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How can I let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to God (Psalm 19:14)?

words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Question: "How can I let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to God (Psalm 19:14)?"

Psalm 19, a psalm written by King David around 1000 BC, begins with a beautiful explanation of general revelation—that revealing result that creation has due to how God created it—and ends with a request that the meditations of David’s heart would be pleasing to God. Creation reveals the glory of God (Psalm 19:1), declares the works of His hands (verse 1), and does all of this without words (verse 3). The biblical God has created the universe and all it contains in such a way that it constantly glorifies Him through events such as the sun rising and setting. As Romans 1 states, “what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (verses 19–20).

God’s creative role rightfully gives Him all authority, as all things are His (Job 38—41). With this authority, God gave laws and instructions to His people within the Mosaic Covenant, which David references in Psalm 19:7–11. David describes the laws of the covenant as perfect or complete, the legal notice as sure, the Lord’s instructions as right, the Lord’s commandments as pure, and the judgments as true, righteous, and desirable. As David describes these various aspects of the Law of God, notice the synonymous nature of his expressions. Each is helping to work through the multiple facets of the relationship David has with the law and with God.

David then makes two requests of God: 1) that God would forgive him of hidden faults, and 2) that God would keep him from sins coming from arrogance and pride. David then concludes with the request that the meditations of his heart and words of his mouth would be pleasing to the Lord. David seems to be making a final request regarding his previous claims. Essentially, David is saying, “Please let those things I have previously meditated upon and then stated in this psalm be pleasing to you, Lord.”

The idea of meditation in Scripture points to filling the mind with thoughts of something or someone. To empty the mind, as some might think of meditation, is not the biblical principle. For example, in Psalm 63, David parallels the idea of thinking and meditating (verse 6). What David is presenting in Psalm 19 is a desire for God to be pleased with David’s thinking and, in turn, his speaking.

Paul mentions this idea of having words and thoughts pleasing to God multiple times in his writing. In Romans 12:2, Paul shows that the renewal of the mind is critical for transformation and the understanding of God’s will, which is good, well-pleasing, and perfect. He repeats this idea in Colossians 1:9–10 as he prays that the Colossians would be filled with the knowledge of God’s will so that they could then do that which is pleasing to God. He also tells Timothy that the Scriptures are God-breathed and profitable, making the man of God equipped to do every good work (2 Timothy 3:16–17). These good works are those that Christians were created anew in Christ to complete and are predestined by God (Ephesians 2:10). The mind must be filled with that which is pleasing to God so that the mouth, and other parts required for action, can also do what is pleasing to God.

As David states at the end of Psalm 19, we should desire for our thoughts or meditations to be pleasing to God by filling them with scriptural truth leading to actions that are also pleasing to Him.

Recommended Resource: Psalms: The Expositor's Bible Commentary by Longmann, Garland, & VanGemeren

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How can I let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to God (Psalm 19:14)?

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