Psalm 1 presents the blessed man as one who delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on his law, day and night (Ps 1:2). As we meditate on God’s law we will come to delight in God’s law. In Psalm 19:7-9, David gives us reason to meditate and delight in the law of the LORD. He identifies various characteristics and effects of God’s Word. In this note, I continue our series of reflections on Psalm 19:7-9 by considering verse 7b:
The testimony of the LORD is sure,
making wise the simple.
“The testimony of the LORD is sure.” This means it’s certain, solid, reliable, and dependable. It’s the solid ground on which the wise man builds his house. In the words of Charles Spurgeon, “What a blessing that in a world of uncertainties we have something sure to rest upon! We hasten from the quicksands of human speculations to the terra firma of Divine Revelation.”
“The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” In Scripture, wisdom refers to skill, competence, and expertise. A wise builder is a skilled builder, a competent builder, an expert builder (see Bezalel and Oholiab in Exodus 31, or Solomon in 1 Kings 3, 6-8). To be wise is to be skilled and competent. It’s knowing what to do or what to say in the various contexts, situations, and relationships of life. Moses reminds us that knowing and keeping God’s Word makes us wise: “See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples.” (Deut4:5-6)
“The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” Who are the simple? The book of Proverbs describes the simple as senseless and careless. The simple give little thought to what they say or do. The word translated simple literally means “to be open.” The simple are open-minded, which means they’re uncommitted. They lack conviction. God’s word makes wise the simple. It convicts and convinces, and when the simple submit to Scripture, they are made wise. The conviction of Scripture gives us confidence in Scripture. As we keep God’s Word and learn wisdom, our confidence in Scripture grows, so that we can declare with David, “the testimony of the LORD is sure.”