Psalms 19

Psalm 19

The Law of the Lord Is Perfect

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

19   The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
  Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
  There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
  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,
    which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
  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.
  The law of the LORD is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
  the testimony of the LORD is sure,
    making wise the simple;
  the precepts of the LORD are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
  the commandment of the LORD is pure,
    enlightening the eyes;
  the fear of the LORD is clean,
    enduring forever;
  the rules of the LORD are true,
    and righteous altogether.
  More to be desired are they than gold,
    even much fine gold;
  sweeter also than honey
    and drippings of the honeycomb.
  Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.
  Who can discern his errors?
    Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
  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.
  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 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

One of the issues addressed in this psalm is hidden sin. I’m not talking about sins you know about, but sin that you are ignorant of. The psalmist calls them “hidden faults.”

None of us can see our own errors; deliver me, LORD, from hidden faults! 13 Keep me safe, also, from willful sins; don’t let them rule over me. Then I shall be perfect and free from the evil of sin. 14 May my words and my thoughts be acceptable to you, O LORD, my refuge and my redeemer!

Psalms 19:12-14 GNB

The first question we need to answer revolves around whether or not we can be held accountable for hidden sins. This is a controversial subject. People often use the phrase “ignorance is bliss” just as much as “ignorance is no excuse.” Which is true? Furthermore, which is true according to Scripture?

The psalmist in chapter 19 had the desire to be protected from hidden faults. This is significant because it assumes that they will have an impact on our spiritual condition. At times, I personally struggle to pray for growth because I know God will be faithful to that prayer. Before growth can occur, both in the physical world as well as the spiritual realm, pruning must take place. As we all know, pruning is not an enjoyable process. So, by praying for “protection from hidden faults,” we are agreeing to cooperate with God as He brings those sins to the surface.

From there, we have a responsibility to turn from them. For some, this is exactly why they stay stagnant. They do not have the courage to go through the pruning process. The truth is, the pain of pruning is always grossly overshadowed by the joy of new growth – something the enemy would love to keep hidden from us.

Here is another solid point with regards to hidden sin. In Luke 23, Jesus asked God to “forgive them for they know not what they do.” This is a clear indication that ignorance is no excuse for sin. In fact, Romans 1 builds on this thought by assuring us that God’s truth is clearly seen (by both believer and unbeliever).

Ever since God created the world, his invisible qualities, both his eternal power and his divine nature, have been clearly seen; they are perceived in the things that God has made. So those people have no excuse at all!

Romans 1:20 GNB

If I’m honest, these answers are unsettling. We all know there are things in our hearts that Jesus wants to work on. They require us to dig deep into our own flaws in order to expose them. And this is exactly where the psalmist lands. He refuses to play the ignorance card. He confesses that he cannot see his own faults and is in desperate need of God to reveal and protect.

An enormous catalyst for my own spiritual growth has been the revelation and confession of my own hidden sins through my relationship with other trusted believers. We all need this in our lives. If you don’t have people who love you and are walking with you to help expose hidden sin and conform to the will of Christ, you are missing a vital component to your spiritual growth.

  1. Do you have a trustworthy person in your life that loves you enough to call out your blind spots? How do you typically respond? Are you receptive or hostile?
  2. Do you pray and ask God to grow you by revealing these hidden faults?

Jesus has interceded for your most hidden sins. He has prayed to the Father that He would forgive. Are you cooperating in that same vein to bring light into dark areas of your heart?

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