October 6, 2012

Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

This Psalm has three sections, each of which could stand on its own as beautiful and dearly loved. This first starts with a commentary on how nature proclaims its Creator. The second section, from verse 7, is in praise of the Word of God, and the third section, from verse 12, is a deeply moving prayer of a man who understands his own tendency to sin. That all of these would come from one person, David, much less be included in the same Psalm, is remarkable indeed. Solomon was celebrated for his wisdom, but his father was no slouch! David was certainly not the ignorant tribal warlord some people try to make him out to have been. He was a deep thinker who used his times of solitude well, whether he was watching over sheep or running for his life from king Saul. This first section of this Psalm obviously came from his time as a shepherd, looking at the magnificence of nature and worshiping its Creator. That awareness and attitude laid the foundation for all his wisdom and understanding. (Proverbs 9:10) David is one of many, but I think one of the best models for living presented in the Bible. His flaws are not hidden, which in itself is unusual for the literature of the age, but his commitment to God stands out above every other characteristic. We do well to think deeply about his life, and his words that are left to us.

I have had various role models in my life, of course starting with my father. Dr. Richard Campbell Pettigrew also comes to mind, although my admiration and imitation of him was more intellectual than otherwise. Growing up with the Bible as I did, I’ve always liked David in the Old Testament and the apostle John in the New. It is always a bit of a shock to me when someone indicates that they consider me a role model, but then I’ve already passed the age my father was when he died, so it shouldn’t be too surprising. Paul was very aware of our need for models, and he was open in calling for people to imitate him as he followed Christ. (1 Corinthians 4:16, 11:1) I do desire that people learn to love the Lord as I do, and more, but I am also aware that I am a very imperfect example. But then, so was David, so I shouldn’t complain!

Father, You knew our need for models, and that’s one reason You sent Your Son. Thank You. Help me be a good model indeed, not in my own strength, which is not up to it, but by Your grace and power. May all who look to me find You and rejoice to serve You with their whole hearts, as I do, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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