The constant theme of this wonderful Psalm is its meditations on the excellences of God’s Word. It shows the saint and student of God’s Word what His word can do for you in this life if we allow it to by being submissive and having teachable hearts. Obedience brings blessing.
There are 22 sections of 8 verses each giving us 176 verses in total. The twenty two sections are arranged after the twenty two letters of the Hebrew Alphabet and every verse in each section begins with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet which would have been a memory aid to learning Psalm 119 by heart through daily repetition.
Every verse except verses 84, 90, 121, 122 and 132 refer to God’s Word.
We should remember though that it is not facts and figures we learn from God’s Word that makes us grow in Him but truth within our hearts.
This Psalm has 10 different names to describe the Word of God and they are:-
Word, law, saying, statutes, way, commandments, path testimonies, precepts and judgments.
Further to this we can see that God’s Word is presented by the psalmist as –
a) Water – verse 9.
b) Treasure – verses 14, 72, 127, 162.
c) As a companion and counsellor – verse 24.
d) As a song – verse 54.
e) As honey – verse 103.
f) As light – verses 105 and 130.
g) As a heritage – verse 111.
Next, we can see that according to God’s Word we will have:-
1) Cleansing – verse 9.
2) Revival – verses 25 and 107.
3) Strength – verse 28.
4) Salvation – verse 41
5) Mercy – verse 58.
6) Blessing – verses 65-66.
7) Comfort – verse 76.
8) Understanding – verse 169.
9) Deliverance – verse 170.
Within the 22 sections we are going to see much that will encourage and edify us as well as exhorting us to live a holy life separated from the world and its ways. Clearly the psalmist was persecuted for his faith because he obeyed God’s Word and shunned sinful living. All true believers in their discipleship will face persecution and so the psalmist has written from the heart under the inspiration of God to set down teaching that we know as spiritual life application principles to guide, guard and grow us as we walk with the Lord in His wisdom and knowledge. We shall read of how the psalmist prayed for God’s help to live a life of faith despite difficulties. Our own meditation of this Psalm will truly strengthen us as we treasure the truth of God’s Word which alone brings us closer to Him. Religious rules will not do it, neither will men’s regulations nor rituals. Amen.
Verse 1 – Blessed are the undefiled (or blameless) in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
This verse teaches us that we will be happy in the Way, and in our personal walk and in God’s will. This will give us purpose and purity in our life as verses 2 and 3 show us. The Bible will truly make us happy as it is not just about studying scripture but applying it as we sincerely seek His face to shine upon us. cf. Numbers 6:24-26 The Aaronic Blessing.
Verse 2 – Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart.
The key words here are keep and seek with the whole heart. So again head knowledge must give way to the heart and Jesus spoke about the heart of man!
Verse 3 – They also do no iniquity, they walk in His ways.
Here is purity after following God’s purposes for our lives.
Verse 4 – You have commanded us to keep Your precepts.
This then is our duty to follow God’s moral instructions.
Verse 5 – Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes.
Here the psalmist writes of his desire to be faithful in keeping God’s laws.
Verse 6 – Then I would not be ashamed, when I look into all Your commandments.
Now we see his decision to be willing and obedient.
Verse 7 – I will praise You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgments.
The psalmist acknowledges that he still has to learn and so he shows humility.
Verse 8 – I will keep Your statutes. Oh, do not forsake me utterly.
Finally then we can see the longing of the psalmist’s heart as he humbles himself before God.
We can do no better but follow the pattern and principles shown to us.
Key Verse: vs 11 – “Your word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Here is a verse that we can break down into 5 parts showing us 5 wonderful spiritual life application principles for all believers to follow, so let us see a good:-
PROVISION – Your Word
PERSON – I have
PRACTICE – hidden
PLACE – in my heart,
PURPOSE – that I might not sin against You.
Quote: ‘The Scriptures teach us the best way of living, the noblest way of suffering, and the most comfortable way of dying.’ John Flavel 1627-1691.
With this in mind we can see:-
1. THE VIRTUE OF HIS WORD.
CLEANSING US DAILY IN OUR WALK– Verse 9. ‘Wherewithal shall a young man cleanses his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy Word.’
CONTROLLING US DAILY IN OUR WALK – Verse 10. ‘With my whole heart have I sought Thee. O let me not wander from Thy commandments.’
CORRECTING US DAILY IN OUR WALK– Verses 11-12. ‘Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes.’
2. THE VALUE OF HIS WORD.
WE MUST PROCLAIM IT – Verse 13. ‘With my lips have I declared all the judgments of Thy mouth.’
With Diligence – Verse 13a (Open your mouth) and
With Daring – verse 13b (Declare with the mouth)
WE MUST PRIZE IT – Verses 14-15. ‘I have rejoiced in the way of Thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in Thy precepts, and have respect unto Thy ways.’ Why? Because it is Priceless – Verse 14 (Worth more than gold and silver) and it is Practical – verse 15 (His word guides, guards and grows us)
FINALLY WE MUST PROVE IT – Verse 16. ‘I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.’
Introduction: In this section of Psalm 119 we can see that the trials of life are on the psalmist’s mind but as always prayer is the key. He cries out to His Lord and God for help and this is the spiritual life lesson for us all whatever the problem. Are we not in covenant relationship with our God? The battle belongs to Him for He is our defence we shall not be moved.
1. GREAT OPPORTUNITIES WITHIN THE WORD OF GOD.
* LIFE COMES UPON THE SOUL – Verse 17. ‘Deal bountifully with Thy servant, that I may live, and keep Thy Word.’
* LIGHT COMES INTO THE SOUL – Verse 18. ‘Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy Law.’
* LONELINESS DEPARTS FROM THE SOUL – Verse 19. ‘I am a stranger in the earth; hide not Thy commandments from me.’
* LONGING COMES FORTH FROM THE SOUL – Verse 20. ‘My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto Thy judgements at all times.’
2. GREAT OPPOSITION TOWARDS THE WORD OF GOD
• DOMINEERING MEN – Cursed of God – Verse 21. ‘Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from Thy commandments.’
• DISDAINFUL MEN – Contemptuous of God – Verse 22. ‘Remove from me reproach and contempt, for I have kept Thy testimonies.’
• DANGEROUS MEN – Controlled by God – Verse 23. ‘Princes also did sit and speak against me, but Thy servant did meditate in Thy statutes.’
THE ANSWER – Verse 24. ‘Thy testimonies are also my delight and my counsellors.’
Introduction: The psalmist in this fourth section of Psalm 119 shows us he has realised the absolute value of God’s Word to guide him in this life. We can therefore once again learn from the inspired scriptures as God gives illumination after His revelation towards us. We can divide the verses into two sections as follows –
1. The Psalmist’s Realisation – verses 25 to 29.
a) His Conviction – verse 25. ‘My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to Your word.’
The psalmist is showing us the first step of salvation which is conviction as we are unable to save, redeem or rescue ourselves. Revival like salvation belongs to God. Why would anyone want to stay in the dust when there is life eternal in God’s word!
b) His Confession – verse 26. ‘I have declared my ways and You have answered me; teach me Your statutes.’
Here we see that confession is good for the soul as the psalmist looks to God’s ways as he wishes to learn and keep God’s laws in how to live a life of righteousness.
c) His Consecration – verse 27. ‘Make me understand the way of Your precepts; so shall I meditate on Your wonderful works.’
Now the psalmist asks for understanding of the moral instructions within God’s precepts which will change our character and our conduct before all to see.
d) His Contrition – verses 28-29. ‘My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to Your word. Remove from me the way of lying and grant me Your law graciously.’
God’s word has imparted the new or abundant life as well as blessing to the psalmist and so he now seeks to be strengthened (built up) and nourished (fed) from it.
2. The Psalmist’s Resolve – verses 30 to 32.
e) His Decision – verse 30. ‘I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me.’
Here is the first of three major spiritual points for us to learn from. Firstly, we must all make a decision to live for God in this life so that we can live with Him forever.
f) His Determination – verse 31. ‘I cling to Your testimonies O Lord, do not put me to shame.’
Here the psalmist looks for guidance and protection to live a determined life of holiness without falling or failing in his walk.
g) His Desire – verse 32. ‘I will run the course of Your commandments, for You shall enlarge my heart.’
This final point shows us the palmist’s desire to live a disciple’s life of obedience and trust. His faith is in God to be with him and so he will run the race set before him.
Introduction: In the previous section entitled Daleth we saw how our decisions are so very important if we wish to progress with the Lord in our walk. Now in this section we want to focus on how we are to have the right values towards the four stages of any disciple’s life.
1) Being a Sojourner – verses 33 to 34. ‘Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes and I shall keep it to the end.’
‘Give me understanding and I shall keep Your law; indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.’
The psalmist’s intention is to faithfully keep and follow God’s guidance in His word.
2) Being a Soldier – verses 35 to 36. ‘Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it.’
‘Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to covetousness.’
Here we see the psalmist’s desire once again coupled with a determined attitude.
3) Being a Servant – verses 37 to 38. ‘Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things and revive me in Your way.’
‘Establish Your word to Your servant, who is devoted to fearing You.’
Here we see the psalmist’s discernment after his desire which truly shows devotion.
4) Being a Saint – verses 39 to 40. ‘Turn away my reproach which I dread, for Your judgments are good.’
‘Behold, I long for Your precepts, revive me in Your righteousness.’
There will only be saints in Heaven at the end of the day and so the cycle of conviction, repentance, renewal, revival and restoration are shown to us through God’s instructions in His laws, commandments, statutes, testimonies, ordinances, precepts and judgments. These lead to a godly and good life in our God. Amen.
Introduction: In this section the psalmist wants us to see, understand and know the provision in God’s Word that we are to examine and then experience.
1) The Protection of God’s Word – verse 41. ‘Let Your mercies come also to me, O Lord, Your salvation according to Your word.’
Those who know the Lord are protected and so will see His face and dwell with Him for all eternity. That is His promise to us His covenant people. ‘Those I have held in My hand none can snatch’ and ‘Lo I am with you until the end of the age.’
2) The Power of God’s Word – verse 42. ‘So shall I have an answer for him who reproaches me, for I trust in Your word.’
Those who know God’s word can always give an answer from the Scriptures which is always the best defence as God’s words are living and dynamic, they are spiritual and speak to the spirit of man.
3) The Proof of God’s Word – verse 43. ‘And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for I have hoped in Your ordinances.’
Like the psalmist those who fear and revere the Lord God will seek knowledge and wisdom from holy writ, for there is nothing else like it once our eyes, minds and hearts have been opened to its inspiration, inerrancy and infallibility as it gives us all we will ever need to live an abundant life in His grace and mercy.
4) The Permanence of God’s Word – verse 44. ‘So shall I keep Your law continually, forever and ever.’
Once again all those who know the Living God will in their heart and with their mouth declare their obedience, loyalty and discipleship to the Creator and Lord of eternity. As the disciples said unto Jesus, ‘you have the words of eternal life where else can we go!’ May many come to make this same decision as we have!
5) The Path of God’s Word – verse 45. ‘And I will walk at liberty (in a wide place), for I seek Your precepts.’
Those who are in a loving relationship have that perfect liberty to walk in a wide
place as is the literal meaning in the verse. God’s moral instruction or precepts are there to guide and grow us. So how wide is Heaven? We have a lot of walking ahead of us let alone in this world which most of us will never experience, but for a 1,000 years during His millennial rule we shall surely cover the restored and renewed planet we call earth and enjoy ourselves fully in His sight.
6) The Principles of God’s Word – verse 46. ‘I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings and will not be afraid.’
Because we have the truth we may be bold and proclaim it before one and all. The Gospel is truly the power of God unto salvation and eternal life.
7) The Pleasures of God’s Word – verse 47. ‘And I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I love.’
If the human race were to obey just God’s Ten Commandments the world be a better place indeed. His commands come forth through holiness and righteousness because God is God and He knows best!
8) The Potential of God’s Word – verse 48. ‘My hands also will I lift up to Your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on Your statutes.’
Once again like the psalmist those who know the depth of God’s riches will seek His face and look to Him for guidance in this life and the one to come. For the second time the psalmist writes how he loves God’s commandments and he also promises to meditate on God’s statutes, so may we all do likewise. Amen.
Introduction: In this section we can read that the psalmist suffered affliction and persecution for his faith but in turning to God’s Word he is given comfort (verses 50 and 52) and hope (verse 49) which are our two main words that we shall focus on. It is when we are in dark and difficult days that we can meditate and reflect on our Lord’s promises to us and also on His covenant names towards us to bring comfort and the promised and sure hope of a blessed tomorrow unto all eternity. The best is truly yet to come.
The Dictionary defines the word Comfort as: The easing or alleviation of a person’s feelings of grief or distress. E.g. “a few words of comfort” giving consolation or sympathy.
The psalmist continues with the thought of being comforted by God in verse 76 of Psalm 119.
Verse 76 – ‘Let, I pray, Your merciful kindness be my comfort.’ (See also verse 82).
Proposition: It is within God’s covenant names that we can find true comfort and hope.
1) Jehovah Shalom – the Lord is my peace. Peace liver a river, flowing each day as He promised.
2) Jehovah Jireh – the Lord will supply my every need, spiritually, physically, financially.
3) Jehovah Nissi – the Lord is my banner, and His banner over me is love.
4) Jehovah Rohi – the Lord is my Shepherd and Psalm 23 has been and is such a comfort to millions.
5) Jehovah Rophe – the Lord is my healer. Bitter waters will be made sweet. The years the locust have eaten at shall be healed and restored in His love towards us.
There are 3 other covenant names given to us by the ‘I AM’ (YHVH) within the scriptures but the above 5 show us His comfort and our hope in our God and King as the number 5 within the scriptures denotes grace. (To see the teaching on all the 8 Covenant names of our God go to Psalm 23).
Teaching: There are 3 main points to see within this section of Psalm 119.
1) The Psalmist’s Request – verse 49. ‘Remember Thy Word to Your servant, upon which you have caused me to hope.’ His request is quite simple and childlike, his whole trust is in the Lord the only real hope anyone has in this life and the life to come.
2) The Psalmist’s Recognition – verse 50. ‘This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.’ God’s word gives us life when we are afflicted, injured or hurt. We have the promise of the abundant life and eternal life, the double portion.
Verse 51 – ‘The proud have me in great derision, yet I do not turn aside from Your law.’
Again we see the hope of the saint in God’s law when we are insulted or come under scornful abuse from those around us. The psalmist shows restraint instead of responding to insults etcetera.
3) The Psalmist’s Remembrance – verses 52 to 56.
Verse 52 – ‘I remembered Your judgments of old, O Lord, and have comforted myself.’
Verse 53 – ‘Indignation has taken hold of me because of the wicked who forsake Your law.’
Verse 54 – ‘Your statutes have become my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.’
These three verses show us comfort, complaint and consolation through meditation and singing unto the Lord. Psalms 120 to 134 were songs of ascent sung during the pilgrimage up to Jerusalem.
We are told in Ephesians and Colossians to sing to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. It is good to praise the Lord and to worship Him with awe and reverence.
Verse 55 – ‘I remember Thy name in the night, O Lord and I keep Your law.’
Here is relationship, trust and obedience. These words are life to us as saints, it has never been about religion but having a relationship with the Living God, to trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy in the Lord Jesus is to trust in His redemptive work and to obey His commandments as disciples, then the truth sets us free.
Verse 56 – ‘This has become mine, because I kept Your precepts.’
We become as one with Him when we keep the Lord’s precepts, His moral instructions to live a holy and moral life. Ours is a high calling with high rewards as obedience brings blessings from on high!
Conclusion: As we read on and study these 22 sections of Psalm 119 this being the seventh one, we are learning so much and our faith is being added to as God’s Word grows us. It is truly living and active when we apply it to our walk and way before Him. Once again the realisation that the answers to life are contained in this Book of books and Psalm 119 seems to touch on so much of it for us. No wonder the psalmist wrote, ‘O how I love Thy law it is my meditation all the day.’ Amen – so be it with us.
Introduction: There is a simple rule of life in this section of Psalm 119.
If you walk with the wicked their ways will bind you (verse 61) and you will become captive. Bad company corrupts good character! A little leaven (sin) leavens the whole lump, this being your thinking, actions and deeds!
If you walk with the Lord then His mercy will be upon you (verses 58 and 64) and if you walk with His people they will greet and help you to walk in newness of life and liberty within God’s laws and precepts. (See verse 74 re being greeted and verse 79 re being helped).
1) What the Psalmist realised – ‘You are my portion, O Lord’ …
In Him we live and move and have our being. His ways are perfect as Lord and God.
2) What the Psalmist resolved to do – ‘I have said that I would keep Your words.’ Verse 57.
Obedience brings blessing, wisdom and knowledge, insight and discernment, truth sets free.
3) What the Psalmist requested – ‘I entreated Your favour with my whole heart, be merciful to me according to Your word. Verse 58.
Repentance brings renewal. Clean hands and a pure heart are what God desires from us.
4) The Psalmist’s obedience – ‘I thought about my ways and turned my feet to Your testimonies. I made haste and did not delay to keep Your commandments.’ Verses 59-60.
Once again obedience and commitment are seen and we are to emulate this as saints.
5) The Psalmist’s foes and resolve – ‘The cords of the wicked have bound (robbed) me, but I have not forgotten Your law.’ Verse 61.
If we come out to be separate then we will have nothing to do with the darkness of men!
6) The Psalmist’s fervency and trust – ‘At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You, because of Your righteous judgments.’ Verse 62.
Here we see an attitude of gratitude, of holiness of life and trusting in God’s perfect ways.
7) The Psalmist’s friends and testimony – ‘I am a companion of all who fear You and of those who keep Your precepts.’ Verse 63.
Being with like-minded people can add to the joy of our salvation and holiness of life.
8) The Psalmist’s facts and desire – ‘The earth, O Lord, is full of Your mercy, teach me Your statutes.’ Verse 64.
This last verse speaks of God’s love for His creation and His moral laws to guide us.
Introduction: In this section we can see and learn that it was well with the psalmist as he looked to God and was obedient. The Lord wants us to learn His ways and not the world’s so He will teach us how to judge with righteousness lest we be judged! Measure for measure!
Proposition: The psalmist had learnt the lessons that God had shown him and so he was living a victorious life. God’s word will always encourage you in times of affliction. A disciple knows how to walk the walk and so affliction, adversity can bring out the best in us when we walk by faith and not by sight. God has promised to always give us a way out of every temptation re tests and trials that comes along. (1 Corinthians 10:13) Also tribulation worketh patience (Romans 5:3; 12:12 and James 1:3) and so the righteous shall not be moved. What or who can separate us from the love of God – nothing! See Romans 8:37-39.
1) Word of Testimony – ‘You have dealt well with Your servant O Lord, according to Your word.’ Verse 65.
2) Wish for Teaching – ‘Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe Your commandments. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word. You are good and do good, teach me Your statutes. Verse 66-68.
3) Warning about Trials, Tests and Tribulation – ‘The proud have forged a lie against me, but I will keep Your precepts with my whole heart. Their heart is as fat as grease, but I delight in Your law. It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.’ Verses 69-71.
4) Way of Treasure – ‘The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of coins of gold and silver. Verse 72.
As with the psalmist we can acknowledge the Lord God as our Creator for His mighty hand, loving heart and His daily help towards us is clearly seen in these eight verses. Once again we see the psalmist rejoicing in his faith and speaking of his faith and trust in the Lord’s plan and purposes for him. God truly guides and grows us as He is our guardian in all matters. He and only He knows the days ahead for all of us and this is why each of us has a personal living relationship with the true and living God who is all seeing, all knowing and all powerful.
The Bible is the inspired, inerrant and infallible Word of God. It is a do it yourself manual that teaches us how to live our lives before God. It has these moral instructions so that we should live at peace with one another but this seems to allude so many because they do not want to accept there is a Creator and so men have gone their own way, not the Way. His moral code is there for us to have a successful life and for life to work successfully for us in every human aspect, spiritually, mentally, physically, socially and financially.
1) ‘Your hands have made me and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn Your commandment.’ – verse 73.
In coming to know God as our Creator we can rejoice in that we are truly fearfully and wonderfully made as it is written in Psalm 139:14. This brings us into obedience and a desire to follow the Lord’s rules and regulations that are there for us to enjoy the abundant life Jesus spoke of when we accept Him as our personal Lord and Saviour. The Lord is our Creator and so we should allow Him to be our Teacher as He know best. Who is like Him in knowledge and understanding, who is like Him in power and majesty?
The psalmist wants to have a greater understanding and so he asks for more revelation and illumination of God’s commandments in his life. This then is a life lesson for all as we mature in discipleship.
2) ‘Those who fear You will be glad when they see me, because I have hoped in Your word.’ – verse 74.
We know one another by the fruit in our lives which comes about through the change of our character and conduct as we walk with the Lord. So when we meet one another we are glad as we are like minded. We refresh one another, we reveal words of blessing, comfort and encouragement to one another when we sit together. Ours then is a sure and blessed hope and His divine word and promises never fail us as God never forsakes His own.
3) ‘I know, O Lord, that Your judgements are right, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.’ Let, I pray, Your merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to Your word to Your servant. Let Your tender mercies come to me, that I may live; for Your law is my delight.’ – verses 75-77.
We shall deal with these three verses together as they are in context with one another and so we can then see their true overall meaning. Firstly, illness, sickness, affliction and suffering do not come directly from God but He can use them at times to discipline and train us not to take Him for granted as some seem to do. (You cannot have one foot in the world and one foot in God’s House!) So Trials and tests come from the Lord as Peter writes in 1 Peter 1:6-7 but tribulation comes from the world as our Lord taught in John 16:33. We live in a fallen world and so we are subject to disease, germs and illnesses which is common to saint and sinner.
Verse 78 which follows seems to show that his affliction came from others through falsehood in the way they had treated him. The psalmist sees that God had allowed this affliction to come for his own development in being able to stand in his faith and put his trust wholly in the Lord.
God is love but He is also ‘Holy’ and His light penetrates as He changes us in our ways, especially in training the tongue. Our Lord Jesus stated that men would give an account for every idle word in Matthew12:36 and so the fear and reverence of God checks and then changes us from glory into glory. We are clearly warned that without holiness none of us shall see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14.
His mercy and kindness in forgiving when we repent 1 John 1:9 is such a reassurance that he does not reject us but He remembers that we are not as strong as we think. A contrite and humble spirit is what is needed throughout our life before a watching God. Isaiah 57:15. James 4:6, 10. 1 Peter 5:5-6, and Psalm 51:17.
We must then as the psalmist did look to the Lord for his promises in His word to us as saints and servants in every state we find ourselves in, for He who called is faithful and true in all things. Romans 8:18-39. In Him we truly live and move and have our being. In ourselves we are but dust, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak and so we must come to the Throne of Grace to receive mercy and to find grace in time of need. Hebrews 4:16.
The psalmist knew the Law of the Lord was good converting and restoring the soul and this is why he states that it is his delight. Psalm 19:7-11.
4) ‘Let the proud be ashamed, for they have treated me wrongfully with falsehood; but I will meditate on Your precepts.’ – verse 78.
Here is trust and truth in that the battle belongs to the Lord and vengeance is His as He repays measure for measure. Our Lord opened not His mouth and so we can do the same towards falsehood, lies, gossip and slander. We learn to rest in the Lord more and more. God allows sin to work itself out in the lives of all, but He will have the last word! All will reap what they sow before Him. Amen.
5) ‘Let those who fear You turn to me, those who know Your testimonies.’ – verse 79.
The psalmist needed godly people to come to him after his affliction and he in the future would now be able to relate to others in their affliction whatever it might be. All things then work together for good to those who love and know their God, who have put their trust in Him as Lord and Master. Romans 8:28. Psalm 37:5-6. Proverbs 3:5.
6) ‘Let my heart be blameless regarding Your statutes, that I may not be ashamed.’ – verse 80.
Having been successful in the fight (verse 78) and finding himself secure in fellowship with others (verse 79) the psalmist now shows us his soundness in the Faith (verse 80).
What a fitting end to his testimony set before us. What an example as a man of God he is to us. May our testimony and walk reflect then the teaching of God in His statutes set before us.
The psalmist is in anguish as his enemies almost end his days! Once again we see the faith of the psalmist as he cries out to the Lord for help in his situation which has debilitated him! This section shows us how we can have victory over our enemies by turning to God’s Word for His promises of protection and peace.
Our key verse is 83 where the psalmist likens himself to a bottle in the smoke! The bottle is a wineskin, rendered stiff and cracked having spent time in the smoke and so it is of little use! This is how he feels but he turns to God’s Word for comfort and reassurance. This is something we must always do otherwise people, events and situations can press down on us and make us feel beaten. The next downward step is to then feel anxiety or become depressed instead of facing the situation in prayer and looking to God as our rock, shield and our refuge.
Verse 81 – My soul faints for Your salvation, but I hope in Your word.
Our hope and our trust is in God’s Word. When our soul is fainting His word will strengthen us and show us the way ahead. The Lord is faithful and we can put our trust fully in Him as He has promised to deliver us out of every situation we find ourselves in. (c.f. 1 Cor 10:13).
Verse 82 – My eyes fail from searching Your word, saying. “When will you comfort me?”
The psalmist has been searching through God’s word to stand upon what he has read and so now he cries out to the Lord, asking when his deliverance will come.
Verse 83 – For I have become like a wineskin in smoke. Yet I do not forget Your statutes.
This graphic picture presented by the psalmist shows just how he felt, dried up, cracking and unable to see the way ahead. But once again his faith overcomes and he pronounces that he has not forgotten God’s statutes which are settled in Heaven.
Verse 84 – How many are the days of Your servant? When will You execute judgment on those who persecute me?
Now we see two questions that clarifies the situation. The psalmist is in covenant relationship with the Creator and Sustainer and the Judge of all and so he hands over the entire situation to the Lord. In searching out God’s word he will have read Psalm 90 written by Moses who writes in verse 10 about the length of our years being 70 to 80 years. Here he enquires about the number of days he has to endure the trial and tribulation that has come upon him through his enemies.
Verse 85 – The proud have dug pits for me, which is not according to Your law.
The psalmist now reminds the Lord that the words and actions that have befallen him are not true but false according to His Law. These pits are spoken of in the plural so there was more than one problem and these were getting him down.
Verse 86 – All Your commandments are faithful, they persecute me wrongfully. Help me!
Now we have the psalmist’s direct plead and cry for help from the Lord. When we know the Word of God we are able to judge between the good and the bad around us. By their fruits we know them and the persecution by evildoers that the psalmist was under was wrong and evil. His cry is one of desperation as he could not see a way out as unreasonable men had set their face against him to try and destroy and bring him down. When we look at how many of God’s servants have been unjustly persecuted over the centuries for their faith and holiness of life we are able to relate to this predicament as all believers suffer persecution.
Verse 87 – They almost made an end of me on earth, but I did not forsake Your precepts.
God’s moral instructions seen in His precepts stops us from retaliating, repaying evil with evil. The psalmist writes how his enemies almost ended his life with their vicious attacks against him. They must have plotted to do away with him but the psalmist stood his ground
looking to God to vindicate and protect his life. Evil men are not afraid to take another life, the law and command of God that ‘thou shalt not kill’ means nothing to then. They have no fear of the Lord and eternal punishment for evil acts committed. It is better then to keep away from bad company, we are not to be unequally yoked in any relationship.
Verse 88 – Revive me according to Your loving kindness, so that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth.
Here we see a trusting saint who had gone through a trying situation but once again the psalmist was the victor because God was watching over him. Verse 83 shows he needed restoration as he had suffered systematic deceit and was in dire danger of losing his life as verse 87 shows us. He had survived the evil plans of his enemies and so now he wanted God’s loving kindness to come upon him so he could keep the words of the Lord in his life.
The lesson for us all is that when our soul is troubled we are to stand and see the deliverance of our God. When we cry out He will always answer us even if there seems to be a delay as verse 84 shows us, for the psalmist asks how many days before the Lord will act.
The answer is always in the book and in 1 Timothy 5:24 we are told –
‘Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later.’
So in searching out the word of the Lord we are reminded from Genesis 18:25 –
‘Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?’
And so as it is written –
‘It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.’ Hebrews 10:31.
The psalmist states that God’s Word is settled, which means nothing can change it nor can it pass away or be destroyed.
The Lord Jesus confirms this in Matthew 24:35. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
We can therefore put our trust in the Lord’s words which give us:-
1) A solid foundation whereas the world can offer no lasting stability.
2) A solid faith in His word that we know has been tried and tested in the past.
3) A solid fellowship as the Lord has promised to guide and keep us secure.
Body of Teaching:
We can see six major points of teaching in these eight verses.
1. God’s Word is Permanent – verse 89. Forever, O Lord. Your word is settled in Heaven.
His word is truly settled in Heaven. From there he reigns and rules over this world.
The Lord’s plan and purposes are settled from the beginning to the end of the age.
Our faith therefore is not a leap in the dark as some would charge us with! Why?
Because the surest thing in this universe is the Holy Bible, it is inspired, inerrant and
Infallible. No one has ever disproved it and so there is no risk in believing His Word
that is firmly fixed and settled forever in Heaven. It is full of light, life, love and liberty. ‘God is not a man that He may lie.’ cf. Numbers 23:19.
2. God’s Word is Powerful – verses 90-91. Your faithfulness endures to all generations. You established the earth and it abides. They continue this day according to Your ordinances for all are Your servants.
His word keeps us and by it the world was made and He sustains it by His power. All are subject to His will whether they know it or not! All serve Him one way or another. It is He who gave the nations their boundaries, He raises up kings and rulers and He
has also pulled down nations according to His perfect will and knowledge. God’s faithfulness is not just read about in His word but is also seen in His works towards mankind. He brought the seasons into being and so seedtime and harvest, winter and summer, cold and heat, each season of day and night are regulated by Him. The saint can therefore see and know that Heaven and Earth obey God’s laws and are sustained by His awesome power.
3. God’s Word gives us Protection – verses 92. Unless Your law had been my delight I would have perished in my affliction.
Here the psalmist recognises that obedience brings God’s blessing and protection and so our obedience to His moral instructions will also keep us safe and well. The eternal God is our refuge and underneath are His everlasting arms to uphold us. Death has no hold on us and our Lord Jesus rose to prove this very point. He is the resurrection and the life. Hundreds saw Him after He rose. cf. 1 Corinthians 15:4-8.
4. God’s Word gives us Prosperity – verse 93-94. I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have given me life. I am Yours, save me, for I have sought Your precepts.
Through trusting in God’s Law and instructions the psalmist knows he has salvation. He affirms his trust in the Living God in whom only is there eternal life. As long as we put our trust in God then we will have His guidance and wisdom to live our lives.
His Word truly gives us knowledge for this life and the next. Those who have experienced the power of God’s Word in their lives will neither forget nor doubt and will continue to be a pilgrim walking towards Glory. The psalmist asks in the present tense for the Lord to save him and so day by day we must pick up our crosses and crucify the flesh so that we are not defiled nor damaged. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak just as the Lord Jesus warned us! Thankfully, He ever lives to intercede for us as our High priest and Saviour.
5. God’s Word give us Peace – verse 95. The wicked wait for me to destroy me, but I will consider Your testimonies.
As with the psalmist our reliance must be on God who is faithful and will never forsake us nor leave us. His testimony can be trusted as he is God and there is no other like Him. The evil plans of the wicked cannot harm us as nothing can separate us from the love of God. cf. Romans 8:33-39. The believer will always find solace in God’s testimonies. By following God we can always expect to have opposition from those who disbelieve and go their own way, not the way in which we find truth and the abundant life that is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
6. God’s Word is Perfection – verse 96. I have seen the consummation of all perfection, but Your commandment is exceedingly broad.
The psalmist’s testimony is that his fullness is in God alone in which all who put their trust and confidence will see the perfection and beauty of the Lord forevermore. His promises are yea and amen. The very best things in this world are imperfect, houses, cars, diamonds, et al all have flaws. Only God is perfect, holy and true and so His Holy Word is perfect and infinite. Amen.
The psalmist teaches us that the only way to learn God’s Word is through systematic study just as he did through guidance from the Holy Spirit of God and not turning to any man, unless they are a scholarly saint like yourself. Far too much error or human thought has been put into books that purport to be exegetical commentary. Far too many false teachers and so called apostles have risen up given their unsound thoughts that have led many astray into faith prosperity teaching and false revivals that have been exposed over the last three decades.
The first rule of exegesis is the rule of context, understanding the verse in its context by examining what is written before and after it so that you do not end up with a pretext by taking one verse out of context and not seeing what the verses before and after fully teach us. We can then look at the literal, grammatical and the historical setting to fully appreciate what has been written for us just as the Holy Spirit guided the writers of Holy Writ down through the ages.
The golden rule of learning is to allow God first and foremost to be your teacher and not man. cf John 14:26 and John 16:13-15. Then you can spread your branches and learn from every good source as you have established a learning curve that will serve you well.
Verse 98 teaches us that it is dangerous to learn from your enemies in anything!
Verses 99 and 100 show that teachers, the elderly and your friends may not know what God wants you to know so again let Him be your guide. Without biblical truth there can be no real unity and so unless there is a verse confirming any teaching avoid it! We have those amongst us who think that the truth can be grasped via the mind but divine truth is by the Spirit of God and so we need to discern and the Lord has giving this as a gift along with wisdom to leaders and saint alike as He sees fit. We are to test all things and to stand fast rejecting foolish or false teaching!
Body of Teaching:
1) His Source is God’s Word.
a. His Experience:–
Verse 97 – Oh, how I love Your Law! It is my meditation all the day,
Verse 98 – You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me.
Because the Lord is our Shepherd we will fear no evil nor man for His rod and staff comfort us and the Lord can prepare a table for us in the midst of our enemies to sit in His presence.
b. His Education:–
Verse 99 – I have more understanding than all my teachers. For Your testimonies are my meditation.
Verse 100 – I understand more than the ancients. Because I keep Your precepts.
2) His Sanctity comes from studying to give:–
a. A Separated Life – verse 101. I have restrained my feet from every evil way. That I may keep Your word.
Paul the Apostle confirms two things for us regarding the way of the psalmist before God.
2 Corinthians 6:14. Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion (of fellowship) has light with darkness?
In farming you cannot yoke a bullock and a mule together as their pace or step is different and so with us as we cannot be in continual fellowship with unbelievers in life, in marriage, or in business as you will be out of step, thought and deed. When we come alongside the unsaved it is to be light and to be an example to them, spiritually, mentally, socially and physically.
Ephesians 5:11. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
The key words here are the unfruitful works of darkness in which we are not to partake with worldly people, but we are to give them the good news of salvation and ‘by all means’. (cf. 1 Cor 9:19-23).
We are to preach the gospel of good news that Messiah died for our sins and if we come to Him that loved us, we can be forgiven when we have repented and then walk in newness of life.
b. A Steadfast Life – verse 102. I have not departed from Your judgments. For You Yourself have taught me.
In season and out of season we are to be the same, showing the same diligence to the end. For our Lord Jesus taught that those that endure to the end (of their life) will be saved and stand in the presence of God. Having a steadfast spirit before the Lord will allow us to continue the race set before us. The spirit is willing and yet the flesh can be weak and so we are to symbolically pick up our own crosses and crucify the flesh on a daily basis.
c. A Satisfied Life – verses 103-104. How sweet are Your words to my taste. Sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Your precepts I get understanding, therefore I hate every false way.
Again we are taught by the Lord Jesus to take His yoke which is light and then we will enjoy the abundant life that the Word of God teaches us in many places. Eternal joy and happiness will be ours forever more just as Psalm 23 teaches us – Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever. Amen.
Our key verse and a good memory one is verse 105. Why? Because we live in a dark and dangerous world and we need God’s word to give us spiritual light and to also show us the way on the path of life. The enemy would try to derail us in our walk with the Lord.
There are three main points within the section of Psalm 119.
1) God’s Word guides us in our walk, in our weaknesses and in our worship. Verses 105-108.
2) God’s Word guards us from wickedness. Verses 109-110.
3) God’s Word gladdens us as we have a heavenly home to come. Verses 111-112.
Verse 105 – ‘Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.’
This verse shows us that God gives us light for one step at a time and as we study and walk in His ways we receive more light and guidance. There truly is nothing like His Word and God sent His Son as the Word of Life. His Word truly illuminates all things and shows us how to discern, judge and learn that we may know His way and the abundant life. His light pierces the darkness and reveals the truth about all things. Nothing can escape or hide from God’s light and He will judge all things as it is written.
Verse 106 – ‘I have sworn and confirmed that I will keep Your righteous judgments.’
Here is the psalmist’s affirmation of faith and obedience at his recognition of God’s authority in all matters. God is God, His intelligence is far above all of man’s and all He does or commands is done in righteousness and holiness.
Verse 107 – ‘I am afflicted very much. Revive me, O Lord, according to Your word.’
As with the psalmist whenever we feel afflicted in any way we can cry out to the Lord for help as we are in covenant relationship with Him as His people who have put their trust in Him. Note how the psalmist does not ask the Lord how to revive Him but leaves it to God’s perfect will and understanding in all situations that we find ourselves in.
Verse 108 – ‘Accept, I pray, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, and teach me Your judgments.’
Here is real humility and prayer is the way we communicate with our Heavenly Father. The psalmist sees his prayers as an offering of praise and worship unto the Lord as he asks for instruction and guidance.
Verse 109 – ‘My life is continually in my hand, yet I do not forget Your law.’
In the freedom and liberty that God gives each of us in this life the psalmist is acknowledging that he does not forget the laws of God that are there to keep us within righteous and holy boundaries. Just as a child need boundaries to keep within so we as believers need those that are written in God’s Word. They are for the betterment of our life and His laws are perfect.
Verse 110 – ‘The wicked have laid a snare for me, yet I have not strayed from Your precepts.’
Here we can see the value of God’s precepts, His moral instructions for our life as we have an enemy of our souls and worldly people can also wish to snare us or make us detour from the straight and narrow path of life in our Lord and Saviour. We are taught that we are a holy people and that we are to come out and be separate from the world’s ways. This will bring persecution as those who are spiritually blind will despise us for walking in holiness of life. Because we will not join in their ways we will be criticised and victimised wrongly!
Verse 111 – ‘Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage (inheritance) forever. For they are the rejoicing of my heart.’
His eternal word gives us wisdom and knowledge. God’s instructions once learnt bring great joy into the heart and we feel happy and blessed, knowing that God is watching over us. He delights to see His children happy and contented as they walk before Him. God neither slumbers nor sleeps, He truly is the guardian of His people.
Verse 112 – ‘I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes forever, to the very end.’
Once again we read of the psalmist’s affirmation of heart faith and determination to keep to the instructions contained in God’s Word all his life. May we do the very same. Amen.
The saint is to walk in righteousness and holiness of life. This is why James writes for us that a double minded man becomes unstable in all his ways. When we cultivate and then practice a holy fear of God and His Word then we will not fall, nor backslide, nor be ashamed of our testimony before those around us.
This section of Psalm 119 is similar in thought to Psalm 1 where we see the godly and the ungodly, a comparing between the righteous and the unrighteous. In Psalm 119:113-120 the psalmist writes of his revulsion towards evildoers and his fear and awe of God Almighty.
Verse 113 – ‘I hate the double minded (divided in heart or mind), but I love Your law.’
The psalmist shows his testimony in stating that he cannot stand those who are double mind. The warning for believers from James in his epistle in chapter 1 verses 6-8 is that the faithful are not to doubt otherwise because of their lack of faith they cannot receive anything from the Lord. We have in Hebrews 11:6 that without faith it is impossible to please our God, for faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1.
Verse 114 – ‘You are my hiding place and my shield, I hope in Your word.’
God is our refuge and an ever present help in times of trouble. We are to rest in his love and protection for nothing can separate us from the love of God in Messiah Jesus our Lord just as Romans 8:39 states. God is our shield and so our total trust and hope is in Him alone. We are also to take the shield of faith to extinguish the fiery darts (thoughts) of the wicked one. This along with the other parts of our spiritual armour is taught us in Ephesians 6:13-17.
Verse 115 – ‘Depart from me you, you evildoers, for I will keep the commandments of my God.’
In thought, word and deed we see the strength and conviction of the psalmist to not be in the company of the unrighteous. Why? Because a little leaven can leaven the whole lump, being our eyes, ears, mind, tongue, body, soul and spirit if we were to allow it by walking with evildoers! If we sit with them on an on-going basis we would become like them. Like begets like! The Lord’s command is to come out and be separate from the ways and means of the world. Cf. 1 Corinthians 6:14-18.
Verse 116 – ‘Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live; and do not let me be ashamed of my hope.’
Now the psalmist expresses his need for scripture and God’s support. He does not ever want to be ashamed before others as he has placed his hope in God totally. May we do the same.
Verse 117 – ‘Hold me up, and I shall be safe; and I shall observe Your statutes continually.’
Again we see our need for support from God just as with the psalmist. In this we can feel safe and be assured of God’s assistance in every situation of life that comes along. In observing God’s statutes, which are written for our guidance we can continually maintain our life in God.
Verses 20-21 and 24-25 in the letter of Jude gives us this assurance:
But you beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, Date : 30/11/-0001
praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God,
looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present
you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.
To God our Saviour, who alone is wise, be glory and maje
Date : 30/11/-0001