Today: [Psalm 119 Continued] Are We a People of the Book? In continuing our study of Psalm 119 we find a repeated emphasis, layer upon layer calling us to commitment to God’s word. Many times we study the word “for what we can get out of it” for ourselves. If there is not immediate breakthrough or change we put the bible down and go on our way. To David – the word of God and commitment to absorbing its contents was part of what defined his very love for God. We see in Psalm 119 the need to become a PEOPLE OF THE BOOK.
[Psa 119:61-90 KJV] 61 The bands of the wicked have robbed me: [but] I have not forgotten thy law. 62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments. 63 I [am] a companion of all [them] that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts. 64 The earth, O LORD, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes. 65 TETH. Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word. 66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments. 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. 68 Thou [art] good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes. 69 The proud have forged a lie against me: [but] I will keep thy precepts with [my] whole heart.
As we continue in our study of Psalm 119 we remember from our previous lesson that it is composed in 22 parts, according to the Hebrew alphabet as an acrostic psalm. Acrostics are valuable to aid in memorization and it is probable that this psalm was used in ancient times much as a rosary is used today by Catholic converts.
Verse 61 speaks of being robbed. Have you been robbed in life? When you feel you are facing something that is unfair and unjust – that is robbery. David experienced this many times. He was robbed when the wives and children of his band of men were taken at Ziklag. He was robbed by Saul many times in his lifetime on the run in his early years. He was robbed by his own children when Absalom drove him from his court and brutalized 10 of his concubines on the roof of his palace before all Jerusalem.
Sometimes we are robbed because we opened ourselves to judgment as David did in the case of Absalom. We want to take veangence and those who favor us want to take vengeance by David was very careful not to act rashly. He states this in the verse saying “I have been robbed but I did not forget your law….” When you are under pressure there will always be a temptation to say in your heart “I don’t care what the bible says – I am going to act to defend myself…” Your integrity is proven before God by what you do or do not do when you have been ambushed and stolen from in life.
In verse 62 David speaks of rising from his bed at night “because of thy judgments…” Here is a remarkable thing. We all experience being kept awake at night because of troubles and trials. David was kept away – in fact driven from his bed by the weight of the judgments of God and the verities of the scriptures and God’s truth. This is the very definition of the word “spiritual”. The apostle Paul coined the terms “carnal” and “spiritual”. To be “carnal” means to be “animated by the flesh”. We all know what that looks like. The word spiritual means to be “animated by the spirit”. What animates you? What keeps you awake at night. What motivates you and brings out your emotions? David was moved by the things of God. He was animated and motivated in life as we all can find within ourselves by the truths and realities of the kingdom of God in our lives.
70 Their heart is as fat as grease; [but] I delight in thy law. 71 [It is] good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. 72 The law of thy mouth [is] better unto me than thousands of gold and silver. 73 JOD. Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments. 74 They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word. 75 I know, O LORD, that thy judgments [are] right, and [that] thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. 76 Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant. 77 Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law [is] my delight. 78 Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: [but] I will meditate in thy precepts. 79 Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies. 80 Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.
In verse 71 David looks back on past difficulties and concludes that it was good for him to face adversity. He concludes that in adversity he was driven to dependence upon the word of God. Does this mean that God originated the sufferings of David. Usually David brought most of his suffering upon himself by selfish and sinful choices. We have to admit this to ourselves. Hypocrisy in our hearts wants to question God and feel like a victim. In reality many of our problem and difficulties are brought on by situations in which we ignored the word of God and refused to seek God’s counsel. Then when it didn’t work out we have a choice to make again. Do we return to the word and allow God to walk us out of the snare we willingly stumbled into? Or do we wallow in the mire of our own making while we shake our fist at God for getting us into the situation that in reality He had nothing to do with?
In verse 71 David says that the law of God, the word of God is better than gold or silver. How can this be? There is the currency of man that we spend in the economy of man – and then there is the currency of the kingdom that we spend in the economy of God. Paul write the following in Colossians:
[Col 1:13 KJV] 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:
We are in the world but not of it. We are not limited to the resources of man. The word is more valuable than gold or silver because it is where true riches and true resources originate. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Faith provides you what money cannot buy. Faith is the currency of the kingdom. When you are spending your faith any other currency is a devalued resource.
In verse 74 David talks about the company he keeps. He says that those who fear the Lord will be glad to see David in their midst. David was by no means a perfect person. Yet in his lifetime we seldom see David associating with ungodly persons. There were very few toxic relationships in David’s life. We can see by this verse that he took the measure of the men and women around him by whether or not they feared God. Do you have toxic relationships? Sometimes the most grievous people in our lives are right under our own roof. Be that as it may learn to walk in love – yes but also to maintain boundaries around your life that those who refuse to walk in the fear of God will find it difficult to penetrate. Better to endure imperfect relations with false professors than to have intimate fellowship with unbelievers and cause our walk with God to suffer.
81 CAPH. My soul fainteth for thy salvation: [but] I hope in thy word. 82 Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me? 83 For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; [yet] do I not forget thy statutes. 84 How many [are] the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me? 85 The proud have digged pits for me, which [are] not after thy law. 86 All thy commandments [are] faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me. 87 They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts. 88 Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth. 89 LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. 90 Thy faithfulness [is] unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.
Verse 81 begins the 11th part of the 22 parts of Psalm 119. David says that he when he is pushed to his limits and faints in life his hope is in the word of God. David’s life was not without difficulty. Many of David’s difficulties originated of his own making. Yet in the midst of it all his hope was in the word of God. He longed to see the word of God come to manifest substance in His life. You cannot expect to see in your life what you have not familiarized yourself with. Become a person of the book. Immerse yourself in the word. Give yourself to the word FOR THE WORD’S SAKE with no conditions. Many people study the word for what they can get out of it. If they don’t see an immediate change in life’s circumstance they put the bible down and go about their day. We need to give ourselves to the word as part of the outworking and expression of what makes and defines us as believers. In so doing we become a PEOPLE OF THE BOOK and it’s realities in heaven become our realities on the earth.
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