Quick to Hear and the 19:14 Model

Welcome to the latest article describing the development of the Quick to Hear approach to godly communication.  I had mentioned in the last article in the series that we would be taking a look at the guideline part of the new model, but I wanted to delay that article to introduce the revised model I will use as part of the Quick to Hear approach.

For this purpose, I want to take a very brief look at Psalm 19.  Psalm 19 is a wonderful little psalm of praise. David praises God for His revelation. This psalm also provides insight into our own communication, providing a guide for the Quick to Hear approach.

Revelation

Revelation is God’s communication to us. One way God communicates to us is through creation. David begins Psalm 19 with “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (v.1, ESV).  Note the use of the communication word, “The heavens declare…” The following 3 verses continue to suggest that God’s creation speaks.

  • (v.2) Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.
  • (v.3) There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.
  • (v.4) Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.

We see from Psalm 19 that communication is part of the very fabric of the created world.  God desires to communicate with those made in His image, so much so that even His creation communicates His divine attributes.

God’s Word

In verses 7-9, David then celebrates another way in which God communicates to man: His Word.  Characteristic of the parallelism common to Hebrew poetry, David uses several different words to refer to God’s Word: the law, the testimony, the precepts, the commandment, the fear, and the rules.  David informs us that God’s Word is perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, and true.  According to David’s inspired writing, it is also better than gold and sweeter than honey. This is the standard for communication that God sets for His people.

David’s Response

In awe of God’s communication, David responds by listing some of the benefits.  David confesses there is great reward in following the Word of God. He continues by praying the Lord’s help in dealing with the sin that seeks dominion over him.  He knows the Lord is an ever-present help, as He has also revealed this in His Word.

Then in the final verse of the Psalm, David provides a final response to the blessing of God’s revelation.  He offers the following supplication.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

In response to God’s wonderful communication to Him, David asks God’s assistance in making his own communication godly.  

19:14 Model

As I consider Psalm 19, particularly the last verse, I suggest that we offer the same prayer to God for our own communication.  Further, we can use this prayer as a general guide for our communication: one that is consistent with other biblical teaching and not unlike the approach I have taught for many years.  In this prayer, David identifies two aspects of his own life and communication that he wants, with God’s help, to be pleasing to Him. David identifies an overriding goal of our communication: it should be acceptable in the Lord’s sight.  This is not unlike the overarching goal we identified in a previous post: the glory of God, for glorifying God is pleasing to Him.

Now, let’s take a look at the two aspects of life and communication also mentioned by David:

  1. the words of my mouth
  2. the meditations of my heart

These represent the remaining two aspects of a biblically sound model for our communication.  What was “Say and Do” in the old model becomes “the words of my mouth” in the new model. We can easily include our behavior in this aspect of communication because we communicate a great deal with what we do, much like God communicates through His creative acts.  

What was “Think and Feel” in the old model becomes “the meditation of my heart” in the new model. The heart represents the center of the inner life of man: the soul. The meditations of the heart include the use of the heart, mind, and will. These three aspects of the inner life, along with listening, become the four steps we consider as part of making the meditations of our heart both effective for communication and pleasing to God.

I call this model the “19:14 Model” after the Psalm in which we find it.  See a comparison of the Smart Talk Model and 19:14 Model in the graphic below.  In future articles, we will look at applying this model as part of the Quick to Hear approach to make our communication effective and pleasing to the God who gave us language.

Practical Exercise

Next time, I’ll continue on the 19:14 Model and begin to show how all these parts work together. In the meantime, let’s apply what we discovered today.

In response to this lesson, I think we should all take some time to meditate on Psalm 19.  As we read and consider what our Lord is revealing to us in this psalm,  we should think about how it all should impact our communication with others.  Begin to consider how you might change the “words of your mouth” and “meditations of your heart” to make them acceptable to your God.

One thing we should consider as part of this is to be quick to hear.

rjm

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