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Bible Search
To Know Him is to Love Him - Psalm 19:1-14
Singing the Songs of Zion
Three Ways That You Can Know God
Psalm 19:1-14
 
We are in the midst of high school and college graduations and that is always an exciting time for those who’ve made it and something of a relief for their caretakers!  There is this great sense of accomplishment, and at the same time this anxiousness about what comes next.
 
We’ve spent years accumulating knowledge and the world of information is so vast!  To think about the resources and opportunities that are offered to people today is overwhelming. 
 
And yet it occurs to me that for all the book learning and education that many receive, there is this vast emptiness when it comes to knowing God.  And to those of you who are graduating, in fact to all of us, I must tell you if you don’t know God, then you don’t know anything.
 
And for all the time you’ve spent preparing for life and your future without an intimate, personal knowledge of Him, you are destined to failure.  Even though you may perform on the world’s stage and make millions of dollars, ultimately you will come up a loser without God.
 
So what I want to offer you today is an opportunity to complete your education, or maybe begin your education. And for those of us who know God, I want to offer you a word of encouragement. And this is an extremely important lesson because by and large, nobody outside the church is helping you to know God. 
In fact, unless you’ve been protected in a very unique environment, chances are good that you’ve been belittled and ridiculed in your classroom, especially at the higher education level, because of your faith.  And that is especially true if you are a vocal, demonstrative, effective Christian who believes in an inspired and inerrant and authoritative Bible.
 
So this morning, as we continue to Sing the Songs of Zion, I want to direct your attention to Psalm 19 where we find a psalm that very well could have been a hit in the 1950’s. 
 
In fact, Phil Spector was a 17-year-old senior in high school when he wrote a song called “To Know Him is to Love Him” that went on to spend 3 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1958. 
 
He was inspired to write the song by a photograph of his father Ben's tombstone. Benjamin Spector was a steelworker who killed himself 9 years earlier, when Phil was 9 years old. After he died, Phil's mother moved the family from New York to Los Angeles.
 
His tombstone said "To have known him was to have loved him." Phil changed the tense of the epitaph on the tombstone and matched it to the music of "When the Red, Red Robin Goes Bob-Bob-Bobbin' Along."
 
Along with some high school friends, Phil put together The Teddy Bears (named after the Elvis Presley song), and wrote this so their new vocalist, Annette Kleinbard, would have something new to sing at a recording session.
 
The lyrics are especially reminiscent of what we find in Psalm 19: 
To know, know, know him is to love, love, love him
Just to see him smile, makes my life worthwhile
To know, know, know him is to love, love, love him
And I do
 
Psalm 19 was written by David as he thinks about the privilege of knowing God.  And in this psalm, he reminds his hearers there are three ways to know God. 
 
And as you are finding the text, I want to remind you the most important thing is to know God, not to know about God, but to know God. Why is that so important? 
 
Here’s why:  To know Him is to love Him.  If you truly know the God of this Bible, you will love Him. To know Him is to love Him. And if you truly love Him, you will trust Him. If you love somebody and know they love you, then you can trust them.
 
So to know God is to love Him. To love Him is to trust Him. Then, to trust Him is to obey Him. The reason people don’t obey God is because they don’t trust God. It’s most evident in churches through the giving people do. The reason people don’t tithe is because they don’t trust God.
 
The Bible is very clear in our responsibility to tithe.  God said to bring the tithe into the storehouse and if you don’t, you’re a thief.  And if you do, God will open
the window of heaven and bless you in immeasurable ways. 
 
Now if you really believe that, if you really trust that
God is telling you the truth, you'd tithe.  Those that tithe take God at His Word and trust Him. 
And if you trust Him, you’ll obey Him.  And the next thing is, if you obey Him, you'll be blessed. See, it’s a very simple process. 
 
To know Him is to love Him, to love Him is to trust Him, to trust Him is to obey Him and to obey Him is to be blessed.
 
Don't you want to be blessed? I want to be blessed.  Don’t you want your children and families to be blessed?  Those of you who are graduating and getting jobs or continuing your education, don’t you want to be blessed by God?  Sure you do! 
 
Well, it all begins with knowing God and Psalm 19 is a great psalm to consider if you want to know how to know God. So let’s see what it has to say to us about how to know God. 
 
David tells us here that God has revealed Himself to us in three mighty, glorious ways. First of all, if you want to know God, you can look to
 
  1.  The Sky
 
verses 1-6
 
David is reminding us that God has revealed Himself to us in creation.  Now I don’t know for sure when David wrote this Psalm, but in my mind’s eye I can see him as a little shepherd boy lying flat on his back looking up into the starry Judean sky as I used to do in my back yard, or maybe as a king walking on the palace roof top, or perhaps out on a battle with enemies camped all around, and David looked up and saw the skies. 
 
And as the brilliance of the stars poked holes in the blackness of the night, he was overwhelmed with the beauty of creation. And from a heart full of wonder, he said, “I am looking at the glory of God.”  The heavens spoke to him in silent witness of the glory and majesty of God as they declared His glory!
 
And by the inspiration of God he wrote down this wonderful sonnet, this beautiful poem we have in our Bibles. He saw God in the heavens and the heavens spoke to him.  So what do they tell us? Well, they tell us of God’s
 
  • Person
 
By that I mean they tell us that God exists.  The word “glory” means the outshining of God. In other words, if there is an outshining, there must be a source.  And all of God's creation reminds us that there is a God.  He really does exist.  You can't have a creation without having a Creator.
 
And you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out!  There is design and function and intelligence reflected in creation because God Himself created the heavens and the earth.
 
I was reading recently about some of Napoleon's soldiers who were arguing whether or not God existed. And some were saying that God existed and others were saying God didn't exist, and Napoleon, who was not particularly a spiritual man, pointed to the heavens and to the stars and he said, "Gentlemen before you deny the fact of God you'll have to get rid of those."
 
 
Now Napoleon may not have been a spiritual man, but he also wasn’t an idiot.  He, like David, looked to the heavens and saw there was a God. 
The heavens declare God's person and the heavens declare God's
 
  • Power
 
Verse 1b
 
What amazing power is demonstrated in this universe. If you want to try and grasp the enormity of this universe, think about the speed of light. 
 
Light travels at 186,282 miles per second.  That’s 299,792 kilometers per second if you’re thinking in metrics terms. Now folks that's moving on. Let me tell you how fast that is. A light moves from earth past the moon in 1.3 seconds. It can get to the sun in 8.3 minutes.  To get to the next nearest star to the sun would take 4.2 years.
 
And traveling at that same 186,282 miles a second, it could travel for ten billion years and still not reach the realm of the known universe and what lies on the other side of that only God knows.
 
And if that light beam can travel uninterrupted out in the fathomless, infinite reaches of space, it can travel to infinity and beyond because light just travels and travels.
 
And in that one example only we have a tiny demonstration of the power of God.  The heavens speak of God's person. The heavens speak of God's power, and then they speak of God's
 
  • Purpose
 
Verse 2
 
So what does that mean?  That tells, at a bare minimum that our universe is a universe of order. Night follows day and day follows night.  We will never have back to back nights or a period of sunshine followed by another period of sunshine without nightfall in between.  So what? 
 
Well that tells us God placed all of the planets in their orbits, including ours.  And God designed how our earth would revolving around our sun while at the same time spinning on its axis at just the right speed so that our 24 hour day would divide into daytime and nighttime. 
 
All of it works like perfect machinery. Aristotle said, "the beauty, the order and the harmony of the universe is but an expression of the will of God."  I chuckle when I hear scientists talking about the laws f nature.  Listen: there are no laws of nature. They are but the laws of God that nature obeys.
 
That’s why the heavens declare His glory.  They are reflections to us of His person, His power and His purpose.  And they declare His  
 
  • Presence
 
verses 3-6
 
Here we discover that God is omnipresent.  Any people in any country in any part of the world can look to the heavens and see the same God you and I see.   
 
The knowledge of God is everywhere and it speaks a universal language.  That’s why in Romans 1, Paul would declare that if a man doesn't believe in God he has no excuse.
 
Romans 1:19
 
A man is a fool who says there is no God. The entire universe has this stamp on it, "Made by God". The light and the warmth of the sun that is in the heavens speak of the presence of God.
 
Wouldn't you hate to be an atheist and look around at the beauty and the wonder of creation and not have anyone to thank for it and never being able to say, "Thank you God for the beauty that is revealed in your creation!”?
 
The knowledge of God is seen in the skies! That's one way you can know of God. But God didn’t stop there.   Not only can we look to the skies and know God, if you want to know God, you should look to His
 
  1. Scripture
 
Verse 7a
 
I like how David begins, and I thinkit is intentionl.  He says God’s Scripture is
 
  • perfect
 
David believed in the inerrancy of Holy Scripture. He believed that God gave the scriptures by inspiration and every syllable, every jot, every tittle, every sentence, every pen stroke is put there by the mind and the purpose of God.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God and God makes no mistakes, so the law of the Lord is perfect. And it converts the soul.
 
Verse 7b
 
There we see that the Scriptures are
 
  • powerful
 
How powerful, you ask?  Powerful enough to convert the soul.  And in this verse, we find a very important detai.  The heavens declare the glory of God, but the Scripture reveals the grace of God. 
 
The skies may convince you there is a God, but Scripture will convert you into a child of God. It’s powerful enough to change your life.  
 
Some of you may have a Phillips translation of the Bible.  J.B. Phillips gave us his translation a number of years ago and I like it and use it quite often.  He said when he started translating the scripture, he did not believe in the verbal plenary inspiration of the scripture.
 
But he said, as he continued to handle the scriptures and see the power in the word of God it changed him to believe in verbal plenary inspiration. In fact, he said, “Handling the scripture day after day, was like trying to rewire a house without pulling the main switch.”
 
There's so much power in the word of God it just overwhelmed him. It is perfect, it is powerful and it is
 
 
  • Plain
 
Verse 7b
 
Aren't you glad for that? It’s so plain that even a simple person can understand it. You don't have to be a Ph.D. to understand the Bible.  That's the wonderful thing about the word of the Lord.  It is so perfect and so complex and so intricate, and yet it is so plain that anyone who comes to it wanting to understand it, can. 
 
“It makes wise the simple.” The commands of the Lord are so clear and so plain. And notice it is
 
  • Pleasing
 
verse 8
 
Don't ever let the devil convince you that God's will and God's plan is hard or bad. Listen this book, is the book that brings joy sweeter than the honeycomb, it is the way that leads to life, it is the joy of saints of the past. 
 
Heroes of the faith have pillowed their heads upon the scripture as they walk through those chilly waters of death. How many martyrs have held this book to their bosom as they have been devoured by the flames? How many mothers as they have wept over their children have found help and hope and promises in the word of God?
 
How many grieving widows have been comforted at the graveside of the love of their life as they’ve slipped off into eternity and God has held them close to Himself through the promises of its pages? 
 
Thank God for this Word that's so pleasing, so comforting, so reassuring.  I wonder if you know the joy of getting in to the word of God.
 
Its words are so perfect and so powerful and so plain and so pleasing and verse 8 tells us they are
 
  • Pure
 
Verse 8b
 
Now there are all kinds of philosophies today and all kinds of ideas that are so wrong. But in the Bible you'll find no mixture of evil. You can trust the purity of the word of God. Someone has said there are over six thousand promises in the Bible. I don't know, I haven't counted them, but I will declare to you that not one of them will go unbroken. 
 
All of the promises of God are yea and amen in the Lord Jesus Christ. And that points us toward verse 9 where we discover God’s Word is
 
  • Permanent
 
Verse 9
 
That means that the scriptures are never out of date. They are never inappropriate.  They apply to every age and every circumstance. Take other books from centuries gone by and you’ll do well to even read them, much less understand them or fit them to today’s society and culture. 
 
Even the documents of our relatively young Untied States are a labor to read and understand. 
 
But the Word of God is permanent.  It speaks just as well, if not better now than it did 1,000 years ago.  Every day adds credibility to its message.  Every society benefits from its instruction.
 
The word of the Lord endures forever! “Heaven and Earth will pass away”, but, God said, “My word will not pass away.”
 
And because it's all of these other things, the word of the Lord is
 
  • Precious
 
Do you find God’s Word precious? The true believer is someone who values God’s word.  It’s more than a habit at bedtime.  It is the very essence of life.  I don't know that a man can truly love God without loving God's word. 
 
I wonder how many of us today could say what David said about God’s Word. How many of us today, believe and act and live as if the word of the Lord is more precious to us than gold.
 
It’s fairly easy to tell by how we respond simply to the teaching and preaching of it.  For some of us, what’s on TV is more precious than the Word of God.  For others, mowing the grass or relaxing at the lake is more valuable to us. 
 
But David said, “It’s sweeter than honey and more to be desired than fine gold”.  It’s precious to know God through His word, and notice, in verse 11, we see that it is
 
 
  • protective
 
verse 11a
 
If you want to stay out of trouble, if you want to learn how to live in this treacherous world, then study God’s Word.  The scriptures are given to warn you and to protect you.
 
And finally, they are
 
  • profitable
 
verse 11b
 
If you want to know how to be successful, how to be healthy, wealthy and wise, them live according to the Scriptures. 
 
Do you want to know God?  Then look to the skies.  They tell us of the glory of God. Look to the Scriptures.  They tell us of the grace of God.
 
And you can look to
 
 
  1. The Spirit
 
Now watch how this works. The spirit of God takes His Word in the sky, that is His creation, and His Word in the Scripture, that is His revelation, and God applies it to your heart, and that is salvation. 
 
Notice what David goes on to say as He continues this Psalm.
 
Verse 12
Notice how the psalm has changed.  David began by talking about God, but now he’s talking to God.  He’s not just talking about what God has done and how amazing He is.  Now he's speaking to God straight up. 
 
Verses 13-14
 
Does that not sound like salvation? He’s talking about knowing God through the Spirit and there are four things the Holy Spirit does in these verses to take the knowledge of God in creation and the knowledge of God in revelation and bring it home to your heart in salvation. 
 
First comes
 
  • conviction
 
verse 12a
 
You can't and I can't. There's not a one of us who can judge ourselves. We deceive ourselves.  We justify our behavior.  We compare ourselves to others.  Only the Spirit of God can put His finger on our sins.
 
And before we can truly know God as we ought to know God, we must be searched and convicted by the Holy Spirit of God. So why does he convict us? What is the purpose of conviction? Is it just to make us feel bad? No, it is to bring us to step number two, which is
 
  • Cleansing
 
Verse 12b
 
 
 
So how does cleansing take place?  The Holy Spirit of God takes the blood of Jesus Christ and allows us to confess our sin and helps us to be cleansed from our sin.  The go to passage is 1 John 1:7 where we are told, “the blood of Jesus Christ, God's son cleanses us from all sin." That's what the Spirit of God does. When he convicts us, He then takes the divine detergent of the blood of Jesus Christ and cleanses us of that sin.
 
But He’s not finished yet.  Just to be convicted and cleansed doesn’t complete the process.  And I’m afraid many people stop too short in their understanding of salvation.  Notice what David, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said next. 
 
Verse 13
 
When salvation is fully operational, there will not only be conviction and cleansing by the Spirit, we will be under the 
 
  • Control
 
Don't you want to live in liberty? Don't you want to live in victory? Don't you want the Holy Spirit of God to convict you, and cleanse you and control you so that you'll be living, walking in victory day by day?
How sad it is, how sad it is, when sin has dominion over a child of God. Sin shall not have dominion over you, my friend, when you walk in the convicting, cleansing, controlling power of the Spirit of God. The Spirit of the law of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. God forbid that we should be slaves to sin. That is not God's plan for you. God's plan for you is that you walk in liberty.
 
 
But the Spirit of God is still not finished.  To know God ultimately, not only is there the conviction of the Spirit, not only is there the cleansing of the Spirit, and then the control of the Spirit, but why all of this? Here it is friend, it brings you to the
 
  • Communion
 
of the Spirit
 
verse 14
 
This is where God intends us to live.  To walk with Him, to talk with Him, to commune with Him, to meditate with Him, that's what it's all about, to know God.
 
Well, there it is. You can know God and God wants you to know Him. But remember, to know him is to love Him, to love Him is to trust Him, to trust Him is to obey Him, to obey Him is to be blessed.
 
Let's pray.
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