Psalm 19:11-14  By [the ordinances of the LORD] is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.  Who can discern his errors?  Forgive my hidden faults.  Keep your servant also from wilful sins; may they not rule over me.  Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

The ex-Pharisee, the Apostle Paul, was in prison in Roman awaiting execution.  I wonder if he had just read Psalm 19 in his morning devotions when he wrote these words to his young apprentice, Timothy: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

He would have been moved by King David’s reflection on how clearly God had revealed himself through Creation (verses 1-6) and through Scripture, his Written Word (7-13).  

He would have been moved by David’s personal reflection on the value and power of Scripture, as God’s ‘breathed-out’ truth, to show him the very best way to live (‘teaching’), to expose his ‘hidden’ (subconscious) sins that he would otherwise not even be aware of (‘rebuking’), and to get him back on the right path of joy and fulfilment (‘correcting’ and ‘training in righteousness’).

He would have been deeply moved by David’s humble realisation that just the witness of ‘Creation’, and the wisdom of Scripture, were not enough in themselves, but that he also needed God to reveal himself as a ‘Redeemer/Saviour’ – a firm ‘Rock’ in which he could take refuge and on which he could build his life and be ‘pleasing’ to his Lord.  

Perhaps this is why he had written earlier in his letter to Timothy: “So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner.  But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.  This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:8-10).

Let us take David’s and Paul’s words to heart, and let us “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus’ … and let us “do [our] best to present [ourselves] to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:1, 15).   

– Bruce Christian