Psalm 119 – Ayin

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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.

Ayin – Blessed Assurance

Please read Psalm 119:121-128 for the background to this section.

For the first time, the word “oppressors” and “oppress” appear in this psalm. The word describes the abuse of power and authority, taking advantage of the underprivileged by either violence or deceit. The word includes the ideas of accusation and slander. The Jews were commanded not to oppress one another (Leviticus 25:14, 17; Deuteronomy 24:5–22), and this included the strangers in the land (Exodus 22:2; 23:9). Often, God’s people suffer oppression while the guilty go free. When that happens, we need to remember the Lord and what He does for us.

The Lord is the Rewarder. The psalmist was not boasting but affirming to the Lord that he was not guilty of anything that deserved punishment. He was a man of integrity who had a clear conscience; he had treated others justly and had practiced God’s holy laws diligently. That in itself was a blessing, but God’s people long to see justice reigning on the earth. When God rewards His people, it is a witness to sinners that their day of judgment is certain (Psalm 58:10–11). “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.” – Hebrews 10:35, (see also Isaiah 40:10; Revelation 22:12).

The Lord is our Surety. The King James Version and New American Standard Bible are superior here to the word “ensure” used in the New International Version. A person became surety when he or she pledged to pay another person’s debt or fulfill a promise. When Jacob refused to allow Benjamin to go to Egypt for food with his brothers, it was Judah who willingly became surety for his youngest brother (Genesis 43:1–10; 44:18–34). Judah’s passionate speech before his brother in Egypt assured Joseph that Judah had truly experienced a change of heart and that it was safe to reveal his identity to the men.

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To become surety for a friend’s debts is forbidden in Scripture, lest you end up with a burden greater than you can handle (Proverbs 11:15; 17:18; 22:26–27). But the Son of God became surety for those who have trusted Him! (Hebrews 7:22). No matter how many promises we might make to the Lord, we can never fulfill them. But in His death on the cross, Jesus has paid the debt for us, and in His ministry of intercession at the throne in heaven, He is our living Surety. As long as He lives, our salvation is secure, and He lives “according to the power of an endless life.” – Hebrews 7:16. So, no matter what people do to us and no matter how we feel, our Surety is secure and we remain in the family of God. Jesus has taken the responsibility for our salvation, and He will never fail.

The Lord is our Master. Whenever people attack us, they also attack the Lord, for we belong to Him. When Saul of Tarsus persecuted Christians on earth, He also persecuted their Lord in heaven (Acts 9:1–5). God cares for His servants. He does not always prevent us from being oppressed, but He always has a good reason for permitting it to happen. He is a loving Master who teaches us His will and gives us the discernment we need to handle the problems of life. Even more, He gives us promises that we can claim and thereby find the strength and wisdom we need. God’s servants do not live by explanations; they live by promises.

The Lord is the Final Judge. In our impatience, we sometimes want God to work immediately and set everything right, but His ways and times are not always the same as ours. Faith and patience go together (Hebrews 6:12), and God’s delays are not God’s denials. The day will come when the truth will be revealed and sin will be judged; meanwhile, instead of complaining about what we have paid or lost, let us rejoice in the wealth that we have in God’s Word, wealth that can never be taken from us. All of God’s precepts concerning all things are always right, so we can depend on the Scriptures and have the guidance that we need. If we love the Word, we will hate the wrong paths of sinners and stay away from them. We do not even put one foot on the path of the wicked! (Proverbs 1:13).

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.
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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