Psalm 119 – Resh

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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.

Resh – Strength for the Journey

Please read Psalm 119:153-160 for the background to this section.

Have you noticed that the writer became more urgent as he drew near the end of the psalm? The Hebrew alphabet was about to end, but his trials would continue, and he needed the help of the Lord. The last three stanzas all speak of persecution and trials, yet the writer still trusted the Lord. The Christian life is like the land of Canaan, “a land of hills and valleys” (Deuteronomy 11:11), and we cannot have mountaintops without also having valleys. The key phrase in this stanza is “revive me,” which means “give me life, lift me up and keep me going.” He had prayed this prayer before when looking back through the psalm, and the Lord had answered. The psalmist not only prayed but also gave reasons why the Lord should answer.

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Revive me, for you are my Redeemer. “Consider my affliction” is a request for the Lord to “see to” his needs. Abraham used this word when he answered his son’s question in Genesis 22:8, “God will provide,” in other words, “God will see to it that the sacrifice is provided.” Our wonderful Lord not only “sees” the need but can “see to” providing what is needed. “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.” – Psalm 34:15, (see also 1 Peter 3:12). The word “redeem” speaks of the kinsman redeemer who could rescue a family member in need, as Boaz rescued Ruth. (See Leviticus 25:23–34). In His incarnation, Jesus entered the human family and became our kinsman, and in the crucifixion, He paid the price to redeem us from sin, death, and hell. “Plead [defend] my cause” ties in with Jesus as our Kinsman Redeemer and also as our Surety, Mediator, and Advocate, who represents us before the throne of God (1 John 2:1–2). In our affliction, it is comforting to know that the Son of God intercedes for us, hears our prayers, and meets our needs.

Revive me, for you are merciful. If we prayed on the basis of our own merit, God could never answer, but we come to the Father in the name of the Son (John 14:14; 15:16) and with the help of the Spirit (Ephesians 2:18; Romans 8:26–27). God in His grace gives us what we do not deserve, and in His mercy He does not give us what we do deserve. His throne is a throne of grace where grace and mercy are abundantly available to us (Hebrews 4:16). The psalmist was still disgusted with the way the unbelievers lived, but their bad example did not change his own convictions.

Revive me, for your Word can be trusted. “The entirety of Your word is truth,” and this means all of it can be trusted. The totality of God’s written revelation is not just true—it is truth. To love the Word is to obey it, and to obey it is to receive life from it. The Bible is not a magic book that conveys divine life to anyone who picks it up and reads it. God’s living Word communicates His life and power to those who read it, meditate on it, and obey it because they love God and His Word. When Jesus raised the dead, it was through speaking the Word (Luke 7:11–17; 8:40–56; John 11:38–44; see also John 5:24), and His Word gives us life today when we find ourselves in the dust.

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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