Let’s turn to Psalm one hundred and nineteen for our study this evening beginning with verse one hundred and twenty-nine.
If I should testify to you tonight of all that the Lord has done in my life, of the way God has worked, the way God has revealed himself and the way God has helped me I would be giving to you a testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness. In the Old Testament we have the testimonies of the Lord, how God worked in his people, by his people and for his people. Thus in Psalm one hundred and nineteen when we talk about the testimonies of the Lord we are talking about the word of God that tells us of God’s faithfulness, God’s goodness, God’s blessing and God’s watchful care. It is testifying really of the character and the nature of God as it is manifested in the life of his people.
Thy testimonies are wonderful: (119:129).
When the psalmist says “Thy testimonies are wonderful” (119:129) he’s talking about all of these witnesses who have related how God has worked in their lives, in their problems, in the circumstances that they were facing and it’s just dealing with the faithfulness of God, the goodness of God and the blessings of God.
It is always really wonderful to hear how God has worked in a person’s life. I love it when people come up and they share the answers to prayer, the way god has worked, the way God has moved. It’s always a thrilling thing to hear the testimonies, truly they are wonderful those testimonies of God’s faithfulness and his goodness.
therefore doth my soul keep them (119:129).
That is I keep the relationship with God that allows Him that freedom of working in my life. In the little book of Jude, in the New Testament, verse twenty-one he said, “Keep yourselves in the love of God”. By that he means keep yourself in the place where God can do for you the things that he desires to do because he loves you so much. You see God, because he loves you, wants to manifest and demonstrate that love by doing good things for you. It is important that you keep yourself in that place where God can do those things in consistency with his nature of holiness and purity. So Jude tells us of those who failed to keep themselves in that place and thus they missed out on the blessings of God.
The children of Israel themselves failed to keep themselves in the love of God and therefore though God delivered them out of Egypt they perished in the wilderness. They didn’t keep themselves in that place where God could continue to do the things that he was wanting to do. He wanted to bring them into the Promise Land. He wanted to give to them this rich land where they could just enjoy, it would be their inheritance. That’s what he wanted for them but they didn’t come in, that is that generation that came out of Egypt, because of their unbelief. They were murmuring and complaining and ultimately their unbelief they were restricted from what God wanted to do. Many times we restrict what God wants to do. So the psalmist says it’s wonderful what you do God therefore I will keep myself in that place where you can do for me that which you desire to do because of your rich love for me.
The entrance of thy words giveth light;(119:130).
The opening of the door to the word of God gives understanding. That probably is an idea that would be more in keeping with the Hebrew language. It’s talking about how that the word of God sort of opens the door of my understanding of God and the ways of God, the purposes of God.
it giveth understanding unto the simple (119:130).
I qualify. God hasn’t chosen many wise and many noble and so forth but he has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, that which is nothing to really be an interesting witness to those that think they are something.
I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments (119:131).
Have you ever ran in a marathon or over any distance that you’ve run at least far enough that you can’t suck in enough air and you open your mouth and really pant to get all the oxygen that you can? That’s the picture that the psalmist is painting here. His desire is so great that I opened my mouth, I pant with an open mouth for the commandments of God. I long , my heart just yearns and longs after thy commandments.
It’s interesting that not everybody takes that attitude towards the commandments of God. There are many people who sort of shun the commandments of God, they look upon them as something that is restrictive, something that is there to keep me back from something that would be desirable or good for me. In reality the commandments of God are good for me. God has shown you oh man what is good and what the Lord requires of you and to obey the commandments of God is help, it is life. So the psalmist speaks of his longing for the commandments of God, his mouth open and panting as he seeks after God’s word.
Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name (119:132).
The testimonies of the Old Testament tell of how God looked upon those and blessed those who kept his word, who loved him. The psalmist is asking the Lord to do for hum as he has done for the others who have loved the name of the Lord.
Order my steps in the word: (119:133).
Let my life be guided by your truth. Let me walk in the path that you have established for my life, order my steps in thy word.
and let not any iniquity have dominion over me (119:133).
What an important prayer. If you want to just see the demonstration of the importance of that prayer look around at the world in which you live, you look around at the people with whom you associate at work or school and notice how many of them their lives are ruled by iniquity. It has dominion over them. Iniquity has as its characteristic that of taking control and if you give yourself over to iniquity it will take control of your life, it will begin to rule. So many people who just began some kind of iniquitous thing, maybe as a lark or maybe as a dare, found that soon they were trapped and they were victims because it was ruling over them. It’s a very legitimate prayer of the psalmist not to allow any iniquity to have dominion over him.
Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; (119:134-135).
That is, look with favor Lord upon my life.
and teach me thy statutes (119:135).
Then the psalmist speaks of his sorrow because men were not keeping the law of God. It grieves me to see the conditions of our nation today. I have sort of a mixed kind of an emotion: I’m grieved at the direction that our nation is going, forsaking the law of God but then I’m also angry that men could be so foolish as to forsake God, as to think that the nation can get along without God. Paul, writing to the Galatians said, “Foolish Galatians who hath bewitched you that you should so quickly turn from the truth, having begun in the spirit are you going to be made perfect in the flesh”. I look at the nation and I think “Oh foolish nation who hath bewitched you that you should so soon from the truth, having begun with the reliance upon God, having begun with the word of God as the guide”.
In the first public schools in the United States the Bible was the textbook. They taught the children in the first public schools out of the Bible. It was the textbook for the classrooms because every child had one and they were taught to read, they were taught their English lessons, they were taught out of the Bible. I think oh foolish nation who has bewitched you having begun with a trust in God and a reliance upon God you now think you can survive independent of God pushing God aside, trying to get God out of the nation? You think you can survive?
Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law (119:136).
Now I think he’s speaking in a hyperbole. It probably wasn’t that but he’s talking about tears and I’m sure an abundance of tears run down my eyes. In another place David speaks about his bed swimming in his tears, “I cried so much my bed was floating”. It is speaking of a heart that is really moved. I think we need to have a more sensitive heart towards issues of the spirit. We need to feel more keenly, more deeply, these issues where we really weep before God for the things that are happening.
The next section of the psalm is sort of devoted to the righteousness of God. We see that the psalmist begins it with a theme really.
Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments (119:137).
Now this is one area that Satan is constantly challenging, the righteous judgments of God. The word of God declares that God is going to punish the sinners with eternal separation from him, that they will experience that torment of being eternally separated from God. Is it fair that God would punish a man eternally who never had a real chance to know about Jesus Christ? Is it fair… when the Bible speaks of how God is going to judge in certain cases many people say, “Well that’s not fair” as though we have a real true value of fairness and justice. Throughout out the Bible it is affirmed the righteousness of God. That is in his judgments, in the way that he disposes of the issues of the cases.
God’s justice is righteous because of who God is. Our justice system is fraught with problems because we have men sitting on the judgment seat. Men can be influenced by men. There are certain people that you respect very highly, you respect their education, you respect their values and you are far more apt to listen to them then you are someone that you don’t respect. So though we don’t like it, we are a respecter of persons. If someone comes in all exuberant and outgoing driving a Mercedes we say, “what can I do for you” but if someone comes in all dirty and greasy and looks as mean as can be we say, “Can you take him outside and talk to him? Find out what he wants”. Makes us a respecter of persons, that’s our problem being men.
God has no respect for persons. You can’t snow God and you can’t influence God. He knows all of the facts. Many times when we sit in judgment we don’t know the facts. Talking to a person, it’s often times difficult to discern the truth because there are many people who are professional cons, even this gal here. Do we know that there is a real need or does she has a husband who is on drugs and he is forcing her to do that. Then the money won’t go for diapers and food but it will go for drugs. In giving to her will I be helping her to support a drug habit. That’s the problem, I don’t know the facts. I go up and talk to her and if they are on drugs they are the greatest con artists in the world. If you suggest that she might be using the money for drugs then she gets that sad, sorrowful, how could you think that look and makes you feel all guilty and horrible. You reach down and give her ten and she heads for the nearest peddler and gets some methamphetamines. How do you know? God does know. Everything is naked and open with him with whom have to do.
God judges according to all the facts because he knows all the facts. God judges according to the motives of the heart because he knows the motives of the heart, we don’t. We can sometimes guess at motives but many times we miss it a long way.
Kay and I were pastoring in Tucson years and years ago. We received a letter from the Bishop that there was a couple going around the country that were really con-artists and they were taking the churches. They were coming in and they usually had a story that their car broke down and they would use the names of the officials of the denomination very freely. They gave us the whole description of these people; the woman wore dark glasses and the whole description. So as sort of a warning because many churches had been taken so watch out.
This couple came to the door, she was wearing dark glasses and immediately the guy starts talking about how they had sort of started that church where we were pastoring in Tucson. They wanted to know if they could see it and started throwing around the names of the big shots of the denomination and I thought “Hey you don’t fool me. I know your game. I got a letter about you”. I was very curt and cold just waiting for the pitch. Sure enough “Our car broke down and we are on our way back to Los Angeles. Just out of town we had our car towed in and it took all of our money to fix our car. So we are going to be here in Tucson for a few days while they are repairing the car.” They wanted to know what time all the services were and all that “Awe come on you phonies let’s get off of it”. Yet they left without that pitch to give them a few dollars for the motel room. They didn’t give it so I thought these guys are going to work up for a big one.
Those that want a quick little bit give their pitch and they go and that’s the end of it. Now if they stay around for a while usually it’s going to be a bigger pitch. So Wednesday night when we had our Wednesday night service here they were but to my amazement some of the older people who have been in the church for years where going up and hugging them, greeting them. It turned out their story was true. They weren’t the ones I got in the letter. The guy got a job and did some painting so he could get enough money and move on. He never did ask for money. I felt so terrible for the way I treated him so cool. I am generally sort of a warm fellow but I really thought this guy was out to get me so I was very cold and rather indifferent to his story because I was waiting for the pitch. I apologized to him and showed him the letter that I had received. I said, “I really thought that this was who you were. That’s why I was rather cold. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me for not being more cordial, warm and all”.
This all happened because I don’t know everything. God knows everything, he knows what’s in a persons heart. Thus when God judges it is according to righteousness. Thus all the way through the Bible affirms to us that God is righteous in his judgments. That affirmation will be verified when at the great white throne judgment of God when we behold God’s final disposition of the cases that come before him. We will all just say, “That’s right on. Holy and just are thy judgments O Lord”. It’s a shame that we allow Satan sometimes to malign God by sort of declaring, hinting, inferring that God isn’t quite fair. God is totally just. So this portion is devoted to the righteousness of God in judgment.
Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful (119:138).
They are the right way. God, you have led us in the right, they are right, they are faithful. Notice in the previous verse of one hundred and thirty-six he was grieved, he wept because of the failure of the people to keep the law.
My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words (119:139).
So the psalmist had the same kind of mixed emotions that I have. There is a grieving because of peoples disobedience to the word of God, the law of God and yet there is also an anger.
Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. I am small and despised: yet do not I forget the precepts. Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, (119:140-142).
God is righteous. His righteousness is an everlasting righteousness. That is, he will always be right.
and thy law is the truth. Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights. The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: (119:142-144).
Here again he closes it with the righteousness of God’s testimonies, they go on forever.
give me understanding, and I shall live (119:144).
The next section is a cry unto the Lord.
I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD: I will keep thy statutes (119:145).
This is a vow he is making to God. Lord, I cried with my whole heart. Now hear me and in turn Lord I will keep thy statutes.
I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies (119:146).
The promises, the vows, that the psalmist is making as he is seeking God and as he wants God to hear and to help him. His promise to keep the statutes and testimonies.
I prevented (119:147).
That’s an Old English word that hasn’t made it’s way into modern English. In the book of first Thessalonians chapter four, as Paul is writing concerning our loved ones who have died. Really he was writing to the Thessalonians about their loved ones who had died. The Thessalonians were anticipating the Lords immediate return to establish and set up his kingdom. Some of the people in the church had already died and the people were sorrowing, they said, “Oh what a shame. Poor Joe isn’t going to have a chance to be a part of the glorious kingdom when Jesus comes and establishes his kingdom. Joe is going to miss out because he’s dead. Joe’s not going to be with us in the kingdom”. He died before the Lord came. Paul said,
“I want to write you concerning those that are asleep in Christ that you sorrow not as those who have no hope. For we know that if Jesus both died and rose again, those who are sleeping in Christ shall he bring with him when he comes. We who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent those which are asleep”.
The word prevent is better translated in modern English as we will not precede those which are asleep. In reality they have preceded us. You say not to weep or sorrow because they will be a part of the whole kingdom, the Lord is going to bring them with them when he comes. “We who remain to the coming aren’t going to precede them for the dead in Christ shall first”. They have preceded us.
The idea of preceding the dawning of the morning doesn’t really catch the full flavor of the Hebrew. Probably anticipated or I waited with anticipation for the dawning of the morning.
I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word. Mine eyes prevent [anticipated] the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word (119:147-148).
The dawning of the morning was always a time for prayer in the Hebrew culture. It was beginning the new day with a prayer unto the Lord thanking God for the new day. So as you lie there waiting for the dawning, you are waiting for the moment of the morning prayer offering to God the new day in the morning prayer. Then there were those times during the night of just calling upon God that I might meditate in thy word. That meditation in the night hours on the things of God and on the word of God.
Jet lag is a crazy, crazy thing that happens to you that I don’t understand but it happens to you. I used to always dread jet lag because your mind turns on at the weirdest times. You are so totally beat by seven o’clock in the evening you have a hard time even getting up out of the chair to go bed. You’re just sitting their and you’re just totally zonked. So you think “I should stay up later but I’m so tired I’m sure I’ll sleep forever”. You go into the deepest sleep, you die. Then you wake up and you’re wide awake and it’s still dark and you look over and it’s ten o’clock in the evening. Your mind just won’t turn off, you are awake as you could possibly be so you just lie there. I used to just dread that until I started using that time to meditate upon the Lord, using that time for prayer, using that time for something worthwhile. No longer do I dread jet lag, it’s a great time for meditation.
Mine eyes prevent [anticipated] the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word. Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: O LORD, quicken me according to thy judgment (119:148-149).
The prayer, this whole thing is a prayer. I cried to the Lord with my whole heart, I cried that the Lord would save me.
They draw neigh [near] that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law (119:150).
That’s a classic example of Hebrew poetry, the contrast. They draw near O Lord but they are far from thy law.
Thou art near, (119:151).
Notice my enemies are drawing near but you Lord are near.
Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth (119:151).
It’s good to know that the Lord is close by.
Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever (119:152).
God’s word is forever established. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away. My words will never pass away”. Psalm fifty-three begins with the prayer of “Consider my affliction and deliver me for I do not forget thy law”. Now the psalmist, as you noticed, is basing his relationship to God much on his promises, the vows that he is making to the Lord; “Save me and I shall keep thy testimonies, I will keep your statutes because I’ve hoped in your word and I do not forget thy law”
He is relating unto God on the basis of the law. This is something that we can all relate to because we have learned to relate to the authority figures in our life, our parents and all. Most of you were probably brought up, I was, on the basis of the reinforcement of good behavior. You do something good then you are praised and if you do something bad then you are spanked. That punishment for bad activity and that reward for good activity, so you learn that you should be good because you get the reward. Of course at Christmas time with Santa Clause and all that he’s making a list and checking it twice, he’s finding out who’s naughty or nice and who gets the bicycle and who gets the bundle of sticks. You’ve been good, you better watch out, you better not cry, better be good I’m telling you why, Santa Clause is coming.
That idea of the reward for good behavior. Because most of us were brought up in that kind of an environment we find it very easy to carry that over in our relationship with God. It’s important to note that the psalmist related to God according the law. We relate to God according to grace, God’s grace towards us. The blessings of God upon my life are not dependent upon my faithfulness in obedience or devotions but upon the grace and the goodness of God.
Relating to God on grace the word grace itself means undeserved or unmerited favors. In other words, I don’t earn the blessings of God. I do stay in the place where God could bless me. I expect the blessings of God because God has promised to bless me, not because I deserve them or am worthy of them or have done good things and so God is going to reward me; no. It’s because God loves me, he dotes on me and he’s just crazy about me and loves to do good things for me. I just stay in that place where God can do those wonderful things that he desires to do because of his tremendous love for me. I don’t have to promise God that I’m going to do better, I’m going to be good next week you just watch and see. It’s not predicated on that, it’s just predicated on the fact that God loves me and loves to do good things for me because I’m his child. So I expect to be blessed though more and more I realize how totally undeserving I am of those blessings that God has bestowed upon me.
I relate to God a little different than the psalmist. He was relating according to keeping thy law and keeping thy word. He’s relating on that basis of “I’ve been a good boy so be good to me”. Here I am living in this age of grace and relating to God in this new way.
Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law. Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word (119:153-154).
This particular section, the psalmist is praying that the Lord will really make him alive to the things of the spirit according to thy word. Notice though “thy law” in verse one hundred fifty-three, “thy word” in verse one hundred fifty-four, “thy statutes” at the end of one hundred and fifty-five, one hundred and fifty-six “thy tender mercies” and then “thy word” again in one hundred and fifty-eight and “thy lovingkindness” in one hundred and fifty-nine and “thy righteous judgments” in one hundred and sixty. God’s word, God’s law, God’s righteous judgment and God’s mercies, his statutes. He’s asking the Lord to make him alive according to his word. Then over in verse one hundred and fifty-six, “Quicken me according to thy judgments” and then finally, “Quicken me O Lord, according to thy lovingkindness” one hundred and fifty-nine. Make me alive Lord to the things of the spirit according to your law, according to your judgment and according to your lovingkindness.
Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes. Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD: quicken me [make me alive] according to thy judgments. Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies (119:155-157).
I’ve been persecuted yet Lord I’m hanging in there.
I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; (119:158).
Again, this ties back to the rivers of water running down my eyes because they don’t keep thy law, my zeal hath consumed me because my enemies have forgotten thy words.
I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word (119:158).
I’m stirred up within because of man casting aside the word of God, I’m grieved because of man’s disobedience thinking that he can get by without the word.
Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me [make me alive], O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness. Thy word is true from the beginning: (119:160).
His word is everlasting, it’s forever established but also from the beginning it is true.
and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever (119:160).
From the beginning on out to the end the word of God is true, it is faithful and you can rely upon it.
Isn’t it interesting that for the four thousand years from the beginning of the revelation of God through the word of himself to man that though they did write in many fields like biology, science and so forth (though it isn’t a scientific textbook), over all of this period of time there are no glaring contradictions between the facts of known science and the word of God? Through the years there have been supposed errors in the word by those men of science. The Bible has often come under the critical eye of the unbelievers and they will pick out some scripture and they will seek to use that scripture to show that it couldn’t be the word of God because it isn’t according to scientific evaluation or understanding of the universe as it is.
The Bible says that “The stars are innumerable”. God promised Abraham, as he looked up at the heavens that his descendents would be like the stars, so many that you couldn’t count them. Now for years the men of science scoffed at the word of God, those that were unbelievers because they said, “The Bible says you can’t count the stars”. Some of those ancient guys sat out all year long counting the stars. One of them counted six thousand and sixteen and his estimate was revised by another fellow who counted six thousand and sixty-four and so there was a discrepancy even among them how many stars there were. It was figured around the six thousand mark was fairly accurate until they got a telescope. The bigger the telescopes the more we realized that the Bible is true. So we accept no that you really couldn’t count the stars, we accept that.
They had to revise the science text books but they didn’t have to revise the Bible. You didn’t have to change the scriptures or explain that he was speaking in a poetic way but in reality there is six thousand seven hundred and twenty-five stars now. No, we know they are innumerable just like the Bible said.
Men said that the world was flat, the Bible said that the world was round. They thought that Columbus was going to go over the waterfall. I don’t know where the water was supposed to fall but he was going to go in it. The world was being held on Atlas and he was standing on a turtle holding up the world. The Bible said that God hung the world on nothing, it’s just hanging there in space but the people sort of scoffed at the Bible saying “We know that the poor people think we are hanging in space. It was Atlas holding up the world standing on that turtle”. As we come to a fuller understanding we realize that Atlas isn’t standing on a turtle holding up the world and that it really is hung out here in space.
After all of these years we don’t have to go back and change the scriptures to conform with what we have now discovered to be the true facts of science. There will come a day when we understand more fully the universe in which we live. We will realize that the Bible was right all the time, that man is a creation of God and he did not evolve. Have you noticed lately, no longer is the earth four billion years old, the latest articles are saying five billion to maybe twelve billion. Think of how fast the earth is aging. It was only one billion when I was in high-school. Constantly revising, why? We need more time to evolve to this present state of complexity. Add a few billion years here and there.
When I was pastoring in Tucson years ago I had a very learned professor who started attending the church. His name is Dr. Albrough, he had been a professor at the University of Minnesota. Dr Albrough took a very great interest in me as a young man for which I am thankful. He started tutoring me in several fields of knowledge and giving me books and then we would sit together in the evening for hours discussing. He sort of liked me and took me under his wing as a young man as he wanted to give a lot of input into, which he did, and I’m very thankful. His main subjects were ancient history and archeology. At that time the archeology class from the University of Arizona had just discovered some bones of an Indian that were the oldest bones that had ever been discovered in the western United States. They were dated according to their estimate of about ten thousand years. They didn’t really know that Indians had inhabited this area that long ago so they are revising everything.
I asked Dr. Albrough “They say ten thousand years but how do they know ten thousand years verses a thousand years or five thousand?” We do know that there can be variables in the carbon dating and all. He said, “Well lets say Chuck that you and I are out in an archeological expedition here and we are digging up some remains. If we find some Indian bones and we say that these are at least a thousand years old no paper is going to write about it because they found a lot of bones that are a thousand years old. Now if we say they are ten thousand years old no body will write about it because these guys said that they found some so if you say eight thousand years everyone will say so what. So your bones have got to be the oldest bones ever found if you’re going to get any newspaper print. To be newsworthy they have got to be the oldest. So we have to make them older than any bones that have yet been discovered so that we can get the publicity in the paper so we can get more money for our expedition here of digging. After all that’s where it is, in the dollars so we can continue the excavations and so we make them older than any bones ever discovered”. I said to him, “You mean that that’s how scientific that it is?” and he said “exactly”.
You’ll always notice that it’s the furthest star out that they ever discovered and it’s the furthest galaxy ever found. It’s got to be further than the last one or it doesn’t make news. It’s always the oldest ever discovered. This is unique, we made a unique discovery. You don’t want to discover something that’s blah, everybody else has already discovered that. Discovered a toad that’s a hundred years old so what. You’ve got to discover the oldest toad every discovered to make it newsworthy. My we didn’t know toads existed a hundred million years ago, interesting. It was surely a hundred years old, look at how gray the beard is. How did we get there?
“Thy word is true” that’s right. Don’t trust man’s word but you can trust the word of God. It’s true from the beginning and it’s going to endure forever. I’m not worried about any new discovery of science that’s going to totally discredit the Bible, I have no fear of that at all. The Bible will stand forever, the word of God will stand forever that’s is because it is the word of God. The theories of men will change and as the scientist say that the reason why it is science is because we can change. It was a theory but now it has be disproved so we can change. That is what makes us scientist, we can change our theory. I always thought that science was fact.
Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word (119:161).
Really, the more I read the word of God the more my heart stands in awe. I’m amazed at what this Bible teaches. I’m amazed at what you can learn about God and about yourself, about life, from reading the Bible. My heart stands in awe of the word of God.
I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil (119:162).
Has the word of God ever affected you that when you get so excited you find some scripture that just really lights you up? There are times when a scripture almost jumps out of the page at me. A truth of God just breaks across my heart and I get so excited I just want to call someone and tell them about it. Did you know that the Bible says this, Wow! It’s like finding a great treasure, like finding a diamond. The treasures that are there in the word of God that are just waiting to be discovered and waiting to be found.
I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love. Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments (119:163-164).
It is probably a wise thing to set out certain things to praise God for. I’m going to praise God because he’s good, I’m going to praise God because he sent his son to die for my sins and things that I want to praise God for. He praises God seven times everyday for God’s righteous judgments. That’s good, it set up that seven times every day I’m going to just thank God because of his righteous judgement.
Great peace have they which love thy law: (119:165).
King of peace, loving the law of God, walking in the law of God. You see you have peace with God and peace with God brings you peace with yourself and then it brings you peace with your brother. It’s impossible to be at peace with yourself and be at war with God.
and nothing shall offend them. LORD, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments. My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly (119:165-167).
Hoping in the salvation, doing the commandments, keeping the testimonies, the love of these things in your heart.
I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee (119:168).
God knows about you completely, all of my ways are before the Lord. Everything again is naked and open with him whom we have to do. God sees everything and God knows everything, there is nothing you can hide from God.
Interesting though, one hundred and sixty-one through one hundred and sixty-eight, there is not a prayer in it. In everyone of these sections there is a prayer with the exception of one other section maybe it’s one hundred and ninety-seven to one hundred and four but you look for it. That’s a good idea. Why should I do all your work? One other section that doesn’t have any prayer in it, these two sections have no prayers. It’s just sort of a rejoicing and a declaration of God in his word and goodness but no prayers. He goes right back into prayer in one hundred and sixty-nine, the next section begins with a prayer.
Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word. Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word (119:169-170).
The prayer first of all is for understanding according to the word, the second is deliverance according to the word.
My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes. My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness (119:171-172).
Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts (119:173).
Notice all of the “lets”, let my cry come, let my supplication come, let your hand help me and then let my soul live in verse one hundred and seventy-five.
I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; (119:174).
Again that panting, that yearning after the work of God in my life.
and thy law is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; (119:174-176).
Confession of human weakness, human frailty. The Bible says, “All we like sheep have gone astray”. We turned everyone of us to our own way. The psalmist confession of going astray like a lost sheep.
seek thy servant; (119:176).
Lord, seek after me. When I go astray seek after me Lord.
for I do not forget thy commandments (119:176).
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7209