Friday, May 24, 2013

Psalm 19 - Gold and Honey

honeybee on lemon basil

Psalm 19

The Witness of Creation and Scripture
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.


1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.
4 Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
5 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
7 The law of the Lord is perfectreviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is suremaking wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the Lord are rightrejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pureenlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
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.

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We have been looking at Psalm 19.  This psalm starts with the Natural revelation of God.  It continues with the special revelation of God in His law.  We left off yesterday with Psalm 19:10.  This was not, perhaps, the best place to stop, but I ran out of steam and time.  The law of the Lord is more desired than gold and sweeter than honey.  The Hebrew word is נֹפֶת nopet.  This is not just a
a drop of honey it refers to a full comb of honey flowing down from the comb.

There really isn't a natural food that is much sweeter than honey. Honey has been used all over the world and in nearly every culture for thousands of years. In Ancient Egypt honey was used it as a form of currency, much like gold. No other sweetener can compete with the incredible taste of honey.  Honey is also a food with many health benefits.  Honey is packed with probiotics, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Honey naturally contains 18 amino acids. Honey gets its sweetness from the monosaccharides fructose and glucose. It is slightly sweeter than processed sugar.  Studies have shown that when taken daily, honey actually lowers serum cholesterol and does not spike blood sugar levels like refined sugar.  Honey has antibacterial properties that will prevent infection in minor cuts and abrasions. Honey is thick and when placed over the wound it will protect against bacteria and dirt entering a wound. Try placing a a little dab of honey onto your cut and cover it with a bandage. Honey may improve one's sleep and relaxation. A spoonful of honey before going to bed will slightly raise your insulin level. This allows tryptophan to more easily enter your brain, thus promoting sleep. Honey is good stuff.

Gold has long been a measure of one's wealth.  Many leaders of the ancient world measured their wealth in gold, as do some today. King Solomon was the wealthiest man that ever lived.
Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold. 1 Kings 10:14  That is equal to about 25 tons of gold each year.  This was no exaggeration of the wealth of Solomon.  In 923 B.C., Shoshenq I of Egypt waged a successful campaign against the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. He raided all of the gold from the Temple in Jerusalem, and all of the wealth he found in the Jewish Nations. Greek sources tell us that in about 334 B.C., Alexander the Great discovered a hoard of 1,180 tons of gold in Susa, Egypt.  It is likely that much of that gold was from the Temple built by Solomon.  Gold is and was, a mark of wealth.

Honey and gold is highly valued in this world. Many people desire to be rich. They want gold. Honey delights the taste buds and provides health and nourishment. The word of God is even more valuable and sweeter than gold and honey. The law of God is to be desired over the desire for gold.  The word of God is to be desired over the benefits of honey. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.  Psalm 19:11  The word of God is also a warning.  The law will tell you how to keep on the right path. God's word will tell you how to make the adjustments you need to make in your life to deal with all situations. The law will warn you away from things which might harm you.  The law serves a dual purpose.  It warns the wicked not to continue down the path of destruction, and it warns the believer not to turn away from the right path.

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Some seem to expect the Word of God to hit them like a jolt of adrenaline each time they read or study it. Although the “jolt” may hit us periodically, the benefits of the Word of God act more like vitamins. People who regularly take vitamins do so because of their long-term benefits, not because every time they swallow one of the pills, they feel new strength surging through their bodies. They have developed a habit of consistently taking vitamins because they have been told that, in the long haul, vitamin supplements are going to have a beneficial effect on their physical health, resistance to disease and, general well-being.

The same is true of reading the Bible. At times it will have a sudden and intense impact on us. However, the real value lies in the cumulative effects that long-term exposure to God’s Word will bring to our lives.

Illustrations for Biblical Preaching Edited by Michael P. Green

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I had planned for this to be the final blog on Psalm 19.  I was surprised to see that I had not included any of the items that I had expected to mention in my outline for this blog  I will put more time and thought into the next blog and attempt to finish this look at Psalm 19.




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