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Psalm 19 - Testing the new gifts

Updated: Dec 16, 2021

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1 The heavens declare the glory of el, *

and the firmament shows his handiwork.

2 One day tells its tale to another, *

and one night imparts knowledge to another.

3 Although they have no words or language, *

and their voices are not heard,

4 Their sound has gone out into all lands, *

and their message to the ends of the world.

5 In the deep has he set a pavilion for the sun; *

it comes forth like a bridegroom out of his chamber;

it rejoices like a champion to run its course.

6 It goes forth from the uttermost edge of the heavens

and runs about to the end of it again; *

nothing is hidden from its burning heat.

7 The law of Yahweh is perfect

and revives the soul; *

the testimony of Yahweh is sure

and gives wisdom to the innocent.

8 The statutes of Yahweh are just

and rejoice the heart; *

the commandment of Yahweh is clear

and gives light to the eyes.

9 The fear of Yahweh is clean

and endures forever; *

the judgments of Yahweh are true

and righteous altogether.

10 More to be desired are they than gold,

more than much fine gold, *

sweeter far than honey,

than honey in the comb.

11 By them also is your servant enlightened, *

and in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can tell how often he offends? *

cleanse me from my secret faults.

13 Above all, keep your servant from presumptuous sins;

let them not get dominion over me; *

then shall I be whole and sound,

and innocent of a great offense.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my

heart be acceptable in your sight, *

Yahweh, my strength and my redeemer.


This is the Psalm that will be read aloud in unison or sung by a cantor on the third Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. It will follow a reading from the Book of Nehemiah, where was read the Book of Law to the people in Jerusalem. There we read, “And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” Those two will be read before that coming from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, where he wrote: “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues.” All will accompany the Gospel selection from Luke, where Jesus read in the synagogue in Nazareth from the scroll of Isaiah, who prophesied: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.”

I wrote about this prior, as it is a song of praise possible to be sung on the sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B. I wrote deeply about all these verses then; and, that commentary can be reviewed by clicking on this link. Because the meaning is still the same, I will not reinterpret the whole of this song of praise. Instead, I will address a few ideas that spring from this song, which makes it relative to the lessons of this third Sunday after the Epiphany.

Following Christmas, which should be a time when one reflects on a personal experience that says the soul of Jesus has resurrected within one’s own soul-body, becoming its ‘High Priest’ or “Lord,” the “Epiphany” becomes the “Appearance” of someone or something that divinely manifests before one, letting one know, “The Son of God is within you.” It is not just an “aha moment,” but a Spiritual Awakening that speaks strongly to one’s soul, saying, “You cannot return to what you were before.” The gifts of true Christmas never get old or wear out. The Spirit within, including the presence of Jesus reborn, means putting oneself to work for Yahweh, willingly, gleefully, and thankfully.

The first verse in this psalm of praise sings of that Amazement: “The heavens declare the glory of el.” The “heavens” is written in a plural number, not a singular “heaven.” The plural number says there are more than one “heaven.” This means the concept of “heaven” is not ‘outer space’ or the ‘sky above,’ as “the heavens” is reference to all ‘things’ spiritual. The constant ‘sprit’ in all human beings is their soul. So, one “heaven” equals one soul. That which now makes one soul gloriously recount is the presence of multiple “heavens” or spirits having been added to one’s single soul. Thus, “the heavens” are the Spirit of Yahweh and the soul of His Son Jesus all intermingling – all as one – with one’s soul. This is then the definition of an “el.”

The singularity of one “el” [the Hebrew word for “god,” not stating Yahweh] can now be seen as speaking of one “soul.” A soul alone is not an “el,” but a single soul that has become filled with the Spirit of Yahweh and reborn as His Son. Since this is in no way a limitation that can be placed on Yahweh, one “el” is the singularity of one soul who has become one of the many, which are collectively deemed Yahweh elohim. Thus, the use of “el” is singing of the “glory” one knows when one’s soul has been divinely elevated, so it has become a hand or extension of Yahweh.

This is the stuff that comes from an Epiphany.

In verses seven, eight, and nine, the bold type above makes it easy to see how twice in each verse David wrote of “Yahweh” having become one with his soul. In verse seven he sang: “The law of Yahweh is perfect and revives the soul; the testimony of Yahweh is sure and gives wisdom to the innocent.” In that, the “law of Yahweh” is His Covenant. That is the divine agreement made for a soul to marry Yahweh, bringing in His Spirit to one's soul. It is the Spirit that brings “perfection,” when the law is written on the walls of one’s heart … “soul.” The eternal “soul” – a spirit of one – becomes “revived” by having become washed clean of all past sins. The “testimony of Yahweh” is then the way a soul’s flesh now speaks the Word of Yahweh. This ability comes from the soul of Jesus, which is the gift that brings “wisdom” supernaturally. The once filthy with sin soul-flesh has now been washed in the blood of the Lamb of God, made “innocent” by his presence.

Verse eight then reaffirm this presence, where the “statutes of Yahweh and the “commandments of Yahweh” are welcomed and cherished. Verse nine then sings praise to the cleansing being relative to eternal salvation, where the only fear possible is one’s soul losing Yahweh and Jesus within it. True faith brings a lack of that fear, which then welcomes the peace and comfort of knowing Yahweh’s “judgment” has determined one as “righteous." That state of being can only be led by His Son's presence and guidance over a soul.

This is the stuff that comes from an Epiphany.

Verses ten through fourteen then sing praise about one’s ministry for Yahweh, as Jesus reborn. For the gift of eternal salvation, a soul made an “el” is ready to go forth and tell others of the beauty that comes from divine marriage between a soul to Yahweh. One is a willing “servant,” where serving Yahweh is the “reward.” Others become attracted to such an “el,” leading them to ask and receive questions to and from others, about sins and the removal of guilts. While an “el” will find itself amid the temptations and lures of an evil world, the protection of Jesus keeps one forever clean and calm. One speaks of the value of self-sacrifice, even if the world is ready to accommodate such an attitude, bringing forth slanders and persecutions. Nothing sways an “el” from its commitment in marriage.

This is the stuff that comes from an Epiphany.

As a song of praise to be sung aloud on the third Sunday after the Epiphany, it is important to see how this song also has applications in the ministry period recognized by the Church – the Ordinary after Pentecost ‘season.’ The after the Epiphany time period becomes now a reflection of when Jesus sent out the twelve, then the seventy, in internship. At all times the disciples walked as “Yahweh elohim,” each being in the name of Jesus, each being protected by the Spirit of divine marriage. Thus, this period after the Epiphany is when ministry is new and the delights of touching others positively is so fresh, it manifests as a youthful exuberance from wanting to please Yahweh. Still, some ‘powers’ might not be within one’s experience level, while just an 'intern.' In time, the exuberance will even out, while always remaining is an inner glow that never ceases. This period is when a soul is learning 'all the buttons on a new toy'; a time for experimentation. Still, it is a prophecy of that to come, once one learns to sit back and let Jesus run all the controls Spiritually.

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