Psalm 19 captures the keen nature of observation and the expressive depth of thinking that characterizes an articulate mind informed by an experienced, living faith. It comes as no surprise, then, that this psalm is generally attributed to the Shepherd Warrior King David, the “man after [God’s] own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). Many hail Psalm 19’s poetic artistry, vivid portrayals and succinct handling of the largest questions humanity asks: Is there a Creator God; and, if so, what does that mean for us?
David’s composition is most naturally organized into three sections:
Verses 1-6 address what can be known of God by observing what is readily apparent in nature.
Verses 7-11 discuss the self-disclosing testimony of God in His law, precepts, commands and judgments; they are more valuable to our true welfare than any amount of the finest gold.
Verses 12-14 make a deeply personal connection between God, revelation and the individual, where we realize the reality of our need, and petition for God’s mercy.
Psalm 19 can be considered a threefold invitation: to look up (to the cosmos, the Creation, verses 1-6), to look down (to the scriptures, verses 7-11), and to look inward (to one’s own heart, verses 12-14).
David makes crucial the link between what can be known experientially and how one responds to what is known. David writes in a manner that is both personal as well as experiential.