These two verses are a couple of my favorite. They make my favorite list because wrapped up in them is this beautiful pathway to life. At first glance or just a regular read through we might miss it, but if we take the time to look a little deeper the pathway is right there and actually was always there all along.
The first part of verse seven tells us that the law of the Lord is perfect. The Hebrew translation of “perfect” in this verse is tamim and it means complete. Then we see what the law does… it restores the soul. The Hebrew word for restoring is shub and it means to return, to turn back, convert, to refresh. Here lies the first step on to the path; the recognition that our soul needs restored.
The Hebrew word for soul is nephesh and it means a soul, living being, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion. The soul encompasses all that we are on the inside. The part of us that we might be able to decorate and disguise for others in intermediate intervals, but no matter how hard we try it’s brokenness reveals itself in our struggles to keep the thing under control. May it be the kids that won’t stop fighting, the referee that can’t seem to make right the call, the traffic on the way to work, or the person that finally answers the phone at the help desk after you have pressed one at least six times and been on hold for thirty-eight minutes and forty-two seconds. The reality of our broken soul reveals itself time and time again.
As the brokenness of our soul and our inability to control its appetite, desire, and emotions reveals itself to us we really only have three choices before us. So here lies our choices:
1) We blame others, our circumstances, and particular situations claiming that if they would change we would be fine.
2) We accept it as who we are, embrace it, feed it, and use it to get what we want regardless of who it hurts.
3) We acknowledge it, refuse to accept it, take responsibility for it and turn to the Lord, the One whose law is perfect and is able to restore our soul.
As I shared this particular verse with a group of young ladies yesterday I explained that usually when the Word of God uses “perfect” it means completes. It doesn’t mean perfect in the way that we use it as in a not-a-hair-out-of-place kind of way. I then used the illustration of a vase.
When God created us we were like a beautifully crafted vase, but then sin shattered us. Now we are fallen, broken, and scattered in pieces. However our God is able to take us and all our broken pieces and put them back together again. He is able to complete the vase. Now the once broken vase is complete, not perfect, but complete. The cracks and lines of the once broken vase remain, but it is once again complete.
We don’t yet stand before Him perfect as in not-a-hair-out-of-place as if we were never broken. One day we will, but not today beloved. Today others need to see that we once were broken but are now restored. We once were shattered and scattered but now we are complete. Others need to see this because the cracks allow the light to shine through.
When we skip ahead and we look at the last part of verse eight in Psalm 19 we see that the commandment of the Lord is pure and the result of it is that it enlightens the eyes. In Matthew 6:22-23 Jesus teaches us,
“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”
My husband just walked down the stairs and entered the room where one of our daughters is doing her school work. The first words out of his mouth was, “Do you like sittin’ in the dark?” Then he switches on the light. She hadn’t realized she was sitting in the dark until the light entered the room.
I’m sure you have experienced this as well. Possibly it’s a day when you did not have an overhead light on because the light from the sun streaming through the windows was more than enough for the room you were in. However, as the day went on and the sun went down your eyes began to acclimate to the darkness. It never even occurs to you to get up and turn on the light because you have slowly adjusted for the darkness. However, once you get up and walk into a lit room or someone else walks into the room and turns on the light, all of a sudden your eyes are flooded with light and you realize that you were sitting in the dark.
For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.
2 Corinthians 4:6-12
Yes, Psalm 19:7-8 gives us a beautiful pathway to life. It introduces us to the law, testimony, precepts, and commandment of the Lord. Through them and in Him we both realize our brokenness and receive our restoration. We both discover we are sittin’ in the dark and have the light flipped on.
We also come to realize that if we didn’t know we were sitting in the dark until the light came through, then others do not either. Jesus tells us that if our eyes our clear then we will be filled with light, but if our eyes are bad we will be filled with darkness, and if the light that you do have is actually darkness then how great is that darkness.
If we are looking through darkness then what we see is distorted versions of reality, but it IS our reality and it will remain our reality until the light allows us to see clearly. Sometimes that light flips on and it blinds us and we close and cover our eyes and blink like crazy until we can see and quickly adjust, but sometimes it takes just as long for our eyes to adjust to the light as it did for them to adjust to the dark.
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.
1 Timothy 1:12-16
To learn more about God’s Word and how it restores our soul, makes wise the simple, rejoices the heart, and enlightens our eyes, order your own copy of Finding True Joy Through a Study of Psalm 119…