PSALM 119

PSALM 119

INTRODUCTION

Psalm 119 has long been one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. I never imagined I would write a book on it. It happened when I was meditating and gathering material on the attitudes. One day when studying the subject I suddenly discovered that Psalm 119 was one great discourse on the believer’s attitude toward God’s Word. The manuscript lay in my computer for several years and every once in awhile I would add a comment to another verse or two. One day I shared the manuscript with my friend, Jack Skinner. After reading it he suggested I put it in a book form which I did soon after. The first edition did not include a commentary on every verse. This second edition does include every verse. Since putting out the first edition I have received many comments from readers who were greatly helped by it.

I see this psalm in a whole different light than most of the popular authors. I have several books in my library written on Psalm 119. I often went to them to compare what such authors as Spurgeon would have to say after I had finished writing down my insights. I found no duplication, and no contradictions. I was satisfied that this is a new insight from the Holy Spirit perhaps needed to help today’s Christian in a church environment that has been drifting from a right attitude toward Biblical virtue and values.

It was amazing to see how many of these virtues were mentioned in this Psalm and how broad and diverse the number of human qualities the psalmist mentioned. Nothing important to character escaped the Holy Spirit in this psalm as He searched the heart for right attitudes. An attempt to mention the virtues revealed in each verse of this psalm is in a chart that can be used to study the virtues of the Christian heart.

The Author

FROM THE HEART OF THE BIBLE TO THE HEART OF MAN
PRAYERS OF HOLINESS IN SONG
THE PECULIAR REDEMPTIVE NATURE OF PSALM 119

All of the prayers making up Psalm 119 are either a declaration of the Psalmist’s devotion to the Scriptures or a confession of needing the power of God’s Word to operate in some corrective way in his life. In this Psalm is the cry of the holy heart; a heart that is soft toward the Word, hard toward sin and broken in submission before God.

There are wonderful parallels between many of the statements made in Psalm 119 and the apostles’ writings of the New Testament. We will show this link with references as we go through the Psalm.

These praying Psalms declare the holy resolve of God’s servants against the things in this world environment that would distract him from his pursuit of holiness and thus break his intimacy with God.

Here is the largest and most prominent chapter of the Bible stuck right in the middle of God’s book! And what is the message of this remarkable chapter?

The message of Psalm 119 is very clear: The Bible does not merely contain a message of holiness; holiness is the message of the Bible.

This Psalm Was Not Written By A Modern Liberal. Psalm 119 does not dwell on the promises of God, but rather emphasizes moral obligation to the precepts of God that sees the promises of God as the benefits of obedience — that is love! John 14:15; 1 John 3:5

Psalm 119 is a collection of songs of prayer all extolling the Word of God. It expresses a love for God’s Word found in no other part of the Scripture. As we read through this psalm may your love for God’s Son, the logos, increase and may you discover a new love for the moral law of God.

Bill Burkett

Psalm 119

The Moral Precepts of God set to music in 176 prayers

Psalm 119 consists of 176 prayers linking the power of the Word to holy  conduct. God’s intent for His Word is to produce salvation through moral transformation. Psalm 19:7 God’s Words reveal His moral standards and imparts them to the new moral nature He gives us at new birth.

The holy life is not only a life of joy but it is an intelligent life.

We are changed in our behavior as our thinking changes. We cannot live right until we think right.

The Bible is a divine revelation that appeals to the intellect (soul) of the born again person providing instruction for the spirit of man. The perfecting of salvation is through the renewing of the mind. Romans 121-2. The regenerate life sees truth as sovereign in God’s plan to perfect me morally. That is the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:15

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16

The Ungodly and Apostate Do Not Pursue Holiness — The cross provided the new nature that is compatible with the moral requirements of the Word. The excellence of salvation is achieved only by those who possess the desire to be holy. The new birth that comes from in depth conversion to Christ as Lord will always be characterized by this desire. This is the real sign of pure Christianity in any professed believer, the desire to be holy.

The Devil’s people may have tongues and miracles but they do not have holiness. Satan never advocates holiness. This is the one doctrine he cannot imitate. His children may use the language but they do not live by the standard of the Word. It is a human kind of holiness that breaks down and falls short of the supernatural character of true holiness. Modern apostates talk holiness while they busily conform to the world around them and openly indulge in the pleasures of the culture.

Those who possess true holiness easily discern those who claim a false goodness. John said it takes the power of God to live out the holy life. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: John 1:12. It is when the holiness written in the Word of God is transferred by the Holy Spirit from the paper it is on, or the voice of the messenger to the heart of the new nature God gives us, that salvation is achieved.

The desire to be holy and separation from (as opposed to conforming to) the world is the identifying characteristic of every Christian born of the Holy Spirit. Without this new moral nature no person will see God. Hebrews 12:14 You can only get it from God, and if you don’t have it, go back to the cross and repent! There lies the problem with most modern conversions, there was no regret for sin, no abandonment of the old life, no denunciation of the world. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 7:10.

THE PECULIAR REDEMPTIVE NATURE OF PSALM 119

Revealing the bond between the pure in heart and the Word of God.

The key phrase is “Thy Word.”

The key verses are; Psalm 119:11 and 97

Going To The Source Of Purity — All of the prayers making up Psalm 119 are either a declaration of the Psalmist’s devotion to the Scriptures or a confession of needing the power of God’s Word to operate in some corrective way in his life. In this Psalm is the cry of the holy heart; A heart that is soft and pliable toward the Word, hard toward sin and broken in submission toward God.

There is a wonderful parallel between many of the statements made in Psalm 119 and the apostles’ writings of the New Testament. We will show this link with references as we go through the Psalm.

Prayer And The Word Are Wed. All but four of these prayers concern the Scriptures. It shows the link between the Word and prayer … the bond between the two pure forms of God’s presence, His WORD PRESENCE and His SPIRIT PRESENCE.

The Resolution Of The Redeemed. These praying Psalms declare the holy resolve of God’s servants against the things in this world environment that would distract him from his pursuit of holiness and thus break his intimacy with God.

The Prominent Psalm. Here is the largest and most prominent chapter of the Bible stuck right in the middle of God’s book! And what is the message of this remarkable chapter? Prayer and meditation in God’s Word. These are the two pure forms of God’s presence; His Spirit presence (prayer), and His Word presence (the Word of God). Holiness of heart and purity of life is the theme of the most prominent book of the Bible.

The message of Psalm 119 is very clear: The Bible does not merely contain a message of holiness; holiness is the message of the Bible.

MY ATTITUDE TOWARD THE GOVERNING LAWS OF GOD?

Redeemed People Are God Governed People. They are identified by their attitude toward obedience to the Word of God. Not a mere professed belief that the Bible is the Word of God, but a love for moral purity, a motivating love that inspires me to live the holy life set forth in Scripture. These are people who want to be shepherded and pastored by men of the Word.

True faith is reflected in one’s attitude toward the word of God. Faith is a positive attitude toward what God says on any subject He speaks on. This is the singular quality of every verse of this largest and most distinguished chapter of the Bible; The attitude of the heart toward God when he speaks!

Have we lost the true meaning of being born again? It is a moral transformation of the mind that is evidenced by a whole new way of thinking toward moral issues. It is an abhorrence of sin and all conduct contrary to Biblical morals. With all of this talk about being gods and having dominion, this is where it applies — to become like God in holy character. That new moral nature will be completely and totally compatible with the moral nature of God and the moral government revealed in Scriptures. Unless I have that perfect hatred of sin (which God also possesses) I shall never know the perfect love of God. The sloppy kind of love being pandered off on the church today is an abominable fleshy sentimentalism that promotes immoral and amoral conduct, i.e., materialism, divorce and remarriage, promiscuity, foul language, criticism of the godly etc. To love God is synonymous with hatred of sin, and that is the mark of the new creation, that is the proof of being born again! Psalm 97:10; 101:3; 119:104, 128; Romans 12:9; Hebrews 1:9. It is only to the degree I hate sin that I truly love God.

Transformation is a state of the mind. Romans 12:12 It is an attitude toward kingdom government and the disciplines of the depraved flesh nature. It is a new nature that is compatible, harmonious and agreeable with the moral commandment. Modern evangelical ecumenical preachers want us to believe that moral law has been removed and obliterated through Grace and that man is not obligated to obey God’s moral law or preserve the apostles’ doctrine in this dispensation. This is an attempt by those endorsing apostate theories to put a license on their looseness and be released from their moral responsibility. Because many modern Christians who profess Christ have believed on Him, but have not been born again, they have no affinity or love for the moral laws of the kingdom. Not being born of the Spirit they do not possess the new nature that over flows with that loving attitude toward God’s goodness and moral government.

When new birth happens the rebel attitude is taken out of us and a new nature that is compatible with moral principle and holiness replaces that old nature of rebellion. The desire to indulge in selfish lusts is replaced with a desire to be holy and achieve supernatural character and godliness. 1 Timothy 4:7-8; 623-11; 2 Timothy 3:5; Titus 1:1; 2:1 1-12; 2 Peter 1:6; 3:11.

Regeneration by the Holy Spirit is evidenced
by a joy that exults in obedience to the
Lord’s
commandments, a positive attitude toward
moral law.

All true children of God have a very special attitude of obedience to the moral commandments. This is the redemptive attitude, or the attitude of the redeemed.

The Redemptive Attitude — The redemptive attitude is a frame of mind that approaches the Word eagerly to be instructed and corrected by it.

A redemptive attitude enters into the presence of the Word in submission to God. Psalm 119 expresses the attitude of a true believer toward the governing laws of God’s kingdom. It expresses the attitude of the Spirit — born toward the wisdom of the commandment and appreciation of God’s government over man.

This Psalm reveals the mentality of the consecrated.

The Redemptive Power Of The Word — Psalm 119 makes known to us one of the most important and redemptive qualities of the Word of God, its power to impart purity to the seeking heart and satisfy the desires of the “inward man” that longs to be holy. Romans 7:22

Every true Christian is a seeking Christian. He is ever in pursuit of God’s highest and is never satisfied with his present spiritual state. He wants to ever be a better Christian as the pilot  perfects his skills, as the physicist increases his knowledge, and as the chef perfects his expertise in the culinary.

But moral excellence is only achieved by those who seek it. The Christian MUST make moral excellence the supreme pursuit of his or her life. The Bible seems to think this matter of seeking God to be rather important according to Genesis 49:18; Deuteronomy 4:29; 1 Chronicles 16:11; 22:19; 28:9; 2 Chronicles 11:16; 15:2; 15:12-13; 26:5; 30:18-19; 31:21; Ezra 8:22; Job 5:8; 8:5-6; Psalm 9:10; 14:2; 17:1-2; 22:26; 24:3-6; 25:5; 25:15; 27:4; 27:8; 27:14; 33:20; 34:4; 34:10; 40:1-4; 42:1-4; 63:1-8; 69:32; 70:4-5; 77:1-9; 78:34; 81:10; 83:16; 84:2; 105:4; 119:2; 119:10; 130:5-6; 143:6; 145:18-19; Proverbs 2:3-5; 8:17; 8:34; 28:5; Song of Solomon 3:1-4; Isaiah 8:19; 26:8-9; 44:3-4; 45:19; 45:22; 49:9-12; 49:23; 51:1; 55:6-7; 59:20; 61:1-3; Jeremiah 29:13; 42:3; 50:1-46; Lamentations 3:25-26; 3:41; Ezekiel 18:21-23; Daniel 9:3; Hosea 3:5; Hosea 5:15; Hosea 10:12; Joel 2:1-32; Amos 5:4-6; 5:8; 5:14; 8:12; Zephaniah 2:3; Zechariah 8:20-23; Matthew 5:6; 6:33; 7:7-12; Luke 6:21; Luke 11:9—13; 13:24; 14:26-33; 16:16; John 6:37; Acts 2:21; Acts 17:27; Romans 3:11; 10:13; Hebrews 7:25; 9:28; 11:6; James 4:8; Revelation 3:20; 21:6, 22:17.

ANOTHER MISCONCEPTION OF UNREGENERATE
MAN REGARDING GOD’S LAW:

The moral law of God is not an external law. The Lord’s commandments were never intended to be, nor have they ever been external. The words “in my heart,”… “long for,”… “understanding,”… “peace,”… “rejoicing,”… “love” and “meditation” (plus many other such terms referring to the inner spiritual man) are not references to the external man but refer to the inner man’s affection for moral perfection. Psalm 119:97.

It is a liberal error to think that divine order coming from God in any form or in any dispensation could be anything less that internally and eternally sublime! It is this distorted and rebellious attitude toward God’s moral law that identifies the degenerate mentality that has brought departure from Biblical holiness. This departure from godliness as the chief pursuit of the born again has been creeping into Bible believing churches in recent decades and fanned the flames of apostasy. It is Edenic anarchy pure and simple!

“Ever Learning And Never Coming To A Knowledge” — This generation of fundamental Christians are perhaps the most religiously educated of any previous generation of the church. They have been exposed to religious knowledge from their youth in Christian school environments, Christian satellite ministries, Bible colleges and seminaries; and yet this generation of the church is one of the most immoral according to recent polls taken among evangelicals. This last generation of the church, according to Scripture, is one of the most deceived and doctrinally illiterate in the history of the church! 2 Timothy 3:1-8; 4:3-4; Revelation 3:17 The more doctrinally bankrupt we become the more hyper our religious experience tends to be. It is an anomaly that in the midst of such vast access to Biblical knowledge the more distorted our concept of the holiness of God becomes.

The Word Is An Inner Power — The sanctifying power of the Word is an inward work. To love the Word of God and regard the commandments is not an external religion. External religion is pompous and proud. It places value and importance on such things as invented religious liturgies, symbols, human interpretations, sensual beauty, and adornments of the external person. That is external religion. To regard the Word of God and find joy in obedience to the teaching of the Word is a precious inner person experience. This entire Psalm carries this theme.

There are no direct references to the blood sacrifice system in this Psalm. Psalm 119 deals strictly with the rectitude of the believer’s heart, the attitude of the inner person toward God and His Word (God and His Word being synonymous).

This Psalm is a revelation of the relationship between the heart possessing a genuine faith in God and God’s Word. It is how a genuine faith in God’s Word reacts when God speaks.

The blood atonement provides forgiveness for my weaknesses, but the Word of God is my source of power to reverse my weaknesses, “that I might not sin against Thee.” It is this matter of discovering the power of moral motivation that is released from the Words of God as they are read by those who believe.

The blood atonement was provided to release man from his past sin Romans 3:25, put him back into the presence of God and place him once again under the operation of the Holy Spirit so he can enter into a life in the Word and be instructed by it.

The blood sanctifies us ceremonially, that is, we are declared holy and set apart unto God. But faith and obedience to the Word of God cultivates the inner nature of God-likeness. It is the living out what I believe that identifies true faith. Romans 10:10

Our primary concern as a church should be the same as God’s the moral state of the Christian who has come under the teaching of God’s Word. Am I as a minister of the gospel being faithful to the purpose and intent of God which He reveals in His Word? If I am, then there will be a promised result; a people of moral power and excellence!

But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. Jeremiah 23:22.

The blood sacrifice system given to the Hebrew children after their deliverance from Egypt was an external ritual that foretold the coming of Messiah. But this system also served as a legal temporary release from the guilt of sin until the Messiah would come and once for all make the ultimate legal atonement. The book of Hebrews was written to make this provision clear. But release from sin was not the primary objective of the Hebrew system as given to Moses. Release from the guilt of sin was a secondary provision. The blood sacrifice system was there to forgive sin IF obedience to the moral law had failed.

The primary provision of God for the children of Israel was the moral instruction given in the law and the precepts of God. If and when those precepts were obeyed then blood sacrifice was not required. But God provided the blood sacrifice system so that even when we offended Him with disobedience we could be forgiven through faith in the atoning blood and restored to fellowship with God.

The blood sacrifice system was set in place to insure our restored fellowship with God when we failed to regard or obey the moral law. The relationship of the heart to the Word is where the real romance between God and man takes place. All ritual and blood sacrifice will cease but the affection and communication between the heart of man and the heart of God is forever! Psalm 40:6; 34:18; 51:17 and Psalm 115!

Oh God, can we see how extremely important it is that we cultivate this right relationship between my heart and yours and that your heart is bared to me in your Word? It is in the Word that our hearts meet. Can we even begin to see how devilish and evil is a faith teaching that trifles with obedience to the moral commandments of God’s Word and then claims all of the blessings of obedience?

The objective of redemption is to restore man to his original fellowship with God. Without that fact underlying all Biblical truth we can lose the true direction and purpose of the gospel. Man’s love for God is as great as the credibility he places on God’s Words. Love believeth all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7

Bonds of love are created through knowing a person which only happens as I communicate with the person I am coming to know. The Bible is God’s self revelation to man. If my love for God is based on faith then I consider every Word to be acted upon and as being essential to salvation. Matthew 7:24-25 For a Christian to say he has faith means that he gives absolute credibility to every inspired Word of God!

Man lost paradise when he disregarded the Word of God and showed contempt in his heart for the commandment. Man is restored to paradise as this attitude toward God’s Word is reversed.

Scripture refers to the heart in a moral sense over 900 times revealing the association between the heart, the center of affection, and moral obligation.

Pure religion, then and now is of the heart. Matthew 5:8; 12:35; Acts 2:46; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Romans 2:19; 1 Samuel 1:12, 13; 2 Kings 22:19; Psalms 4:4; 51:17; 57:7; 73:1; 101:2; 119:32; Proverbs 10:8. Also see Psalm 119:97.

Psalm 119 A Treasure House Of Truth! — Christians may find the reading of Psalm 119 a bit tedious or repetitious at first. But at second glance you will find it laden with treasures of truth! Only a few are given here.

Man tends to emphasize the promises of God apart from the precondition of obedience to precepts while God places emphasis upon obedience to precept as the only means of receiving the promise. Read 2 Corinthians 10:1-11 carefully.

This Psalm Was Not Written By A Modern Liberal — Psalm 119 does not dwell on the promises of God, but rather emphasizes moral obligation to the precepts of God — that is love! John 14:15; 1 John 3:5

If it had been written by a modern gospel songwriter it would have the emphasis of God’s promises rather than God’s precepts. Methinks they had little precept boxes on their tables in David’s time instead of promise boxes as we have today. We might have avoided some scandalous events in recent years if we had precept boxes on our tables at home instead of promise boxes.

Christ came to furnish the inner man with the love — power of His own indwelling nature. His Spirit now dwelling within gives me the desire to be holy, providing for us what was lacking under the old covenant, the power of the inner man over the power of sin which is in my members (the body). Romans 7:23 with 8:1. When Christ dwells within there is a perfect love for the Word of God! Romans 8:4 It is at this point the “contemps” (contemporary Christianity) insist the Holy Spirit teaches us to love God and man and not the commandment. But, these are the same! John 14:15.

The proponents of the modern Gospel think to isolate the meaning of God’s love from God’s holiness and separation from the world. They are experimenting with and trying to prove a Christian lifestyle that is foreign to scripture, that love can exist apart from obedience and godliness. This theory conflicts violently with the teaching of Christ and the apostles. Holy love produces holy living. All other “loves” are so much sloppy sentimentalism.

To think we can present the gospel to the sinner in such a way that makes it more palatable to him is to try to teach swine not to trample on the pearls. The only way to do this is to eliminate references to the moral law of God from the message of the gospel. Of course it will bring more people into the church because the carnal nature hates the moral law of God and will not be governed by it. Eliminate that factor and reduce the gospel message to a faith in Christ only, and the flood gates will open. Most of the mega-churches can attribute their growth to this method of eliminating moral requirements from the message.

We have departed from the apostolic method of proclaiming the gospel of the New Testament which is very much moral law oriented. The result of this liberal populism has produced a church that resents any mention of God’s moral law. What kind of “Bible” church is it that replaces apostolic morality with a gospel of Godless grace? The result was inevitable and all the while it was espousing this message of love and grace (apart from moral instruction) we were warning the church leaders where this liberation theology would lead the church. They would not listen and now they have arrived at a point where recovery is not even possible without a total fragmentation of, and a coming out from the organizational structure. All of this crisis because we have not dwelt more on the very theme and power of Psalm 119, the incorporation of holiness with the message of Grace.

In our “wisdom” to make the gospel respectable and popular to the sinner, we have filled the church with sinners who believe in Christ. We confused sloppy sentimentalism with real agape love. The only perfect code of love is contained in the ten principles of the moral law. There simply is no greater or higher revelation of love than the ten commandments. Romans 13:8-10 Everything Christ and the apostles teach is based on these principles of goodness. James 2:8-13 It reveals a moral standard upon which restoration and fellowship with God is possible. Read Romans 8:4.

Calvary is the perfect expression of all that is contained in the moral law.

SONGS OF HOLINESS: PSALM 119

119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.

This chapter starts with the word blessed, or “happy,” is the person who walks in (complies gladly with) the law of the Lord.

At its very beginning this Psalm establishes the willing attitude toward obedience to God as the source of happiness. In this opening verse of the chapter we see a happy group of believers who enjoy “the way” and walk in the Law with great and positive exultation. 2 Corinthians 3:3

The happiness God gives is experienced as a result of applying the moral law to our lives. It is not in the knowing of what is right but in the doing of what is right that guarantees happiness. In John 13:17 Jesus said to His disciples, If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. God’s happiness is on God’s terms, and these are God’s terms.

119:2 Blessed are they that keep His testimonies, and that seek Him with the whole heart.

Again, happiness is noticeable in those who seek the Word of God with loyal affection. Jeremiah said, And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Those who find God and have Him manifesting Himself to them, are those who have learned to seek God with the whole heart.

119:3 They also do no iniquity: They walk in His ways.

When one complies with the Word of God with a willing heart, there will be no iniquity in that life-style. Iniquity (uncleanness) is eliminated when God’s Word is our first love. The soul saturated with the presence of God has discovered the secret of the blessed state of purity — the absolute lack of desire to commit sin.

119:4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.

119:5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!

119:6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.

119:7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.

119:8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.

FROM “THEY” TO “I”

Verse 3; “they”

Verse 4; “us”

Verse 5; “my”

Verse 6, 7, 8; “I”

Notice how he went from the outward look to the inward look:

THEY – The Psalmist started by observing others (they) walking in the way. At first he did not identify with these righteous people, but as he observed them, he became desirous to be one of them.

US – Begins to not only see the influence of the Word of God on the behavior of man but singles out the quality of that relationship between God and man that makes the Word of God effective. That quality which he carefully cites is “diligence.” Diligence here means, with intensity. It is a regard for the word of God with power, seriousness and with all of the emotions.

MY -Now he becomes personally involved and identifies with the righteous. He yearns to be one of them (v.5).

I – Five times (vss 6-8) the psalmist speaks in the first person. He has gone from “they” to “I.” It is a good lesson for us. It is not until “I” praise Him, and until “I” keep His statutes that God’s redemptive purposes are achieved in me. Thou art my Portion. by S. Franklyn Logsdon.

119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.

The young spirit is a great roaring water falls of dynamism. The Word of God rightly channels that energy where it is most useful, in the building of godly character. Young people not only have tremendous vision but they also have the energy to accomplish their vision. 2 Kings 6:1-4. But as young people with mighty youthful energies shut up inside we need the wisdom of the Word to keep our energies harnessed and directed to the ultimate glory of God.

A stallion running wild is a waste.

A stallion in a splendid harness is both useful and beautiful.

As we grow older and accustomed to harness we rely on wisdom more than strength. Ecclesiastes 9:14-16.

Without the harness the stallion is still beautiful but his usefulness and great strength is wasted without the harness of control and being governed by a rider holding the reins and guiding him with intelligence. But put the strength of the stallion in a good harness with a good rider on him and you have one of the best illustrations of the worth of freedom! Freedom is only virtuous when it is accomplishing the most good for others. Freedom that is appreciated for what latitude pleasure it gives me is not freedom but actually a terrible bondage! When I think of freedom as a personal advantage, it only proves how twisted my values have become. Many modern Bible believing Christians have fallen into the trap of a false Christianity that teaches against the spiritual laws and disciplines of control over the flesh. They have believed the big lie of Satan that “God wants you to be free from the law.” This philosophy makes God a devil! Any teaching that defines God’s moral law, and His commandments whether found in the Old Covenant or the New Covenant, as being wrong and evil because they destroy a man’s freedom is a terrible ignorance of what the Scripture teaches.

Freedom is the happiness that comes from the life that is joyfully living under the inhibitions of God’s commandments that harness our desires and energies to accomplish the highest good. Without that goodness then freedom is a mockery and a threat to the order and happiness of others around me. The Bible says All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 1 Corinthians 6:12.

And so is a youthful spirit, or the life of any man or woman who yields to the Lordship of Jesus. When we become Christians we are standing still and allowing Jesus to slip over us the splendid harness of the disciplines of that wayward nature of sin and rebellion. This is the evidence of a genuine Christian life – it is governed by the intelligence of Christ. That harness and the restrictions it places on me may seem to others a loss of freedom, and it is! But do not be deceived, it is only a loss of the freedom to sin, and the freedom to be selfish, and vain, and proud, and carnal. All men need to be governed and have their lower nature controlled and taught goodness.

Without the harness of divine control on our lives the only freedom you have is freedom of the flesh, and unfortunately, too many Christians do not make a difference between freedom of flesh and freedom of spirit. Paul says in this Scripture that he (his spiritual man) will not be brought under the control of these things that are not expedient. The word expedient here is sumphero meaning no goodness is accomplished by doing them. Carnal Christians will say, “Well, there’s no harm in it.” Or, “Its not a sin is it?” Or, “God won’t send me to hell for doing such a little thing as that, will He?” We may answer no to all of these questions but it reveals that you do not want to be under the control of the Holy Spirit’s governing wisdom and such an attitude that does not want to be governed by God is the carnal nature that refuses to be governed by God’s Spirit. The time will come in that life that attitude will become as Samson who kept playing around with his commitment to God, and the Lord will leave your life and you won’t even know it in your state of deception and carnality. And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And He awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him. Judges 16:20.

Don’t be afraid of Biblical constraints … it’s part of walking in the Spirit. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (17) For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: SO THAT YE CANNOT DO THE THINGS THAT YE WOULD. Galatians 5:16-17. To choose to do what is right over what the impulses of the flesh prompt me to do indicates Spirit control in my life. It is when I choose the option to do what is good over what the depraved flesh nature is inclined to do. We are walking in the Spirit of God when the joy to do what is right and pleases God is overcoming the impulses of our fleshy preferences.

119:10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.

This is the only way to seek God; with the whole heart. Desire and affection are planted in the heart of the redeemed to love the Word.

He thought of his relationship with God as equivalent to his relationship to the commandments.

119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

This verse is the key to Psalm 119, indeed to the Bible. The Word imparts into us the divine moral that will not tolerate sin! The Spirit’s moral excellence is breathed into us and imparts a sensitivity to right and wrong as we meditate on His Words.

The internal work of the Word is again mentioned. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart” is not an external condition. It reveals an internal bond between the Word of God and the heart of man. John Wesley preached a pure heart doctrine that transformed a nation. Jesus didn’t come and die on a cross to give us head religion – – He came to give us a new heart that is compatible with the Word of God. Holiness is to possess a new God-given nature that is compatible with the Word of God.

Notice the preventive power of the Word. He kept the Word in his heart to prevent sin in his outward life!

This verse has a sister verse in John 17:17. Jesus said, Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

The Word of God is the chief instrument of sanctification.

The Holy Spirit is the chief agent of sanctification.

The truth of God’s Word dwelling in us builds up a spiritual immune system against the power of sin; it gives the Christian the power to discern all that is not true.

Do not confuse the difference in meaning between TRUTH, FACTS and INFORMATION. It could be hazardous to the health of your soul.

INFORMATION:
All truth contains information (knowledge) but some information is not true. Information simply means to be informed about something. It is to have the facts.

FACTS:
All truth and information is made up of facts (actuality) but the presentation of certain facts while carefully and intentionally omitting other facts is error and serves only to deceive and misinform.

TRUTH:
Truth presents ALL of the facts in such a way as to leave a correct impression. Truth is made of facts, but if the facts are presented in such a way as to leave a wrong impression by omitting certain known facts, then the facts are no longer the truth. It becomes deception although all of the facts given were true! When we fail to present all of the facts so as to leave a right impression, we have mislead someone with the facts but we have relayed the truth to them.

The Charismatic teachers handle a lot of information which conveys neither Biblical information or Biblical facts, but because it is “informative” or contains “facts” it is received as being the truth. The feeling of receiving information can be confused with the feeling of hearing the truth. It is informative to learn that we are gods and can fly like the birds because we have been given dominion over them. It has a certain logical sound to it but it is not the truth! A good example of the distinguishing between truth, information and facts can be seen clearly by examining the popular heresy of the “ye are gods” teaching. The term gods as Jesus used it in John 10:34 is a reference to the judges of Israel when Moses restructured the governing of Israel as advised by Jethro. Exodus 18:6 These judges are mentioned 4 times in Exodus 21:6; 22:8; 22:9; 22:28. In each of these references the word judges is surprisingly the Hebrew word elohiym (the plural form of elowah), the same word used referring to God as supreme. So, while this same word is used to refer to God it is also used to refer to men who serve as magistrates in human government. Jesus was not referring to divine dominion when He used the word gods, He was referring to the Hebrew word elohiym and the authority vested in the elders of Israel to judge in the matters of conflict among the Hebrew children. The popular heresy of we being gods taught by false teachers is based on a terrible distortion of their interpretation of dominion. There is no dominion teaching in Scripture to infer we have the same powers as the animals in order to have dominion over them. The dominion of man over the animal kingdom is because he is superior to the animals and not because he has the same powers as animals.

Our dominion over the animals means that we have a superiority over them and are empowered to subdue and control them for our domestic advantage as food and servants — but it is ridiculous to interpret that dominion as meaning we can do the same things physically which God has vested in them.

They tell us we can become like the animals but they do not tell us to become like God in holiness and purity separated from the world value system. I have no command to become like the animals but I have a clear command from God to be like Him even as He is holy! 1 Peter 1:15-16

The snake appeared to Eve in the midst of the garden and today he appears to Christians in the midst of the church. The snake that appeared in the grasses of paradise promised Eve dominion like that of God, i.e., “ye shall be as gods.” Genesis 3:5. It seems he has the same ole’ message going today. Of course, why should he change his message as long as the old one is still working?

This is an example of the difference between truth and INFORMATION, and truth and (Biblical) FACTS.

We must be very careful to make the distinction between facts, information and truth.

The doctrinal illiteracy the modern fundamentalist suffers from
is not from a lack of knowledge, but from a lack of truth.

God’s Word in the heart is not the same as knowledge retained in the memory. When it speaks of the Word in the heart it is speaking of a commitment of love. The heart is where love happens. He loves the Word! God’s Word is the only power man has available to the heart that is greater than the power of sin. Notice: It is a union between the heart and the Word. Not the Word and the tongue; not the Word and the brains or the eyes; not the Word and the liver or the gall bladder. God doesn’t ask for my liver, He wants my heart! When He has my heart, He has all of me including my liver.

119:12 Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes.

The man that loves the Word of God is teachable! Here is the attitude factor again. Is not a right attitude toward the wisdom and authority of God’s Word essential to learning…and learning essential to maturity and growth? On the other hand, any disregard or contempt for what is written in the Word of God is rebellion against the LOGOS Himself.

119:13 With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.

Here is a wonderful example of godliness. Note that the psalmist is speaking the same thing with his lips that God speaks with His mouth. It is to be like God when we speak the same things God speaks. He was so agreeable with God that he spoke like God.

119:14 I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.

This is a paradox (a seeming contradiction) to some: That he is rejoicing over the demands God’s commandments place on his flesh nature. But more than that, he thinks of the testimonies of His Word as “riches.” Usually we do not think of God’s moral law as something to rejoice over. It all depends on my attitude toward His Word, doesn’t it? How can we explain this thing that we are able to rejoice about the Word that corrects us and constrains us from so many of our fleshy preferences?

The reason is that we have two natures. The one is earthy and seeks (lusts) for material riches, while the spiritual man seeks the eternal riches of the knowledge of God. See Galatians 5:14-17; Matthew 6:19-21

Note: We must point out here that throughout Psalm 119 there is the strong emphasis placed on the fact that it is THY LAW, THY STATUTES and THY COMMANDMENTS. God identifies in a very personal way with His Word. God and His Word are inseparable! John 1:1

Certain false Bible teachers have led their listeners to believe that the law of God is impersonal, that God’s law is constituted of demands He never intended man to actually keep. These same false teachers go on to tell us, “Therefore, because man is incapable of keeping the commandments God gave him, we must come to Jesus and believe in His righteousness, for the only  righteousness we have is the righteousness He gives us as we believe in Him.” Bunk! Listen to Jesus Himself — not these doctrinaire. What does Jesus teach us? What do the apostles teach in their inspired epistles?

What does the Bible say about our obedience to the Word? But as many as received him, to them gave he POWER TO BECOME THE SONS OF GOD, even to them that believe on his name: John 1:12. The word power here is exousia: supernatural mastery, control, authority, dominion over the body appetites.

And what did Jesus teach about obedience to the moral instruction He gave in the Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew chapters 5 through 7? After He had finished amplifying the moral commandments (It was said by them of old But I say unto you…), He finished His discourse after giving the moral commandments, by saying, Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, AND DOE T H T HEM I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: Matthew 7:24. See also Matthew 5:19.

The most concentrated effort of Satan throughout the history of redemption has been the destruction of all credibility in the moral law of God. Satan knows very well that once morals are no longer important to man he has destroyed the efficacy of the meaning of the cross. Jesus came to give us supernatural moral character. The moral law simply reveals that standard of morals that is required by God and available in Christ. Once we believe that moral goodness is the high calling of the Christian life it will soon produce a moral character pleasing to God. The moral instruction of God’s Word is the foundation and guideline to life in the Spirit. Without a tangible written guideline we would be doing that which was right in our own sight. That is precisely the state of the church today because it mocks true holiness and scams those who hold to the doctrines of the apostles.

My actual relationship to God’s Word is my true relationship to God

How I treat the Word is how I treat God. My attitude toward what He says is my attitude toward Him. John begins his gospel with the wonderful and extremely important revelation of the oneness of  God and His Word. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1. It is good for Christians to remember the oneness of God and His Word — Jesus did. John 7:16. The Lord Jesus spoke of His oneness with us when Hesaid, And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with {Him}, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:17

119:15 I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

Notice that he meditates “in” God’s precepts. There is a difference between meditating on God’s precepts and in God’s precepts. To get the power God vested in the Scriptures we must get inside the Word! There is a big difference between walking around an airplane and imagining what it would be like to fly on it, and getting inside and actually experience flying “in” it. The Word of God cannot get inside of us until we get inside of the Word of God. Jesus said, If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15:7

Is the Psalmist teaching us to talk to ourselves? The word meditation (siyach) means to converse with one’s self. It includes the idea of musing, talking to one’s self aloud, to study and even to sing. When we meditate in the Word we are absorbed, we are indulging, we are so preoccupied that we talk to ourselves. Sometimes we understand what God says but we do not understand His ways — that is, why He does some of the things He does. But as we meditate in the Scriptures and keep on praising Him and continue trusting Him, suddenly it all starts becoming clear, and our meditation is rewarded with great enlightenment. Each new enlightenment brings a greater respect for God and His dealings with wayward man.

119:16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.

Another paradox? How can the Psalmist actually delight in the statutes? According to much of the modern thinking toward moral precepts and commandments today, anything that is obligatory is legalism and casts us down in despair. When you finally realize that His statutes (established customs and ordinances) are all intended to ultimately insure the highest state of happiness for man and assume the attitude of faith and love toward His Word, you will throw off the wrong attitudes formed in the carnal mind against God’s moral standards. To be spiritually minded is to have this positive attitude toward moral principles and the moral laws of God. (Carefully read Romans 8:4.) No, it’s not really a paradox to those who have the loving attitude toward His Word.

The world is living in the space age.

The church is living in the “faith age.”

That is, faith in healing and deliverance.

Faith for homes and cars and success.

Faith for happiness and power.

Sad: We never hear about the faith to be holy and righteous;

The faith to be morally perfect;

The faith to be godly and separated! 1 John 5:4;

The faith to keep ourselves unspotted from the world;

We believe in all kinds of miracles God is capable of, but for some reason we are not hearing much about having the faith to live a holy and separated life. I am leery of faith that can raise the dead but cannot put the flesh to death.

119: 17 Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word. (18) Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

Most Christians don’t think of God’s law as being wondrous. The modern mind thinks of wondrous things being in God’s promises, but not in His law; after all, this is the age of Grace. Yes, but the moral law is perpetual so long as man is depraved and needs moral guidance. Maybe this is our malady. Maybe we have lost the treasures of joy and peace found only in His moral counsel all because our attitude toward His Word has separated us from His moral excellence.

We have become so preoccupied with promises of prosperity and what all God is obligated to do for us, that we have lost our vision for the things we can do to please God. How do we know what pleases God? What pleases God is revealed in His moral instruction to man, in His commandments and His moral law. It is a love for the moral law that promises the greatest rewards when we stand before God in the judgment. Revelation 22:14. In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus rejected those who claimed supernatural gifts operating in them, but He did receive and reward those who kept His commandments. The word iniquity (anomia) in the text mentioned here, means “lawless.” So they had power gifts but they opposed the moral commandments of God and lost their souls in the end.

119:19 I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.

When we are lonely, when we are in strange places, when our friends are far from us and we have no one, we do have “thy commandments.” They represent God with us, God loving us, and God speaking His comforting assurances to us.

Our fathers were devoted to the commandments of God. Today’s televangelists are devoted to the promises of God and this wrong focus is showing in the loss of holy character values in the modern church.

119:20 My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.

What a precious attitude toward the Word of truth. His soul is breaking, his heart is longing for heaven? No! But for the moral judgments of God every minute! If the twentieth century church could achieve this kind of heart condition, it would change the face of the earth in only hours.

119:21 Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.

Here God’s attitude is revealed toward the proud and the erring. Certainly pride and contempt for the commandments of God are one and the same. Human pride is incompatible with the Word of God. Pride is selfish and taken up with self importance. It is easy to see the conflict between evil pride and the principles of the crucified life. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20.

God’s commandments involve vicarious compassion, they demand respect and regard for the rights, the feelings and the possessions of others. The proud are self-centered, but the spiritual who regard the commandments of the Lord are “others” minded. Romans 13:8-10. See Altruism.

119:22 Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.

If the psalmist is reminding the Lord that he has kept His testimonies then it must be because his suffering at the hands of his enemies is a result of his obedience to the Word. For this reason he can ask the Lord to intervene and remove this reproach. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3: 12. When we regard God’s Word and live out the life style it teaches there will be a contrast between our life and those who walk after the rudiments of this world.

An unsaved man wanted a Christian coworker to check in his time card for him at the shop because he wanted to be late while meeting with a woman he was having an affair with. It was supposed to be a “Big favor” for the dishonest friend. But the Christian refused. The unsaved man was angry and held a grudge against the Christian and later blamed the Christian for a costly mistake in production which he had nothing to do with. Nevertheless, the Christian was fired from his job. Fellow workers petitioned the company and threatened to walk out unless the Christian worker was returned to his job. He not only was brought back but after an investigation the crooked employee was fired and the discharged Christian was put in his position as foreman. Righteousness will not only make the wicked your enemies but it will draw the righteous around you — and often just when you need them. The righteousness of the Christian will create two different reactions in the unsaved around you. It will cause some who are longing for the truth to be drawn to you, and to God in you; and then it will make the evil minded ugly and hateful resenting your testimony. Both are good! Those who respect your godly life will be committed to do the right thing and those who hate you, put you through trials that cause you to call on the Lord and keeps you in the closet of prayer seeking Him. Because we keep the Lord’s testimonies does not keep us from having contempt and shame heaped upon us by sinners — to the contrary, it invites the contempt of the wicked crowd.

One of the apostate doctrines being taught today that has become very popular is that Jesus came not to empower Christians to live obedient and moral lives, but that grace overlooks sin and disobedience as long as we “believe” in Jesus as the Son of God. Matthew 7:24-27; John 1:12; 2 Timothy 2:19 But the psalmist reveals here one of the unconfessed motives behind the invention of this heretical teaching — cowardice. To live the lifestyle of holiness as taught by Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament marks you as a very different person from those people around you in the world and in the apostate church. One of the reasons for many people choosing liberal churches is that they do not have to live righteous and obedient lives but find a release from moral obligation through this false faith teaching prevalent in liberal denominational churches and the Charismatic churches. Modern materialistic conditions makes these people fearful of the consequences of living a separated and holy life.

Throughout this Psalm the writer again and again states that his life of obedience has made him a target of criticism and persecution of the wicked of the world, and the disobedient within the faith. When he was persecuted for his obedience to the righteousness which the law of God taught, he was able to come to the Lord boldly and ask for his deliverance.

119:23 Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.

Slandered but sustained and comforted by God’s Word. We know that in the judgment all wrongs will be righted. No need to seek revenge here — it may spoil God’s final decision by interfering. Sometimes the righteous are accused, having no recourse, no appeal. Here, someone high and mighty is slandering him, but he is comforted through meditation in the Word. Another comforting power of the Word to restore us when we are victims of injustice.

Men want to condemn us when as yet they do not have the facts on us. On the other hand, God will forgive even though He has all the terrible facts about us. 1 John 1:9

119:24 Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.

The attitude of the righteous is delight in the spiritual truth of moral law. The testimonies of the Lord give more guidance than if one was surrounded by wise men. Even wise men are given to favoritism and power struggles among themselves. But the Word of God gives the pure counsel of an unchanging God.

119:25 My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.

The psalmist is saying, my soul is joined or stuck to the dust. He was low. But when I get so low my soul and the dust are cleaving together, I am brought to prayer by my desperation. Some things in life are not pleasant, but if they bring us to our knees and humble us before the Lord, God has accomplished something in us more important than riches or fame! Prayer is the one thing we can always do no matter where we are or what is happening to us. When there was nothing else — he remembered God, the life giver. Quicken me, give me life. He remembered the many times God saw the afflictions of hurting people all through the Scripture record, Genesis16:6-11 and how He raised up nations and men who were destitute and helpless. According to thy Word.

When you are so low you’re lying on the ground flat on your back and afraid you’re going to fall off, just remember you have an advocate in the highest heaven with His eye on you and every sparrow that falls. Matthew 10:29.

119:26 I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes.

This is why we learn the moral goodness God teaches in His Word — to declare them to others by our example and by our knowledge of the truth it alone possesses. But note what he said, and thou heardest me.

God’s Word is not only to be lived out in deed,

But proclaimed and made known to others as creed!

We must tell people why we live the way we do. Holiness of life is something the world and modern Christians need desperately to hear about and learn about. Holiness is not a private matter all shut up inside the saint. Holiness is not silence to let others “figure out for themselves.” The holy life is something that is visible AND has a voice ready to teach those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. Go tell it on the mountains!

Teach me Thy statutes is the way the psalmist ends this prayer. Those who declare God’s ways to others must learn God’s ways from God. It may start with a human agent but ultimately I must go to the source of absolute truth — to God the Father. A good teacher is a good learner. If I am telling others about God it must be more than theology or book learnin’. The most effective teachers of the Word are those who have been in the presence of God and learned what they teach directly from Him.

119:27 Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.

Here is holiness with a voice again. Have you met those Christians who say,“You don’t have to talk about the Lord to people to win them to the Lord. If you just live your life before the unsaved they’ll know what you stand for.” But according to the Scripture the gospel life is something that must be proclaimed, spoken, taught, and declared. Paul didn’t walk back and forth through Athens when he saw the city given completely to idolatry, so the Athenians could get a good look at him and be converted by just “seeing his Christianity” and turn to the living God. Yet there are Christians out in the work place and living their Christian lives before their neighbors with Jesus all shut up inside of them.

If I was hungry for more of God in my life I would want to find a victorious Christian with a voice, someone who could tell me the way. It says Paul began disputing Acts 17:17, that is, he challenged them vocally! The word used here is not the word, to discuss (suzetesis) something we differ on, but the stronger word (dialegomai) to dispute, to preach, or to argue. So, Paul preached to these worshipers of many gods and denounced their pantheon as a symbol of their delusion lifting up Christ with persuasive speech! Acts 17:18-31

When you make a promise to someone and you’re not able to deliver, Talk is cheap, but when God makes a promise He can deliver and Talk is golden.

Don’t keep the wondrous works of God shut up inside, give sound to Calvary and tell the world around you of His goodness in your life experience!

Don’t let that miracle die! Tell it to others. Keep your conversion fresh, witness to others how the Lord came to your life and what He has done for you since He entered your life.

Don’t let men go on misunderstanding the holy life, tell others of the peace and joy there is in the life separated from the vanities and anxieties of the world.

119:28 My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word. (29) Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously.

Here it is revealed that there still lingers within this heart that loves God and righteousness a tendency toward lying or exaggeration. He is asking God to replace his moral imperfections with the power of God’s moral law.

Bible characters were always confessing their sins in brokenness, not denying them in self-righteousness and arrogance. Deep and broken self examination alone in the presence of God is missing from modern Christians of today for two reasons;

(1) When the desire to be perfected is not the chief obsession of the heart and

(2) when we do not have the habit of secret prayer. Many of these Psalms were experienced in the secret times of heart searching prayer.

The modern church is a victim of this lack. We are in a moral crisis but fail to link our problems to moral imperfections and then confess them.

119:30 I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.

”I have chosen,” the initiative of the believer revealed again. He, by his own decision and resolve, has chosen the way of truth, and he himself set God’s judgments before him as his goal. Ephesians 2:10; James 2:20, 24.

There are two essentials that makes holiness valid before God; 1. The provisions of God’s grace made available to man through Jesus Christ. 2. The appropriation of grace by man’s volition.

There is no valid state of righteousness apart from God’s provisions of grace; Nor is anything God offers us through grace going to be effective (bring results) until man by choice of his own will accepts it and acts upon it.

When we speak of obedience to God’s Word, we are not implying obedience apart from His grace. Never! We are speaking of the response of the will desiring to cooperate with the Word (Logos) and the Spirit Who have touched us and stand on either side of us. Read Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 2:11. See Initiative of Believer; Romans 3:20.

119:31 I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O Lord, put me not to shame.

He is “stuck” on the Word! What a wonderful and normal attraction for God’s holiness people. This word “stuck” is the Hebrew word dabaq meaning to follow closely, to keep close to, to be joined to. It speaks of a very special relationship between himself and the Word. He is attached to the Word. For this reason he has the right to ask for special favors from the Lord.

119:32 I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.

Swiftly, eagerly, without hesitation, without reservation he pursues the commandments as God enables him by enlarging his heart. Unquestionable, instantaneous obedience. Walter Beuttler, a godly teacher of the Word often repeated to us in the classroom,“When God speaks we must respond with instantaneous unquestionable obedience.

What an excellent example of the way the decision power of the believer complements the grace of God! The two of them together win the crown.

Man’s problem has never been knowing what is right. Man’s problem has been that he is powerless to do what he already knows to be right.

Here lies the precise purpose (the efficacy) of the cross! He tore heaven and earth asunder and emptied Himself into a frail human frame in a stinking manger with the seal of death on every breath He drew and then ignored His almighty powerful angel bands bent forward waiting to charge in and release him from the darkness and chaos of Golgotha, and went on to suffer a horrible death that He might purchase for us according to the laws of the Kingdom the power to conquer sin, death and hell in His Name.

Christ came to give us that desire to be holy which in turn gives us the power to become the sons of God! John 1:12. He, through the cross, provides us with the power of obedience, faith and abounding love for the Word essential to a victorious, holy life.

A great fact is revealed in this Psalm; that when the heart condition is right, moral purity is eagerly pursued. The heart enlarges under prolonged running. He so pursues the Word of God. It is a fervent pursuit, a strenuous effort…all for the refreshing that lies ahead. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. Psalm 42:1

119:33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.

He doesn’t ask to be taught special revelations, prophecy, mysteries, but the moral principles of the statutes of the Word. He then promises to keep the truth he receives and abide in it to his last breath! What an attitude!

119:34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

It has always been true in God’s Word that purity issues from the heart. God wants me to surrender my heart to Him. He knows that when He has my heart, He has all of me. Until then He only has parts of me some of the time but never all of me all of the time. See Psalm 119:11

When God gives man divine understanding, the result is insight into the moral law. The baptism of the Holy Ghost guarantees higher spiritual performance in not only the supernatural gifts of the Spirit but also supernatural character! The baptism of the Holy Spirit has been lost to “tongues.” That’s all pentecostals think of when you mention the Holy Spirit — “tongues.” Tongues are an evidence, but holy character is the PROOF of His presence in my heart.

”Yea,”…He has resolved to keep the Word! A bulldog gets a hold of a rat and sets about to destroy it with “resolution.” In dogs that is a trait of their nature, but in man it is a quality of character. Resolution is a quality of character when a Spirit-filled Christian encounters the rats of sin and sets about with resolution to destroy them. It is the nature of holy character to hate sin.

119:35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.

The servant of God pleads with the Lord to help constrain him and give special persuasions in spite of some distractions in life; for he realizes that when he is walking in the commandments he is at his happiest level of life.

119:36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.

Ever present with man are the sudden and unexpected temptations to covet something that reaches out to him from the world that surrounds him. But here he asks the Lord to help him. How does he seek that help? Does he ask God to remove the temptation? No. The psalmist knows that the problem is in his heart and asks God to touch him there — the center of his affections — that he be attracted testimonies of the Lord instead.

There is antithesis here. The opposites are (1) the Word (testimonies) and (2) the world (covetousness). The Word and world oppose, they are opposites. They represent two diametrical value systems. 1 John 2:15

How the power of lust is broken. We see the horizontal and vertical attractions of human experience in these words. The horizontal is what he sees on either side of him (covetousness), the voices and enticements beckoning to his senses to absorb his thoughts and create new interests. He knows he is not able to cope with these powerful influences in his own strength. Then he enters the closet of prayer and makes the vertical contact with God. He knows that the only way to overcome the temptations in the horizontal experience of the human nature is to make vertical contact with God. Through this vertical (upward) attention of the heart, the cheap and fleshy distractions of the world lose their luster and enticing power! There is no power greater than a heart touched of God through that vertical communion with heaven!

119:37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.

The eye is the instrument of the body life. 1 John 2:16 To control what the eyes look upon is to eliminate a great percentage of temptation. To control the eye is to control illicit desire invoked by the impurities we see. It is a foolish Christian who lays his or her eyes upon unclean things thinking that to look is harmless. To “see” something, we cannot help; but to “look” at vain and unclean things violates the “Holy” Spirit and reveals the rot and lust hidden in the inner man waiting to erupt into a vulgar act of sin.

Allowing the eyes freedom to feast upon the unclean thing allows unclean images to register on the mind (permutation), deposited and lying there for the imagination to play with (fantasizing) to taunt and tease the soul that professes Christ. The corrupted man begins with corrupted imagery. All of those images come through the eyes. What did Jesus teach us about the eye? The light of the body is the eye: IF THEREFORE THINE EYE BE SINGLE, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! Matthew 6:22-23

Only spiritual idiots say they can look and not lust. Next to television and pornography, public beaches are one of the most morally provocative environments legally available to people. Public bathing, once considered a crime by society, provides the worst and most unwholesome environment (stimuli) for the eyes to feed upon. In many places now, throughout the world, beaches are considered very dangerous after dark. It is impossible to be led of the Spirit of God to a public bathing beach! To walk in the Spirit on a beach with sprawling naked bathers.

The psalmist knows the power of the evil eye and asks for spiritual power to overcome it. Note in so many of these prayers how the Psalmist asks  God to do the work. He has the desire, the knowledge of right and wrong but the power to execute holiness is of the Lord … to them GAVE HE power! John 1:12

119:38 Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.

What? “Devoted” to the fear of God?!? It would shake the timbers of a modern Charismatic if the Biblical truth about the fear of God should ever be discovered. See fear in Naves Topical Bible. (God, Fear of) We are aware that the word devoted is not in the Hebrew text but it is found in the grammar of this sentence. The word fear used here (yir-aw) speaks of a deep regard or reverence for, to be in awe of God’s greatness and majestic power. Faith in God is based on the fear of God and not a Winsome happy-go-lucky slapstick, vaudeville Showmanship kind of faith we see and hear about so much today.

119:39 Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good.

How refreshing! He is suffering setbacks, serious problems, but he’s not blaming God for it. He is not resenting the Word but rather acclaiming it as good in spite of his grief.

He is praying for purity, not having a pity party.

119:40-41 Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness. (41) Let thy mercies come also unto me, O Lord, even thy salvation, according to thy word.

Revival is in the Word of God. If you need a new lease on life — get alone with the Word of God! Those who long for the Word of God, who have a strong desire for it, receive life from it. This word quicken means more than just life, it means to be revived! The Hebrew word, chayah, means to recover, restore, to revive.

119:42-43 So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word. (43) And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments.

He asks to never lose the power to speak the truth. There are too many “teachers” today who have no concern for truth. The gospel is not a pragmatic program to make clever handsome men rich. A true servant of God doesn’t give a hang for anything but the truth! Our objective in preaching is not to effect physical results or improve our material state, but in the words of Jesus describing Himself, “A man that hath told you the truth.” John 8:40

119:44 So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever.

Isn’t it becoming obvious to the student of these verses that there is this loving attitude toward the Word in those who are committed to a deep respect for moral purity.

“For ever and ever”…the words of a vow…the words of a love song to the Lord. John said, This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. The word keep here is shamar in the Hebrew, meaning to put a hedge about the commandments and protect them from harm, from being violated.

119:45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.

A very interesting paradox explained. How can liberty (freedom) and God’s precepts (inhibition placed on behavior) possibly share the same address? It’s very simple. When you walk in God’s precepts, you are at spiritual liberty. When you walk in the lusts of the flesh, your spiritual life is in bondage, but your flesh is at liberty. The Psalmist is here speaking of spiritual liberty. See 119:14

Many Christians seek freedom from the moral teachings of the Scripture and then say that Jesus delivered them from bondage and that they have found their freedom when they backslide into liberalism. They do not (want to) understand that there is also a bondage living in the Spirit.

They do not make this distinction, nor do they know the difference between the bondage of the flesh and the bondage of the Spirit. I heard Pastor Gene Canter say, In seeking to find freedom they fall into bondage. If you do not know the difference between the two freedoms, it would become very easy to mistake the feeling of flesh freedom for freedom of the Spirit. Is such a thing possible? Jesus says it is! Notice Jesus’ words knowest not found in Jesus message to the church at Laodicea;

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; [freedom] AND KNOWEST NOT that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: [bondage] Revelation 3: l 7.

In fact, Jesus explains to us this very phenomena, that Christians who think they have freedom are actually in bondage. They are in bondage and do not even know it! The modern Christian spends large amounts of money to enhance his or her natural appearance. They take their freedom to glorify the flesh with cosmetics and jewelry, to have luxury, but at the same time they are under bondage to pride, extravagance, and materialism. In finding freedom in the flesh they have come under the bondage of things that control them but do not realize that the pleasure they have in the flesh is bondage to worldliness and pride.

This can indeed happen as Jesus warns in His message to the Laodiceans. The Laodiceans claim they are thriving and have need of nothing — the perfect picture of success, freedom and independence. But then Jesus surprisingly contradicts their self evaluation and sees them as being under bondage.

They said one thing, but Jesus said another thing quite the opposite.

Jesus said, they are . . .

Wretched: (Talaiporos) Being under trial.

Miserable: (Eleeinos) In pitiful condition.

Poor: (Ptochos) Absolute and utter poverty.

Blind: (Tuphlos) Mental blindness.

Naked: (Gumnos) Nude, unclothed.

The Laodiceans said of themselves . . .

We are rich,

And increased with goods,

And in need of nothing.

God’s precepts bring God’s liberty. Liberty in the Christian’s life comes only from being released from the bondage of the sinful flesh nature through the death of self — not the exultation of the flesh!

119:46 I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.

Proud of God and ashamed of His Word? A love for God is equivalent to not being ashamed of His Word. Many modern Christians are not ashamed of God but they are ashamed of what He says in His Word. They want a silent God, a God who dares not speak. And if someone should challenge something God has said that they don’t like, such as God’s laws on divorce, the apologetic believer proceeds to water it down with his own humanistic and appeasing interpretation. The psalmist did not say that he would “speak of God before kings,” but that he would “speak of they testimonies…before kings.” To be proud of the Word is to be proud of all God has done in the holy record. Neither was Paul ashamed of the gospel. Romans 1:16.

119:47 And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.

Here is the shocking news again! He delights in the commandments? All the truths of the Old Testament are linked with the moral revelation of the New Testament. Romans 13:8-19 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Romans 8:7. It is the same now as then…those who love God, love His moral law. The only difference is that under the old covenant they did not have the power of Christ dwelling within.

119:48 My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.

Praise God! Why don’t we start doing this in every church that believes in the holiness of God’s Word? Let’s start raising our hands to the Word of God. I hugged my Bible once in a crusade in Brazil. I asked all of the Christians to do the same. There was a roar of praise. It’s sort of a hug for God by proxy.

One Christian expressed the fear of idolatry by showing such affection for the Bible. Would to God we had such a “cult!” I would join it immediately!

119:49 Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.

God gave His Word to man as a point of contact, or better yet, as a point of connection, as a place where we connect with God. We have heard of the “french connection,” this is the “Kingdom connection” between God and man. God’s Word is the meeting place where I can always meet with God and commune with Him. It is our place of holding tryst whether I be in a room filled with the voices of my Slavic brethren or skimming the edge of space in a jet — open the Word of God and there we meet and talk to each other. In the Word of God we have a meeting place with Him.

“Remember.” Not that God has forgotten, but that the Father wants us to ask. He likes to see us coming to Him in faith.

119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

When a person is seriously afflicted, it often causes us to go into deep thinking. The soul flees to God, the mind flees to the Word for answers and consolations and is satisfied with His quickening. The solace and care of a loving wife is so precious when a man is afflicted. Children and friends at the bedside praying is such a blessing. But the Word of God is by far the greatest of all comforts to those who have it in their hearts.

119:51 The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law.

He admits to the bad effects of evil pressures from without but they cannot destroy the Word within. They only drive him closer to the law of the Lord. To depart from the Word of God under persecution will only complicate our problems.

To afflict a disciple from without only drives him closer to God within.

119:52 I remembered thy judgments of old, O Lord; and have comforted myself

There is much comfort to be realized from looking back and reflecting on God’s dealings with mankind. It gives us stability when we see the consistent and almost predictable way He deals with man always according to righteousness and within the frame of His moral law.

This moral consistency in God is comforting to the righteous. God never does anything, deals with us in any way except by love.

119:53 Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.

Literally, the most horrible thing has taken hold of me. He is so saturated with the truth of God’s Word that when suddenly exposed to the wickedness of the world he is gripped with shock and horror. Those who love the Lord are sensitive to sin and react to it with grief and horror! To love God is to hate evil. Psalm 97:10

The modern Christian has become so conditioned to the evils of the modern world environment that a high tolerance for sin has perverted our moral concepts. What shocked the Christian conscience a few years ago is being defended and practiced by the contemporary Laodicea fundamentalist.

What has happened when our major networks show horror movies in late afternoons with gushing blood, violent murders vividly committed in color before the eyes of children.

What has happened to our country when we show demonic films during children’s hour with witches wearing necklaces strung with dead babies fingers? We have lost the horror of sin! We have lost our moral sensitivity. Paul referred to this moral state as having the conscience seared with a hot iron.

They say we’re living in a better day and that we shouldn’t talk about the good ole’ days. But there was something very different years ago there was a much higher sensitivity to sin even in unregenerate society. Today Christians are practicing the same moral standards that only gun molls, prostitutes and gangsters practiced a few years ago.

The church once called it sin — now we call it freedom.

Then the world called the church holiness people, now many modern Christians call holiness Christians legalisms. The Holiness people have not changed their doctrine but kept their faith. Those who attempt to make holiness Christians look evil have their spiritual roots in the holiness movement and backslided from their first estate. Because these backsliders cannot disprove Holiness doctrine Biblically they mock them with bad sounding names such as legalist. But these modern Christians who have forsaken the Biblical doctrines of separation and mortification and attempt to make Holiness appear to be legalistic are identifying themselves with the great apostasy of the church in the last days when they do this.

Some of us have lived many years in two or three different eras of the church and were in close contact with godly men who were familiar with the two or three eras of the church before we lived. We have lived in the yesteryear as well as in the present. Give me the good ole’ days when men were horror stricken with the fear of God and we had pulpits without puppets, and preacher prophets who possessed a perfect hatred for sin!

119:54 Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.

“Thy statutes (decrees) are my song as I wander through the world.” Some would have us think that the theme of Psalm 119, which speaks only of the commandments, the law, the judgments, the testimonies, the statutes, the precepts of the Lord, has nothing to do with the happiness of man. This is perhaps the greatest delusion Satan has pandered off onto the modern fundamental church.

Preachers who have sent people to hell by their slanderous attacks against the moral laws of God not only rob those who hear them from the highest kind of happiness but will share the beds of fire with those they lied to.

The Word of God is the chief agent of sanctification. See verse 11 and John 17:17 The whole redemptive scheme is to transform man morally by means of God’s grace as revealed in His Word. Salvation consists of justification at the cross and sanctification after the cross. Everyone who has had a cross experience is living on the sanctification side of salvation. Sanctification sets the spiritual life to music with the joy of the Lord!

Here is that proper attitude of the heart toward God’s Word surfacing again! Those who walk in the Spirit, love the order it produces. The righteous have a song in their heart that the vain, the worldly, the libertine, and the apostate will never know.

The wicked couldn’t carry God’s tune in a bucket. Those who love the holy life have the sweet sound in their songs to God. Holiness of life breathes reality into a song. The modem gospel singers who do everything for a price may appeal to the aesthetic tastes in man and entertain him emotionally but holiness of life and singing with holy motives will be bouncing from the crystal walls of God’s city long after the world, the apostates and filthy lucre have been cremated in judgment.

Only the holy have the real right to sing of Him!

(Suggested reading: this verse in THE BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR.)

119:55 I have remembered thy name, O Lord, in the night, and have kept thy law.

When day was past and the din of voices all around him had finally faded away in the evening dusk…and the strain of the day’s labor had left his body weary upon the bed…his final thoughts were of the Lord. As he reflected and his eyes closed in sleep, a smile fell across his face. His last words in the darkness as angels listened nearby…“today I have kept thy law.”

119:56 This I had, because I kept thy precepts.

This is like a blank check. What was it he had? You fill it in! When our desire is to keep the precepts of God, there is no one way to describe the goodness, the benefits that come from it. Fill it in for yourself. Here are just a few; Health I had because I kept thy precepts…Joy I had, because I kept they precepts … Safety I had, because I kept thy precepts…A miracle I have, because I kept thy precepts … Peace I have, because I kept thy precepts and a thousand other good things.

The second observation; He is speaking in the past tense. Note the words “had” and “kept.” It does not say, “This I have,” but “this I had. ” Could it be he had it but he doesn’t have it now but fully realizes life was better when he “kept thy precepts?”

119:57 Thou art my portion, OLord: I have said that I would keep thy words.

When we dedicate ourselves to truth and honesty as the Word teaches, we may cut ourselves off from the world’s portions. We may limit ourselves only to the bread and water of spiritual dedication while others are reveling around the tables of the world laden with the dainties of a king but we will keep His Word. Like Daniel, we will come forth in the end with the brighter countenance.

119:58 I entreated thy favor with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.

He could put his whole heart into his petition because of his confidence in the Word. When you live by the Word of God, every angel, every attribute of God, every promise, all of the kingdom is behind you from the cherubs to the archangels!

119:59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.

Honest reflection can be redemptive. It implies his feet were not in the ways of the Lord, but after reflection and thought, he got back on track with God. Jesus said of the prodigal, and when he came to himself, that is, when he came to his senses. What made the prodigal see the cause of the mess he was in was the fact he started thinking and reflecting on the things that lead up to his living with pigs. When a person can think honestly he has a good chance of recovering from any mess he’s in. It all starts with thinking right. What is it I say again and again to my listeners; To live right you have to think right. Nothing helps us think right more than the Word of God.

119:60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.

This is a good description of unquestionable, instantaneous obedience.

119:61 The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law.

Misfortune has befallen him, but it will not affect his commitment to the moral laws of God. He will not believe that “It doesn’t pay to serve the Lord.” The wickedness of the wicked will not affect my commitment to God’s moral laws!

119:62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.

When other people are eating, sleeping, and merrymaking, the servant of the Lord is stealing away into His presence to give tearful thanks and praise. Why, because he has been blessed? been prospered? has made a big business deal that day? No! He gives thanks unto God because “of thy righteous judgments.” He praised Him for the goodness and truth of His Word. We praise Him for our physical healing, why not praise Him for the moral virtue He instills in us by His Word?

119:63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.

Perhaps the greatest influence upon the righteous is the fellowship of the godly we surround ourselves with. When new converts come to Christ, they must first off seek new social companions that “keep thy precepts.” This is such a great principle — the power and influence of the company we keep. It will damn us or it can assure a place in the Kingdom. Hell is full of foolish souls who chose wrong companions.

Is this why Jesus said of Himself that He was a friend that “sticketh closer than a brother?” We need His friendship badly in these apostate last days!

119:64 The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.

He looks around upon all the glory and beauty, the order, and realizes the benevolent nature of the God who created it all. The result: To have this Creator as his teacher, to absorb the riches of His wisdom, the excellencies of His great love revealed in His Word.

119:65 Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O Lord, according unto thy word.

This word, well, in Hebrew is towb which means good. He isn’t saying he enjoyed the way God dealt with him but, that it was according to the Word, and was good because it was right. Permit me to quote something here from our study on the crowning of the creation and what part goodness has in everything God is the author of:

The Goodness of God’s Government

Everything created and inanimate must have the quality of absolute goodness governing it if orderly and peaceful arrangement is to be achieved. God is not the author of anything that does not have laws to govern it. Anything without law to govern it would self destruct. Everything in God’s universe is under the rule of myriads of laws that insure its preservation. All you have to do is ask a medical doctor or a pathologist how many laws he would estimate are known in the function of the human body. You would soon learn that there are hundreds of thousands and hundreds and hundreds of laws governing just body cells alone!

Ask any high school science teacher or a doctor of physics the difference between a stable and an unstable atom and you will see the goodness and love of God in the laws He has created to eliminate the harm that can come from something out of control. Once you get the answer to the atom question you will see the goodness of God and the goodness of any regulatory law whether it is cosmic or moral law.

Adam and Eve demonstrate what happens when man rejects the moral laws God has put in place to keep life stable. When they thought to exist apart from, and with disregard for the commandment of God, they devastated themselves, lost paradise and threw the world out of control. They sacrificed the beauty and order of good laws for ambitious goals without God is governing presence and without God ’s consent. The result of this contempt for divine government was that they became the founders of an unstable system of  human government that remains with us and out of control to this day.

To regain moral and spiritual stability we have to be born back into the Kingdom of God by the new birth which Christ provided I for us on the cross when He gave man the opportunity to repent of his rebellion against God and be restored to the original relationship he had with man in the beginning. When that happens to a person, that person turns from his or her rebellion against divine government and law, forsakes his or her autonomous and independent attitudes and returns to be once again governed by the moral laws of God This is only possible through Christ because it is through His redemptive work we receive the new nature, the Spirit of Christ, that delivers us from the inner rebellious nature that opposes divine government. When the soul repents of its sin and rebellion against God, Christ enters my inner man, and I become one with all the moral principles and laws of the kingdom once again. That new desire to be obedient to divine government is the proof of being born again. Read John 3:3 with 2 Corinthians 5:17-18.

There are many different kinds of Christianity today but the original and pure gospel is preserved in the Word of God so we can refer to it always having access to the truth. This is extremely important today in a spiritually unstable world system that is completely out of control and frantically trying to find stability apart from God ’s moral law. Man’s most recent attempts to bring peace (order) to the world is through the dream of a new world order and global government. Volumes of laws are being written to govern the people in the third millennium which at least indicates that man knows that he can only have order out of government. But instead of returning to the moral government of God, he labors feverishly and foolishly to devise his own government, but all in vain. 1 Thesmlonians 5:3

God is goodness is revealed in His moral law for man. Just as His millions of cosmic laws regulate an orderly arrangement throughout the creation from the shells of the atom to the courses of  the galaxies, so will His moral laws when let to govern bring the same stability to man.

The psalmist is not saying the Lord has dealt with him in a way pleasing to him, but rather, that He has “dealt well” with him. There is a big difference between God dealing “well” with us and dealing with us in a way that pleases us. Experiences that mold character are not always pleasant but they are always “well.”

119:66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.

What a spiritual word, this word “teach.” It is the word of potential to the spiritually minded. To learn you must be teachable. You may be very gifted; You may have intelligence, you may have a photographic mind, but if you’re not teachable you will be a spiritual zero. This servant is teachable and desires to be taught. Notice what he desired, 1) Good judgment, and 2) Knowledge.

119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.

This verse does not say that God had afflicted him. It does say that before the affliction he was straying from the Word. When Satan attacks us physically,’in the end he often does us a favor by causing us to turn to the Word. When we are healed, we should not only come to the Lord with a praise offering but come to the Word with new dedication.

119:68 Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.

There is a chain of goodness here. First he declared the goodness of God. Secondly he saw the goodness of His works, Thirdly he deducted that the Word of God was good.

1. The goodness of God
2. The goodness of His works.
3. The goodness of His Word.

Charles Finney said, “God’s commandments are not good because they are God’s commandments, but they are God’s commandments because they are good.”

119:69 The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.

Don’t let the proud bother you. Take some good advice from this man and occupy your whole heart with the precepts of God. It’s a most wonderful way to get your mind off of the hurts that come from the wicked.

Please note that he did not read the precepts; he did not merely commit them to memory (though it’s a very good idea); he did not just preach them to others; he did not say that he carried them around with him…he “kept” them, he obeyed them.

119:70 Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law.

Speaking of the greasy wicked; they delight in food and luxury and many times it shows…the righteous “delight in thy law”… and it shows too. A fat man cannot hide his obesity and neither can a godly saint hide his goodness. They are both conspicuous.

119:71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

See verses 51, 53, 67. Here the Psalmist reveals even a greater thing to us regarding afflictions — something he didn’t say before. Here he says, “it is good for me.“ Sometimes afflictions in the flesh bring health to the spirit by restoring a new teachable attitude toward the Word. Even Job was bettered after his bout with Satan. Job 42:12

119:72 The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.

If Psalm 119 reveals man’s saintly attitude toward the Word of God, then this is the epitome of all such expressions. Every human heart lusts for the bartering powers of silver and gold. The Psalmist declares here that his spiritual desire for the moral law of God is a greater desire and of more value to him than gold or silver in abundance! According to this, it seems the prosperity teaching has gotten things backwards. They preach silver and gold and leave holiness out. The modern Christian’s preoccupation with prosperity is a result of the low value he actually places on the law of God’s mouth. See Law and Commandments.

Beware of the false profit$!

119:73 Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.

The purpose of his being created is directly linked to moral perfection as revealed in the Word.

119:74 They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.

Good morals and good conduct produce a good reputation. Good reputation cannot be bought, it can only be earned by being consistently good. “They . . . will be glad when they see me; ” implies too that his goodness inspires others and that he has become a good model image to others.

Note: Fear, hope and God’s Word all joined together.

119:75 I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

God did permit Job to be afflicted … but, He was standing over Job every minute “in faithfulness.” The Psalmist trusts God’s judgment in the time of his affliction or chastisement. It’s good to know that as God’s children, there is always a purpose in affliction. The unsaved have no such consolation. We, the redeemed can’t lose! “To live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippine 1:21

119:76 Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.

This word comfort is gnetum, to sigh with pity or sorrow, to repent. He asking the Lord to comfort him in his sorrow as he reflects on his faults. The word comfort is actually a reference to godly sorrow he is experiencing as he sighs with regret in the presence of the Lord. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 7: 10. We are being bombarded by the false prophets today telling us we should be happy all of the time and prospering in this world as proof of our faith. There are Charismatic teachers who have dedicated their whole ministry to laughing and teaching that Jesus was an incontinent winsome man, implying that Jesus was giddy and uninhibited just like themselves. What foolishness this effort to make Jesus like us when the truth is that He wants us to be like Him. Instead of proclaiming the serious and noble, the dignity and propriety of Jesus they make him into “the life of the party” according to their own incontinent behavior. Here is another mark of the false gospel, they labor to make Jesus like themselves rather than make themselves like Jesus. The happy gospel is a human gospel and the invention of unregenerate imagination.

Scripture teaches joy that comes out of obedience and a rejoicing with joy unspeakable that is full of glory. But these experiences of joy Scripture speaks of are rooted in holiness, sobriety and a godly life having nothing to do with laughter and joking and a casual loose demeanor. Too many Christians can laugh on top of all of their looseness and worldliness as if it were nothing. If the bride is to be ready for the Bridegroom’s sudden appearing, it had better throw off the laughing jag and start humbling ourselves with a broken and contrite spirit in His presence, and beg God to restore brokenness and weeping at the altars of secret prayer. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Psalms 34: 18.

119:77 Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.

The man who makes the law of the Lord his delight has a special kind of faith and confidence that can ask anything of God. Delight speaks of a strong desire. There are many of them in life. But his desire was the law of God. The modern TV mentality is a slave to entertainment and worldly pleasures. This truly is the day when men are “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.” But the Spirit filled prefer perfection over pleasure!

Here is another one of those strange combinations of words that are incomprehensible to those who do not have the holy attitude toward God’s Word. The words mercies, law and delight all joined in the same glorious and positive category.

119:78 Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.

Sometimes our own brethren will exclude us and bar us from their favor for reasons unknown to us. Leave it to God and continue meditation in His precepts and keep wrong and hateful attitudes from developing in your own heart. Instead of turning on his cretins he turned to the Word.

119:79 Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.

Because there are many different kinds of human personalities there are many different kinds of affinities (common interests). There are social affinities; there are professional affinities; and there are situational affinities. But there is one affinity that binds the rich and the poor; the simple with the intellectual and even the strangers. It is that wonderful thing all of God’s children have in common, the Word of God. This is the beauty and advantage they have who hold to the infallibility and final authority of God’s Word.

There is a special bond between all those who love the commandments. Malachi 3:16

119:80 Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.

A sound body (health) is one of man’s greatest assets in life. But a strong (healthy) heart in the Word is by far the greatest of all God given assets. Paul spoke of this as being “established.” Romans 1:11

Good nutritious food for a sound body and good sound doctrine for a sound heart!

The Psalmist knows not only that the state of his heart is related to the statutes of the Lord, but that circumstances in life are determined out of that relationship. Ashamed (Hebrew BUWSH,) also means to be disappointed.

119:81 My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.

The key word in this prayer of the psalmist is fainteth (kalah), to perish, to be consumed or destroyed. Here the deep expression of a man consumed by a desire to know the salvation of the Lord. We must remember that these words were uttered before the Messiah and there were many mysteries yet unknown to the believers who were yet awaiting the promised Messiah. There were many things they did not know or understand because they were looking forward into the unknown future — but they trusted in God’s Word and lived righteously knowing that their salvation was in obedience to the Word God had given them and then the promises of God for the future they ultimately know them.

The patriarchs, the prophets, and even the disciples as they listened to the teaching of Jesus were in the dark regarding many of the particulars as to how and just when God would fulfill His promise of the Messiah and other events promised by the sure Word of prophecy, but they lived by what they DID know and committed what they DID NOT know into the loving and faithful hands of God. Paul spoke of the unknown in God’s promises in his letter to the Corinthians Christians that explains the expression of the psalmist here.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12.

But there is something here especially for Christians living in these last days to consider. We are privileged to live in this end time when we have the advantage of looking back and witnessing the fact that all of the prophecies which the Psalmist did not see fulfilled, we have seen fulfilled! We are witnesses to the faithfulness of God and the hundreds of prophecies foretelling the coming of Christ. The crucifixion of Jesus, His resurrection, the disbursement and re-gathering of Israel, have indeed happened just as the Word of God promised. But there is still this one thing the psalmist’s prayer mentions that we must also possess if we are to see inside the kingdom of God. We must also place salvation in the highest places in our thoughts as he did! Note that he could have been worrying about food, about his pleasures and comforts, about his own well being in this life but he was only concerned with the spiritual reality of salvation. He had right values placing his salvation above his material life. Oh, for that kind of Christian experience to become the norm again that fainteth for His salvation!

119:82 Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?

The word fail here is the same Hebrew word as fainteth in verse 81above. His eyes seek the Word of God until they fail! He will feast his eyes on the Word until the Lord comes forth with comfort. This is the resolution we must have in seeking the Lord, to press into the Word until the Lord manifests Himself. The word comfort is the same as the word study in verse 76 above. What we see in verse 76 applies here also.

The feeling here is that of waiting on the Lord. We often use the term waiting on the Lord. This is a lost art in the Christian prayer life. The psalmist’s eyes fail for the Word. That is, he is waiting on the Lord and his eyes will not cease from searching the Word until the Lord answers. Waiting on the Lord is a labor of patience that demands our resolve to wait on the Lord until He comes forth. Maybe we have not received because we do not wait on the Lord until He speaks.

119:83 For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.

This verse begins with for, a conjunction that links it with the previous verse (82). The smoke is a type of misery and discomforting circumstances that take their toll on our life as we labor here in a world smoldering in sin. The bottle is an object that is moved and used by the master of the house as only He decides. We wait for the Lord to come again and take us off of the shelf and remove us from the smoke of these miserable circumstances. Just Lot was vexed, irritated, in the “smoke” of Sodom’s sin. The psalmist has been in the smoke so long that he fears being tarnished like a bottle in the smoke. Yet do I not forget thy statutes!

119:84 How many are the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?

It seems the smoke is a reference to the psalmist’s enemies. He is waiting for the Lord to execute judgment on the evil men who are making his life miserable. It’s interesting that the psalmist never thinks of or mentions taking vengeance on his enemies himself but commits them to the hands of God. The psalmist is teaching us a very valuable lesson, that when men vex us and wrongly trouble us we must press into God and not charge into those who wrong us. Meditate in His Word and concentrate on living holy before God and leave the smoke to God. In His time He will blow the smoke away with one heavenly blast!

119:85 The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law.

We have all seen a bottle that has been stained and tarnished in a fire. Matthew Henry points out that this affliction of evil men and the bottle in the smoke also refer to those who persecuted Jesus wrongly. We can certainly see how evil men could affect the mind and body of their victim leaving him as a bottle spoiled from the fire and smoke. But remember to read the end of that story. Jesus was raised from the dead by the power of God. It’s always true that men will try us and put us through the fire but in the end God will glorify the righteous, erasing the marks of our fiery trials. Jesus was glorified and so shall we be if we remain faithful to the truth of the gospel according to holiness.

119:86 All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help than me.

We see here a thoroughness in the faith of the psalmist toward God’s Word. All of thy commandments is his recognition of every precept of God without any exceptions. He was not a believer in only part of the moral teaching of God’s Word but to all of thy commandments. He did not arbitrarily declare faith in just a selected few of the commandments rejecting some that were not appealing to his personal preferences — but, to all thy commandments. Modern Christians have many excuses why they do not have to regard and obey certain of God’s commandments. Such excuses as, “We are living in another day;” or, “That was just under law.” Or, “We are under grace, not bondage. Jesus has come to make us free from the law.”

A good illustration of this selective kind of obedience to the moral commandments so popular today, is the disregard for the Sabbath commandment. Even professing holiness preachers wrongly teach that Paul’s reference to ceremonial Jewish Sabbaths in Colossians 2:16 includes the creation Sabbath found in the fourth commandment.

The seventh day Sabbath set into the ten commandments commemorating the instantaneous creation is a moral commandment while the Sabbaths instituted during the deliverance and wanderings of Israel belonged to the ceremonial law and were not binding upon man after the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The ten commandments are eternally binding moral commandments for all men. The Jewish Sabbaths instituted after creation were ceremonial and not moral in essence. The creation Sabbath was part of the moral law but the ceremonial sabbaths were a part of the Jewish ceremonial system. There will be no excuse for those preachers who speak for God to violate this Sabbath commandment.

Any man of average intelligence not making the distinction between the Sabbath of creation in the moral law and the Sabbath ordinances given to Israel in the ceremonial law such as the feast of tabernacles, and the Passover put themselves at serious risk to teach contrary to these facts. Colossians 2:16 The moral Sabbath listed as the fourth commandment in our Bibles is distinguished as eternal so long as man lives on this created earth. It has not been annulled nor does it have any reference to any other event (as all ceremonial Sabbaths do) than the creation. The Sabbath commandment was before the law of Moses and remains a part of the moral law after Moses. There are not nine commandments after Jesus, nor did He anywhere in His teaching void the creation Sabbath. The Sabbath contained in the moral law was like the tithe, it was required of men before Moses and practiced yet as the divine method of underwriting the evangelism of the world.

Rebellion against the Sabbath commandment (a commandment and not an ordinance) referred to in the moral law is not so much a matter of ignorance as it is a wilful disregard for a moral commandment which violates our fleshly preferences. All of God’s moral law is perpetual and will never cease to be represent the behavior of those who truly love God.

Some excuse themselves from obedience to this moral commandment because Jesus did not include it in His teaching when He intensified the moral commandments in the sermon of the mount. Matthew 5-7 But there were other commandments He did not mention and how could He intensify the Sabbath commandment? The Jews had become over zealous in the way they had interpreted the observance of the Sabbath taking it to an extreme. On the other hand, if Jesus had intended to repeal the Sabbath commandment and drop it from the moral law under Grace He had the perfect chance to do so when He was modifying the commandments in the Sermon on the Mount Matthew 5 through 7

It is logical to conclude that if He was altering man’s moral obligation to the moral law in any way that He would have done this in His teaching. He left this commandment alone for the simple reason it was not affected as the other moral commandments by the New Covenant. All of thy commandments does not permit us to trifle with any one of the moral commandments or teach its annulment out of silence.

We must have an authority equal to the commandment itself to change the teaching as it appears in the Word of God. Men of God should be warned that to take away from or add to what is written in the Word of God could have eternal consequences and judgment. We must all stand with the psalmist and say, they persecute me wrongfully (because I stand for commandments they have despised). The Lord will help all those who keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. Hebrews 13:21; 1 John 3:22.

119:87 They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.

You get the feeling that he’s “holding on” as he merges from near destruction. He has apparently survived from some great pending catastrophe or mortal threat, and as he emerges from it he immediately reminds himself and others that his faithfulness to God’s moral precepts had something to do with his survival.

119:88 Quicken me after thy loving-kindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy month.

What a nice word, “loving-kindness.” It’s easy for Christians to obey God when they first know Him as the God of loving-kindness. God’s love for His people, and the love of His people for Him merge in the Word. It is that love for God that trusts Him and with meekness (not weakness) falls in submission to His every loving command. Love says, “Anything God says is alright!”

119:89 For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.

The Word of God is settled where? In heaven! Not in Rome, not in Moscow, not in Washington, DC, but in heaven! And the time is very near when all of these world power centers will be made fully aware of this fact!

119:90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.

God decrees that established planet Earth continue through the millenniums. If God can establish planet Earth by His Word, which involves a solar system and millions of cosmic laws, then He is capable of upholding His Word.

119:91 They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants.

This verse is a continuation of the preceding verse. The earth and all God created are the servants of the Lord. Even the birds and animals are regulated by the laws of creation God instituted in the beginning. Man was the only member of the creation that turned from God and rebelled against the laws of God that preserve him from self destruction and ultimately extinction. While planets and insects remain governed by the laws of God, man has strayed from God and threatens his very existence because he has done so. It is no wonder the wise man said, Go to the ant thou sluggard. What a terrible reflection on man that God has to tell him to go the insects to learn something. It is a sad state of affairs for man when the bugs pay more attention to the life preserving laws conferred by God than the creature called man made in the image and likeness of God. It goes to show that depraved intelligence is a liability to man and does not become an asset until he is born again and possesses the mind of Christ. Go to the cosmic creation you kings of the earth, and learn from it the benefits of obedience to the law. To be God’s servants we must learn from the rest of the orderly creation that laws are essential to our well being. Those who choose to regard the laws of God and believe His Word will ultimately escape this intelligent world made stupid by its rebellion against God’s laws.

119:92 Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.

Here again is the attitude of the righteous toward the moral law of God revealed. It is positive, beneficial and generates mental health. His delight in the Word was greater than his affliction.

119:93 I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.

Committing the Word to memory is to have a whole armory full of spiritual weapons. Remember the Holy Spirit brings things to our remembrance but He can only do that if we have it stored in the memory! John 14:26

119:94 I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts.

The Psalmist does not say that he kept God’s precepts, but that he “sought” the precepts. This desire of the inner man is the first thing essential to the keeping of the moral precepts of God. Without it, it is impossible to please Him. The power to fulfill this desire for  moral purity is what Christ brought to the inner man through the cross. It was this power to obey man did not have under the Old Covenant. Now we have Christ within who gives us the power to walk in the Spirit. John 1:12; 1 John 3:22. Without a heart that seeks the precepts (not promises, precepts!) of the Word it is certain obedience is impossible. See verse 69.

119:95 The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies.

In verses 15, 23, 48, 78, and 147 the psalmist meditates. This word siyach means to converse with yourself. But here the psalmist is considering the testimonies of the Lord. This is biyn, that is, in this case to consult and regard God’s Word, and not himself. In some instances we need to meditate, that is, to consult with our own heart when we read the Word. But there are times of deep concern that calls for a special Word from God from God’s Word. There comes a time when we put aside our own thoughts and regard only what the Word tells us.

To consider, means to intelligently and diligently determine the truth. In this case it is the truth of God’s testimonies. A testimony is to attest to something that we have witnessed first hand. God’s Word gives us many such reports by those who were present when the event took place. The psalmist says the wicked are on the attack to destroy him. Does he retaliate? Does he call his friends around him? No, not in this particular instance he does not. Why? Because when he considered God’s testimonies he was guided by it in his course of decision making. He reflects on what God’s Word has to say to determine the correct action to take, what to do, or what NOT do. He is confident God will do for him what He has done for others as recorded in the testimonies of God’s Word. He wisely consults God to see what others did who were in this same situation. It is wisdom to consult God’s Word directly and base our decisions on those precedents and examples found in the Word of God when possible.

119:96 I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.

Every tree, every house, every man has an end. Everything in this mortal world has a cycle with a beginning and an end. Nations rise and fall. Men ascend to greatness and then decline into obscurity and death and finally forgotten. Even this planet will see its end. The word perfection here is tiklah, completeness. David saw everything with an end — limited — but then quickly notes the unlimited bounds of God’s Word. The Word is eternal having no beginning and no end. It is perfect and exceeding broad. The Bible Knowledge Commentary says, He sees that God’s Word is boundless.

It seems the psalmist is seeing the limited things in this life in comparison to the unlimited Word of God. The word broad rachab means wide and broad in every direction! A wonderful description of the feeling we have when we get into the Word and start studying it. No matter which direction we start in, there seems to be no end.

119:97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

Here is not only an exclamation expressing the pleasures found in God’s law but also the joy of obedience to God’s commandments. The secret of a true salvation experience lies in these words; O how love I thy law [Word]! Until this love for the moral excellence of God’s Word returns to the normal Christian, there can be no right relationship between God and man, and especially Christ and the church. When Christ came He came to place this love for God’s Word in our hearts. He did not come to the cross to bring birth to a morally powerless church, but to plant within the heart of His children the desire and power to be holy. This is a gospel of power, not weakness; a gospel of victorious living and not escapism. When Christ enters the inner man with His presence He brings this love for obedience to the Word of God with Him.

If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15.

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. John 14:21.

If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. 1 John 2:29.

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 1 John 5:3. See also the commentary on verse 151.

The law of God never was external. The words “in my heart,” “love” and “meditation” are not external terms. In fact, It is to be resented when we hear the term “external” being used when referring to any principles of moral order (the moral law of God). Every good gift and every perfect gift comes from above not from without. James 1:17 The statement that under law man was obligated to keep an external law is an inaccurate explanation of the Old Testament moral system. There was nothing faulty with God’s government, with His law, but the fault lies within the depraved heart of man. It is absurd to think that God created a defective moral system He had to abandon because it was ineffective and had to be replaced by a better system. The only law conceived of God that ever ceased was the ceremonial law that was fulfilled at the coming of Christ whom it foreshadowed, i.e., the blood sacrifice system, circumcision and the many Sabbaths (not including the Holy Sabbath). Moral requirement did not change at the coming of the New Covenant, but it was intensified! Matthew 5:17-48 Read this Matthew text carefully and note that it was not the moral law that was removed or diminished under the New Covenant of Christ but the nature of the inner man was transformed to be made compatible with that moral law that always was and always shall be the law of the Kingdom! Romans 7:12, 14

It is not a new law for the old creature that was given at the coming of Christ, but a new creature with a new nature for the same moral law. Grace is not to be understood as God changing the moral law to be more accommodating to rebellious men. God’s moral law reflects His very own immutable and morally excellent nature that shall never change. Nor shall it ever cease to be required of man to obey. God has not changed any moral requirements because His moral law is based on working principles that cannot change! Faith in Christ does not change His moral teaching that cannot change but changes the immoral man that can be changed by God’s Grace.

The law is not modified to accommodate for our weaknesses but rather, our weaknesses are transformed into moral power to accommodate the moral excellence required to please God.

The more the modern fundamental apostates talk about the new creation the more they revert to the conduct and philosophies of “the old man” in the way they structure and teach their churches. Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:9

It is the obedient attitude toward the benevolence and goodness of God’s moral law that is the mark of pure Christianity. The Word of God is the granite underlying the true church and the spiritual world. By it we have a criteria to verify the genuine Christian experience.

How many “Spirit filled” Christians in this church age have this kind of affection for the Word of God? This loving attitude for the Word of God is the paragon of biblical themes. It must exist before holiness (Christian character) can exist. In these Words of the Lord we are getting a glimpse of the very source of true holiness. This is the spirit of holiness. 35, Note verses 52, 54, 77, 92, 103, 111, 113, 119, 127, 128, 129,131, 140, 165, 167, 174.

119:98 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.

What is the greatest advantage Satan has over God’s people? Ignorance. Jesus of Nazareth devastated the kingdom of Lucifer when He rose triumphantly from the dead by the power of God and took the keys of death and hell with Him to the Father’s throne. The reign of Satan’s terror over man is ended for those who have plunged into the crimson stream of redeeming blood and been washed from the sinful past. Christ is in you! The hope of glory. You are hid with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3. The only way Satan can get through the omniscient defenses we have in Christ is if we step out from that safety and allow him to deceive us and manipulate our minds through his many “devices” of influence and control. When this psalm speaks of enemies and that they are ever with me, he is certainly describing the enemy of our souls in this present time at the very end of the church age. The psalmist gives us a wonderful insight we should carefully consider. He is telling us that our greatest defense against our enemies (kingdom enemy No.1) is by the wisdom of the commandments of God!

Here is attitude again. What do we think when someone mentions God’s commandments? Do we think of them as “do’s and don’ts”? Do we think of legalism or outdated tradition? Do we resent any teaching on the moral commandments? If you do it reveals rebellion against God. His commandments reflect what He is and what He is like, His nature. To have a wrong attitude toward His moral commandments is to have a wrong attitude toward Him. It indicates a wrong concept of God to have a wrong opinion of His commandments. God’s commandments are a revelation of God’s wisdom.

Through His moral instruction in the commandments God is simply sharing His great wisdom with us in wise counsel. The moral law is the kindness of God in revealing those things in life we should avoid if we want to be happy and have a good relationship with people and Himself. We show a right attitude toward the moral law when we start understanding that God’s commandments are moral revelations designed by divine wisdom to keep us from the pitfalls of misery and damnation in this depraved mortal state we are in. Every moral commandment given in the Old and the New Covenants are wrought in wisdom that it might be well with thee.

Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do {them} in the land whither ye go to possess it: (2) That thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son is son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. (3) Hear therefore, o Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. Deuteronomy 6: 1-3. This was what God told Israel after He gave the ten commandments to Moses. Read Romans 1328-10 to see that these moral precepts apply under Grace also.

119:99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.

We must be careful here not to misunderstand what David is saying. To understand him we must make a distinction between intelligence, knowledge and understanding.

Intelligence is a person’s capacity to learn;

Knowledge is how much factual information is accumulated and at command in my intelligence capacity;

Understanding is the ability to comprehend factual, truthful information.

David did not say he had greater knowledge than his teachers, or greater intelligence. He was showing that while he did not have the intelligence and vast knowledge of his teachers, he did have understanding and insight into truth because of his very close relationship with the Word of God.

His teachers had more knowledge and possibly more intelligence but they apparently did not have the closeness to the Word that David had and he could see they did not have as much understanding as he did in certain matters. We must be very careful not to think we are superior to our superiors by quoting this verse. The minute that happens we have only proven our stupidity. David was not haughty or smug toward his teachers, he was apparently reveling in the fact that God’s Word was wiser to counsel him than his teachers. We learn from Paul that we must maintain a high respect for our teachers in the Lord. It’s good that we go to godly men for their advice and counsel but in the end we must make the decision in our own hearts if we are convinced by the Word of God what we should do.

119:100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.

Now he states the same regarding understanding only this time as it relates to the older men who by their age should be wise. In verse 99 he was speaking of his teachers and here he speaks of the elder brethren. But again the psalmist makes it clear that the understanding gained from regard and obedience to the Word of God is a wisdom far beyond the wisdom of the aged. We conclude from these two verses that the wisdom and counsel of God’s Word is greater than the knowledge of his teachers and more truthful than the elder brethren, but we should still consult them and receive their words and then consult the authority and counsel of God’s Word for further wisdom. We should always test the counsel we receive from our elders and teachers with the final authority of God’s Word.

119:101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.

Another reference to the initiative of the believer. It is over simplified theology to believe that “All one has to do is get saved and the Holy Ghost does the rest.” We must remember that Jesus in taking the cup of God’s wrath in Gethsemane “sweat blood” in doing so. It is ideal for us to obey out of spiritual desire, but it is often reality that we must obey by sheer choice of will without inspiration, and act upon our knowledge of right and wrong. It is pleasing to the Father to look down upon us at such times and see us have enough character within ourselves to make right moral choices. Whichever the case, He is standing there and will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear.

119:102 I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.

So God is a teacher and the textbook is the Word of God and its moral judgments. Teaching is the key to learning — or is it? If you  have a good teacher and a poor student who will not listen or who disregards the instruction of the teacher then the teacher has lost nothing and the learner has lost everything. In God we have the divine teacher before us. This fact needs a lot of reflection. As Christians we have the best in textbooks (the Bible) and a teacher (the Holy Spirit). If we flunk it’s because we are poor students and not the teacher’s fault!

Teaching is the work of the Lord Jesus. They called Him Master and Rabbi which means teacher. Matthew 5:2. The Holy Spirit is a teacher. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 1 John 2:27.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, (12) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Titus 2:11-12.

119:103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

There was a time in Bible preaching churches that the harder we preached against sin the more the people responded with praise and rejoicing for the correction in righteousness coming from the pulpit. Now the people that attend these same churches will gnash on you with their teeth if you call them to repentance for their sins of indulgence and disobedience. We live in a day when everyone claims to be born again and is in love with Jesus. What is the sign or proof of valid Christianity? I think we have discovered it here; How sweet are thy Words unto my taste. Why is it we have a whole generation of evangelical Christians that do not know about mortification (death to self); sanctification and separation from the world? Modern Christians in most evangelical churches have lost their appetite for the truth of God’s Word. A smooth positive gospel is in vogue and doctrinal truth is openly attacked as being divisive and something that has to be cast off if we are to find unity as Christians. Wait a minute! Unity is achieved when those of like precious faith are one in their allegiance to the truth of the apostle’s doctrine. It is not abandoning doctrine that makes us one but uniting around and giving allegiance to the cardinal doctrines of the Bible that makes us one. It is not agreeing to compromise doctrine but becoming one in doctrine that unites. The evidence of pure Christianity is when the Christian finds the Word of God, all of it, every word of it, sweet– no matter how corrective it may be. In fact, a true Christian finds the corrective Word to be an oil upon his head. The backslidden and deceived do not want the pure doctrine of the apostles but a gospel of freedom for the flesh that does not correct us in our deception. The psalmist here refers to Thy Words, ALL of them.

ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3: 16-17.

Look at the corrective nature of the Word as it is described here by the great apostle we all admire. None of these qualities are being used in the modern pulpit. The only thing apostate churches and preachers lash out against is holiness people. Sin they tolerate, compromise and worldliness they allow, and nudity and immodesty they defend, but holiness they hate and attack openly. It is a pity because such a religion cannot be defended by Scripture — but holiness of life can.

They have traded spiritual purity for material plenty and in the process have lost their taste for the sweet Word of God. Their gospel teaches “Get to have,” while the real gospel teaches, “Get to give.” They teach “You give to get,” but the gospel of Jesus teaches us that “You get to give.” They have lost their taste for the truth of the sweet Word of God.

119:104-105 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. (105) Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

A heart saturated in the Word of God is very sensitive to phonies. The Word gives us discerning power. By the knowledge of the Word we know every false way. It hates falseness! See Hebrews 1:9; Psalm 97:10; verse 53.

A lamp gives off a circle of light. It is only in that circle of light our feet must trod. If you hang the lamp on a tree branch and walk away from the tree you leave the light and no longer know where your feet are treading. The light is for our feet that we may walk in the light stepping over logs, avoiding ruts, and walking into trouble hidden in the darkness. There is darkness all around us but the lamp of God’s word reveals the truth in that circle of light. Once we step out of God’s illuminated area we falter in darkness. Hold to the lamp of His Word and know where the feet are going.

119:106 I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.

The Psalmist was serious about his obedience to the righteous judgments of God. God’s judgments on the affairs of life was good enough for Him. If he can’t trust God’s judgment as they are revealed in His Word, then who shall we trust? He made vows aligning with them. A little Brazilian girl came to me one night, after I had preached on commitment to the Word of God. She stepped forward holding the tresses of her hair and said slowly to me in broken English, “I made a vow, I made a vow.” She was telling me she had vowed not to cut her hair.

More vows are in order at our altars when the Word has spoken to us.

119:107 I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O Lord, according unto thy word.

Many of the psalmist’s prayers are calls of desperation for help under the pressures of great affliction. Here he says in one of these moments of crying out for help, quicken me, O Lord, according to Thy Word! So he knows what the Word has promised. His knowledge of the Word of God is serving him well as he remembers the Word and asks that the Lord quicken him according to what is promised in the Word. God’s Word gives direction and substance to our prayers — it helps to know what we ought to pray for. Its good that we know the Word and that in sudden disaster or some urgent crisis we are able to instantly recall it and pray according to the Word.

119:108 Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, and teach me thy judgments.

Two chief things seem to make up this verse. 1) The praise of the mouth, and 2) Learning the judgments of God’s Word. It is a good balance. To ignore it will bring spiritual perversion. “All praise and no judgment makes Jack a dull Christian.”

119:109 My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.

As David and the soldiers of war in Israel encountered their enemies in battle, they went from man to man with their singing swords swinging, smashing against flesh and metal. They faced death hundreds of times in every battlefield encounter. It was a perilous life! He understood well the importance of a right relationship with the Word — death could come at any moment. Actually we all face the same peril. All men are as the fading grass. Keep your love and loyalty for the Word.

I wonder if David and his men didn’t shout the Word of God in the din of the battle?

119:110 The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.

It’s so true that when evil men come down on us we are tempted to retaliate and take things into our own hands. But we must be reminded again that the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God. Stay in the Word! Remain within the boundaries of its teaching and turn the matter over to God. He does all things well so as to bring the best out in the end for all parties involved. Sometimes God has special reasons for being patient and kind with our enemies. If we lash out at them we may end up in worse shape with God than our enemies who provoked us. When we get angry we see no good in a person. But when God sees our enemies He also sees some very bad faults in us that we will not acknowledge. Let the psalmist teach us something — stick with the precepts of God and leave your enemies to God. He’ll not only take care of your enemies, He’ll take care of you too. Maybe you both need a spanking.

119:111-112 Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. (112). I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes away, even unto the end.

The eternal nature of God’s Word imparts that eternal goodness to those who remain exposed to it. You will become pure as it is pure. As I expose myself thoughtfully to the Word of God I will unconsciously become pure in my own thinking. You will be just and righteous as it is just and righteous. Righteousness is the very nature of the Word. When I come to that book with my mortal nature with a yearning to be holy as He is holy I unconsciously become like Him. The righteousness of God is not something we achieve by our own resolve. It is a combination of my resolve making contact with God’s presence. The psalmists heart was inclined toward doing what the Word asked. My resolve must be basking in His Shekinah before regenerating powers flow from His Word transforming my nature.

119:113 I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.

Here are the great factors of human destiny! Love and hate. They can both be good, or they can both be bad or one be good and the other bad. But once a person removes vanity from his life, it is more sure that both his loves and his hates will be aligned with God’s Word. You can love the wrong things and you can hate wrong things. We have to know what to love and what to hate. To hate something I am supposed to love will destroy my relationship with God. Here is where the spiritual battle lies, in the affections, what you love and admire as opposed to what you hate and disgusts you. The moral law of God tells us what to love and what to hate. This code of right and wrong is a great help to us who want to know what is right. How would we know how to please God if there was no written revelation from Him disclosing the divine good? That’s why he hated vain thoughts not vain acts, but where sin begins, vain thoughts. He had learned by the Word to cut sin off at the pass in the thought streams before they became obsessions and sin.

Why is holy hatred important? Why is it mentioned so many times in the scripture? Why does God show this hatred for iniquity? Is there any good that can come from even hating evil? The surest way to know if we possess the divine nature is when we hate the same things God hates. In fact, it is a main factor in the sanctification experience. Today the stress is all on love, but you cannot love God more than you hate sin! It is impossible to be tempted by what we hate. We are only tempted by what we admire and have affinities with.

119:114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.

Many books and songs have been written about this holy hiding place, the sacred place of tryst with God. Our achieving true holiness on the highest plain comes only through knowing the hiding place.

The presence of God is the source of man’s holiness. For man to become holy like God, he must dwell in God’s presence and wait there before Him. As we wait in God’s presence a very precious thing is happening to us unconsciously. When we speak of waiting in God’s presence we are not speaking of a mechanical or dutiful thing but anticipation of His presence, going secretly before Him and waiting there until the pleasures at His right hand fill the heart and with arms outstretched you begin to experience the joy unspeakable flooding the inner man with the consciousness of His presence. As we wait there in tryst with Him, His holiness is emanating from Him unconsciously affecting the nature of my inner man. I am bathing in the sunshine of His presence . . . I have entered the hiding place. In the closet of secret prayer His holiness mingles with my desire to be holy. It is then I am renewed in my mind taking on His holiness. A transforming change of character and the very inner nature that no other power has access to, is changing in me and into His likeness.

Each time I return to be in tryst with Him in the hiding place my nature is touched by His nature and I am being changed little by little to His likeness with each visit to the place of tryst.

Christianity without the hiding place will keep the Christian from the highest kind of salvation. He may survive and may be saved but will never be a completely transformed Christian at the base of his nature except in these deep and wonderful encounters of aloneness with God. It is in the hiding place the Christian becomes one with God in mind and in moral judgment.

There is a second class Christianity that is very popular and influential in the evangelical church world that operates on carnal philosophies far removed from the holiness mentality God imparts to those who know the hiding place. It is a second class Christian experience that believes in the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. It does not allow the complete authority of the world to dominate their flesh natures but they conform to the world in many ways because of their weakness to resist. These Christians do not walk in the spirit though they will quickly claim they do.

The result is, that without that tryst with God the true qualities and powers of Christian character are lost. The Spirit of Christ received at new birth is nourished by the pure presence of God which we can only experience in the secret closet of prayer.

Today some preachers speak of “throne privileges,” but know nothing of the tryst and the secret closet of prayer. I recently heard a preacher declare that “Christian happiness is through God is blessings.” We have become doctrinally perverted and abandoned the bedrock of Biblical truth. We have had to revert to semantics and the skills of communicating because we do not have the anointing that comes from the closet. It is not blessings but obedience that brings happiness to the Christian. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. John 13:17.

119:115 Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.

Young converts often have trouble keeping their Christian experience. It’s usually the bad companions who keep hanging around. Start talking about Jesus when they come around talking about their fun and “trips.” You’ll soon only have good companions. There are some things that don’t go together and here’s one such combination — evil companions and the commandments of the Lord.

119:116 Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.

Here again we see a strong tie between the Word of God and man’s desire to live. Life is connected to the Word of God because it immunizes us against sin, and sin is death. According unto Thy Word, that I may live reminds us of so many Scriptures! Acts l3246-48; Philippine 2:16; 1 John 1:1. There is life in the Word! It is not just a book of devotion or classical masterpiece of English, it is life breathed into us from heaven!

119:117 Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.

In this and the last verse ( 1 16-117) the psalmist begins with the need for God’s support. In verse 116 the word support means to prop up or bear up, to sustain. It is a physical support he asks God for. Here in verse 117 the word is another form of the same root and means comfort, refresh, or strengthen. This is spiritual support for the spirit of the inner man. The Word of God provides both practical and spiritual support for the physical man as well as the spiritual man when he languishes. We need both kinds of strength from God under varying circumstances in this life. It shows that He is the God of my practical needs as well as the God of my spiritual needs. According to the psalmist throughout this chapter He is the God of the whole man, spirit, soul, and body.

119:118 Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood.

It’s very clear that God is against those who “err from” His Word. These are defectors, apostates and compromisers. There is certainly nothing worse than someone who has known the truth and then errs from it. Hebrews 2:1

119:119 Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies.

This is a moral universe. Though many wicked tyrants have risen through the history of the world, moral societies have remained in the majority until now. With the coming of Antichrist that par will be broken and evil will be allowed to prevail for the first time since the creation of the world. But until then what is good and right has a way of surviving the persistence of evil. If you stick with the Word, you’ll survive with the Word!

119:120 My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.

It is false to believe that fear is a vice and never virtue. The fear of God is a virtue, the fear of the devil is a vice.

The fear of God is simply an awareness of His terrible majesty and Godhead. It is an awareness of the consequences of sin if we persist in them. When the Psalmist says, “I am afraid of Thy judgments,” he is perceiving that there are consequences to sin, that is not a vice, but a virtue!

119:121 I have done judgment and justice: leave me not to mine oppressors.

This is the testimony of a righteous man who now has the confidence that God will deal justly with him because he has dealt justly with others. If this is David then we can agree with Matthew Henry when he cited David’s testimony in 2 Samuel 8:15, And David reigned over all Israel; and David executed judgment and justice unto all his people. He could come to the Lord in confidence with his request for help against his oppressors because he had faithfully executed judgment and justice as he reigned over Israel. Doing the right thing according to the Word of God breathes faith and confidence into our lives. If you have to come to God with lung cancer and ask for His power to deliver you from this affliction, it’s harder to believe God if you have been a chain smoker all of your life. But if you have kept your body clean from such habits it is easier to ask God for His healing touch. But He can heal either, the smoker or the non-smoker when there is faith. Your healing is not based on the cause of your sickness, it is based on your faith in God and in His promises.

119:122 Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.

Here is one of the three verses in Psalm 119 that does not mention God’s Word. And yet the Word of God is referred to here indirectly in the Word surety. This means to make a pledge or give a security in exchange for something. It also means a mortgage. It is a legal term meaning to provide security. Under the Old Covenant as well as the New Covenant we have entered into a legal and binding covenant with God. In that covenant He has provided security for us so that we are protected from loss — the loss of our souls! The covenant, or surety, which God has provided through Christ is for our good. BUT, a covenant is between two parties who mutually agree to keep the terms of the covenant between them.

The covenant of salvation known as the New Testament is not a one way deal. It is a two way covenant between God and the repentant who comes to enter the covenant agreement. But many Christians treat the New Testament as a covenant that God has made with us and that He is obligated to keep all of His promises to us. But when we come to Christ we entered into this covenant with Him having many responsibilities such as the evangelism of the world. Every Christian must be a part of that great task — it’s part of the covenant we made with Him. We are also made disciples, learners. We also must continue in the apostles’ doctrine and not deviate from that pure doctrine lest we be castaways. We are committed to the moral laws and precepts of the New Testament and in particular Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. Yes, there are many benefits and graces coming to us, but there are also a few responsibilities that go with those benefits which God provides for us.

So, God’s surety in our behalf is a two way street. The psalmist said he was honoring and keeping up his part of the covenant. That makes the covenant effective.

119:123 Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the word of thy righteousness.

Mine eyes fail (kalah), to faint or fail. Did you ever look at something so long that your eyes started playing tricks on you? You can look so hard at something for so long that your vision is no longer sharp and trustworthy. He is so focused on salvation and the Word that his eyes were tiring, failing him. But spending long hours praying over the Word will pay great dividends when finally the Lord’s salvation comes and the struggle in this mortal body ends. I see here a quality badly lacking in the end-time church; effort! Some preachers so ignorant of the initiative of the believer that they teach against any effort to serve God or live a holy life as being your own righteousness and as so many filthy rags. Maybe this effort and strain of the psalmist is to be limited to Old Covenant believers and does not apply under Grace? Not so, Jesus said we are to strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. Luke 13:24 This word strive is an interesting word in the Greek text. It is the word agonizomai, to struggle, to contend, to fight, to labor fervently. Dr. Young translates this verb as, to Strain every nerve to enter in at the strait gate.

It seems clear according to many Scriptures that we are to be putting forth some effort in the task of reaching the gates of pearl, and if we don’t, and we listen to these false teachers who tell us that any effort to do good is wrong, we will be deceived if the Word of God is true. Scripture clearly tells us that we are to put forth effort in our pursuit of salvation;

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Philippine 2: 12.

119:124 Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes.

Sometimes we fail God because we were ignorant of what God’s Word actually teaches on a subject. But then when we see the light on that thing and confess our wrong to the Lord, He is not going to strike us dead on the spot. No, He will show mercy and forgiveness because we were not violating the Word willfully. In such cases God provides a release from guilt and mercy is extended to us. The psalmist implies this is the case here. He asks God to deal with him according to His mercies and then asks that God teach him His statutes. There is a willingness to learn and to make changes when once the Word of God enlightens us. This is a right and healthy attitude toward the Word of God; quick to confess a violation of the Word and a willingness to learn more perfectly what the Word teaches — a very good combination to be operating in every Christian life so close to the Lord’s return.

119:125 I am thy servant; give me understanding, that] may know thy testimonies.

A preacher was asked a question about a certain doctrine of the Bible and he answered that he never preached on subjects, that he only preached by inspiration. What he was saying was, that he never studies, and just opens his Bible and starts reading a verse and preaches extemporaneously whatever comes to mind or whatever thoughts he has had on that scripture. The psalmist desired to know the testimonies of God’s Word. Note the words, give me understanding that I may know. There are some Christians who believe it’s spiritual to be ignorant. They say, “If you ’re living in the power of the Spirit you don’t have to study the Word of God or know anything.” It is usually very apparent when you hear such men preach that they don’t believe in the need to study the Word. To preach on a subject (doctrinal theme) you must study to have a knowledge of your subject. This is exactly what Paul was saying when he instructed the young preacher Timothy to Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15. It is a shame not to be studied and ready to feed God’s people with more than froth. It is this kind of foolishness that has created a doctrinally illiterate church today. As one Bible book store manager said when asked for Law’s book entitled, Wholly For God, “We don’t carry books like that because Christians today do not want to think, they want to be entertained.” According to the psalmist, true servants of God want the understanding and knowledge of God’s Word.

119:126 It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law.

If there was ever a day when God’s people did not understand the laws of God and pushed off the restraints of moral law and distorted its meaning, it is this day we live in.

Those who throw off the moral laws of God in the name of grace and love have been with us since the inception of the church. In the early church they were called antinomians. They are still with us today. The spirit of Marcion is still among us. It is time for Thee, oh Lord, to work!

Outlaws can void the law in their own lives but they will never void it at its source! The moral law of God is eternal. It cannot be voided nor even the slightest bit affected even if a million Vicious sinners openly and flagrantly transgressed it. In the end it will merge to destroy all evil in the judgment. The words, “It is time,” have an ominous ring to them: a prophecy sound. The time will come when God will rise up and put an end to the arrogance of sinners. That time is much closer now than when this was written!

When morality declines, divine intervention is pending.

Antinomians (against law) have existed ever since God gave man the law to be governed by. Satan was the first antinomian to openly defy God’s moral government. Then Cain came along and many after him until now there are probably more antinomians in the church than ever before in its history.

Only the wicked hate God’s law and wish it void. Romans 8:7. Wickedness and a hatred for law are almost synonymous.

119:127-129 Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea above fine gold. (128) Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. (129) Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them.

Here is that “wonderful” attitude showing up again. Only this time it is displaying both sides of the affection for God’s Word; first it esteems God’s precepts and then it expresses its hatred of sin (every false way).

It’s easy for a wife to obey a husband who thinks she is “wonderful” and shows it. It is also easy for a Christian to live a life of obedience to the Word of God when his or her attitude toward the commandments and the testimonies is that “they are wonderful.”

119:130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

The Word of God contains a mighty revelation. It gives us information into areas necessary to understand everything we need to make Heaven plus a lot more. In the Word of God is contained the history of sin, the creation of the world and the plan of the ages. The simplest mind can perceive its plain language. To hear it and learn it is like having the lights turned on in the dark room called life. The first thing Jesus does when He enters a life is to turn on the lights!

119:131 I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments.

What a great description expressing the fervency of the spiritual attitude. As a deer being hunted, running, leaping, on and on as his killers pursue, the desire for water grows greater and greater until it is unbearable. As he leaps and bounds he keeps looking for the water brook so do God’s people pant after the commandments of the Lord! Remember, God’s commandments are God speaking. When you hear God speaking, that is where God is.

119:132 Look than upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.

Here is another of the few verses in this chapter that does not make an allusion to the Word of God. But it does teach us some very nice things about the nature of God.

The words of the psalmist are fitting and certainly sent forth in a proper order. First he asks God to look upon him, and then he asks the Lord to be merciful unto him. Surely if we ask God to take a good look at us that we will immediately become aware of our unworthiness and the many imperfections that surely God sees when He looks upon us. But then the psalmist rightly asks for God to be merciful once He looks upon his heart. We must also take note that he reminded the Lord how He has always been merciful to those who love His name. He tells us here that the Lord is merciful toward those who love His name. That is good news for us! If we love His commandments then we are instantly blessed at the sound of the Name of the one who gave them to us. If someone has harmed you, the sound of that person’s name brings bad feelings, but if someone loves you and has made unbelievable sacrifices for your well — being, your heart soars at the sound of that loving person’s name. Names such as, The Lamb of God, The rose of Sharon and Jesus, always takes us back to the scenes of Calvary where God poured out His wrath on His own son in an act of love for the sinner. The song says, Blessed is the Name, Jesus is His Name.

119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

Here is the cry of the pure heart. He asks God to order his steps. That is to ordain or direct him in the way he should go. Let the Word give my feet their orders! And then, let not iniquity have dominion over me. It is certain that a right relationship to the Word of God precedes freedom from iniquity. Anyone who loves the Word and walks in it will not have trouble with sin (rebellious attitude) or iniquity (vain and wicked attitude). There is a walk in the Word that keeps us from the snares and shame of sin. You can’t be walking in the Word and have sin. There is no sin in the Word walk.

119:134 Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.

In whatever way I am subject to godless men, it must be broken if I am to be free to serve the Lord. We serve man best by serving God first. God teaches us how to best serve man. Matthew 7:12

119:135 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes.

God is a pleasant teacher, and not a grouch. It is much easier to learn from a pleasant voice and a pleasant face. The law and the statutes of the Lord do not come from an angry countenance, they come from a heart of benevolence. Judgment is with wrath and anger, but to impart truth a shining face makes it much easier on the learner.

119:136 Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.

What a precious response of this righteous man toward people who are rejecting God’s Word. Only the godly understand this groaning and pain for the inequities and the iniquities committed against a loving God. Brokenness and not anger is the reaction of the holy heart.

There are three reasons the righteous are made to sorrow;

1) Because such a great thing as God’s law being wasted and ignored.

2) By disregarding the law of God, man ultimately self destructs, becoming the victim of his own wickedness toward others.

3) The wicked inflict sorrow and suffering on the innocent.

We have churches full of “Holy Ghost” people who never give a thought to those without God’s Word. Holiness cares!

119:137 Righteous art thou, o Lord, and upright are thy judgments.

The uprightness of the Word always asks that which is ultimately best and good for others. God’s judgments speak of His decision making as it regards His meting out of treatment to men and societies for their goodness (Phinehas, Numbers 25:10-13), or for their wickedness (Sodom and Gomorrah, Genesis 19:13, 24) A right attitude toward the law is a result of a right concept of the Lawgiver.

119:138 Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.

Here is the reason revealed that God commands anything and why everything He commands is so essential — because they are always righteous. God’s government is based on righteousness. This means that there is neither mercy nor cruelty, fear nor favor, feelings or emotions that can change the commandment or divert what is absolutely right. And, He has revealed that righteousness in His Word. There will be no surprises in heaven. God’s law is no secret. This gives us the hope that before the new world has its beginning God will rectify every wrong and injustice committed in this life by the wicked. Hold on saint – His testimonies are “very faithful,” even unto the end. See verse 68 above.

119:139 My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.

The psalmist was so fervently committed to God’s Word he sometimes over reacted with strong opposition to the workers of evil. His zeal would get the best of him when he saw or heard the sinners committing evil. I am reminded of what the psalmist said in Psalm 94: 16, Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? It is good that we have this zeal that reacts to the sin around us. Our zeal should be a zeal that resents sinners stepping all over God without doing something about it.

119: 140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.

His statement reveals something about him. It reveals that his nature has a great affinity with purity. He loves pure things and is attracted to them. He was therefore attracted to God’s Word because it was a fountain of purity. So the pure in heart will have a great attraction for the Word of God. A man who professes to be righteous but has no attraction to the Word of God is not himself pure. Anyone who is pure in nature will be attracted to the crystal purity of the Word of God.

Here again is the use of the superlative “very” pure. God’s Word is pure because there is no impurity mixed with it. A thing is only pure when it does not contain any foreign matter. God’s Word does not contain any foreign matter — it declares only virtue, principle and what is just and holy. He has providentially preserved His Word through the ages. If I become corrupted, let me flee to Word and be washed in His Word! John 17:17

119:141 I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts.

I have always contended that we must not despise a small church or small things in the kingdom of God because however small we are, we belong to the biggest thing in to be found in a thousand universes — God’s kingdom! If you have a big church and a big name, be very careful not to forget that you are nothing compared to the whole of God’s kingdom, that you are a very small part of the whole. It matters not if we are big or small, but that we relate to God’s Word with a humble attitude. What makes a man or woman great is their attitude and relationship to the Word of God. (Read Psalm 15)

119:142-143 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth. (143) Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.

God’s righteousness is everlasting and His law is truth. Two eternal absolutes that characterize the Word of God. As Dr. Lockridge of Dallas, Texas said, “You can’t impeach Him and He’s not gonna resign!” This is the one fact that brings stability to the whole universe! God’s law and righteousness will ultimately triumph over all human anguish and sorrow.

The saint who puts his or her trust in the truth and righteousness of the Word will outlive all of the enemies of the cross including Satan himself. We have a future because there is a God who is true and righteous and very much in control.

God tells it just like it is. Isn’t it a wonderful thing that God’s law tells us precisely what is morally required so that we will be judged at God’s judgment bars by the same law He gave us here. We’ll not be judged by some different set of laws in the judgment that we do not have knowledge of here. It will be the same everlasting righteousness and law there as we have it now. There will be no excuse to miss the rapture or fail to make it through the gates of heaven. You and I hold the truth of His law in our hands. It is everlasting because it is the law that judged angels, judged Adam and Eve, judged Israel, will judge the church and the nations. And then that same law will go on to exist in the new heavens and the new Earth, on through eternity.

119:144 The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.

Here the psalmist is showing that he does not question the witness of God. What God decrees will stand forever. We do not question God’s moral instruction, nor His judgment of evil. We only ask to understand what He decrees.

There are many instances in the Old Testament where God’s decrees may seem harsh. He ordered Moses to destroy 7 nations including children and animals, and then put everything in a heap and burn it. In Deuteronomy 7 God orders Israel to utterly destroy seven nations having no pity. It is now known that these pagan nations were ravaged by social diseases that were eating their flesh away because of the immorality they practiced. Their flesh was being consumed with social diseases such a gonorrhea, syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases. Their children and cattle were all infected. Their lifestyle and perversion was threatening the nations around them. This was why God was destroying these people. Sin had made them a diseased threat to the rest of the nations. So it was not for some unreasonable purpose God ordered these nations destroyed, but for very good reasons that would preserve other nations from the same horrible fate.

So, it is not for us to quickly judge God’s actions. Rather, let us pray that God give us understanding and resign ourselves to the fact that He does all things well and for good reasons.

119:145-146 I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord: I will keep thy statutes. (146) I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.

Verses 145 through 148 all carry the same theme of the deep cry of the heart to be bonded to the Word of God. There is something in the spiritual man that knows his life depends on this bond, this welding and being joined to the Word if he is to have a holy life. He is crying for God’s help to obey the Word of God.

There are some very well heard voices today telling the church that the effort of the believer is to no avail, that any human effort to obey God’s Word is nothing but a bunch of filthy rags. But again we must know the Word of God if this philosophy is true or just the opinions of men who are not speaking the oracles of God.

Is the initiative of the believer important to the attaining of salvation? Let us hear what God’s Word says on this.

We know that GOOD WORKS is a most vital part of the true salvation experience after we become Christians. The Scripture commands us to enter into good works and maintain them. Matthew 5:16: John 10:32: Acts 9:36; Romans 13:13: Ephesians 2:10; 1 Timothy 2:10; 5:10, 25; 6:18; 2 Timothy 3:17; Titus 2: 7, 14; 3:8, 14: Hebrews 10:24; 1 Peter 2:12.

We also know that there are many places in the New Testament where we are commanded to take the initiative in our life of obedience. Jesus said, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. Mark 13:24.

Then Philippians 2:12, Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Also 1 Timothy 5:22, Keep thyself pure.

And on and on through both Testaments we hear of the volition and free will of the believer to himself take a part in his obedience to the Lord. It is the Spirit that inspires us and the Word that instructs us but it is the believer himself who decides to follow through and put forth the energy to commit the actual act of obedience. It is all Christ’s righteousness because He secured the means and provided the revelation — but the believer does indeed himself execute acts of obedience by will and choice!

119:147-148 I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word. (148) Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.

The psalmist was awake before morning and his eyes did not sleep all through the night watches because he was crying and hoping in God’s Word. He did not sleep because his meditations prevented him from finding sleep. This is more like a man that is love-sick, who can neither eat or sleep because he is so in love. To be so preoccupied as was the psalmist with the Word of God could only be love! A wonderful affliction! Love-sick for the Word. If we had more of this kind of sickness there would be less disease and fewer demons plaguing the church.

119:149 Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: O Lord, quicken me according to thy judgment.

Lovingkindness and judgment are mingled here in the psalmist’s prayer to be revived. Quicken means to revive or restore. He was already alive in the real sense but apparently he felt he was dying spiritually and cried out to the Lord to be revived. He appeals to both the lovingkindness of the Lord and to His righteous judgment. Lovingkindness speaks of God’s own nature. His judgment speaks of his written decrees, His Word as it stands in writing.

God hears with His heart but He answers according to the righteous decrees of His Word.

119:150 They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law.

The prevailing opposition today against evangelical Christians and their freedom to be a witness for Christ in public is an omen of what is coming to our country and the world. This brazen effort recently to make any display of religious slogans or open testimony to people in public or the work place was the merging spirit of Antichrist testing the waters to see how much public reaction there was to such open attacks on our religious freedom. Our president signed a religious freedom act just 5 months (February of 1994) before his administration through the offices of the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunities Commission) tried to enact a religious harassment article to their guidelines (June 1994). This article would make it a Federal offense for a Christian to post a sticker, wear pins or witness to others in public or on the job. The signing of the religious freedom act caused many Christians to relax. But soon to follow the same administration was going to take away the freedom to share their testimony in public. They draw nigh that follow after mischief.

This is what the Psalmist is saying. Evil is persistent. Evil forces will continue in their effort to pass this guideline prohibiting Christian testimony until it succeeds with little resistance. These people have an agenda to destroy the effectiveness of the church. But when they do so, they are demoralizing the nation.

It is not Christians who spread AIDS and kill babies, it’s not Bible believing Christians who commit fornication and adultery, split homes and shoot people on the street and push drugs. Our government should see this and help Christians to evangelize society. Righteousness exalts a nation and establishes it. It is a historical fact that materialism and moral promiscuity have destroyed nations. Yet in recent years the American government and its leaders have catered to the wicked and lazy and slandered and persecuted the Bible churches.

They draw nigh — The day of Antichrist persecution is coming closer and closer. These efforts to bring cruel Communist-like laws to bear upon Christians will intensify until they finally succeed in establishing laws making the Christian witness a federal offense, and testifying a criminal act. But we have this confidence, that very soon all evil will be judged and the righteous will come forth as gold tried in the fire.

119:151 Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth.

When the psalmist feels close to God He confirms to God his confidence in the truth of His commandments. He had an appreciation for the commandment, something all but lost to modern believers throughout the world where I travel. The importance of the commandment is very much present in the New Testament writings of  the apostles.

Paul reminds us in Romans 13:8-10 that God’s moral law was not removed from God’s Word in the New Covenant; Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

There is a great point being made here, that to be intimate with God is to regard His moral commandments.

119:152 Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.

Here it is, stated clearly and concisely, the moral law of God is forever! It shall never change because God does not change. Because there are two covenants known as the Old Testament (covenant) and the New Testament, does not mean that the moral law of God has changed. The two covenants represent two divine programs to achieve for man the power to obey the same immutable moral law that reflects the divine nature. The moral law will never change! and God will never change!

119:153 Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law.

The Psalmist is saying literally, “See my misery, my depression, and take it off of me.” But the interesting word here is “forget.” It means to mislay, or to neglect. “I have not neglected Thy law.”

119:154 Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word.

Plead my cause is legal talk. The psalmist has hired God as his lawyer. When we are in trouble it is wise to put your cause in God’s hands — He’s never lost a case. There is a succession to the prayer; 1. For God to plead his cause; 2. To be delivered; and to be restored or revived.

119:155 Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes.

Purity seeks purity. Here is a great principle. To seek salvation is very closely related to a desire for righteousness, a desire to escape from the pollution of the sinful life. Matthew 5:8. To show respect for the moral principles of Holy Scripture is the first sincere sign of a soul’s quest for truth which inevitably leads to salvation.

So salvation has to do with, 1. the atoning blood, and 2. with continuing in righteousness and seeking moral truth after Christ has released you from all past sin Romans 3:25-26. The Psalmist makes it clear that salvation is linked to the statutes (the Word) of the Lord. See Psalm 19:7.

If we reverse the Psalmist’s statement, he says, “Salvation is near the righteous, for they seek Thy statutes. The moral precept and salvation through the cross are wed and woe to the man on judgment day who has taught others you can have one without the other. Romans 8:4

119:156 Great are thy tender mercies, O Lord: quicken me according to thy judgments.

Here is an interesting contrast: mercies and judgments. First the psalmist cites the fact that God is a God of tender mercies. We should rid our minds of any concepts of God that makes Him an exacting angry deity waiting to pounce on the slightest infraction of His kingdom laws. He is first a God of tender mercies and especially toward those who show regret and repentance toward their transgressions. Repentance is an attitude toward wrong we realize we are guilty of. God will not at all acquit the wicked but He is certainly gracious toward the repentant. Anyone living in this end-time can see the tender mercies of God as He holds back the fury of His wrath from this wicked world, waiting to the very limit of justice, extending more time for a few more souls to make it across the line before the storm breaks. The end will come but He deals graciously with the righteous and the contrite.

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:18.

The psalmist ends his comment on the tender mercies of God by referring to God’s judgments which in this text is a reference to a judicial verdict. When God judged the world of sinners His verdict was life for the sinner through the atoning blood (death) of Jesus. Give me life, O Lord, according to the verdict you handed down from the cross!

119:157 Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.

A mass of people who disagree with you doesn’t mean the truth is on the side of the majority. All of the people were against Christ. The political and religious powers were against Him; the disciples all fled from His side and He was taken to go through the crucifixion without one person to comfort Him. Jesus and the truth stood against all of sinful mankind, against the Roman empire and the powerful Judaistic religious power structure. They were all wrong and He was right! The whole world was wrong but Jesus was right. Many persecutors does not indicate you may be wrong. I remember a dear friend, and gospel preaching holiness man by the name of Carleton French, an Anglican priest, who told me, “When everybody is doing it that is the first indication it is wrong.”

Sometimes when the whole crowd is against you, it may make you wonder if you’re being unreasonable by standing by what you know to be the truth. No, Never! Yet do I not decline from thy testimonies. We are not to follow the multitude but the Word of God. Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment: Exodus 23:2.

119:158 I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.

Just Lot was vexed at the sights he saw in Sodom. Here the psalmist describes the same disgust for the shameless open sin of the wicked. We should carefully note that he was not grieved for the wickedness he saw but grieved because they did not keep God’s Word. This is one time that we should feel sorry for God. He has again and again gone to great trouble to provide us with guidance and revelation; with a redeemer and atonement and each time He reaches out to man to draw him into the kingdom He is spurned and insulted. If only men would stop and think about the efforts God has made through centuries of human history to save man from his rebellion and sin they would surely see His loving-kindness toward them. When I hear what some politicians and one world free thinkers say about God and His people, and His Word, I feel sorry for God.

119:159 Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O Lord, according to thy lovingkindness.

Here is something else God knows about us. He knows how much I love His Word. That is important to God. If a man says he loves God but he trifles with His Word, and especially with such vital doctrines as sanctification and godliness and all of those things these teachings involve, how can he love God? To love God is to love what God says and take every Word of God seriously. When a young man finds the love of his life he longs to hear her voice, to communicate with her. What is love for without personal communication, and especially in the case of a loving God who speaks only from the depths of His love in every Word He releases to His redeemed children. A loving God deserves loving attention when He speaks. If we really think God is loving and kind then we will regard all He has to teach us in His Word. Anything God says is good and learning perfection from His holiness is my highest privilege.

119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

Here is the threefold tribute to God’s Word that cannot be broken and must be believed by every Christian who claims salvation and regeneration of the Spirit;

His Word is true from the beginning.

Every one of His judgments endures forever.

Every bit of God’s Word is true and has been from the beginning and still is true. God has kept His Word intact. Christians who believe God has providentially preserved His Word as He gave it in the beginning have the testimony of the Psalmist as he expresses it here. If God’s Word was given in true form in the beginning and it is not preserved then the Word is no longer true and there is error in the Word of God. Those men who translated the NIV Bible used the Westcott and Hort Catholic Greek (Codex B, Vaticanus MS) text for the basis of that translation. Those who believe in the Westcott and Hort Greek text also believe God has not preserved a Greek text and that the Bible we have today is not the pure and verbally inspired Word which God gave the apostles when it was written. If we say we believe the Word of God then we must first believe what the Word of God declares about itself. It is true from the beginning and endures forever!

This psalm implies that God’s Word will remain intact for ever (owlam) perpetual, world without end! The Word is saying here that the Word received in the beginning will remain (all of it, every judgment) into the future long after this world is out of sight.

This is a strong statement indicating that God has indeed providentially preserved His Word in the form it was given.

119:161 Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.

PRINCES speaks of well groomed men taught the protocols of royalty. All men who are of royalty should bear the royal image and stature. Princes are supposed to be examples to their subjects and carry themselves well. But sometimes they are sloppy and being such bad examples they are not respected. Pastors are to be like princes to the church body, showing us the way as examples in every good work. They should know better than to mistreat someone for their standards and dedication to God. Princes sometimes are not necessarily too smart. Having the title or a place of honor isn’t taken too seriously if there is not good character and good judgment to go with it.

119:162. I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.

SPOIL is something the warrior comes by after he has won the battle. Paul spoke of “the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3 You fight for spoil but you seek for treasure! They both speak of finding something of extreme value! Our spoils are in the Word as we carry on the battle, our treasures are in heaven where they cannot be corrupted by rust or moth!

119:163. I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.

OPPOSITES REPEL To love truth is to hate error. Of course he hated lying! You have to hate it if you love the truth.

119:164 Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.

I was sitting at the airport in Lagos, Nigeria waiting for my flight to be announced. A very well dressed Nigerian lady walked into the waiting area and took the end seat beside me. The waiting area filled with people as it got closer to the time of flight departure. The Nigerian lady stood and took something from her bag and then leaving her bag on the seat beside me she stepped over to the space on the floor beside her chair, spread a small rug on the tile floor, got down on her knees and face on the rug and started praying to Allah! She remained there for a lengthy time. Some watched her and others went on hardly glancing her direction. But I was thinking hard all while she was praying there on the floor almost beside me. Muslims seem to take their prayer life much more serious than do most Christians. Christians have the truth and no prayer life, while devout Muslims have a prayer life and no truth. If the church with the redeeming message of Christ that lifted the western nations to a standard of living and dignity higher than those nations who serve a religion of hatred and violence, it was done by prayer. Have we kept that heritage? If Christians had a fraction of the zeal of the fundamental Muslims in zeal and prayer it would change the history of the world and possibly prevent the judgment of God that now looms over us.

The psalmist praised God seven times a day. With the shadow of the cross looming, the Lord asked His disciples to pray with Him. After an hour He returned to find them sleeping. Pitifully He asked them, Could ye not watch with me one hour? And then the Psalmist says here, Seven times a day do I praise thee. We have here two standards of prayer, one from the old Covenant and one from the new. But when we put them together it makes a wonderful formula for bringing a much needed revival to the church! One hour of prayer 3 day then offer Him praise seven times a day. It’s not binding but it is a good measure to go by.

119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

The heart that loves God’s law is the heart that understands God and knows that God is always in control. Whether it be persecution as was upon the prophets and the early church, or whether it be being wrongly accused as Job, or mocked by your critics as was David. If we love God’s law we have a contentment and assurance that come straight to the heart strengthening us in the might of Christ. When we are being conquered we know that in the end we conquer the conquerors of this world in the next world. God’s Word speaks to us the absolutes of faith and that is sufficient consolation. A missionary returned home to sit before the elders of his mission board having escaped hostile rebel forces. He was held in bonds and forced to watch as his wife was ravaged and murdered along with his three small children. He was asked by the brethren, “Dear brother, how could you endure such a thing?” His answer was, “As I cried out to God a peace came over me from the sub-depths of my soul that overwhelmed all my pain and anguish. I suddenly realized that everything here is passing and that God had for us a martyr’s crown.”  The words great, and nothing, must be seen here as the key to tranquility. NOTHING shall offend those who have this GREAT peace is only found in our love for His moral excellence. Here are more of the wonderful benefits of having a right attitude toward the moral law of God; 1) Great peace, 2) Tranquillity.

119:166 Lord, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments.

The Psalmist joins two very related doctrines again, salvation and obedience to the commandments. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15; See Psalm 19; 11955 Note also the words holiness and salvation linked in 2 Thessalonians 2:13

One of the most serious neglects of modern parents toward their children is to neglect to teach them the ten commandments. Not merely memorize them, but learn them well and be acquainted with the principles they represent.

Christian schools who have not taught the ten commandments are derelict and should take their shingle down and hang their heads. I have visited scores of Christian schools in recent years and have discovered, to my dismay, of many only one of the Christian schools I have visited had taught either the ten commandments or the golden rule to the children. That is a legitimate accusation against Christian education that has failed to instill the ten commandments and the golden rule in every child as the first priority of training.

119:167 My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly.

The Psalmist does not say that his heart (feelings, emotions) kept the commandments, but that his soul (intelligence) kept the testimonies of the Lord. Purity is a matter of intelligent choice. Holiness makes sense.

Salvation is a logical thing when searched out. It is a masterpiece of jurisprudence and logic and principle and not a collection of moral ideas. It in no way conflicts with the logic of perfect justice. But then the writer goes on to say, “I love them exceedingly,” so here is that ideal combination of intelligence and affection in obedience.

Sin leaves man demented. Many times Scripture reveals to us that sin is a form of mental retardation. The person who does not desire and seek goodness suffers from a demented kind of existence. The person who does not think morally right is not mentally complete, mentally “all there.” Christ restores to man the dignity of wholeness and completeness. This is marked by a whole new moral concept of right and wrong. Regeneration is the restoration of the depraved person back to mental wholeness, to moral purity.

119:168 I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee.

God keeps good records. He knows where you are and how you live. Nothing is hidden from Him and no one will escape His judgment. You may have your body cremated at death and have the dust sprinkled in the wind from a mountaintop but you will stand before God in judgment when that day comes. They can burn your body but they can’t bum your spirit or your soul. They will go on into eternity where every man will be judged. A man’s life will be compared to the Word of God concerning everything he did in this mortal life. If we would be judged as worthy to enter the kingdom then we must live by the Word. It is not only important that we live right but that we die right. God knows our secrets. Our lives are an open book to Him. There is no privacy for any of us when it comes to God knowing everything and judging us ultimately in an open court before all the angels and all those who stand with us in the judgment.

119:169 Let my cry come near before thee, O Lord: give me understanding according to thy word.

There is an anguish tearing at the inside of the psalmist about some issue that he does not describe. Is it not true that we often carry burning burdens within that we do not even share with our most beloved friends? We don’t know what burden was fomenting within but it became a cry before the Lord. The psalmist in this case does not ask for His enemies to be put down, but for understanding as to why he is afflicted. The bottom line; The answer is in God’s Word. We have reached a high mark in Christ when we go to His Word for understanding of those things that trouble us. Understanding the Word of God is the greatest need of the church and the world as vain men sacrifice truth on the alters of false unity. It is in the pure doctrine of the apostles that men meet and find the unity of  the Spirit and not in the movements of ambitious men who think nothing of offending God to avoid offending heretics. According to Thy Word is the guideline of the godly. Psalm 73:147.

119:170 Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.

Here is deliverance “according to Thy Word.” Not a conditionless deliverance, but the conditional deliverance, “according to Thy Word.”

119:171 My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.

Here again is the attitude of the righteous toward God’s Word. The attitude of those who love the Lord is submissiveness and teachableness. The moral instruction in God’s Word is a dynamic eternal fact that is not subject to our fancies. God’s Word is immutable! That simply means that it cannot be changed by anything; by popular demand, by what is politically correct or if the whole world rejects it. In the end it surfaces in the dazzling light of God’s tribunals to judge all of us. Revelation 20:12. In a very strict sense there is really no such thing as “breaking God’s commandments.” The truth is that they break us if we violate them. The Psalmist said. Thou hast taught me. We will learn valuable character qualities from God’s Word as we learn to be teachable.

119:172-176 My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness. (173) Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts. (174) I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; and thy law is my delight. (175) Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. (176) I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.

Psalm 119 ends with a confession of having gone astray like a lost sheep attracted to greener pastures. In spite of this wandering away from the sheepfold, the soul cries out to God that He would come as a shepherd and seek this lost sheep. And then a fact we are all familiar with; for I do not forget Thy commandments. It doesn’t matter how far we wander away from God, we will always carry the moral commandments of God’s kingdom with us once we have committed them to mind and heart. They remain in us even though we are violating them. They follow us like the hounds of heaven! When a man strays from God, he may forget many things, but he will not forget the commandments. And when the wandering soul comes under great duress the Holy Spirit is faithful, He is right there. This is the literal meaning of parocletos, the one who comes along side. He is there to bring these moral principles to bear upon the heart.

If I never return to God I will carry the commandments with me to the grave. This is what David meant when he said, Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11 Many wayward souls have returned to the Lord by recalling the Word hidden in their hearts. This is why God commanded us to teach them to our children … and when they are old they shall not depart from them; they will remember those commandments taught them in their youth. It is more than a commandment, it is a promise. Deuteronomy 6:7

I have the well-known idiom engraved on a plaque in my office which reads, Attitude is everything. I have it because I want to be reminded of that continually. A right attitude toward the sovereignty of God as it is revealed in the moral precepts of His Word is the one thing perhaps more than any other that will seal the destiny of every soul exposed to the gospel.

True revival from above will come when the church once again relates itself to the truths found here in Psalm 119. Oh, Lord, how love I thy law.

End

121 THEMES IN THE VERSES OF PSALM 119
Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with bebefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. Psalm 68:19

1. Happiness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vss 1, 2
2. Purity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  vss 3, 29
3. Stability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . v. 6
4. Cleansing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 9
5. Restraint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 10
6. Holiness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   v. 11
7. Teachable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 12, 75
8. Rejoicing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 14
9. Delight . . . . . . . . . . . . vss 16, 24, 35, 92
10. Illumination . . . . . . . . . . . . . vss 18, 19
11. Spiritual hunger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 20
12. Counsel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 24
13. Humility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 25
14. Vocal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 26
15. Openness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 27
16. Concern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 28
17. Resolve . . . . . . . . . . vss 22, 31, 44, 106
18. Endurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 32
19. Patience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 33
20. Diligence . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  vss 34, 112
21. Willingness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 35
22. Direction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  vss 36, 59
23. Quickening . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vss 37, 40
24. Devotion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .V. 38, 140
25. Steadfastness . . . . . . . . vss 44, 51, 157
26. Fear of God . . . . . . . . Vss 33, 119, 120
27. Restoration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 39
28. Answers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 42
29. Liberty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 42
30. Testimony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .v. 46, 172
31. Praise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vss 48, 108
32. Meditation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 48
33. Remembrance . . . . . . . . . . . vss 49, 93
34. Comfort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vss 50, 52
35. Compassion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 53
36. Songs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 54
37. Obedience . . . . . . . . . .  vss 55, 60, 167
38. Contentment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 57
39. Mercy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vss 58, 77
40. Worship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 62
41. Associations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 63

42. Thanksgiving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 64
43. Appreciation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 65
44. Teachableness . . .  . vss 64, 66, 68, 73
45. Knowledge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 66
46. Understanding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .v. 67
47. Reflection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 67
48. Reflection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 67
49. Goodness of God . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 68
50. Unmovable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .v. 69
51. Submission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .v. 71
52. Comfort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .v. 76
53. Values. . . . . . . . . . .  vss 14, 70, 72, 113
54. Soundness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 80
55. Longing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v.81
56. Waiting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 82
57. Suffering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 83
58. Languishing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 84
59. Remembering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 85
60. Trusting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 86
61. Preservation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 87
62. Absoluteness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 89
63. Consulting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 95
64. Boundless . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 96
65. Exultation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .v. 97
66. Intelligence . . . . . . . . . . . . . .v. 98, 125
67. Excelling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .vss 99, 100
68. Restoration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .v. 107
69. Firmness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 110
70. Diligence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 101
71. Attachment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 102
72. Savor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 103
73. Fatherliness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 90
74. Obeisance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 91
75. Commitment . . . . . . .vss  94, 106, 146
76. Discernment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 104
77. Illumination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 105
78. Tryst . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 114
79. Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .v. 116, 117
80. Confidence . . . . . . . . . . . . vss 109, 161
81. Justice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vss 121
82. Surety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 122
83. Focus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 123
84. Forbearance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 124
85. Names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 132
86. Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 133
87. Graciousness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 156
88. Grieved . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 158
89. Credibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . .v. 159, 160
90. Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 164
91. Transparency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 168
92. Anguish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 169
93. Confidence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 161
94. Inheritance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .v. 111
95. Separation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 115
96. Joy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .v. 111
97. Justice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 119
98. Judgment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 126
99. Enlightenment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 130
100. Transformation . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 130
101. Deliverance . . . . . . . . . . . vss 134, 170
102. Favor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 135
103. Brokenness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 136
104. Reverence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 137
105. Credibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 138
106. Zeal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 139
107. Subjection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 141
108. Humility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  v. 141
109. Permanence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 142
110. Perseverance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .v. 143
111. Consecration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 145
112. Hope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  vss 147, 166
113. Pursuit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 148
114. Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vss 149, 175
115. Discernment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 150
116. Intimacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 151
117. Faith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 152
118. Honesty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 163
119. Peace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .v. 165
120. Correction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v. 176
121. Salvation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .v. 178

 

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