Caution And Compensation

(Psalm 19:11)

Mike Johnson

In speaking about God’s commandments, Psalm 19:11 says, “Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.”

Here we are told God’s Word warns us.  A warning is usually associated with danger.  Parents, for example, warn their children when there is danger.  Similarly, the Scriptures warn us due to the perils of sin and error.  In Ezekiel 3:18-21, Ezekiel was told he must warn the wicked, and if he did not do so, the blood of the wicked would be upon his hands. Paul said (I Thess. 5:14) we must “warn the unruly.” In  Colossians 1:28, Paul said his preaching involved, ” …warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”  On one occasion, he made it clear he did not want his motives to be misunderstood saying to the Corinthians (I Cor. 4:14), “I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you.”  The Bible has many warning, and this is good as there are so many dangers.

The text also says, “in keeping them there is great reward.”  There is a sense in which those who are faithful may receive earthly rewards (Eph. 6:3, Mt. 6:33). More importantly, however, faithful Christians will receive the reward of heaven.  In Matthew 25:46, Jesus makes it clear that the righteous will have life eternal.  However, salvation is conditional. Revelation 22:14 says, “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.”

Also, notice the Psalmist refers to himself as a “servant” of God.  In the earlier verses, he speaks of a two-fold testimony: the testimony of creation (1-6) and the testimony of God’s written Word (7-11).  Contemplating this, he identifies himself as a “servant” (or slave) of God.  The word “servant” describes the proper relationship which should exist between a human being and his all powerful Creator.

We must heed the warning signs on the road to heaven so we can arrive at our heavenly destination.