Today: [Psalm 119 Continued] Are You a Sticky Christian? In continuing to study Psalm 119 we see again that every single verse in this chapter is setting the example of what our attitude and commitment should be to the word of God. In this study we look at the 6th and 7th section of the 22 sections of this psalm. Each section is labeled according to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. As we study this “alphabet soup” of a chapter we are strongly encouraged to stick to God’s word and maintain our fidelity to the scriptures and to the prophets that God has placed in our lives.
[Psa 119:31-60 KJV] 31 I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame. 32 I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. 33 HE. Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it [unto] the end. 34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with [my] whole heart. 35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. 36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. 37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; [and] quicken thou me in thy way. 38 Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who [is devoted] to thy fear. 39 Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments [are] good. 40 Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.
When verse 31 states that the writer has “stuck” the testimonies of God – what does that mean? It implies resisting pressure to do otherwise. Have you even been in a situation where the word of God pointed you one way and the situation and people are pulling you in another direction? What are you going to stick to? Are you going to say “no I am not going to do what the circumstance or people demand – I am going to do what God demands…”
One example of this I remember from childhood is when unchurched relatives visit over the weekend. There was always tension building up to Sunday morning. What would we do Sunday morning? The relatives knew full well that we were church attenders. Yet they would blithely come down Sunday morning as though there were no other plan but to spend time with activities that included them and did NOT include church attendance. As children it was a watershed moment for us regarding taking the measure of our parents integrity.
It always deeply impressed me how my parents would handle this. They would make a tactful and heartfelt invitation for the relatives to attend services with us. The relatives invariably would decline and mom and dad would say “well make yourselves at home, there’s the coffee pot – we will be back in a few hours to prepare lunch…” This may not seem like a big deal to many but for a young boy this always left my heart pounding and deeply impressed that somehow a conflict of cultures had been witnessed and that God came out on the winning side.
In your lifetime you will face challenges like this. It may not take on the character of my at times idyllic childhood experiences but you will be challenged. You will be tempted and pressured, sometimes by people and sometimes but the vagaries of experience to ignore the principles of God’s word understood in your thinking and give in to demands to the contrary. Let your testimony be that which we see in verse 31 – “I have stuck to thy testimonies…” What is the dividend to such a commitment? I remember these very same family members later on in life when they were facing the reality of their own mortalities looked to my father for spiritual guidance. Once looked down on as backward and parochial – he became their pastor. The scorn once heaped upon him by his own family members shifted to one of respect and acknowledgment of his testimony in Christ.
41 VAU. Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, [even] thy salvation, according to thy word. 42 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. 44 So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. 45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. 46 I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. 47 And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. 48 My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.
Verse 41 begins with the Hebrew letter “VAU” and comprises the 6th part of the 22 section of Psalm 119. It is interesting because it is a prayer that sets specific parameters to what an answer would look like. The writer petitions “Let your mercies come also unto me oh Lord…” In other words he is looking at the testimonies of others and saying “God what you have done in that person’s life do in my life as well…” Hebrews encourages us in this regard as well:
[Heb 13:7 KJV] 7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of [their] conversation.
God is no respecter of persons but He is a respecter of faith. If we do with our faith what others have done with their faith you will see the same result. It doesn’t matter if we are looking at Moses, or Elijah, or Kenneth Hagin, Sr., Kathryn Kuhlman or some other great contemporary man or woman of God. The only thing that attracts the favor of God in terms of miracle working and water walking is the faith of the individual. You are not being presumptuous to look at a great person of faith and saying “God do that in my life…”
Now it is true I have heard many of these great ones make statements contrary to this thought. I heard a prophet I deeply respect talk about this and say “If God did in your life what He is doing in my life it would kill you…” I disagree with that. I understand the implication that you might not know or realize what the cost of a life of faith might be but there is NOTHING unique in a great person’s life OTHER THAN FAITH that causes God to bless them so. What one man or woman can do in God another man and woman can do in God. Say that with me:
What one person can do in God – another person can do in God!
The writer also puts a further stipulation on his prayer. He asked God to answer “according to thy word…” In other words the writer is specifying “God do what your word says – answer according to the parameters of miracle working power I see in your word…” What he is really praying is “God give me in my life what the Cross paid for, what your word promises…” Too many times we pray and then look into the anemic circumstances by how we barely get by in a diluted deliverance and then try to read God’s faithfulness into it when in fact you almost got plowed under. That is not what the writer is asking God for. He is asking for an answer that is obnoxiously and unapologetically a full dispensation of exactly what God’s word promises!
49 ZAIN. Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. 50 This [is] my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. 51 The proud have had me greatly in derision: [yet] have I not declined from thy law. 52 I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself. 53 Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law. 54 Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage. 55 I have remembered thy name, O LORD, in the night, and have kept thy law. 56 This I had, because I kept thy precepts. 57 CHETH. [Thou art] my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words. 58 I intreated thy favour with [my] whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word. 59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. 60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.
Verse 49 begins the 7th section of the 22 sections or parts of Psalm 119. This section begins in a similar manner to the 6th section with a subtle difference. The 6th section is asking God to make good on His word in the bible. This section is much more personal. The writer asks God to make good and to remember “thy word unto thy servant…” This is referring to personal prophecy. David, who penned this psalm was surrounded his entire life by prophets. He didn’t have just one. There was Nathan. There was Gad. There were others. He so loved the prophets that he named several of his sons after them. The prophets were there when he got up in the morning. They sat at his table. They were part of the court where the king’s business was conducted. No doubt there were many prophetic words spoken.
Picture David holding in his hand a prophetic word from the prophet Nathan and saying “Lord this is what you have said. You said this God and I am asking you to do it…” David believed the prophets. He kept the prophets close. He did not disdain them even when he ran afoul of very bad decisions. He consistently is seen moving toward the prophets and seeking their words and counsel in every aspect of his life. It worked out pretty good to him. His commitment to God and to the prophets pulled him out of the jaws of death and destruction many times.
What is your own commitment to the prophetic? If you will follow the example that David set you will see that you are a priest and king before God as well. When you find and resort to the prophets in your life and hold their words as well as the scriptures up to God as a mirror you will see the faithfulness of God manifest in your life as David himself did.
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