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.
Heth – God Is All We Need
Please read Psalm 119:57-64 for the background to this section.
Whenever the people of Israel failed God and turned to idols for help, it was evidence that they did not really believe Jehovah was adequate to meet their needs. In the time of Elijah, Israel tried to remedy the drought by turning to Baal, the Canaanite storm god, but it was the Lord who sent the rain in answer to the prophet’s prayer. When the enemy threatened to invade their land, the leaders of Israel often ran to Egypt for help, as though Jehovah was unconcerned and unable to deliver them. The psalmist in this section makes it clear that the Lord God Almighty is all we need.
God is our portion. This is real estate language and refers to the apportioning of the land of Canaan to the tribes of Israel (Psalm 78:55; Joshua 13–21). The priests and Levites were not given an inheritance in the land because the Lord was their inheritance and their portion (Numbers 18:20–24; Deuteronomy 10:8–9; 12:12). Jeremiah, the priest called to be a prophet, called the Lord “the Portion of Jacob” (Jeremiah 10:16; 51:19; Lamentations 3:24), and David used the same image in Psalm 16:5–6. The “lines” in 16:6 refer to the property lines of one’s land, the inheritance given by God.
Believers today have a rich spiritual inheritance in the Lord Jesus Christ, for God’s fullness is in Him and we are “complete in him” (Colossians 2:9–10). He is our life (Colossians 3:4) and our “all in all” (Colossians 3:11). Because we are in Him, we have “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). Our riches in Christ are revealed in the Word, which is our “spiritual bankbook,” and His wealth can never diminish. The psalmist had made promises to obey the Lord, but that is not how we get our wealth from the Lord. What He provides for us is a gracious gift, not a loan, and we are not required to promise to repay Him (Romans 11:33–36). Accept the inheritance He has given you, rejoice in it, and trust Him to supply every need.
God is our Master. The land inherited by the Israelites actually belonged to the Lord (Leviticus 25:23) and He cared for it (Deuteronomy 11:8–17). If the people obeyed the terms of the covenant, God would bless the people and their labors in the land, but if they turned to idols, He would chasten them, first in the land and then in other lands. Loving obedience was the condition for God’s blessing, even as it is today. Our mind belongs to Him (“I thought about my ways”) and our feet belong to Him (“turned my feet”). Our time belongs to Him and we must not delay obeying His will. In ancient days, no servant could say “No,” no servant could linger or postpone doing the master’s will, and no servant could give excuses or say “I forgot.” The servant’s responsibility is to hear the master’s orders, remember them, and obey them immediately.
God is our greatest joy. It should be the Christian’s greatest joy to know God, love Him, hear His voice, and obey His will. Praying to Him and praising Him should be more refreshing to us than sleep. Being with His people should satisfy our hearts, and we should see the love and glory of God in all of creation. Whether we are lying on our bed at midnight, meditating on His Word, fellowshipping with God’s people, or taking a walk in God’s glorious creation, we love God, listen to Him, and thank Him. “All who fear you” is a fine description, for the fear of God ought to mark the people of God. In spite of the disobedience of mankind and the ravages of sin that destroy God’s creation, the earth is still full of God’s lovingkindness, and though we are pilgrims and strangers on this earth, God is our home (Psalm 90:1) and therefore we have nothing to fear.
To Be Continued