Before we move on from Psalms of Praise (Hymns) to other types of psalms, I thought it would be good to look at what Wilcock calls “one of the most memorable psalms in…any part of the Psalter (see references: 5). That is, Psalm 19, a psalm in praise of God the great communicator. The One who goes to such pains to communicate his glory, love, grace and mercy to us through, as mentioned in this psalm, his creation (particularly “the heavens”) and his Word.
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun 5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. 11 By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant also from wilful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, ninnocent of great transgression. 14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
So, Psalm 19, an amazing psalm all about communication. Let me summarize:
In verses 1-6 it is God’s creation (specifically here “the heavens” with particular emphasis on “the sun”) that is communicating a message, declaring, yet without words that God is glorious and Creator and Sustainer of all things, and that this message is for all peoples “throughout the earth.”
Then in verses 7-11 the communication is through the scriptures (God’s Word) to those who read and obey. The psalmist uses the word ‘law’ and its 5 parallel words, meaning all that God wants us to know about himself as revealed in the scriptures. And these words from God are life changing.
And finally in verses 12-14 the communication involves the psalmist speaking to God, with a prayer at the end asking that his words and meditations be pleasing in God’s eyes.