SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 3 (EGW)

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Psalm 19

(Psalm 119:130.) Teach Lessons From the Heavens—God calls upon teachers to behold the heavens and study the works of God in nature. [Psalm 19:1-3 quoted.] Shall we not commit to memory the lessons nature teaches? Shall we not open the eyes of our senses; and take in the beautiful things of God? We would do well to read often the nineteenth psalm that we may understand how the Lord binds up His law with His created works.... 3BC 1143.6

We are to contemplate the wonderful works of God, and repeat the lessons learned from them to our children, that we may lead them to see His skill, His power, His grandeur in His created works. 3BC 1143.7

What a God is our God! He rules over His kingdom with diligence and care, and He has built a hedge—the ten commandments—about His subjects, to preserve them from transgression. In requiring obedience to the laws of His kingdom, God gives His people health and happiness, peace and joy. He teaches them that the perfection of character He requires can only be attained by becoming familiar with His Word. The psalmist declares, “The entrance of thy word giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple” (Manuscript 96, 1899). 3BC 1143.8

1-14. A Revelation of Higher Education—When the Son of man came among men, He brought the intelligence of heaven with Him; for He created the worlds and all things that are therein. Man's study of the sciences and nature, unaided by the divine instruction, falls short of the precious things Christ would have him learn in the things of the natural world. He fails to be instructed by the little things in nature, which teach large and important truths essential for the salvation of the soul. 3BC 1143.9

Obedience to natural laws is obedience to divine laws. Christ came to all as the God of nature. He came to reflect upon all the things of nature in their relative importance, the glory of heaven, to impress human minds with the glory of Him who created all things, to teach men to obey His voice, and impart the science of true education, which is the simplicity of true religion. [Psalm 19:1-6 quoted.] 3BC 1144.1

Then the psalmist connects the law of God in the natural world with the laws given to His created intelligences. [Psalm 19:7-14 quoted.] 3BC 1144.2

This psalm reveals that higher education which all must receive, or perish in their sins. Man alone is disobedient to the laws of Jehovah. When the Lord bids nature bear testimony to the things which He has made, instantly they witness to the glory of God. 3BC 1144.3

Christ represents the earthly things, that they may represent the spiritual. The parable of the sower and the seed has a lesson of the highest importance. As a lesson-book Christ has opened it before us to represent the spiritual sowing. The Lord calls attention to the things which He has created, and those things repeat the lessons of Christ. He bids the things of nature speak to the senses, that man may take heed to the voice of God therein. The things of nature speak eternal truths (Manuscript 28, 1898). 3BC 1144.4

1 (see EGW on Isaiah 40:26). Moon and Stars May Be Our Companions—The heavens may be to them [the youth] a study-book, from which they may learn lessons of intense interest. The moon and the stars may be their companions, speaking to them in the most eloquent language of the love of God (The Youth's Instructor, October 25, 1900). 3BC 1144.5

Natural Science, God's Storehouse—If the follower of Christ will believe His Word and practice it, there is no science in the natural world but he will be able to grasp and appropriate, nothing but will furnish him means by which he can impart truth to others. Natural science is God's storehouse from which every student in the school of Christ may draw. The ways of God in natural philosophy, and the mysteries connected with His dealings with man, are a treasury from which all may draw (Manuscript 95, 1898). 3BC 1144.6

Science and Religion Cannot Be Divorced—Nature is full of lessons of the love of God. Rightly understood, these lessons lead to the Creator. They point from nature to nature's God, teaching those simple, holy truths which cleanse the mind, bringing it into close touch with God. These lessons emphasize the truth that science and religion cannot be divorced. 3BC 1144.7

Christ came to this earth to teach men the mysteries of the kingdom of God. But men could not by human reasoning understand His lessons. Man's wisdom cannot originate the science which is divine.... When man is reconciled to God, nature speaks to him in words of heavenly wisdom, bearing testimony to the eternal truth of God's Word. As Christ tells us the meaning of the things in nature, the science of true religion flashes forth, explaining the relation of the law of God to the natural and spiritual world (Manuscript 67, 1901). 3BC 1144.8

1-3 (see EGW on Psalm 147:4). Study of Creation Lifts the Mind—If the frivolous and pleasure-seeking will allow their minds to dwell upon the real and the true, the heart cannot but be filled with reverence, and they will adore the God of nature. The study of God's character as revealed in His created works will open a field of thought that will draw the mind away from low, enervating pleasures. The knowledge of God's works and ways we can only begin to obtain in this world; the study will be continued throughout eternity (The Youth's Instructor, May 6, 1897). 3BC 1144.9

1-6. Forces of Nature Are God's Ministers—[Psalm 19:1-6 quoted.] God encourages us to contemplate His works in the natural world. He desires that we shall turn our mind from the study of the artificial to the natural. We shall understand this better as we lift up our eyes to the hills of God, and contemplate the works which His own hands have created. They are God's work. His hand has molded the mountains and balances them in their position, that they shall not be moved except at His command. The wind, the sun, the rain, the snow, and the ice, are all His ministers to do His will (Manuscript 16, 1897). 3BC 1144.10

14 (Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 12:34-37; Philippians 4:8). Controlled, Noble Thinking Acceptable to God—[Psalm 19:14 quoted.] As God works upon the heart by His Holy Spirit, man must cooperate with Him. The thoughts must be bound about, restricted, withdrawn from branching out and contemplating things that will only weaken and defile the soul. The thoughts must be pure, the meditations of the heart must be clean, if the words of the mouth are to be words acceptable to heaven, and helpful to your associates....[Matthew 12:34-37 quoted.] 3BC 1145.1

In the sermon on the mount, Christ presented before His disciples the far-reaching principles of the law of God. He taught His hearers that the law was transgressed by the thoughts before the evil desire was carried out in actual commission. We are under obligation to control our thoughts, and to bring them into subjection to the law of God. The noble powers of the mind have been given to us by the Lord, that we may employ them in contemplating heavenly things. God has made abundant provision that the soul may make continual progression in the divine life. He has placed on every hand agencies to aid our development in knowledge and virtue; and yet, how little these agencies are appreciated or enjoyed! How often the mind is given to the contemplation of that which is earthly, sensual, and base! We give our time and thought to the trivial and commonplace things of the world, and neglect the great interests that pertain to eternal life. The noble powers of the mind are dwarfed and enfeebled by lack of exercise on themes that are worthy of their concentration. [Philippians 4:8 quoted.] 3BC 1145.2

Let every one who desires to be a partaker of the divine nature appreciate the fact that he must escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. There must be a constant, earnest struggling of the soul against the evil imaginings of the mind. There must be a steadfast resistance of temptation to sin in thought or act. The soul must be kept from every stain, through faith in Him who is able to keep you from falling. We should meditate upon the scriptures, thinking soberly and candidly upon the things that pertain to our eternal salvation. The infinite mercy and love of Jesus, the sacrifice made in our behalf, call for most serious and solemn reflection. We should dwell upon the character of our dear Redeemer and Intercessor. We should seek to comprehend the meaning of the plan of salvation. We should meditate upon the mission of Him who came to save His people from their sins. By constantly contemplating heavenly themes, our faith and love will grow stronger. Our prayers will be more and more acceptable to God, because they will be more and more mixed with faith and love. They will be more intelligent and fervent. There will be more constant confidence in Jesus, and you will have a daily, living experience in the willingness and power of Christ to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. 3BC 1145.3

By beholding we are to become changed, and as we meditate upon the perfections of our divine Model, we shall desire to become wholly transformed and renewed in the image of His purity. There will be a hungering and thirsting of soul to be made like Him whom we adore. The more our thoughts are upon Christ, the more we shall speak of Him to others, and represent Him to the world. We are called to come out and be separate from the world, that we may be the sons and daughters of the Most High; and we are under sacred obligation to glorify God, as His children upon the earth. It is essential that the mind should be stayed upon Christ, that we may hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto us at the revelation of Jesus Christ from heaven (The Review and Herald, June 12, 1888). 3BC 1145.4