Psalm 119 – Pe

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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.

Pe – A Chain Reaction

Please read Psalm 119:129-136 for the background to this section.

This section begins with the wonder of God’s Word and ends with the weeping of the writer because the arrogant disobey the Word. Just as love and hate and joy and affliction can exist in the same heart, so can awe and anguish. In fact, when we begin to see the beauty and wonder of the Scriptures, we also begin to understand the ugliness of sin and the cheapness of what the world has to offer. This section describes a “spiritual chain reaction” in the life of the psalmist, one that can occur in our lives if we ponder the wonder of God’s Word.

Wonder leads to obedience. People obey God’s Word for different reasons, some because of fear of punishment, others to secure blessings, and still others because they love God and want to please Him. The psalmist stood in awe at the wonder of God’s Word—its harmony, beauty, perfection, practicality, power, and revelations. The longer I read and study the Bible, the more wonderful it becomes, and a God who wrote a book that wonderful deserves my obedience. To obey the Word is to become part of that wonder, to experience power and spiritual transformation in our lives.

Obedience leads to understanding. The light of the Word comes into our hearts and minds and brings spiritual insight and understanding (2 Corinthians 4:1–6). The word “entrance” is translated “unfolding” in the New American Standard Bible and the New International Version; it means “disclosure” and “opening up” as in Luke 24:32 and 35. When Spirit-led teachers and preachers “open up” the Word, then the light of God’s truth shines forth and brings about spiritual transformation (see 2 Corinthians 3:18).

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Understanding leads to deeper desire. As a suffocating person pants for air or a thirsty person for water, so the child of God pants for the Word of God, and nothing else will satisfy. “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” – Job 23:12. When we lose our desire for God’s Word, then we are vulnerable to the substitutes the world has to offer (Isaiah 55:1–2).

Desire leads to love for God. Just as children long to share the love of their parents, so the child of God experiences God’s love through the Word (John 14:21–24). To love God’s name is to love God, for His name reveals all that He is. The psalmist is here claiming the covenant promises that the Lord gave to the nation of Israel (Psalm 69:36). Had Israel loved the Lord and kept the terms of the covenant, God would have blessed them and exhibited to them His power and mercy.

God’s love leads to guidance and freedom. When we experience the love of God in our hearts, we keep His commandments (John 14:15), and obedience to His commandments sets us free from the slavery of sin (Romans 6). The word “dominion” means “autocratic rule,” but sin is not supposed to have dominion over us (Romans 6:12–16). But there is more: we are also set free from the oppression of people and the enslavement it can bring. When you are the servant of Jesus Christ, you are free from slavery to people. “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” – 1 Corinthians 7:23.

Freedom in Christ brings us God’s blessing. When God hides His face from His people, He is disciplining them (Psalms 13:1; 80:3–7), but the shining of His face upon them is a sign of His blessing (Psalms 4:6; 67:1; Numbers 6:25). To seek His face is to seek His blessing. As we walk with the Lord in freedom, we walk in the light and have nothing to hide. But enjoying His freedom and blessing does not eliminate the burden we carry because of the wickedness in the world. A broken heart and a blessed heart can exist in the same person at the same time. Jeremiah wept over the sins of a nation about to be destroyed (Jeremiah 9:1, 18; 13:17; Lamentations 1:16), and Jesus wept over Jerusalem because they had rejected Him (Luke 19:41–44). The apostle Paul wept over lost souls (Romans 9:1–3) as well as over professed believers in the church who were living for the world and the flesh (Philippians 3:17–21). If our enjoyment of God’s Word and God’s gracious blessings has truly reached our hearts, then we ought to have a burden for the lost and want to try to reach them for Christ.

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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