Let’s turn now in our Bibles to the one hundred and nineteenth psalm. This of course is the longest chapter in the Bible. It is in an essence the ABC’s of, you might say, the word of God. It is divided into twenty-two sections of eight verses each and at the heading of each section there is a Hebrew letter beginning with their A and going through the Hebrew alphabet. Each verse of the first eight verses of the Aleph begins with the Hebrew letter Aleph. Verses nine through sixteen begin with the Hebrew letter Beth and so on through the Hebrew alphabet. It is interesting that it goes in eight’s and in each group of eight it begins with the successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
It is said that the Hebrews taught the children the Hebrew alphabet by having them memorize this psalm. You never had it so good, “A is for apple, B is for banana”. The impact, of course, of that would be a thorough appreciation for the word of God. In all but three verses the word of God is mentioned as far as the statutes, the law, the commandments, the precepts, the ways and in the different forms the word of God is mentioned in all the three verses in the hundred and nineteenth psalm.
It is a psalm that extols the law of God, the judgements of God, the precepts of God, the commandments of God, the statutes of God and the ways of God. He has made known really the testimonies of God, all that he has made known unto his people. With that brief introduction we begin with the declaration of the blessedness.
BLESSED are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD (119:1).
Jesus began his Sermon on the Mount by talking about the blessed man, “Blessed is the man”. Here in the first psalm it begins with the accounting of “Blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly nor stands in the way of sinners” but interestingly enough “his delight is in the law of Lord”. Here again the blessedness of the man who observes the law of God, who walks in the law of the Lord, who seeks to live a pure life, a good life whose life is undefiled.
Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart (119:2).
It is said that Hebrew word “blessed” could be literally translated “Oh how happy is the man”. It is true that the law of God was intended to bring us into a relationship with God and that relationship with God has as its byproduct happiness and joy in our lives. John in writing his first epistles said
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you that you may have fellowship with us for truly our fellowship is with the Father and his son Jesus Christ. These things we write unto you that your joy may be full”.
So he speaks about that fullness of joy and he relates it to fellowship with God. The purpose of God giving us his law, his commandments, is to bring a man into fellowship with God. These are the rules. If you are to walk and live in fellowship with God these are the rules, this the way God is and this is the way God wants you to be. To live in fellowship with him and oneness with him you’ve got to come into harmony with him and this what God is: he is true, his is pure and he is holy thus he wants you to be true, he wants you to be fair, he wants you to be holy and he wants you to be righteous in order that you might enjoy that fellowship with him.
So the happiness of the man who is undefiled in the way. Have you ever noticed how much trouble sin can get you in? Have you noticed the mental turmoil that you go through when you’ve done something wrong and especially when you’ve been caught and you know you’re going to have to pay the consequences? You’re going to have to face up to what you’ve done. You’ve lied about somebody and word has gotten back to them that you lied about them and they’ve called and they want to meet you. Have you noticed how totally miserable an uncomfortable you are? You really don’t want to see them; you don’t want to have face up to what you’ve done. You know what you’ve did was wrong and you know you shouldn’t have said it and now you’ve got to face it. How miserable sin can make us? In fact, you wonder why people keep sinning when it’s consequence is such misery.
“Oh how happy are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Oh how happy are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart” (Psalm 119:1-2).
Notice we have the way of the Lord, the law of the Lord and now the testimonies of the Lord.
Over and over the scripture is exhorting us to make a wholehearted commitment unto God. The halfhearted commitment never wins. God wants a total commitment from us.
They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways (119:3).
The interesting thing about this is that the scripture acknowledges that “there are none of us that are righteous, no not one. If we say that we have no sin we deceive our self and the truth isn’t in us”. For the declaration that they also do no iniquity for they walk in his ways is an interesting statement because for those who are walking in the way of the Lord, in faith and trusting in God, in the sight of the Lord you do no iniquity. He sees your heart and your heart is holy towards him. It doesn’t mean that you don’t fail, we do fail. It does mean that God is not keeping a record of our failures.
In the thirty-second psalm David speaks of the happiness “Blessed is the man whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sin is covered. Oh how happy is the man to whom God does not impute iniquity”. That’s quite a statement. There are people that God does not keep a record of his iniquities, he doesn’t account iniquity to them. It doesn’t mean that they don’t, at times, commit iniquity but doesn’t account it against them. Paul picks this up in Romans chapter two talking of how David speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God does not impute iniquity and he tells us “that is the man who is trusting in Jesus Christ.
One of the tremendous benefits of trusting in Jesus Christ is that God is not keeping a list against you. God is not accounting iniquity against you, that is a very blessed and happy state. To realize that because my heart is totally towards him, I love him, I want to serve him and I want to do what is right, my spirit indeed is willing and God sees my spirit and he accounts that which is in my spirit. This is not an excuse for me to just say, “All right, no accounting of iniquity so let’s go out and part”. That’s not what it’s about. “How can we who are dead to sin live any longer therein?” It isn’t just a go out and do what you please kind of a thing, again it’s the heart, my heart is towards the Lord.
As Peter’s heart and spirit were willing, they were towards the Lord, when Peter said, “Lord though they slay me I’ll still serve you and I’ll never forsake you”. He meant that with all of his heart. When Jesus heard him say that he knew that he meant it with all of heart and yet he knew the weakness of Peter’s flesh. Jesus accepted the expression of his heart knowing that that was Peter’s heart but also knowing Peter’s flesh. He said,
“Peter, before the cock crows you will deny me three times. But let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God now believe also in me. In my father’s house there are many mansions and I’m going to prepare one for you and if I do I’ll come again and receive you unto myself that where I am there ye may be also”.
He knew the heart of Peter. He knows your heart. So this is tied together with those who seek him with a whole heart. They are the ones that God does not impute iniquity against. David experienced this blessedness as God forgave him his iniquity; God did not account that iniquity of David against him. Even as God forgives and cleanses us as our hearts are towards the Lord, as our hearts are following after Jesus Christ, we live in that blessed condition that God is not imputing our iniquities against us. John said,
“If we say we are in the light and we walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth but if we walk in the light as he is in the light then we have this fellowship with each other as the blood of Jesus Christ is continually cleansing us from all sin”.
God seeing my heart, knowing my spirit, knowing my heart is towards him and my desire is to walk after the spirit though I may fall and stumble, God does not impute that iniquity against me. I am cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Oh how happy is that man who has this kind of relationship with God.
Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently (119:4).
I am to really meditate upon the law of God. To understand it, to know it, to know those things that he requires and desires of me that I might keep his precepts diligently.
O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! (119:5).
If only this were my natural bent, if my natural bent wasn’t towards the rebellion against authority. If I could just do it naturally. I can’t keep the law of God naturally; it’s against my human nature. I can only keep the law of God supernaturally through the power of his Holy Spirit. We need that keeping power of the Spirit of God working in our lives. We try to do it in ourselves and in our flesh and we are just going to be faced with all kinds of misery. The power of God’s spirit working in me, transforming me, giving the abilities and the capacities, “Oh that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes” Psalm 119:5). Through the working of the Holy Spirit they are indeed.
Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments (119:6).
The scripture says “Cursed is the man who continueth not in the whole law to do all that is written therein”. To obtain a righteous standing before God by keeping the law is, well to put it bluntly, impossible. The law was not intended to make you righteous, the law was intended to show you your sin. It was intended to drive you to Jesus Christ. It was intended to bring you to the end of your self-efforts and say, “Oh God I can’t do it. Help”. Thus bringing you into that fellowship of God that comes when you cry out for God’s help.
The Pharisees made a terrible mistake in interpreting the law in such a way as it became the righteous standard by which they sought to be righteous. The law was never intended as a righteous standard. If righteousness could come by the law then Christ died in vain. It was never intended as a righteous standard, it was intended just as something to display to you how far short you’ve come of being what God would have you to be and to cause you to be driven to Jesus Christ as your only hope. My only hope of forgiveness, my only hope was standing before God and my only hope of fellowship with God lies in the work of Jesus Christ. The law was intended to drive me to that position. Interpreting the law in such a way as “I am able by great effort to fulfill it” totally distorts the purpose of the law to begin with. I twist the law; anytime I think I have kept the law I’ve only twisted the law so that I’ve kept my twisted interpretation.
I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgements (119:7).
The praising of the Lord with the uprightness of my heart comes as the result of learning his righteous judgements.
I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly (119:8).
So the Aleph. Of course these are hard to expound because every one of them is sort of a thought that can be developed in it’s self. We can spend the next year in the hundred and nineteenth psalm developing verse so we just can’t take that time.
Verse nine begins with a question.
Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? (119:9).
by taking heed thereto according to thy word (119:9).
That goes with verse eleven
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee (119:11).
The best defense that we have against the attacks and temptations of Satan is the word of God hidden in our hearts, saturating your life with the word of God. As you are saturated with God’s word, there is that power against sin. The word of God hidden in my heart gives me the best defense against the temptations of Satan.
Note when Satan tempted Christ “Why don’t you command this stone to be made bread?” Jesus said, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”. You see he answered the temptation with “It is written” the word of God that was hidden in his heart. Satan then used the word taking him to the pinnacle of the temple saying, “Why don’t you jump? The word says He will give his angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways; to bear thee up lest you dash your foot against the stone”. Jesus said, “It is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”. Again, answering the temptation with the word of God. Then when Satan promised him the kingdoms of the world if he would just bow down and worship him Jesus said, “It is written thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and him only”. So he answered temptation with the word.
The word of God hidden away in your heart becomes your best defense against the temptations that Satan brings along your path. The word will keep you from sin and sin will keep you from the word. I want my life to be cleansed; I want my sons to walk in purity, what’s the best way? Get them in the Word of God. “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?” (Psalm 119:9).
Jesus was talking to his disciples in John fifteen talking about bearing fruit and the Father’s desire and purpose for our lives that we bring forth fruit and that the fruit remains, abiding fruit. He says, “As our lives begin to bring forth fruit” he is the vine, we are the branches “every branch in me that bringeth forth fruit” he purgeth it. Watch out because so many people translate that pruning it. It’s not pruneth it, it’s purgeth it. I’ve heard a lot of pruning sermons about how the Lord prunes away from our lives, he cuts us off. They make good sermons but they are not Biblical. The word is purged which means to cleanse, washes it.
Even to the present day in the Valley of Elah that great grape growing area there is certain kind of grape that the big trunk of the grapevine lies on the ground. They’ll prop up the end of it with a rock but it just lies along the ground. These beautiful large green grapes, something like a Muscat only different in flavor and shape but closest to the musket, they grow in abundance in huge bunches but they are right on the ground. The big trunk just lies along the ground and the branches come off and these big clumps grow right on the ground. As they are starting to get ripe, the farmers will go out and they will take a bucket of water and wash these grapes that are lying on the ground. They pick them up and wash the dirt off of them that they might bring them to a better perfection, more fruit from the vine.
That is what Jesus was referring to. “Every branch in me that brings forth fruit” he washes it that it might bring forth more fruit. Then he said, “You are clean through the word that I have spoken unto you”. The glorious cleansing power of the Word of God within our lives as it cleanses us that we might bring forth more fruit. Here it is again.
With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments (119:10).
The reason why a person prays “Let me not wander from thy commandments” is because there is a human tendency to wander away. We don’t live the Christian life naturally, we live it supernaturally. Anytime we move away from the spirit, we get into trouble; the natural bent of man takes over.
Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes. With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches (119:12-14).
The accounting of the Lord is great treasures, great riches, rejoicing in the testimonies of God.
I will meditate (119:15).
Notice here I will declare or I have declared, I have rejoiced.
I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways (119:15).
We are living in a day and age of great broadness. Because of magazines, he media, newspapers, television and radio we have become a very broad people. We know a little bit about everything. We get it in condensed forms, information. This is the age of information, the information exchange. With all of these capacities of exchanging information we know a little bit about everything but we are not very deep because we don’t know much about anything. We are wrought but not deep.
In this state we have really lost the art of meditation. I want it in a five minute capsulated form, condense it, be brief, give me the essence and I like the information all processed, digested and given to me in the condensed form so I can get the grasp of it. I don’t need to know all the details; I just want to get the gist of the matter. That’s the way we treat information today. We don’t really stop to think things through, to meditate on things and yet the Word of God is something that cannot be grasped in a capsulated form. To really understand you have to meditate on it, mull over it and let the Spirit of God begin to minister to your heart the truth of God’s word.
I’m amazed at how much I can get out of a scripture when I just sit down and begin to meditate on it. I just sit down with it and read it over and over and over again, I think about it, I meditate on it, I begin to see facets of it that I never discovered it in the beginning and the thing just begins to unfold and open up. That comes from just meditation. Thus I will meditate in thy precepts and have respect unto thy ways.
I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word (119:16).
I have rejoice, I have declared, I will meditate, I will delight and I will not forget. So when you come to the word of God those are good things. To rejoice in the Word of God, to meditate in the Word of God, to delight yourself in the Word of God and don’t forget the Word.
The Gimel begins with a prayer.
Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word (119:17).
The prayer that God would deal bountifully with thy servant. If you’re going to ask why not ask that God would deal bountifully with you. “Lord, be stingy with me” that doesn’t make sense does it? You want God to work; you want God to do something, then go for it. Jesus said, “Ask that ye may receive that your joy may be full”. Japheth prayed “Blessed me O God, bless me indeed, enlarge my borders”. One of our problems is that narrowness that we have a tendency towards, that little circle of myself and those things that affect me. Japheth is praying “God enlarge my borders” let me be expanded in the borders of my life.
Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law (119:18).
This sort of goes along with the meditating and the precepts. As you meditate the Lord does open your eyes that you behold these wondrous things out of his law.
I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me (119:19).
That is the attitude that we should all have really, a stranger in the earth. Be careful if you find yourself at home in the world. The Bible speaks of Abraham turning from his home “looking for that city which hath foundation his maker and builder is God”. For he said that he was a stranger, he was a pilgrim, he was not at home in the world and he was looking for God’s city and so we strangers on the earth. We are sort of aliens in this planet that’s given over to Satan.
My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times (119:29).
Beautiful isn’t? My soul is just breaking because I long so much for the judgements of God at all times. God’s righteous judgement to come forth, how my soul breaks over some of the decisions that are being made that are so adverse to real righteousness, to true judgement.
Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments. Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies (119:21-22).
That would be the reproach of men and the contempt of men.
Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes (119:23).
One of the famous Bible commentators on the Old Testament, Franz Delich, took the opinion that this psalm was not written by David but written by a young man who was taken captive during a time of captivity because of this verse. That surely is not sufficient evidence, there is a couple of other verses where he talks about the king being opposed to him but it is not sufficient evidence. Most of the commentators believe that this is a psalm of David.
The answer to the things spoken against you is meditation of the statutes of God.
Being in a public place of prominence gives you exposure to a lot of different kinds of people and a lot of inventions of man’s minds concerning you. People speak as though they know you who you don’t even recognize. The office is constantly getting telephone calls from people who have applied for work or have gone elsewhere and say “I used to be on staff with Chuck Smith and we used to travel around together”. They’ll call and say to me, “Do you know so and so” and I say “Who? No I’ve never heard of them” “Well they said that they traveled with you”. People speak as though they have a relationship with me giving all kinds of false information with the credo that they traveled with me, knew me well or is a cousin of mine.
I’m amazed at the things that people have said, accusations and charges that have been made. I have made it a policy not to try to defend myself against the charges that have been level because the Lord has promised to be our defense. So “princes also did sit and speak against me” the psalmist said “but I’ll just meditate in thy statutes” not trying to defend yourself. I find that if I try to defend myself the Lord will let me but if I let him, he will defend me. That’s why I make endeavor to try to go around and quench all of the rumors and all of the stuff that goes around. I say, “Lord, you hear what they are saying, take care of it” and trust the Lord to be my defense and he is and he’s done a good job. There is no reason for me to interfere with the excellent work that he is doing.
Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors (119:24).
Two good things that the word of God is not only your delight but is your counselor. Your life is guided by the word of God.
My soul cleaveth unto the dust: (119:25).
The idea of “Dust thou art and dust thou shalt return” my soul is about ready to die.
Quicken thou me [make me alive] according to thy word (119:25).
The Word of God is alive and powerful the scripture says. We often hear quoted “The letter killeth but the spirit giveth life”. There are people when they hear of our ministry here at Calvary Chapel just studying the Bible, going straight through the Bible say, “The letter killeth, you need the spirit, you need to get out and start dancing in the isles. You need to have the spirit because the letter kills but the spirit gives light”. Read that in its context and you’ll find that it’s trying to keep the letter of the law that will condemn you to death. The law does condemn you to death. So the letter of the law would condemn all of you death, you’ve all been condemned to death by the law. “Cursed is the man who continueth not in the whole law to do all that is written therein”. If you keep the law and you violate at one point you’re guilty of all. Trying to keep the letter of the law is going to kill you. The Word of God itself though to say that it is dead or that it kills is a perversion. The Word of God is alive, it’s powerful and it’s sharper than a two edged sword. Make me alive according to thy word. God’s word brings life, not death.
I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes (119:26).
You’ve heard what I think about it but Lord teach me your ways.
Make me to understand the way of the precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works (119:27).
God help me to understand and I’ll share, I’ll talk of your wonderful works.
My soul melteth for heaviness: (119:28).
Again, we remember he spoke about his soul breaking over the longing that he had to see the righteous judgements at all times. Now his soul melts for heaviness.
strengthen thou me according unto thy word (119:28).
The strength that comes to us through the word of God in the midst of a trial, in the midst of hardship. Have you ever found that going through the scripture God will give you a word and God will give you a promise and you get strengthened, you get confidence, you get hope and faith is built and you come to a place of rest? The Word of God gives such strength in trying times and difficult times when our soul is really being pressed for heaviness. The Word of God is our strength.
Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously (119:29).
Again, take care of my bent towards lying and grant my thy law graciously.
I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me (119:30).
I chose to walk Lord in your truth. Each of us makes our choice where we are going to walk. I choose to serve the Lord or I choose not to serve the Lord and I choose to believe in Jesus Christ or I choose not to believe in Jesus Christ, it’s all a matter of choice. I choose to live by God’s way or I choose to walk in my way, it’s a matter of choice. It really is not a choice that is base upon an intellectual kind of a basis, it’s a choice that is made on the basis of I choose to believe or I choose not to believe. I make my choice and then all that follows are based upon the pre-suppositional position that I have taken.
So if you choose not to believe then you can create a lot of arguments of why you don’t believe. It isn’t that the arguments come first and thus because of this you don’t believe, it’s I want to believe and thus I create the arguments why I don’t want to believe. I made my choice and now I’m going to create those arguments to support the choice that I made or I choose to believe and when I choose to believe then I can find all of the proof that I need to substantiate the reasons why I believe. I can give a reason to every man for the hope that I have in me. I made the choice and then the other follows.
I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me. I have stuck unto thy testimonies: (119:30-31).
I like that idea of sticking to the testimonies.
O LORD, put me not to shame. I will run the way of they commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart (119:31-32).
Each one of these is a message in itself.
The next Hebrew letter, He.
Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end (119:33).
That is a little confidence in the flesh, which I tend to wave from. “Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and with your strength I will keep them unto the end”. I can by that. I am careful of those promises that are dependent upon me. I am too much like Peter when I talk about “Lord I will never” then look out because that’s confidence in the flesh. My confidence is in God, his ability to keep me and not in my ability to keep myself.
Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight (119:35).
So again the whole heart and delighting in the commandments of God, the necessity of understanding.
Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness (119:36).
Which is saying that my heart is inclined towards covetousness. From a child that is so, “mine” as a child grasps “that’s mine”. Our hearts are inclined towards covetousness. Let my heart be inclined rather Lord to your testimonies not to covetousness.
Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; (119:37).
There are so many things in life that have as an allurement to us that fulfillment, happiness and satisfaction. How many times our eyes are turned away towards these things that only lead to emptiness, to bitterness, to sorrow and to despair, they are empty. How many times a man’s eyes have been turned towards some young girl in the office and “A whorish woman can bring a man to a crust of bread”. His eyes turning towards this he begins to fantasize, she seems to understand him and his wife really doesn’t understand him, she’s always on his case but she, this little cutie, understands how wonderful I really am and how smart I am. She understands me. How many times there is the forsaking of the wife, the children and the family as the man pursues this fantasy of happiness, living happily ever after the interesting way that he discovered that he never really did love his wife and all of this kind of baloney that goes with it?
Turn away my eyes from beholding vanity [emptiness]; (119:37).
It’s not only in that it’s in every area were we think that material things can somehow bring happiness. Material things cannot bring you happiness, they bring emptiness.
Turn away my eyes from beholding [longing] vanity; and quicken thou [make me alive] in thy way. Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear [reverence]. Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good. Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me [make me alive] in thy righteousness (119:38-40).
That desire to be alive in the ways of the Lord, alive to the righteousness of God, longing after his precepts.
Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word (119:41).
Much of this is prayer, “Teach me O Lord the way of thy statutes, turn my eyes away, incline my heart, make me to go, give me understanding, establish thy word and turn away thy reproach” all of that is prayer. He continues with the prayers.
Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word. So shall I have where with to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word (119:41-42).
So I want God’s mercy and the salvation through the Word of God so that when people come and reproach me I can answer them for I trust in the word of God. The prayer.
And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments. So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts (119:43-45).
The prayer and this will be the consequence. If you will just not take your word of truth out of my mouth because I’ve hoped in your judgement, then I will keep your law continually. I will walk at liberty for I seek your precepts. An interesting thing, he speaks of desiring to keep the law of God that he might walk at liberty. You say, “That sounds like it’s totally incongruous. What do mean? I thought the law was bondage”. We hear so much today about freedom of free sex and free this and free that. A liberated society, a woman’s right to do with her body whatever she wants. It’s a liberated society. There is no one in more bondage than the person who is living in a liberated society.
There is no one who has more liberty than that one who walks according to the commandments of the Lord. There is true freedom. We talk about free moral agency but that to me is sort of a misnomer. Paul, speaking about those who are in sin said, “That we might take them from the captivity of the enemy who has taken them captive against there will”. So can you say a person who is sin is a really a free moral agent when Satan is holding them captive? No they are not free at all, they are bond by Satan’s power. Paul said “The God of this world has blinded their eyes that they cannot see the truth”.
They talk a lot about liberation but they have used their liberty in such a way as to bring themselves into terrible bondage. Can you say that the person who is an alcoholic is a truly liberated person? Can you say that the person who hooked on coke is a liberated person? No they are not really. They are living in the worst kind of slavery, they are held in that power and in times of rational thought they can see what it’s doing to them and yet they don’t have the power to stop. That’s not liberty that’s not freedom that’s bondage of the worst sort. You can’t say they are really free moral agents when they are bonded by Satan nor are they liberated when they are bond by Satan. It’s an illusion.
I have been truly liberated by Jesus Christ for the freedom is not in doing the things but in the capacity not to have to do the things, that’s liberty. I don’t have to do those things. I have the power not to do them. The sinner has not the power not to sin. He’s bond by sin, he can’t help himself. He often times tries to help himself, he often times struggles that which he is doing because he knows it is wrong but he doesn’t have the power not to do it and that isn’t freedom. So the person who lives by the law of God is not a person who is living in bondage, he is living a life of real freedom because he has the power now not to do those things that destroy him. The psalmist talks about “I will walk at liberty: for I seek your precepts” (Psalm 119:45).
I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed (119:46).
Paul said, “I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ who is the power of God unto salvation”. He witnessed of it before kings.
And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved (119:47).
Can you say that of the law of the Lord? “I love thy law O Lord” David said that. The law of the Lord is perfect. You should love him, converting the soul.
My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes (119:48).
Delight in the commandments, loving the commandments and meditating in the statutes are all wonderful things.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7206