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.
Yodh (Yod) – Read the Instructions
Please read Psalm 119:73-80 for the background to this section.
Led by God’s Spirit, the author wrote this long psalm to convince us to make knowing and obeying the Word of God the most important activities in our lives. In the previous section, he reminded us how necessary God’s Word is when we are experiencing difficulties, but it does not stop there. We need God’s Word for all of life. He mentioned several ministries of the Word that are necessary in the life of the faithful child of God.
We learn about ourselves. When you purchase a new appliance, you take time to read the owner’s manual. The Bible is the owner’s manual for God’s people. It is the only book that tells the truth about where we came from, why we are here, what we must do to succeed in life, and where we are going. God made us (Psalm 139:13–18) and knows us better than we know ourselves, and He shares this knowledge in His Word. As we read, we “see ourselves” in the people and circumstances described in the pages of the Bible. We do not see “past history” but present reality! Unbelievers have no idea what the world and its people are really like, for the “real world” and the “real people” are presented in the pages of the Bible. The Bible is a mirror in which we see ourselves—and then instructs us to do something about what we see (James 1:22–27).
We become a blessing to others. When we hope in God’s Word, we have joy in life, and this helps us to encourage others. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle” (author, Ian Maclaren). Are people happy to see us arrive or are they happier when we leave? When our friends and acquaintances have burdens, do they turn to us for help, or do we add to their burdens? We are commanded to bear our own burdens courageously and to help others bear their burdens (Galatians 6:2, 5).
We receive God’s best in our afflictions. Life is difficult and we must accept from the hand of God both the pleasant experiences and the unpleasant (Job 2:1–10; Philippians 4:10–13). In the dark hours of life, the Word is a light that shows us the way, and we do not go stumbling down the wrong paths. We have the love of God to comfort us and the promises of God to encourage us. We may not delight in our circumstances, but we pray that God will use them to spread the Gospel and glorify His name (Philippians 1:12–16). The enemy attacks us, but we turn to the Word and find the help that we need. Our determination in Christ is that we shall not be ashamed. God’s decrees are perfect and they come from His loving heart (Psalm 33:11), so we have nothing to fear.
When all else fails, read the instructions.
To Be Continued