What a blessing it was to continue our journey together through Psalm 119. Here is a recap of our study.
As we moved through the second stanza, Beth. We discussed the following:
- We must carefully treasure up the word of God,
- We must declare it to others,
- We must meditate on it
- We must delight in it
- By His grace we shall act according to it
The Psalmist in this psalm is going through great persecution by his adversaries and he literally clings to God’s Word to help him through. The Word is everything to him, despite all that is going on around him – he finds solace and strength in God’s Word.
First, here is a glossary of a few words we will find often throughout our study.
“Law” (tôrâh), occurs 25 times in the psalm, denotes direction or instruction. More often the word refers to a body of teaching, probably Deuteronomy and Leviticus, if not the whole Pentateuch.
“Word” (dāḇār) occurs 20 times in the psalm. It is a general term for God’s revelation
“Saying” (’imrâh, often trans. “promise” in the niv) occurs 19 times. It is often a poetical synonym for WORD
“Commandment” (miṣwâh) occurs (in the Heb.) 21 times in the plural (usually trans. “commands” in the niv) and once in the singular collectively. It signifies a definite, authoritative command. It is frequently joined with the next two words.
“Statutes” (ḥūqqîm) occurs 21 times. In the Psalms it is always in the plural. Literally it means “things inscribed.” So it refers to enacted Laws (and is trans. “decrees” in the niv).
“Judgment” (mišpoṭ) occurs 19 times in the plural (often trans. “laws” in niv), and 4 times in the singular. It represents a judicial decision that constitutes a precedence, a binding law. In the Pentateuch it referred to the laws after the Ten Commandments. The word can also mean God’s judgmental acts on the wicked.
“Precepts” (piqqûḏîm) occurs 21 times. It is a poetical word for injunctions, found only in the Psalter (always in the pl.).
“Testimony” (‘ēḏâh) occurs 22 times in the plural and once in the singular. It is a solemn declaration of the will of God. It is a general word for ordinances that became God’s standard of conduct. It is usually rendered “statutes” in the NIV.
“Way” (derek), used five times in the plural and six times in the singular, is a metaphorical term describing the pattern of life marked out by God’s Law.
I. We must carefully treasure up the word of God
9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.
Here are some fundamental things we have to remember about God’s word:
Every word God speaks is true! (John 17:17 – Sanctify them in the truth, Your Word is truth!) God is unable to speak an untruth and He is never mistaken! He knows all things as they reall are and sees what has happened, is happening and will happen – He is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Since He is responsible for everything and all accurate knowledge comes from Him, that makes Him the standard for all truth! Everything else is therefore measured by Him! This is the foundation of His Word and the foundation for our faith: We have to believe wholeheartedly in the infallible word of God – We have to believe that all scripture is given by inspiration of God (meaning that it is God breathed) and is profitable for reproof, for correction and instruction in righteousness – II Tim 3:16
The psalmist is asking how can we live pure lives in a filthy environment? The ONLY way we can live clean lives is by living by the Word of God – we cannot do it on our own!!!
10 With my whole heart have I sought thee O let me not wander from thy commandments.
we know, like the Psalmist that we have a tendency to wander from God’s commandments right? But He is imploring the Lord – Please God don’t let me wander, don’t let me stray or step aside [either in ignorance or willfully] from Your commandments (AMP).
11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, That I might not sin against thee. 12 Blessed art thou, O LORD: Teach me thy statutes.
Thy word have I hid, stored, treasured up in my heart that I might not sin against You. Hiding God’s Word in our hearts is a deterrent to sin. This is one of the reasons why we should memorize scripture. But memorization by itself will not keep us from sin, we must also put God’s Word to work in our lives and then it has to become a guide for everything we do.
II. We must declare it to others
13 With my lips have I declared All the judgments of thy mouth.
The Psalmist is not interested in keeping what he knows about God’s Word to Himself – he understands that it is not only his responsibility to declare God’s truth to others, but it is a command by God.
14 I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, As much as in all riches.
In our glossary words: the word testimonies is a solemn declaration of the will of God. It is a general word for ordinances that became God’s standard of conduct. These are God’s rules! The psalmist says that he is rejoicing in God’s rules – more so than he would even for riches! Now, we don’t like rules, we think rules prevent us from doing what we want and here he is saying he rejoices in God’s rules! But that’s because he understands that God’s rules were given to free us to be all that He wants us to be. They restrict us from doing those things that might cripple us and keep us from being our best in Him. His guidelines help us follow His path and avoid paths that lead us to destruction.
III. We must meditate on it
15 I will meditate in thy precepts, And have respect unto thy ways.
ESV says: 15 I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.
We can’t care what is going on around us we have to keep our eyes fixed and laser focused = like we said last week – on His Ways! The psalmist was being taunted for his beliefs, he was being ridiculed because of his faith and trust in God – but he was determined to meditate on God’s Word.
IV. We must delight in it
We must take great pleasure in His statutes, His commandments, His testimonies because we know that His Word is truth, it is the standard by which we must live and it is not grievous – it is always working for our good and His glory.
V. By His grace we shall act according to it
I will not forget thy word.
Only by the grace of God can we do what it says and not forget it! We cannot do this on our own, we must depend and trust and rely on the Holy Spirit to prick our hearts and make us obedient to God’s Word!
We will NOT have Bible Study on January 18th due to MLK birthday celebrations at the church. Please join us on January 25th at noon!