As David considers the impact of God's written communication in the second section of Psalm 19, he's prompted to appraise the value of Scripture. He uses two illustrations for the purpose of comparison:
- Gold...fine gold (v.10). As the king of Israel, David knew the value of gold. He had plenty of it! And, like today, it was considered among the most precious of possessions. A king's power—his ability to rule and to get things done—was partly measured by the amount of gold in his treasury. The phrase "fine gold" refers to purified gold as opposed to random pieces of jewellery, coins, or powder. Throughout history, this precious metal has been melted down to remove any impurities, including other metals. The result was concentrated, unadulterated wealth and power in the form of gold bullion
- Honey ... honeycomb (v.10). David declares God's Word to be sweeter than the most delectable of foods. Note that it is not just honey, but honey flowing from the combs. For much of his early life, David lived in the wilderness and learned how to live off the land. Ask any survival expert today, and he'll tell you that finding a honeycomb is like finding treasure. Pure calories in the most delectable form. (Makes my mouth water!) Moreover, there are several metaphors to consider:
- It is provided through the work of someone other than ourselves; the bee virtually lays it on our platter
- It is a natural food that doesn't need a lengthy time of digestion before it goes to work. Honey provides instant energy
- It is a flavour like no other. Nothing has sweetness like the rich taste of honey
Honey—what a fitting analogy!
Read those three things again with God's Word in mind. Through the efforts of another, we have His Word. It goes to work immediately upon entering our spiritual system. And no other piece of literature can even compare with its uniqueness.
Finally, verses 11–13 tell us of specific ways God's truth works within us. Through the Scriptures, we are warned of evil and potential dangers. The individual who really knows (and applies!) his Bible is kept from numerous sins simply because he believes God's warning signals. Then, biblical truths assure us of personal reward—"great reward." Furthermore, they provide us with discernment—the ability to know right from wrong. Simple though that may sound, it is one of the most reliable signs of maturity, according to Hebrews 5:14. "But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil."
God's Word also reveals error, sin, presumption, and transgression to those who ponder the pages of Scripture.
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Living the Psalms: Encouragement for the Daily Grind (Brentwood, Tenn.: Worthy Publishing, a division of Worthy Media, Inc., 2012). Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved. Used by permission.