the fear of the Lord is clean,
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
– Psalm 19:9-14
Verses 12&13 deal with the result of considering both natural and special revelation. David says, “Who can understand his errors?” We would say, “Who can add up all the times he has missed the boat?” This reaction to a consideration of revelation seems strange to the modern mind, but modern man, including Christian man, appears to be cocky and arrogant at times because he has not really seen God clearly. Not David! He stops to consider his own heart and is not pleased with what he finds there. He appears to find two areas of problem. One is “secret faults” which would be unknown (possibly even to himself), and the other is “presumptuous sins, those that are proud or high-handed – done knowingly or deliberately. The NIV seems a bit clearer to me in this place as it speaks of “hidden faults” and “wilful sins. He makes three requests regarding these sins: cleanse me (forgiveness), keep me back (restraint), and let them not have dominion over me (don’t allow them to dominate me – as they will surely do if left free to roam). He summarizes by saying, I want to be two things: Upright (up right to where I ought to be) and Innocent from great transgression (allowing sin to dominate my life).
And here it comes in the form of a request: the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart are his concerns. He wants to be clear and clean both inwardly and outwardly. He wants them to be acceptable in God’s sight, and he waxes eloquent in his description of God, “My strength,” and “My Redeemer.” Thus he identifies the One who can help where needed and the One who can solve the problems of the heart. And it is right in this section that the idea of a “New Year’s resolution” comes in. What better resolution than to ask God to make the words of our mouths and meditations of our hearts acceptable in His sight?. What it is that gets us into trouble? The words that come out of our mouths and the things that we dwell upon in our hearts.
David speaks for me as we enter 2015. “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.”
– Charles Wood, The Woodchuck Den
See part one of this post, here.