Day 2

Your Instruction is Perfect

from the Psalms of Gratitude reading plan


Psalm 19:1-14

Who gets to tell us what to do? All of us live by some sort of law or code. Even a code of anarchy is a law unto itself. Scripture is filled with laws—rules for life and faith handed down to the people of God by the Lord Himself. In Psalm 19, King David gives us a poem of gratitude for the gift of God’s Law.

Why did God give us instruction? Church fathers talk about the three uses of God’s Law. It has been given to 1) hold up a mirror so that we might see our own inability to live righteous lives, 2) restrain evil in the world by teaching us how to conduct ourselves personally and communally, and 3) reveal what is pleasing to the Lord, whom His people seek to serve.

King David calls not only himself but the people he leads to hold God’s law with a great affection. How does David make his case?

He begins by addressing the question: Has God spoken to His people? If the Maker has turned a deaf ear toward His creation, we are hopeless. But David tells us God is always speaking, everywhere. The heavens declare His glory. The sky proclaims His handiwork. There is no corner of creation over which God does not speak (Psalm 19:1-6).

So what, exactly, does God say? David says God tells us how to live in His creation. In fact, David doesn’t just say this, he exclaims it! God has given us a perfect law. It guides us. It gives wisdom to the simple. It is not merely a set of rules; it is a description for how to live well. It doesn’t weary us; it revives us.

God’s law reigns in we who are prone to wander, acting as a guardrail beside the cliffs of foolishness. It leads to a life of joy and draws from us a response of awe that is meant to last forever. This is what David says the Law is meant to do, and he thanks God for it (Psalm 19:7-8).

It is a mark of spiritual maturity to thank God for His law, because when we express this gratitude, it means we understand how much we need all these benefits God’s Law gives. We don’t approach the Law as a way to make God love us, but we see it as something He has given to us because He already does (Psalm 19:13).

As we read this psalm, let us make it a prayer of thanks so that our gratitude for the Law of God will echo David’s words at the end: May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, our Rock and our Redeemer.

written by Russ Ramsey

Post Comments (59)

59 thoughts on "Your Instruction is Perfect"

  1. Jeremiah Nitz says:

    Being arrested by the prayerful plea from verses 11-14 whenever I’m about to err from the Way.

  2. Jeremiah Nitz says:

    His Word self proclaims God’s awesomeness not for self righteous needs but His Word includes us through the way of the Gospel in being invited back to Heaven out of His extreme love.

  3. Jeremiah Nitz says:

    After displaying the majesties of His creation, He places profound emphasis and the utmost priority of His Word being in us. Psalm 19 to me is the best attempt, if that were possible, to place the whole of the glory of God into a chapter. Even this chapter tells us His creation and Word are limitless.

  4. Jeremiah Nitz says:

    This chapter exposes our fragile frame in several ways. We are prone to needing to be fixed. We are a broken people and it’s reassuring to receive the Truth about the reasons and how His Word is the only remedy for our brokenness.

  5. Jeremiah Nitz says:

    I can only repeat the words of David after being so enamored by His precious creation and powerful Word.

    Above all else,
    “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”
    (Psalms‬ ‭19:14‬)

  6. Howard K says:

    God has given us these laws to live life in a happy and peaceful manner and not total misery. The laws from God should bring us peace and not restrict us from happiness.

  7. Howard K says:

    Gospel helps to understand then laws of God and also explains God’s everlasting forgiveness has gives us. God gave up his only Son to save us from sin and let us live with him eternally.

  8. Howard K says:

    By living more by God’s laws and eliminating my laws. God’s was is the righteous way and try to live more like Jesus Christ.

  9. Howard K says:

    Man is sinful and selfish and wants everything easy. If we had this we still would not be happy. If we live by the laws God has provided us we will be happy and remain happy because it is a way of life we can be proud of every day.

  10. Howard K says:

    God thank you for your laws and help me to live by them more and more each day. I am a sinful and unhappy man and ask for your forgiveness and I know if I live by your laws more and more each day I will be a much happier and peaceful man. I ask this in your Son’s name Jesus Christ.

  11. Andrew says:

    Actively trying today to remember him in everything that I do. Taking the time when I’m outside to look to the heavens and be reminded of who he is and what I should be doing to glorify him.

  12. Andrew says:

    God is always there. Regardless of what I’m going through I should be able to look to the sky and be reminded that he is always there and always talking to me. It’s up to me to listen to him and his law and not become self indulged.

  13. Andrew says:

    That men are sinful and can’t do it on they’re own. If we listen to, and follow, Gods law it will lead us to a righteous life.

  14. Mike Moore says:

    We are limited. We need God. We are under his hedge of protection and need His guidance to live in harmony.

  15. Mike Moore says:

    By meditating. By asking God for more grace so I can follow His commands. By wonder and pondering.

  16. Mike Moore says:

    He is complete. He sets the boundaries of life. Is law is for us

  17. Mike Moore says:

    The Gospel is of God, by God. It is and always was.

  18. Mike Moore says:

    I ask God for more belief. I ask God to protect me from my own sin.

  19. Daniel Monroe says:

    It truly is the greatest news of all and we are to be joyful and give thanks in all things.

  20. Daniel Monroe says:

    By praising His name no matter the circumstances and thanking Him for His will, sovereignty even when it may seem like it is not the best.

  21. Daniel Monroe says:

    That our instincts are not always correct. We have a tendency as broken creatures to sin and rebel against God and have evil in our hearts. We are in desperate need of His saving grace and His laws.

  22. Daniel Monroe says:

    He is perfect. His plan is perfect. He loves us so much that He can’t just leave us to our own devices, but rather as our Father, wants to give us boundaries to live within for our own good and ultimately for His glory.

  23. Daniel Monroe says:

    For Him to give me a grateful heart in all things.

  24. Grant Boatwright says:

    Shows how God loved us from the beginning by giving us a life giving law and then a representative of it through Christ.

  25. Grant Boatwright says:

    Lord give me the eyes to know this, the Spirit to understand it, the heart to share it, and the will to live it.

  26. Garrett says:

    God is perfect and loves us perfectly. He even provides guardrails to us – He knows we’re prone to wander – and provides the instructions we need to live life to the full.

  27. Garrett says:

    We’re prone to wander and prone to thinking we can take over God’s work. When we put ourselves in charge, we just make things worse for ourselves – but God only has our best in mind. His Word directs us to His best.

  28. Garrett says:

    He gives us the law to direct us on the right path and gives us Jesus to show us how to live like He wants is to live. We get simple teaching (the law), a perfect example (Jesus), and a teacher (the Holy Spirit)!

  29. Garrett says:

    God, thank you for perfect love and your Word. Thank you for putting me on paths to hidden treasure. Reveal in me where I’ve put myself in charge of your work. Thank you for wiping my slate clean each and every day. Thank you for your guiding Word. Show me how to live the life you want me to live.

  30. Garrett says:

    I will look into each area of my life where I’ve taken over God’s work and give it back to Him.

  31. Will H says:

    It re-enforces the thought, feeling and belief of a God that is everywhere all the time. God already knows that we will stray but gives us an opportunity to come back to where we are suppose to be.

  32. Will H says:

    We were made to love God, yet we were also made to be curious. God knew this when he created us, yet still loves us either way. The way a father loves his child. The child may rebel but the father must trust that his teaching and guidance will allow the child to grow. We are like children but there is a plan set out in front of us.

  33. Will H says:

    The Gospel is a plan, a set of directions. We, followers of God, are suppose to follow the laid out plan but will are tempted.

  34. Cameron Long says:

    Man is lost and wandering without God. Without laws to guide us we would be lost in our own foolishness, and would stumble everywhere we go.

  35. Cameron Long says:

    When Jesus came to fulfill the law, he meant that he came to be the sacrifice for us as well as the example of what leading a perfect law abiding life looks like. He shows what following the Laws of God will do for a man, which is making man content and wise with the Lord.

  36. Cameron Long says:

    I will not groan at the Laws God has set before me. I think my way is better, but when I observe the world around me, I can see the harmony that God’s Laws bring to the world. I will seek to follow His Laws and commandments, so that I will not wander in darkness, but stride in the light.

  37. Cameron Long says:

    He has a plan set for us and rules to guide us. He displays how his rules and laws keep everything in harmony around us. God cares enough for us that He would make rules that we might be able to find a right path to Him.

  38. Cameron Long says:

    I will pray that I diligently keep the Lord’s commands so that my path will be straight. I will pray that I will be thankful that God has set Laws for me because He has a grand plan, showing His caring compassion for us.

  39. Slade M says:

    That God loves us with his law. He put these laws down for us for a reason. And that through these laws he can love on us and through us. Also that God knows so much more than we could possibly imagine and the things that don’t make sense in the bible, don’t make sense because we do not know everything. God knows everything and he has done it for a reason.

  40. Slade M says:

    I will thank god for the law that he has so carefully set before us. He has done this because he loves us and there is no other bigger reason why.

  41. Slade M says:

    That man LOVES to break rules. We were born to break rules (sin). Without god’s law, we would be so very lost in our own sinful ways.

  42. Slade M says:

    That the gospel is here for a reason. The gospel could be viewed on as a whole set of laws that God has put before us.

  43. Slade M says:

    I will pray with boldness asking God the tough questions. That I may know the answer to. That God can break me down to build me up in his word with his law.

  44. Casey Link says:

    This teaches me that even in the times that I feel like God is silent, He is in fact not. Rather, it is my own blindness (or in this case, my own turning of a deaf ear) to how He IS speaking and HAS spoken.

    “Comparison is the thief of joy”

    Too often I see the intimate relationships of others and the Father, hearing of their apparent conversations or received words from the Spirit, and assume that it is more on the side of prophetic; that they are literally just so in tune with our Trinitarian God that He is speaking clearly and undeniably to them directly. Then I compare myself to that, and become envious, frustrated and even bitter towards them and God because I don’t have the same. I would guess however, that while there are indeed those individuals who are hearing prophetic (maybe even audible) words from God, the majority of those conversations with and messages from Him, are actually inspired thoughts and revelations through the ingesting of Scripture, and the revealing of His voice through His creation around them.

    Nate Kupish is a prime example of this.

    Rather than crossing my arms, stomping my foot and asking “where are you God?!? Why won’t you speak to me?” I should be shutting up, extending out my hands to receive, and listening for His voice where He has already spoken.

  45. Julian says:

    That man is suppose to love God by following his law.
    Man will make mistakes and wander away from Gods law but God knows this and always brings us back on the path of righteousness.

  46. Julian says:

    Gods commandment is pure

  47. Julian says:

    I need tp be better about following the 10 commandments! If i can not follow a mere 10 commandments what kind of man does that make me?

  48. Julian says:

    7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
    the testimony of the Lord is sure,
    making wise the simple;

    If we try our best to abide to God’s law we can always feel a sense of renewal and use his wisdom to make life more simple.

  49. Julian says:

    I still start tonight by praying for my girlfriend and her internship in D.C. I hope that God will provide her with the strength and wisdom to not get distracted from God’s path for her.

    I will pray for myself in that I can be a better man for her each and everyday throughout this long distance that we face.

  50. Furniture Ninja says:

    That He is awesome in power, in wisdom, in love, merciful and gracious. When I read this Psalm I am encouraged that pure goodness is powering all and endures the circuit of all time regardless of how chaotic and evil the times may seem. Also I am convicted because I know too often I have thrown my lot in with evil ignoring His Law. When David talks about being saved from presumptive sins I identify with that. But also I have identified with what he calls “great transgressions”. I am not innocent of either and I am crushed by this, until I remember who wrote this Psalm and remember the great transgressions he committed as well. If he could still be redeemed and used by God and hope to walk in pure light even before clear knowledge of Christ then surely, by His grace, so can I. I love that, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” This resonates with me and stirs my soul.

  51. Furniture Ninja says:

    With gratitude, confidence and thanksgiving.

  52. Furniture Ninja says:

    That it’s power reaches forward, backward, up and down thru every dimension known and unknown.

  53. Furniture Ninja says:

    We are prone to wander and purposely so, beyond the guardrail headlong into sin.

  54. Furniture Ninja says:

    From a position of thankfulness and trust knowing my needs have already been fully met and fearlessly proclaiming that God alone is True, Noble, Right, Pure, Lovely, Admirable, Excellent and Praiseworthy.

  55. Kevin Cox says:

    His ways are perfect, refreshing, renewing, bringing joy,. He gives us his laws because he loves us.

  56. Kevin Cox says:

    The gospel will change our views of His laws

  57. Kevin Cox says:

    We must trust the Lord’s words.

  58. Kevin Cox says:

    Please Lord do all you say you will through your word and law. Be like honey, revive, give me joy. Be my rock and redeemer

  59. Kevin Cox says:

    Lord help me truly believe and trust that your ways are good for my soul and my life.

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