Scripture Text – Psalm 119
The emphasis in this the longest psalm, and the basic theme, is on the vital ministry and practical use of the Word of God in the inner spiritual life of God’s children. It describes how the Word enables us to grow in holiness and handle the persecutions and pressures that always accompany an obedient walk of faith.
The Word of God performs many wonderful ministries in the life of the devoted believer. If we delight in His Word, learn it, treasure it within, and obey what it says, the Lord will work in us and through us to accomplish great things for His glory! Circumstances may change, but God and His Word remain the same.
Beth – Take Time To Be Holy
Please read Psalm 119:9-16 for the background to this section.
The writer closed the first section determined to keep the law of the Lord, a promise he repeated in verse 145. He began this section like a true Jewish teacher by asking a question of the young men he was instructing: “How can a young man cleanse his way?” He also promised to meditate on the Word, to delight in the Word and not forget it, and to run in the way of the Lord. But he knew that it is easier to make promises than to keep them, a lesson Paul learned when he tried in his own strength to obey God’s law (Romans 7:14–25). Paul learned, as we must also learn, that the indwelling Holy Spirit enables the child of God to fulfill God’s righteousness in daily life (Romans 8:1–11). We must live according to God’s Word, which means cultivating a heart for God. Paul stated we can accomplish this when we “seek those things which are above, where Christ is.” – Colossians 3:1.
We need a heart that seeks God, for if our heart is seeking God, our feet will not stray from God (see Proverbs 4:23). Such a heart will see Him in all of life, learn more about Him, fellowship with Him, and glorify Him in all that is said and done. Again, the Holy Spirit enables us to do this as we yield to Him. But we must also spend time in the Word and treasure it in our hearts (see also Job 23:12; Proverbs 2:1; 7:1). It is not our promises to the Lord but His promises to us that will give us victory over sin. We also need a thankful heart and a teachable spirit that will enable us to learn from the Lord. A. W. Tozer used to warn against being “man taught” instead of “God taught.” The Lord has given teachers to His church and we should heed them. But unless the truth we hear moves from the head (and the notebook) into the heart, written there by the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:1–3), and then to the will, we have not really learned the Word or been blessed by it. The blessing comes, not in hearing the Word but in doing it (James 1:22–25). We should also speak with others about the Word and seek to enrich them with spiritual treasures. The heart is a treasury from which we draw spiritual wealth to encourage and help ourselves and others (Matthew 12:35; 13:51–52). The Scriptures as riches is a repeated theme in 119 (and see Psalm 19:10). To treasure any possession above the Word of God is idolatry and leads to trouble. Consider Lot (Genesis 13, 18–19), Achan (Joshua 6–7), King Saul (1 Samuel 15), and Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5). On the positive side, consider Abraham (Genesis 14:18–24), Moses (Hebrews 11:24–27), Mary of Bethany (Mark 14:3–9), and Paul (Philippians 3:1–11).
Whatever delights will capture our attention and we will think about it and meditate on it. This is true of God’s Word. In this psalm, delighting in the Word, loving the Word, and meditating on the Word are found together, and they should be found together in our hearts and lives. We must take time to be holy. Remember, the Lord commands it, “Be holy, for I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:16; Leviticus 11:44.
To Be Continued