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.
Shin – Blessed Are the Balanced
Please read Psalm 119:161-168 for the background to this section.
During our time of study in Psalm 119, we have noticed that the writer practiced a balanced life of faith, and this quality is seen especially in this stanza.
Respect and rejoicing. The princes began their campaign against him by speaking against him, but now they were persecuting him in a direct way. But the psalmist was not afraid of his persecutors; he stood in awe of God’s Word. Once again we learn that when we fear God, we need not fear anyone else. He respected the Word and rejoiced in the Word at the same time, for the joy of the Lord and the greatness of the Lord are friends, not enemies. The princes wanted to rob him, but he found great wealth in the Word of God. The promises of God in the Bible are better than money in the bank, because they will never lose their value, and nobody can take them from us.
Love and hate. “You who love the Lord, hate evil!” – Psalm 97:10. He loved God’s law but hated every false way. He loved God’s law but hated double-minded people. Here he declared that he loved God’s law but hated falsehood. Whoever loves and practices a lie will not enter the heavenly city and will be banished from God’s presence forever (Revelation 21:17; 22:15).
Praise and poise. The devoted Jewish worshiper would praise God and pray three times a day (Psalm 55:17; Daniel 6:10–11), but the psalmist went beyond that and worshiped “seven times a day.” The phrase means “often, many times, beyond what is expected.” The legalist would set a goal and be proud that he reached it; the Spirit-filled believer sets no goal but goes beyond any goal he might have set. Just as prayer can bring peace to our hearts (Philippians 4:4–7), so praise can bring peace as well. Focusing on the Lord, asking for nothing, and totally lost in our praise of Him, has a way of making the problems look much smaller and the future much brighter. But praise also helps us to have poise in our Christian walk and to not stumble (Jude 24) or cause others to stumble (1 Corinthians 8:13; Romans 14:13). The singing saint is a stable saint, walking on a level path even when the enemy digs pits and sets up obstacles.
Walking and waiting. Like the psalmist, we are waiting for “the salvation of the Lord,” when the Lord shall come and set His creation and His people free (Romans 8:18–25; 13:11; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 1:9). This is the “blessed hope” that every believer anticipates and longs for (Titus 2:13). But as we wait and hope, we must walk and work, for we want to be found faithful when Jesus comes (Matthew 24:45–51). When we love His Word, we will also love His appearing (2 Timothy 4:6–8) and live like those who are ready to meet their Lord (1 John 2:28).
To Be Continued