Being radiant, it gives light to the eyes. This combination of ideas is easy for us to understand, both on the literal and metaphorical levels. Literally, an object that is radiant or gives off light makes vision possible. The sun does it, as well as other sources of light, such as candles or lamps or, in our case, light bulbs, chandeliers or flashlights. Metaphorically, anything that illumines a right life path enables us to walk in it without stumbling. This is the idea here, though it probably also has the idea of purging darkness out of us and thus enabling us to see clearly and without distortion. Psalm 119:105 embraces these ideas when it says, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path."

At first glance, a person might suppose that what I have said about the way David looked at the law is not very important, at least for us today. One might comment, "So what does it matter if David regarded the Scriptures as something to be obeyed rather than merely looking at them stylistically, as we do?" But what David said is not an unimportant matter, however, since what is said about the law in the second half of the psalm depends upon it. In other words, it is because the Bible is God's law, statutes, precepts, commands, fear and ordinances that it is perfect, trustworthy, right, radiant, pure and sure, which is what David says it is. And it is because it is like this that it can do the things David says it does do.

It would be hard to discover in all the Bible a more perfect example of Hebrew poetic parallelism than verses 7-9. There are six parallel statements in these verses, and each contains three elements which are likewise parallel. There are six terms for the written revelation, six adjectives to describe it, and six statements of what the Bible does.

In the first chapter of 2 Peter there are verses that have bearing on Psalm 19. Peter is an old man at this point (cf. v. 14), and he has been reflecting on the time he and two other disciples saw the Lord Jesus Christ transfigured before them on the mountain. It was a great experience. "We were eyewitnesses of his majesty," he says. They heard "the voice that came to him from heaven" (vv. 16, 18). Nevertheless, in spite of having seen the Lord's glory and having heard the very voice of God from heaven, saying, "This is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased," Peter says that there is an even greater witness to the truth. "We have the word of the prophets made more certain," is his testimony (v. 19). The Authorized Version of the Bible calls this witness a "more sure word of prophecy," more sure even than the voice from heaven.

In yesterday’s devotional we pointed out that in vv. 4b-6 David mentions the sun as a great example of how creation bears witness to the existence of God.