Lucia's Blog: THE RICHES AND GLORIES OF GOD'S LAW, PSALM 119 – PART THREE
Google Logo
Image Caption goes here.

Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

THE RICHES AND GLORIES OF GOD'S LAW, PSALM 119 – PART THREE

  "Let my lips utter praise; For thou teachest me thy statutes.   Let my tongue sing of thy word; For all thy commandments are righteousness."  
Psalm 119:171-172



Q.  PE:  God's Wonderful Word Directs Our Steps.

  • Obeying God's Wonderful Testimonies.  (verse 129)
"129 Thy testimonies are wonderful; Therefore doth my soul keep them." 

"Thy testimonies are wonderful."  The Psalmist is once more expressing his awe and delight toward the Word of God on an ongoing basis.  Jesus is called Wonderful, and so are the uttered Words of God. God's Word and Testimonies are truly amazing!

"Therefore doth my soul keep them."  His enduring and abiding delight in God's Word produced in him a significant obedience.  An obedience that was in his inner soul. 
  • Receiving the Light Giving Word.  (verses 130-131)
"130 The opening of thy words giveth light; It giveth understanding unto the simple.  131 I opened wide my mouth, and panted; For I longed for thy commandments."

"The opening of thy words giveth light."  The Psalmist repeats the thought that God's Word brings light to him.  It gave him a clearer vision, clarity.  Often the Word of God does not penetrate the heart and mind of men because of their prejudices and indifferences.  They refuse to let the Word of God enlighten their hearts.

"It giveth understanding unto the simple."  God's Word is easy, clear and life giving to the simple who is thirsty for understanding and knowledge.  One does not need to be intelligent or a genius to learn and understand His Word.  Truly those whose hearts are simple are the ones who frequently are despised and ridiculed but God does not forget them.  The simple can draw nearer to God's Word with confidence, awaiting God to give them understanding.

"I opened wide my mouth, and panted."  Since the Word of God is clear enough for the simple, the Psalmist longed for God's Word like a hungry and thirsty animal who pants after water.  The word "opened" implies an animal's urgent eagerness of thirst and hunger.

"For I longed for thy commandments."  The Psalmist longed to know, keep and teach God's Commandments. 
  • Four Petitions Rooted in the Word of God.  (verses 132-135)
"132 Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me, As thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.  133 Establish my footsteps in thy word; And let not any iniquity have dominion over me.  134 Redeem me from the oppression of man: So will I observe thy precepts.  135 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; And teach me thy statutes."

"Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me."  The Psalmist is actually making two petitions:  For God to look and to be merciful.  He was confident God was going to answer him since He loves those who love Him.  This is God's way of looking upon them (turning His attention) and being merciful to those who love Him and His Word. 

"As thou usest to do unto those that love thy name."  To love God's name means:  To love the person of God, love His character, His revealed Word and love His glory. 

"Establish my footsteps in thy word; And let not any iniquity have dominion over me."  He asked for God's mercy that he might walk uprightly before God.  His primary desire was to not let sin have dominion over him.  Many today direct their steps in anything but the Word of God.  Steps of:  feelings, lusts, friends, parents, circumstances, fate and comfort.  He wanted his steps to be firm and grounded in the Word of God to avoid being mastered by sin.  The apostle Paul said there was great danger when we allow ourselves to be mastered by sin:  "12 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything."  I Corinthians 6:12.

"Redeem me from the oppression of man."  This third petition acknowledges the dangers from our oppressors.  Those who would oppress and oppose all righteousness.

"So will I observe thy precepts."  Here the Psalmist is not just asking God to free him from man's oppression so he could obey him better but rather to surrender to Him in complete obedience.

"Make thy face to shine upon thy servant."  This is the Psalmist 4th request.  He wants to encounter God's grace and goodness.  To be at peace and to know Him better. 
  • Sorrow for Those Who Reject the Law of God.  (verse 136)
"136 Streams of water run down mine eyes, Because they observe not thy law." 

"Streams of water run down mine eyes."  This is a good example of a poetic hyperbole in the Psalms.  Though these were not literal streams of water running down the Psalmist's eyes, he is speaking exactly according to the literal style of poetry.  His tears were tears of compassion toward those who reject and despise the Word of God.

"Because they observe not thy law."  The Psalmist is troubled over the sins of others and the consequences.  The Psalmist grieves the same way Jesus grieved over Jerusalem, Matthew 23:37-39; Mark 3:5.


R.  TSADHE:  The Purity and Truth of God's Word.
  • The Righteousness of God and His Word.  (verses 137-138)
"137 Righteous art thou, O Jehovah, And upright are thy judgments.  138 Thou hast commanded thy testimonies in righteousness And very faithfulness."

"Righteous art thou, O Jehovah, And upright are thy judgments."  God's character of righteousness is exhibited in His Word (Judgments).  It implies the authenticity of God's revealed Word. Not only His thoughts but also His very own character.

"Thou hast commanded thy testimonies in righteousness And very faithfulness."  He repeats the idea of the previous verse.  God's revealed Word reflects both His righteous character and His faithfulness. 
  • Zeal and Love for God's Word.  (verses 139-140)
"139 My zeal hath consumed me, Because mine adversaries have forgotten thy words.  140 Thy word is very pure; Therefore thy servant loveth it."

"My zeal hath consumed me, Because mine adversaries have forgotten thy words."  The more his enemies despised God's Word, the more the Psalmist resolved to be zealous for God's Words. His primary goal was to honor His Word.  His admiration and respect for God's Word was not passive.  The living and active Word of God brought him forth a living and active answer.  His zeal implied action and energy.

"Thy word is very pure; Therefore thy servant loveth it."  The Psalmist loved the perfect purity of God's Word.  God's inspired Word is perfectly pure and holy.  The Bible gives us an infinite number of reasons why we ought to love the Word of God and the God Who gave it to us.  Why?  Because it is:

  1. The Word of the LORD,  Genesis 15:1.
  2. The Word of God, Luke 8:11.
  3. The Word of the Kingdom, Matthew 13:9.
  4. The Word of salvation, Acts 13:26.
  5. The Word of grace, Acts 14:3.
  6. The Word of the gospel, Acts 15:7.
  7. The Word of faith, Romans 10:8.
  8. The Word of the cross, I Corinthians 1:18.
  9. The Word of reconciliation, 2 Corinthians 5:19.
  10. The Word of Truth, 2 Corinthians 6:7.
  11. The Word of life, Philippians 2:16.
  12. The Word of Christ, Colossians 3:16.
  13. The Word of His power, Hebrews 1:3.
  • Holding Fast to the True Word. (verses 141-142)
"141 I am small and despised; Yet do I not forget thy precepts.  142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And thy law is truth."

"I am small and despised; Yet do I not forget thy precepts."  Though he felt despised and insignificant in his own eyes and the eyes of others, yet he found comfort and strength in God's Word.  We have examples of this in young David, I Samuel 16:10-13; and Paul in 2 Corinthians 11.  Yet they found courage in God and His Word.  The Psalmist did not allow his emotions to take hold of him, but rather he drew nearer to the Word of God without abandoning it when he felt discouraged, "small and despised."   It is so easy to run away from God and His Word when one feels this way.

"Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And thy law is truth."  This is exactly the joy and glory that Christians enjoy because God's glory is His righteousness that never changes. 
  • God's Word Gives Life in Times of Trouble and Anguish.  (verses 143-144)
"143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me; Yet thy commandments are my delight.  144 Thy testimonies are righteous for ever: Give me understanding, and I shall live."

"Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me; Yet thy commandments are my delight."  The Psalmist found delight and kept God's Word despite his difficulties and trials in life.  He treasured God's Word in good times and bad times (anguish and trouble). 

"Thy testimonies are righteous for ever: Give me understanding, and I shall live."  In the midst of the Psalmist's troubled and challenging times, he found understanding from God's Word even more vital and relevant to him.  He could understand this because God's righteousness is everlasting.


S.  QOPH:  Praying to the God of the Bible. 
  • Crying Out to God and Hoping in His Word.  (verses 145-147).
"145 I have called with my whole heart; answer me, O Jehovah: I will keep thy statutes.  146 I have called unto thee; save me, And I shall observe thy testimonies.  147 I anticipated the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy words." 

"I have called with my whole heart; answer me, O Jehovah: I will keep thy statutes."  The Psalmist is pleading with God that he might keep His Law (Statutes) in perfect obedience.

"I have called unto thee; save me,  And I shall observe thy testimonies."  This plea is repeated from the previous verse.  He is again crying out fervently to God for wisdom and strength that he might be able to obey His Testimonies, His Law.  This is the kind of prayer that pleases God. 

"I anticipated the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy words."    It is evident that the Psalmist fervently depended on God and His Law (Word).  He would wake up early in the morning to seek God in prayer (crying out) and in the meditation of His Word (I hope in Thy Words).   The Word of God and his prayer gave him hope.  Prayer and the study of the Word of God are vital.  Likewise, we use the Word of God in our prayers to be effective.  In prayer, the Word of God reveals:  the nature and heart of our God, the One we pray to; thanksgiving for His eminence; our praise; His righteous will; His promises to those who love Him faithfully; the substance for our prayers, as we read the Scriptures. 
  • Seeking the Word That Gives Life With a Diligent Heart.  (verses 148-149)
"148 Mine eyes anticipated the night-watches, That I might meditate on thy word.  149 Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: Quicken me, O Jehovah, according to thine ordinances."

"Mine eyes anticipated the night-watches, That I might meditate on thy word."  The Psalmist not only would wake up early to seek God (as in the previous verse), but he also would await the night to meditate on God and His Word.  Jesus is our example of one Who would pray early in the morning, Mark 1:35.  On some occasions, Jesus would pray all night, Luke 6:12.

"Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: Quicken me, O Jehovah, according to thine ordinances."  The Psalmist is petitioning God to hear him according to His righteousness and mercy (lovingkindness).  Moreover, he asks God to revive him according to His Ordinances (justice).  We ask God to forgive our sins according to His Ordinances and His lovingkindness (mercy).  God's children are able to pray for forgiveness because of the blood of Jesus that cleanses us when we sin.  We also pray for His Ordinances (justice) on earth when wickedness abounds. 
  • Near and Far From His Law.  (verses 150-151)
"150 They draw nigh that follow after wickedness; They are far from thy law.  151 Thou art nigh, O Jehovah; And all thy commandments are truth."

"They draw nigh (near, closely) that follow after wickedness."  The Psalmist could perceive when the wicked who oppose him was near.  Likewise, he could sense when they became a threat to him.

"They are far from thy law."  Though they came closer to him, they were far from God's Word.

"Thou art nigh (near), O Jehovah."  Though the wicked were both near to him and far from God's Word, he knew that God was near.  He had drawn nearer to the Psalmist through His Word.

"And all thy commandments are truth."  Since God had drawn nearer to the Psalmist, he could see with clarity that all of God's Commandments are Truth.  He recognized that God's Word is truly inspired and infallible. 
  • Trust in God's Everlasting Word.  (verse 152)
"152 Of old have I known from thy testimonies, That thou hast founded them for ever."

"Of old have I known from thy testimonies."  There is an old relationship between the Psalmist and God's Laws (Testimonies).  His extraordinary love and appreciation for the Word of God was deep.  His profound love for the Word had developed deep roots with time.  The Psalmist testified of God’s Testimonies:

  1. How he prayed - God testifies when He answers the prayers of the righteous because he had prayed with all of his heart that God might help him understand His Law.  (I have called with my whole heart, 119:145).  
  2. What he prayed for - God helps him to observe His Laws or Testimonies.  (I have called unto thee; save me, And I shall observe thy testimonies, 110: 146). 
  3. When he prayed - God helped him early.   (I anticipated the dawning of the morning, and cried, 119:47).  
  4. The reasons for his request - God helps him because of His lovingkindness.  (Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness, 119:149).  
  5. How God answered his prayer - God is near.  (Thou art nigh, O Jehovah, 119:150).  
  6. His testimony to His everlasting faithfulness.  (Of old have I known from thy testimonies, That thou hast founded them for ever, 119:152).

"That thou hast founded them for ever."  His long lasting love and reverence to the Law of God (Testimonies) led him to understand how eternal they were (founded, forever).  The more one studies and meditates of God's Word, the more one can understand its divine origin.


T.  RESH:  Revival According to the Word of God. 
  • A plea for Revival From God's Word.  (verses 153-154)
"153 Consider mine affliction, and deliver me; For I do not forget thy law.  154 Plead thou my cause, and redeem me: Quicken (revive, new life)  me according to thy word.

"Consider mine affliction, and deliver me."  The Psalmist is acknowledging a life of suffering, yet he is not impatient but asks God for deliverance, God's hand of rescue.

"For I do not forget thy law."  Some are driven away from God and His Word in times of affliction.  For the Psalmist, all his troubled and challenging times drew him closer to God and His Word.

"Plead thou my cause, and redeem me."  He is seeking help and salvation.  He knew he needed God to plead (defend) his cause and he needed Him to redeem him.

"Quicken (revive, new life) me according to thy word."  This thought is repeated throughout the Psalm.  He wanted God to bring him back to life, to make him alive, according to His Word.  The Word of God is our source of revival. (“the power of God unto salvation,” Romans 1:16). 
  • The Wicked Are Far From Salvation.  (verses 155-156)
"155 Salvation is far from the wicked; For they seek not thy statutes.  156 Great are thy tender mercies, O Jehovah: Quicken me according to thine ordinances."

"Salvation is far from the wicked; For they seek not thy statutes."  The wicked are far from God's Law.  Why?
  1. Because they flee from it. 
  2. Because they will not seek His Statutes.  
  3. Because they are proud.  
  4. Because their lawlessness (wickedness) grows out of their rejection of God and out of hearts hardened against seeking God through His Word (For they seek not thy statutes).  
  5. Because they preferred to live in their wickedness rather than to humble themselves before God in total surrender so that He might forgive them.   
  6. Because they are arrogant in their disobedience to God, Titus 1:16.   
  7. Because they love lawlessness and hate righteousness.  Paul stated in Galatians 5:19-21 the same thing about those who abhor righteousness and walk in sin.

"Great are thy tender mercies, O Jehovah."   Though the wicked in their arrogant disobedience are far from salvation as well as God’s Word (Statutes), God's tender mercies are free to all who will seek Him.  It means that God is not far because of His tenderhearted mercy.  Also, that He is ready to show mercy to ALL who seek after Him.

"Quicken (revive) me according to thine ordinances."  This same thought is repeated in verse 154.  The Psalmist underlines the significance of God's Word (His Ordinances) as the starting point and our measure of revival.  Revival is God's tender mercy to us, His grace.  But we must honor that revival by crucifying sin in us to live for Him exercising godliness. 
  • Obeying God's Word Despite Persecution.  (verses 157-158)
"157 Many are my persecutors and mine adversaries; Yet have I not swerved from thy testimonies.  158 I beheld the treacherous, and was grieved, Because they observe not thy word."

"Many are my persecutors and mine adversaries."  This is indeed the cost that we all have to pay for loving His Word.  It is the price we have to pay for taking our cross in a world that despises the Word of God.  It is the price we have to pay for confessing Christ to a world of darkness.  Like the Psalmist, we live in a real world full of persecutors and enemies of His cross.  Persecution is our trail of faith and our strength of perseverance.  (Acts 20:22-24; Philippians 2:14-16).

"Yet have I not swerved from thy testimonies."  Although the Psalmist was surrounded by a cloud of persecutors and enemies, he did not renounce, despair or doubt his faith and his love for God and His Word.  He knew that when one lives godly, persecution and afflictions will arise.  Instead, he was resolved to obey and focus on the Word of God.

"I beheld the treacherous, and was grieved, Because they observe not thy word."  It is noticeable throughout this Psalm, how much the writer loves and honors the Word of God.  The riches and glories of God's Law were very dear and close to his heart.  They were more precious than his own life.  Because of his intense love, zeal, and honor toward God's Word, he felt grieved, when both God and His Word were being disgraced.  We must feel deeply grieved to see others who are lost because of sin and choose to harden their hearts toward God's Word.  We must feel grieved when they insist on living a life of lawlessness and refuse to repent so that their Physician might heal them.  I personally grieve painfully because they refuse to turn to God and prefer to die.  
  • Revived by the Truth and Everlasting Word.  (verses 159-160)
"159 Consider how I love thy precepts: Quicken me, O Jehovah, according to thy lovingkindness.  160 The sum of thy word is truth; And every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever."

"Consider how I love thy precepts: Quicken me, O Jehovah, according to thy lovingkindness."  Loving God's Precepts as the Psalmist declares, is a distinctive characteristic that sets apart those who are God's children.  We, like the Psalmist, must ask God to revive us by His loving kindness not because we deserve to be helped but rather because we desire and trust to be helped according to His loving kindness. 

"The sum of thy word is truth; And every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever."  The Psalmist loved to abide in God's Word (His Ordinances).  He again declares the infallible character of God's Word.  His entire Word is "everlasting true."  The Word of God is as true in Genesis as it is true in Revelation.  His Word is flawless and endures forever.


U.  SHIN:  In Awe of God's Word.

This section has no specific prayers at all, but instead, there seems to be a quiet and obedient waiting for God. 
  • The Treasure of God's Awe-Revealed Word.  (verses 161-162)
"161 Princes have persecuted me without a cause; But my heart standeth in awe of thy words.  162 I rejoice at thy word, As one that findeth great spoil."

"Princes have persecuted me without a cause."   This Psalmist interacted with princes and rulers among men.  Apparently, these rulers persecuted him without a cause.  He had not broken their laws, harmed them, was not rebellious, did not oppose them and yet he was punished for loving God and His Word.  Isn't it something that God chastens His people and the world persecutes these same people because of their godliness?  (Hebrews 12:4-11).  This is a repeated pattern from the beginning and will go on until the end.  Persecution was the Psalmist's glory because it was His Master's cross.

"But my heart standeth in awe of thy words."  This great man of God was in constant awe of God's Word.  Even persecution by those in authority would not keep him from being in awe of God's Word with reverence.  He loved God's Word in good and bad times.  It is this awe and reverence that sets apart God's people.  Men such as Joseph, Moses, Nehemiah, Josiah and many more.

"I rejoice at thy word, As one that findeth great spoil."  His awe of God's Word made him love God's Word as one who rejoices when he finds a rich spoil as he had found in God's Word.  But one needs to be reminded that this rich spoil (treasure) is not gained without hardship or distress.  The Psalmist knew the treasure he had found in God's Word was precious and enriching.  The original Hebrew has the word treasure as spoil or plunder from battle.

Our reverence for God's Word is what measures our awe of God's Word.  The same way that spoil is obtained by fighting and plundering the dead in the battlefield of their riches, so are the riches of God's Word plunder that we must fight for. 
  • Eternally praising the Law Maker, the God of the Word.  (verses 163-164)
"163 I hate and abhor falsehood; But thy law do I love.  164 Seven times a day do I praise thee, Because of thy righteous ordinances." 

"I hate and abhor falsehood; But thy law do I love."  The hatred and love in this verse in connected perfectly.  One who dearly loves the purity and the Truth of the Word of God will without a doubt hate all lying, falsehood.  We cannot be in awe of God's Word and rejoice in it unless we hate all that is contrary to the Word.  The enemy of God’s Word here was falsehood. 

"Seven times a day do I praise thee, Because of thy righteous ordinances."  God's righteous Judgments (Ordinances) and the glory of His Word are enough reason to praise Him.  This is exactly what the Psalmist did.  He praised God seven times a day.  It was an endless praise. 
  • The Peace that Obedience to God's Word Brings.  (verses 165-166)
"165 Great peace have they that love thy law; And they have no occasion of stumbling.  166 I have hoped for thy salvation, O Jehovah, And have done thy commandments." 

"Great peace have they that love thy law; And they have no occasion of stumbling."  Here is where the Christian, the child of God, finds his true happiness.  It is summed up in one word, peace.  The immense love that the Psalmist had for God's Word brought him great peace and stability in his life.  Nothing would cause those who love God's Word with all of their heart to stumble.  Despite the storms of life, there is peace for them that do the will of God.  They are at peace with God because they love His Law.  Consider why we are at peace with God when we love His Law and observe it.
  1. A peace obtained by the reconciling blood of Jesus.  
  2. Peace because of a good conscience.  
  3. At peace with all men.  
  4. At peace, because we put to death sin and are alive to righteousness.  
  5. At peace because of our love for our neighbor.  
  6. At peace, because all things work together for our good.

"I have hoped for thy salvation, O Jehovah, And have done thy commandments."  Here the Psalmist is portraying the kind of active faith and trust that saves. An active faith produces obedience to God's Law (Commandments).  An obedient faith that would save him.  This is the kind of active faith spoken of in James, keeping our eyes fixed on Christ as our foundation and cornerstone.  That is the evidence of our hope.  We obey His Commandments because we hope for salvation.  
  • Keeping the Word of God.  (verses 167-168)
"167 My soul hath observed thy testimonies; And I love them exceedingly. 168 I have observed thy precepts and thy testimonies; For all my ways are before thee."

"My soul hath observed thy testimonies; And I love them exceedingly."  Like the Psalmist, those who hope in God's salvation can convey this joyful delight in His Law (Testimonies).   The Psalmist kept God's Word by keeping God's Commandments, Testimonies, and Precepts in complete obedience.  He knew that the same God Who gave the Word would also see and examine his life.  God sees and examines the ways of man.  Notice the reverence for God Himself when he says "Thy precepts, Thy Testimonies before Thee" and not just for Scripture itself.

V.  TAV:  Sought by God and His Word.

As the Psalmist comes near the end of this great Psalm, his petitions increase in force and in fervency.   He seems to suddenly be falling to his knees in supplication, coming near before the throne of God's grace.  Many have been his tears and prayers.  His earnest petition is to come nearer to God's throne in humility and faith.  He seems to be crying out in earnest prayer to His LORD, perhaps because his soul is at risk or may be because the enemy surrounds him within his walls.  This nearness leads him to end this Psalm in deepest humility, begging to be sought out like a lost sheep.  What an honor to be able to remind our LORD, "You are my rock and my fortress!  You have given me Commandments to save me." 
  • "According to Thy Word."  (verses 169-170)
"169 Let my cry come near before thee, O Jehovah: Give me understanding according to thy word.  170 Let my supplication come before thee: Deliver me according to thy word."

"Let my cry come near before thee, O Jehovah: Give me understanding according to thy word."  Here, we see the Psalmist as one who dearly loves God and is humbly approaching God's throne of grace.  He is petitioning in a humble spirit of supplication to help him obtain understanding according to His Word.  He desired his ways and thoughts to be transformed according to the Word of God. The urgency of his need made him cry out and come near to God in prayer.  What a privilege we have to come near God.  Why?
  1. Because we know the way is open.
  2. Because we can have access to our God entering into the holiest by the blood of Our Lord and Savior.  
  3. Because we know that through the veil, that is our Lord, we are able to tear down the walls of partition and are able to enter into the presence of our God, to rush into Him.
  4. Because we are able to open our mouth before Him, to anticipate that our supplication, our prayer, would come near His throne of righteousness and grace.  
  5. Because we know this is the Way to our God. 
  6. Because we know this Way is always open to those who love Him and obey Him, that is Christians.  
  7. Because we know with confidence that we are able to approach God and His throne of Grace since our sins have been cleansed, and we have been redeemed.  
  8. Because we have been made righteous by His blood and stand pure, knowing that we not only have access but also confidence.  
  9. Because we know that we have access to Him with confidence as the Lord Himself.  
  10. Because we know that our God delighted in His Son as well as in those who have been made one in His Son by the sprinkling of His blood.  
  11. Because we know we have been made complete in Him.  
  12. Therefore let us glory, knowing that we have a "Priest over the house of God" Who offered Himself as our sacrifice and incense for us.  This is precious, priceless and beyond words for me!!

"Let my supplication come before thee: Deliver me according to thy word."  It is beautiful to see the Psalmist's faith as the oil that lights the flame of his supplication.  Every one of his petitions is wished according to His promises, according to His Word.  God's promises were the very inspiration of his supplications before his God.  He wanted God's deliverance according to the promises of God's Word.  It is beautiful! 
  • Praising God and Speaking of His Word.  (verses 171-172)
"171 Let my lips utter praise; For thou teachest me thy statutes.  172 Let my tongue sing of thy word; For all thy commandments are righteousness." 

"Let my lips utter praise; For thou teachest me thy statutes."  The Psalmist's yearning was to bring God a word of praise.  This is worthy of God.   He knew that often our words can be wicked and vain.  He had resolved in his heart to use his lips, his mouth, his tongue, to worship, praise and honor God and His Word (Statutes).

"For thou teachest me thy statutes."  When one has learned God's Statutes, he delights in praising God because he has been taught His Word by God Himself.  Notice that the Psalmist did not learn to praise God with his lips by nature but rather because God's Truth taught him, taught from God Himself.  The Word of God taught him how to praise Him which became his own delight.

"Let my tongue sing of thy word; For all thy commandments are righteousness."  To speak to others on behalf of God and for Him must be our greatest desire and delight since God's Word has been our Teacher and has taught us to give praise.  We honor God when we speak and show others that all His Commandments are righteous.  Since we know the purity and infallibility of God's Word, it should make us want to talk about His Word (Commandments) to others and share it.  We must show God's light to all men for them to glorify their Creator.  We must be willing and be encouraged to speak for God and His righteousness to all, especially sinners so that they might be saved.  There is power in the Word to penetrate man's heart that it might be changed and transformed into the likeness of God.  It is our duty to speak the Word to all people and not shed innocent blood.  We need to be like the Psalmist who praised God and spoke of His Word without any reservation whatsoever.  Let us not be cowards but rather have the courage of those great men who have spoken of His Word no matter what their circumstances were. 
  • Longing for Salvation and Loving the Word of God.  (verses 173-174)
"173 Let thy hand be ready to help me; For I have chosen thy precepts.  174 I have longed for thy salvation, O Jehovah; And thy law is my delight."

"Let thy hand be ready to help me; For I have chosen thy precepts."  Since the Psalmist had opted to obey and keep God's Word (Precepts), he felt he could courageously ask God for help in his defense.  God's hand and God's Word provided him help.  They go hand in hand since God's Word is the mediator of His hand. 

"I have longed for thy salvation, O Jehovah; And thy law is my delight."  There is a beautiful connection between longing for salvation and delighting in God's Law.  Why?  Because salvation from sin comes from the Word and according to His Word.   "Having been begotten again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God, which liveth and abideth."  I Peter 1:23.  For the Psalmist, longing for God's Word and delighting in God's Word was natural.  Salvation must be grounded upon the Word or Law of God.  We must create in us, in our souls, a very intense longing for His salvation as well as a more intense delight in His Law.  God's salvation is the hope and yearning of the faithful and will continue to be until the day He shall come again in glorious majesty so that we may be fully and eternally satisfied in complete redemption, taking us with Him forever. 
  • Leaning on the Word of God and Seeking God, the One Who Seeks us.  (verses 175-176)
"175 Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; And let thine ordinances help me.  176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; Seek thy servant; For I do not forget thy commandments."

"Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; And let thine ordinances help me."  The Psalmist recognizes that to praise God, there must be life.  Moreover, he acknowledges that his soul needs both that life and the counsel or instruction of God's Word.  He understands that to establish and strengthen a healthy and strong relationship with God, one must have both.  A living soul is able to praise his Creator.  A living man is able to speak God's Words, His Declarations.  He is also praying for salvation for which he was longing.  He is hungry for God's Ordinances, and he wishes to have an even higher and enduring delight, instead of self-gratification.  When the living Word of God enters our heart, we become living souls whose primary desire is to praise Him.  The Psalmist’s great need for God and His Word, his love and devotion, made him more spiritually dependent upon God.  How? 
  1. Because he needed more understanding,119:169.
  2. He needed deliverance, 119:170.
  3. He desired to worship God with an upright heart, 119:171-172.
  4. He needed his soul to live to live uprightly, 119:173-174.
  5. He needed strength to persevere to the end, 119:175.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you."  I Peter 1:3-5.
When the Psalmist says, "And let thine ordinances (Judgments) help me," he is asking God to enlighten him with His everlasting Word, His character and His perfection as the God of his salvation Who is worthy of all praise. 

"I have gone astray like a lost sheep; Seek thy servant."  The Psalmist wants to end on a very touching note.  He is recalling all his weaknesses and sinful inclinations, sinful habits (astray like a lost sheep), and therefore is asking God to seek him.  He is humbly confessing before his God all his flaws and weaknesses.  He desires to become upright.  He like us has gone astray like lost sheep, wandering from the fold but have been rescued by the Lord becoming His sheep, His own possession.  The Psalmist prayed like so many of us for God's help, to have a clearer understanding of His Judgments and be cleansed from our sins.  It is impossible to find joy when one is separated from his God.  God in His infinite mercy has helped us through His Word to find the Way back, the straight path.  We had wandered from that path, and yet the Shepherd sought us even though we were not seeking Him.  He helped us find our way back to Him.  The great Shepherd seeks out His flock, scattered without anyone to deliver them and lead them.  "He restoreth my soul."  This touches my heart deeply!

"For I do not forget thy commandments."  God sought His servant in His Word.  His Word is the only means by which He seeks after us.  His Word:
  1. Tests our heart. 
  2. Gives us confidence.
  3. Gives us hope.
  4. Strengthens us.
  5. Reproves us.
  6. Chastises us.
  7. Admonishes us.
  8. Helps us.
  9. Instructs us.
  10. Gives us understanding.
  11. Saves us. 

This lovely Psalm ends with a great reminder of the power and importance of the Word of God (Law), its riches and glories.  The Psalmist reminds us of the fact that God can come to us seeking us only through His Word, and then only when we seek Him from a sincere heart.  Without God's helping hand to restore our soul, we cannot find our Way back to Him.


CONCLUSION:

God in His everlasting mercy has provided us with the written Word in order that it may be written in our mind and inward heart.  He has given us His revealed Word in order to adopt us and restore our soul from death.  This is His faithfulness and grace to us. God's Law is perfect and able to change man's heart in order that he may return to Him and be eternally saved in the heavenly fold.

 "After these things I saw, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, arrayed in white robes, and palms in their hands; and they cry with a great voice, saying, Salvation unto our God who sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb.  And all the angels were standing round about the throne, and about the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.  And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, These that are arrayed in white robes, who are they, and whence came they?  And I say unto him, My lord, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they that come of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  Therefore are they before the throne of God; and they serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall spread his tabernacle over them.  They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun strike upon them, nor any heat:  for the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them unto fountains of waters of life: and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes."  Revelation 7:9-17.  

This magnificent Psalm has reshaped my soul and my spirit into a more hopeful, trusting, loving and faithful child of God and His Word.  There is no doubt in my heart after reading this precious Psalm that man can be complete, perfect in Him, in His likeness, holy and upright.  Why?  Because in His Word, His Law, we have everything that we need to become flawless, pure, righteous, godly, undefiled and zealous for good works as children of God.  But we need to love His Law, all of His Commandments in order to have a heart willing to be fashioned into His likeness.  It is not impossible.  His Law is not burdensome.  I yearn to have the heart that this Psalmist had!

Luci