“It’s soooooo boring!” Darryl yelled while he was stretching in the family room. Mum rushed in from the kitchen, “What’s wrong, my pumpkin?” “I don’t get this,” Darryl was fiddling with his new X-Box and staring at the little booklet on the carpet, “why do we have to memorise all this Scripture? It’s so hard. By the way, I don’t need it in my life, what I really care is having fun. It’s so much easier to deal with the X-Box than the old, outdated Bible!”
“Well, we all need to have a right direction in life. God’s Word gives us the right direction and how we could get there. If we don’t know our direction, we will get lost eventually. Just like before you play your new game, you need to know the rules and regulations so that you could play it well. This is the same as a life game; Bible is our rules and regulations for life!” Mum said.
Darryl protested, “OK, whatever, but I don’t want my friends to make fun of me. Peter, who is a really devoted Christian, quoted the Bible all the time and he was being mocked as a ‘Bible Thumper’. I don’t want to be in the same boat as him.”
Mum sat down on the carpet beside Darryl and explained patiently, “Look, my dear, God’s Word was described in the book of Psalm as better than fine gold and sweet honey. What do you think are the characteristics of them?”
“I guess they are supposed to be super-duper good, and they are both yellow!” Darryl pouted, “Mum, why do you have to make me think? I am not a philosopher; I just want to do something enjoyable without hurting my brain cells!”
“Darryl, you are not only hurting your brain cells, but also wasting your brain cells by not thinking and not using them. This is a pity! You know, in order to have fine gold, it needs to be purified by fire many, many times. So you really need to encounter tough times in life before you experience the true meaning of God’s Word and treasure it. Also, honey seems to be cold and plain by looking at the appearance, but after you taste it, it will impress your taste buds and warm your heart for quite a while; just like reading the Bible, it seems boring, but if you meditate on them and internalise and apply it in your life game, the outcome is unbelievable!”
“Yap, it sounds pretty cool, so I should have both gold and honey if I read my Bible, right?” Darryl winked at his Mum.
“You know what,” Mom winked back, “I am going to get you an interesting devotional Bible so that you can find gold and taste honey everyday. Remember, ‘Boredom is in the eye of the Beholder, Relevance is in the hand of the Receiver.’It’s the matter of how you perceive it and how you apply it!”
Darryl nodded and started to pick up the little booklet that he got on Sunday, on the front page was the big word – Our Daily Bread!!!!!
Your Initial Response
When was the last time that you found “fine gold and sweet honey” in God’s Word?
1The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
3They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.
4Yet 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.
5It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.
7The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
8The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
9The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.
10They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
11By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
12But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults.
13Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.
14May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:1–14 NIV)
1) “Eye” (“i=Eye”)
iEXP Bible Study Method
1 Draw a question mark at the place where you have difficulty of understanding.
2 Who is the poet (Ps. 19:1)?
3 What is meant by “the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course” (Ps. 19:5)?
4 Why did the poet employ pure gold and honey to describe God’s Word (Ps. 19:10)?
5 The poet used various Words to describe God’s Words; please number these Words in succession (Ps. 19:7-9).
6 Refer to other translations and come up with some new insights.
2) “Expound” (E)
iEXP Bible Study Method
1 What is the focal point of Psalm 19:1-6?
2 Why did the poet employ these Words to describe God’s Words (Ps. 19:7-9)?
3 What are functions of God’s Words (Ps. 19:7-9)?
4 See if you could find out how Psalm 19 is divided up naturally.
5 Why did the poet call God his “Rock” and “Redeemer” (Ps. 19:14)?
In the Old Testament, the name “God” is usually related to God’s creation and might, and the “Lord” (Yahweh) is a title to mention about the covenant that God made with humans. When the poet introduced the masterpiece of God’s creation, the word he used was “God” (Ps. 19:1, 4). When the poet introduced the relationship between God’s Word and His people, he changed to use “the Lord” (Yahweh). It appeared seven times (Ps. 19:7, 8, 9, 14).
A translation paraphrases “the glory of God’ as “the wonders of God’ (CEV). “The work of his hands,” that is to say, “His marvelous craftsmanship.” Whether it was day or night, when the poet lifted his head to stare at the heavens, he inexhaustibly witnessed God’s marvelous craftsmanship.
“Their voice” (NIV) can be translated as “Their line.” (NASB) “Their line” is the literal meaning and “Their voice” is a paraphrased edition of it. No matter it is day or night, the heavens silently proclaim God’s Words and knowledge, and it conveys that God is the Creator throughout the earth.
The poet used a pictorial language to describe the works of the sun. The sun not only has its private pavilion and it comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber; also, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. As the work of the sun is unceasing, people can feel the heat thereof. The sun silently preaches God’s message through its work.
Ps. 19:7 “The law of the Lord”
Broadly speaking, “the law” refers to any “instruction” that flows from the revelation of God as the basis for life and action. “Reviving” can be meant as “refreshing the soul” (YLT). “The law of the Lord” is perfect and it contains the function of healing to the whole person. It assures forgiveness, cleansing and by giving life to the godly.
Ps. 19:7 “The statutes of the Lord”
“The statute” is a synonym of “covenant” (cf. 25:10; 132:12, NIV). “The statutes of the Lord” are trustworthy, it keeps a person who obeys it away from sins, and this is the very wise decision that one makes in one’s life (Ps. 119: 36, 111, 129, 144).
Ps. 19:8 “The precepts of the Lord”
Apparently, “The precepts of the Lord” appears to be synonymous with “covenant” (103:18) and with the revelation of God (111:7). God expects His people to obey His precepts, and have happiness accordingly. This kind of internal happiness gives inner peace and tranquility (19:8; 119:45).
Ps. 19:8 “The commands of the Lord”
“The commands of the Lord” is a synonym of “law.” The first explanation is that, a person who obeys the pure commands of the Lord can have inner happiness, and the internal joy radiates through the eyes. The second explanation is that, the law is a lamp (Prov. 6:23) and it gives a person light or enlightenment. Apparently, the latter is a more reasonable explanation.
Ps. 19:9 “The fear of the Lord”
Most probably, “The fear of the Lord” is a synonym of “law.” The translation of New Living Translation: “Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever.”
Ps. 19:9 “The ordinances of the Lord”
“Ordinance” has appeared in the Hebrew Bible for about four hundred times. This word can be translated as justice or ordinance. The poet earnestly declares the decisions of God are accurate and just.
Poet highly regards God’s Words, and even great amount of pure gold cannot compare with its preciousness. Moreover, he had tasted the sweetness of God’s Words, and even fresh honey cannot be measured with its sweetness.
By connecting with God’s Words, the poet sees its preciousness. The poet has not only received warning but deeply understands that there is great reward for those who keep them (Ps. 19:11). God’s Word directly affects the inner world of the poet; it makes him reflect on it, and gives him self-understanding. Furthermore, David asked God to keep him from willful sins, and sinful powers may not bind him (Ps. 19:13). Finally, David called God his Rock (the Hebrews regard rock as a symbol of protection and refuge) and his Redeemer in his prayer. From here we see that he is closely connected with God.
God’s Revelation in the Universe (Ps. 19:1-6)
The Creator of the universe reveals Himself to all humankind, allowing humans to know that He is the Creator and Ruler of all things.
God’s Revelation in the Scripture (Ps. 19:7-10)
By reading God’s Words, the poet knows the attributes and functions of the Scripture. In simple terms, by means of using the Scripture, God introduces Himself to all humankind.
God’s Revelation in Human Hearts (Ps. 19:11-14)
In David’s prayer, he lets us know that he has acquired knowledge of God and he has also established a personal relationship with God. By this prayer that springs out of his inner world, we know that God is a believer’s Rock and Redeemer.
3) “Exercise” (X)
iEXP Bible Study Method
1 Pray for the Lord’s illumination and strength, so that we will find out our hidden faults (Ps. 19:12).
2 Regard highly God’s Word keeps one away from sins.
3 Memorise Ps. 19:13.
4 Resolve to enjoy reading the Bible and experience the sweetness of God’s Word (Ps. 19:10).
5 Resolve to stay away from sinning (Ps. 19:13).
6 Resolve to accept Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour (Ps. 19:14).
7 One who keeps God’s Word will have great reward.
8 In the Lord’s grace, we experience God as our Rock in our ministry.
9 Serve the Lord according to the biblical principles.
10 Grab the opportunity of sharing a scriptural verse that lately affected you in your fellowship with other believers.
4) “Proclaim” (P)
By applying the biblical truths to their lives, believers would experience God. When the Bible students experience God and His truths, they should follow the example of the early Christians of testifying to non-believers and believers boldly. By means of speech, we witness to non-believing friends and to edify believers alike. The fourth step of the iEXP Bible study is “Proclaim”.
iEXP Bible Study Method
After finished studying the text, try to apply the truths to your daily living, family life and church life, and pray that you will experience the truthfulness and power of God’s Word. Grab the opportunity to share your experience with non-believers and believers, in family altar, small groups and social gatherings, as a way of witnessing the power of the gospel to non-believers and edification of believers.