence God. But its use.

That way with fear of God is used as if that is the word of God and then finally the last term is ordinances which actually means judgments or verdicts. It is the divine evaluation on human thoughts and actions so God's ordinances describe some of our thoughts and actions as being bad and they describe some of our thoughts and actions as being right and this is a six of the six terms of David uses that what strikes me as I think about that. Is this how different they are from the way you and I describe the various parts of Scripture. What we do when we talk about the Bible, we have different ways of doing it. We may, for example, distinguished between narrative and didactic material narrative material in the story's and didactic material as the teachings and so we say well, some of this story and some of it is teaching or we may distinguish in this way we look at the New Testament and we say well, some of it our Gospels we have those upfront and then there's an historical book that's the book of acts, and you have the letters all the letters of Paul and some of the other writers and finally the very end. The book of Revelation you have apocalyptic literature useful way of handling it, or sometimes we do it in big blocks, we say well we got the Old Testament we got the New Testament we divided up that way, or even if you're looking at the forms you do what what some of the scholars. Do you divided up by the various types of songs you have hymns and romancing Thanksgiving Psalms and Psalms of confidence in Psalms of remembrance and wisdom Psalms kingship Psalms and forgot all week. We do it that way.

David is a do that. David isn't thinking about the Scriptures in terms of their style, whether there Gospels or letters are apocalyptic or wisdom or whatever he's describing them as laws and precepts and commands and fears and ordinances that you ask yourself the question, what do all those terms have in common.

In spite of the different slight variations of meaning, which I just explain the answer is obvious. Those things describe the Bible is the word of God to be obeyed is not significant law of God is the law to be obeyed.

The statutes of God, the law of God to be obeyed. Precepts of God are the precepts of God to be obeyed, and so on. On down the list.

I'm not suggesting I'm sure you understand that that our way of dividing things up is not useful, but I would suggest that David is closer to the heart of God when he describes it as he does what we sometimes find ourselves doing in our academic sophistication is doing the focus from the word of God being the word of God telling us how to live instead of thinking of it in terms of stylistic distinctions because of course we can handle those without any personal involvement we could go through a song like this study it academically and walk away from it and say, isn't that a nice study, but when David doesn't having talked about in terms of the law on the statutes of the precepts and the commands. He concludes by saying who can discern his errors.

Forgive my hidden faults.

Keep your servant also from willful sins and he concludes by saying the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight oh Lord my rock and my Redeemer. You see the difference. I suggest that that's the way we should always study the word of God. Now let's look at the adjectives and the results that flow from it.

We have the six parallels steak them one at a time.

First of all, the word of God is perfect, reviving soul when we first look at that. That doesn't seem to mean a lot to us because we quite got the connection between the adjective perfect and the effect reviving the soul, and it's probably because we don't think of the adjective quite rightly we think of perfection. We think in some kind of abstract way. The Hebrew idea in the word perfection actually means completely since it covers everything our best way of talking about that would be to talk about sufficient same Bible the word of God is sufficient for all things there is no aspect of our life.

No problem, that we may face no decision that we may have to wrestle with is not in some way or another covered by the word of God. When you begin to understand that we understand what David is saying he saying the law of God is so complete, so comprehensive, so perfect, not deficient in any way whatsoever that regardless of your problem if you will study it, you will find that it is the means of God to help you in the problem and actually revive your soul word of God gives life, you will find that to be true. If you apply it is the second one. The law of God is trustworthy, making wise the simple. What is that mean trustworthy while it means it's reliable and the reason it's reliable is that it's based upon reality say that Bible correspondence to truth courses say exact opposite of what the world is telling us the world is telling us if you can pay any attention to this old, the sick collections of thoughts that came from people in the bygone age. Nobody understands anymore why if you want to live a happy and prosperous life.

Above all of you want to become wise. You have to put all of those mythologies behind you and really have to get with it in terms of the wisdom and the culture of the day. You know Paul's evaluation of that he came many hundreds of years after David and he was talking about his culture.

The Roman culture, but he was saying. When people think they're too wise for God to wise to heed the revelation he gives all they really do is become fools. While they don't call themselves.

As Paul they profess themselves to be wise, but professing themselves to be wise, they become fools and because they won't have God and yet can't do without him entirely.

They substitute false gods to take the true God's place and the enter into that downhill progression that you find describe so clearly in the first chapter of Romans.

I would maintain that there is no chapter in the Bible that describes our own cultural matter are gives a better rationale for it is the fact that we will not have God we don't trust his word. We do not find the statutes of the Lord, trustworthy and therefore, instead of becoming wise that we are simple we find ourselves claiming to be wise and actually behaving in a very foolish manner. David, the other he learned the word of God can be trusted is the third one recess of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart what is right mean, doesn't mean righteous exactly that's what it suggests to us the idea righteous is probably better covered by the preceding word trustworthy. What it really means is straight straight like in Proverbs 3, five and six trust in the Lord with all your heart be not your own understanding. He will make your paths straight. That's what David is talking about here what he saying is that if we are walking in straight paths. Then we will find joy. See we live in a culture that says the way you are happiest by going off in all kinds of devious plants and everybody to do his or her own thing and whatever you find to do if you think you want to do it while you want to do it because, well, why not enjoy what we're here for. So enjoy ourselves and to be entertained. The people that go on that path soon find that it's anything but joyously find its misery. They don't know why they're here what they're doing or anything and the sometimes by the grace of God are turned back from it now. David says if you study the Scriptures walking that way, you'll find that your pastor straight because her stranger find there also joyous, you will certainly be content here is the fourth with the commands of the Lord, a radiance getting light to the eyes.

That of course is easy to understand radiance refers to something that's giving off light obvious example in the context of this song would be the son David is described in verses 4B through six as that magnificent creation of God moves across the heavens. In the daytime. The sun gives light and by its light, we are able to walk without stumbling his light to the eyes so we don't walk in darkness thing thing would be true of a lantern or a candle or in our times, a lightbulb or a chandelier or anything like that, a flashlight, it gives light to the eyes, so you don't fall hundred and 19 Psalm speaks about as well. Verse 105 fly word is a lamp unto my path and the light in my way.

That's what the word of God.if you say to yourself why am I stumbling along so much in my life.

It's because you're not walking according to the word of God or God is sufficient if you want my that you will not stumble in the doctors and if you're stumbling it's because you're not walking according to the word of God is a simple as that is the fifth of these parallel statements. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. It endures because it's pure. Things are not your things that are corrupt, decay they produce.

We see in the market will quickly decay bacteria will get to it end goal right before our eyes. Life is like that the word of God is not God is pure because it's pure. It endures the Lord himself spoke about that on a number of occasions.

He said even though heaven and earth pass away, my words will never pass away. He said when he was talking about the Johnson tittles of the law little parts of the written revelation is that I tell you that not a single God or tittle of the law is going to pass away until every single part of it is fulfilled.

So Jesus was very conscious of the enduring quality of the word of God and has endured no over many centuries of human history. I suppose billions of books have been written most of them are passed away. The Bible does not pass away. It is preserved and it will be preserved as the word of God in heaven and earth passed away all the things we think are permanent.

All the things. Unfortunately, many of us for our lives into it were going to be gone that the Bible is not like that Bible endures and therefore the one who builds his or her life upon the Bible is going to endure as well.

Simple teaching simple logic here is the sixth of the parallels little harder to find the ordinance of the Lord are sure now notice at the very point where you would expect the parallel following on each of the other statement you find instead and altogether righteous. That's another adjective you said yourself well. David forgotten himself at this point she has left out the parallel now, he hasn't done it is just delayed it and inserted something else which is the kind of thing that makes the poem.

Interesting. I suppose of the scholars were writing it would be dull, but David doesn't do that. He is so carried away with what he saying about the law of God, and rightly so, that he interjects they are more precious than gold, and much pure gold there sweeter than honey.

Honey from the call of the best things I can think of. Goldie thinking's love golden honey sweet to the tight life. I don't know what we would say that would be the equivalent we could say. I suppose they are more precious even than the Lord. IRA account to her PO fund there more precious even than thousand shares of IBM which is doing very well right now as far as honey from the honeycomb.

You just have to substitute whatever you most like to talk with Sunday's kind of thing there more precious than the things that ought to matter most. The word of God is more precious of all that Jesus said it is well and when he was tempted by the devil. He said man shall not live by bread alone.

Even Stroman bread man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. And that's what David say he said that's the way I love your law and having put in that little parenthesis just to respond to it again wait to the end you say you find the parallel in the parallels there in verse 11. The ordinance of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous, and by them as your servant warned and keeping of them there is great reward. There's a result say they are so sure and so righteous that if you read them. Your warned about sin. They warned that if you going that way you're going to get into trouble that way doesn't work if you think you're smarter than God. Well, go ahead and do it and you'll find out that God is right you get into trouble. But if you're wise enough to listen. I attention be worn when you turn aside and you avoid many of the problems that other people fall into not only not only are they warnings they are that but they are also reward themselves and I like the way David says it and keeping of them there is great reward.

He does not put it in the future you say he does not say if you keep them there will be a great reward.

Though I suppose that is true as well is when he says he says it in the keeping of them that there's reward nothing Augustine when he was talking about sin set on one occasion sin is its own punishment, very stupid comment event. God doesn't even have to intervene to punish them because if you send the sin itself is the punishment you find that that what you think you're going to enjoy actually turns bitter in your mouth could have said, with equal justice virtue is its own reward, which of course is what David is saying here. If you are following in God's way, keeping his ordinances. You will find reward even in doing so because it really is joy in righteousness don't know anything about righteousness don't know that they say all those great people wife who would ever want to be like and then they go up miserably, to try and have a good time, but David said you see, if you walk in the right way might not be defined in the same way the world is talking about joy and happiness but you will find that is really where the reward lines and you'll be glad you did we come to the end of this and we come to the part that I described in our last study is the concluding section or coda actually is much more than the code is actually the climax of the Saul is having talked about the revelation of God in nature, in the far greater, more blessed revelation of God in Scripture. David now responds to it.

On the personal level already begun to do that when he began to save more precious than gold sweeter than honey from the comb is beginning to get into the thing you see. But now he gets to the end and he's got a respond on the personal level and he doesn't in two ways. What you and I have to respond as well.

First of all, he responds in a prayer that God will forgive his sin and keep them for their transgressions. See the law, God will always do that you are studying the Scripture and really coming to know which you become aware of your sin so you want to ask God forgive it which he promises to do in Jesus Christ, you find about rights in the Scriptures to and furthermore, because you realize that mind and character of God and the sin is an offense to him lasted you keep you from further transgressions is not just that I want forgiveness. I don't want to do that anymore is what you say. That's what David says we know that this is merely formal kind of flip thing he throws off here because he spells out the different kinds of sins.

It's as if he's analyzing his own heart knows that there are errors that is sin but sin, in which she is just making a mistake not consciously a notice of some of your sins are hidden faults on hidden, the God of course but hidden to him, probably because they're so buried in his personality does nobody's doing. He also knows that their sins are willful, that is, knows exactly what he's doing and he does it anyway. Probably that's what he has in mind when he goes on to say at the end that he wants to be blameless of great transgression that kind of transgression, as he says when I study the Scriptures.

I realize that I'm a far greater sinner than I ever imagined before hand I sin and thought, word and deed.

I commit sin by error hidden sins and also willful sins. What I need is forgiveness and the power of God to keep me from them. I get to that. You see, I know that this is a real prayer and I know that it's a real him and I know that it's a man of God.

Recall the prayer the public on the was praised by Jesus when he said that man went home justified.

We know that was a real prayer because that man said God be merciful to me a sinner apparently didn't acknowledge his sanity prayed about himself. He said I thank you that I'm not like other manlike sinners in the was the center of all. Therefore, we know it wasn't a true prayer even though he began by saying God I thank you. He wasn't really praying but that publican of the tax collector one and David is as well who can discern his errors. The answer is no place to discern his errors by himself is why you need the word of God, you have the word of God, God will disclose them to you so you can confess them and find forgiveness and also cleansing of power not to sin again and then finally comes to the end and having prayed and asked for forgiveness, we find him appealing to God as his walk in his Redeemer. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your site that is in accordance with your law, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

What a great place and my Redeemer. Because we need to be redeemed from sin is what is disclosed in the Psalm that we are sinners and we need redemption in our rock as well because we need a firm foundation on which to stand and live. We really are to be successful and please God.

David discovered that in those who hear God speaking to them in the Scriptures and live by it discovered as well may be true for all of us pray.

Father, we thank you for the teaching that we have in this great song.

Thank you.

That is so practical and a cover so many parts of our lives them strike the very core of what it is to stand before you and learn from you and try to walk in your ways that we can read a passage like this without realizing how simple we are asking for forgiveness. We can't read it without realizing how weak we are that we need you to keep us from further transgressions, and at the same time we can't read it without realizing that you are the Redeemer from sand on the rock on which we can build our father, help us to do that and to grow in that understanding the praise of the glory of Jesus Christ and whom we have it all man. Thank you for listening to this message from the Bible study our listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance is a coalition of pastors, scholars and churchmen who hold to the historic creeds and confessions of the reformed faith and who proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a reformed awakening in today's church. To learn more about the alliance visit alliance and while you're there, visit our online store reformed resources. You can find messages and books from Dr. Boyce and other outstanding teachers and theologians or vascular free reformed resources catalog by calling 1-800-488-1888. Please take the time to write to us and share how the Bible study our has impacted you. We love to hear from you and pray for you.

Our address is 600 Eden Rd., Lancaster, PA 17601. Please consider giving financially to help keep the Bible study our impacting people for decades to come.

You can do over the phone at 1-800-488-1888 or send a check to 600 Eden Rd., Lancaster, PA 176014 Canadian get mail those to 237 Hills Dr., Scarborough, ON M1C299. Thanks for your continued parents, and for listening to Bible study. Our preparing you to think and act

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime