Psalm 119 – Gimel

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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.

Gimel – We Need God’s Word

Please read Psalm 119:17-24 for the background to this section.

If ever we feel we can ignore our daily time with God in His Word, then this is the Scripture to read. We need the Word because we are servants, and in His Word, our Master gives us directions for the work He wants us to do. Eli the priest was wrong in many things, but he was right when he taught young Samuel to pray, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” – 1 Samuel 3:9 (NASB). As God’s faithful servant, the anonymous writer of this psalm is ranked along with Moses, Joshua, David, Daniel, James, Paul, and Timothy, all of whom carried that title. But each child of God can serve the Lord and bear that same title (Psalms 113:1; 134:1; 2 Timothy 2:24; 1 Peter 2:16). Everything in creation serves the Lord, and we who are His redeemed people ought to join them. He always deals bountifully with His servants and provides for them adequately (Psalms 13:6; 116:7; 142:7; Luke 22:35; Philippians 4:19).

Not only are we servants, but we are also students, and our basic manual is the Word of God. However, unless God opens our eyes, we will never see the wonderful things hidden in its pages (Ephesians 1:17–18). God’s Word is wonderful, His works are wonderful (Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, 24, 31), and His love is wonderful (Psalm 31:21, NIV), and we must meditate on the wonder of His Person, His truth, and His mighty works. The eyes have an appetite (see 1 John 2:16) and we must be careful where we focus them. Eyes that feast on the vanities of this world will never see the wonders in God’s Word.

et strangers and pilgrims

Like the patriarchs of old, we are also strangers in this world (Psalm 105:12, 23; Genesis 23:4; Exodus 2:22; Leviticus 25:23; Hebrews 11:8–9, 13–16; 1 Peter 1:1; 2:11), and we need the Lord’s guidance as we walk the pilgrim path. God’s people are being led on the narrow road that leads to life, while the people of the world are on the broad road that leads to judgment (Matthew 7:13–14). Just as the cloud and fiery pillar led Israel in their wilderness journey (Numbers 9:15–23), so the Scriptures lead us. The psalmist felt a crushing burden to read and ponder God’s ordinances, and unlike many travelers today, he was not afraid to ask the Lord for directions. If we take time to meditate on the Word and seek the Lord, He will show us the path of life (Psalm 16:11).

Because we serve a different Master, obey a different set of laws, and have our citizenship in a different country (Philippians 3:20), we are different from the lost people whom Jesus called “the sons of this world.” – Luke 16:8. We will not conform to the world (Romans 12:2), and the world opposes and persecutes us because of this. Therefore, we are also sufferers who bear reproach for Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:20–21; Hebrews 13:13). The psalmist called these persecutors “the arrogant [proud]” and described them as disobeying God’s law, ignoring it, wandering from it, and forsaking it. Because they reject God’s Word, they reject God’s people and mock them, lie about them, try to trap them, and oppress them without cause. These are the “willful sins” that David wrote about in Psalm 19:13 (NIV). This opposition was in high places among the rulers, which would mean the nobles and officers of the land. The psalmist wanted God to remove the reproach they had put on him like a garment (see Psalms 35:26; 109:29; 132:18), but the psalmist’s suffering gave him opportunity to bear witness to nobles and kings (and see Matthew 10:18; Acts 9:15; Philippians 1:12–18; 4:22). The writer needed wisdom to know how to handle these difficult situations and he found counsel in God’s Word. Instead of listening to the enemy’s slander, he meditated on God’s truth. That is a good way to keep your mind clean and confident (Philippians 4:4–7).

To Be Continued

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Adapted and modified excerpts from Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Exultant, “Be” Commentary Series.
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Where noted, Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV © 2011 by Biblica, Inc.
Where noted, Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible®, NASB © 2020 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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