You may recognize the phrase ”May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, Lord.” Perhaps you have heard a pastor pray this out loud just before s/he begins a sermon. When you hear this, you are actually hearing a quote from a Psalm. Personally, I don’t pray this before I preach … I silently pray, ”HELP ME, JESUS!” before I stand up. That is all I can muster in that moment of sheer panic. Luckily for me, Jesus is always nearby. Mind you, I still have preached some real clunkers, but I have yet to faint or throw up, so I call that a win.
Psalm 19 is a beautiful way for us to begin this week. The language is lush with images of heaven, sky, night, sun, and gladdened hearts.
Our hearts should be gladdened whenever we read Scripture! God calls us to meet him in his holy word and we always experience his presence there. Even when the word is harsh and convicting, we still feel the comfort of knowing that he heals the repentant heart and forgives all our sins when we respond in obedience to his Spirit.
Read this and imagine the words coming to life in your imagination. Then read it again for meaning and understanding. God’s law is as sweet as a honeycomb and his creation sings of his glory! Let us partake.
Psalm 19 (Common English Bible)
Heaven is declaring God’s glory;
the sky is proclaiming his handiwork.
2 One day gushes the news to the next,
and one night informs another what needs to be known.
3 Of course, there’s no speech, no words—
their voices can’t be heard—
4 but their sound extends throughout the world;
their words reach the ends of the earth.
God has made a tent in heaven for the sun.
5 The sun is like a groom
coming out of his honeymoon suite;
like a warrior, it thrills at running its course.
6 It rises in one end of the sky;
its circuit is complete at the other.
Nothing escapes its heat.
7 The Lord’s Instruction is perfect,
reviving one’s very being.
The Lord’s laws are faithful,
making naive people wise.
8 The Lord’s regulations are right,
gladdening the heart.
The Lord’s commands are pure,
giving light to the eyes.
9 Honoring the Lord is correct,
The Lord’s judgments are true.
All of these are righteous!
10 They are more desirable than gold—
than tons of pure gold!
They are sweeter than honey—
even dripping off the honeycomb!
11 No doubt about it:
your servant is enlightened by them;
there is great reward in keeping them.
12 But can anyone know
what they’ve accidentally done wrong?
Clear me of any unknown sin
13 and save your servant from willful sins.
Don’t let them rule me.
Then I’ll be completely blameless;
I’ll be innocent of great wrongdoing.
14 Let the words of my mouth
and the meditations of my heart
be pleasing to you,
Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
May your rock and your redeemer be in the forefront of everything you see, do, and say today.