Thanking God for the Bible, part 2

Posted: June 28, 2012 in Psalms

Psalm 119:57-112, “Thanking God for the Bible, part 2”

If you want to get to know someone, how do you do it?  Ideally, you spend as much time in their presence as possible.  But when you can’t sit down & have a face-to-face conversation, the next best thing to do is to read their writings.  This is the whole basis behind autobiographies, as there’s hardly any better way to know what a person has been thinking as when we read what a person has been writing.  A similar idea is true about our relationship with God.  Certainly we can have a conversation with God at any time (through prayer), but we’ve also been given a Book.  We can know exactly what the heart of God is simply by reading what He has had written for us.  It is this Book that the author of Psalm 119 has spent so much time celebrating.

Remember, Psalm 119 doesn’t have so much an overarching narrative as it does an overarching theme.  Other psalms take us through a snapshot in history, or give us an idea as to what the author was feeling at the time of the writing: his prayer to God, his trouble with enemies, etc.  Psalm 119 doesn’t really provide that so much as give us many multi-faceted meditations about the word of God.  The author’s mind is continually upon the commandments of God (using any of the eight different terms for the Scriptures), and he finds that it is God speaking to him through the Bible that is his comfort in hard times, and his delight in easier days. 

Everything the author knows about God is because of the word – everything the author experiences with God is through the word.  Certainly we have personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but even all of that is informed by the word of God.  Want to know God better?  Get into the word.

Psalm 119:57–112 (NKJV)

  • Heth: Hope in the Word

57 You are my portion, O LORD; I have said that I would keep Your words. 58 I entreated Your favor with my whole heart; Be merciful to me according to Your word.

  • To follow God is keep His word.  God is His “portion” = his allotment/inheritance.  His relationship with the Lord is linked with the vow the author made to “keep” God’s word/commands.  That’s not to say that his relationship with God was based upon his own ability to obey (we’re going to fail every day!), but rather this is something that goes part & parcel together.  Jesus told us that “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.” (Jn 14:21)  The evidence that we have covenant relationship with God is shown when we treat God as GOD, and we keep His commands in obedience.
  • This has been a constant theme for the author, linking obedience to the Scriptures with his relationship with God.  Please be careful not to turn this into legalism!  The psalmist also makes it plain that he has no hope for salvation apart from the loving mercies of God…he certainly doesn’t have a legalistic faith.  We tend to separate works and faith so much that we end up thinking that they are opposite extremes, when the Bible gives us a much different picture.  They simply go together.  Faith is the key; and true faith is demonstrated by honest works.

58 I entreated Your favor with my whole heart; Be merciful to me according to Your word.

  • We can depend on God’s promises to experience His kindness.  The “according to…” makes this clear.  The kindness/favor of God is given out because of the commandment of God.  God always acts in accordance with His word.  When He says that He will “keep covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments,” (Deut 7:9), the author can trust that God is going to do exactly that. 
  • Likewise for us.  We appeal to God, not because of anything we’ve done to earn His kindness, but because of the promises He’s made to us through Christ Jesus.

59 I thought about my ways, And turned my feet to Your testimonies. 60 I made haste, and did not delay To keep Your commandments.

  • Note that the author’s ways & God’s testimonies are not the same thing!  One had to be turned to the other.  He considered the way he was going & learned very quickly he was going the wrong way.  Thus his feet needed to be “turned.”  This is the idea behind repentance…
  • There is a pressing need to obey the commands of God.  Repentance wasn’t something in which he dawdled or delayed; he “made haste” to do it.  When God brings something to light in your life in which you know you need to repent, the time to do it is right then & there.  Don’t wait!  Don’t harden your heart! 
    • For some, God may be revealing something in your own life tonight.  Make sure you deal with it & don’t put it off.  Don’t quench the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart.  In one of David’s psalms, he asked God to search him & know his hear, and see if there was any wicked way in him (Ps 139:23-24).  May we be open and honest enough with the Lord that we ask Him to reveal those areas in our life in which we need to repent!
    • For some, that may be the understanding that you need to completely turn to Jesus Christ for salvation from sin.  You need to repent (turn) from your own ways to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord.

61 The cords of the wicked have bound me, But I have not forgotten Your law. 62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You, Because of Your righteous judgments.

  • Obedience despite oppression.  No matter how he was bound or oppressed, his desire was still to follow the Lord. … No matter how often our own enemy the devil comes against us, we are to follow the Lord.  In times of spiritual attack, remember the law/word of God!
  • Why at midnight? Because God is worthy of thanks at all times (presumably even in times of oppression).  The author had not forgotten God’s law, which was demonstrated by the author praising God in the middle of the night for His “righteous judgments.

63 I am a companion of all who fear You, And of those who keep Your precepts. 64 The earth, O LORD, is full of Your mercy; Teach me Your statutes.

  • Keeps company with other believers.  Wherever other people were throughout the earth who had a proper fear of the Lord, those were the ones the psalmist desired to know & spend time with. 
  • Choose your friends carefully!  Our friends will influence us for good or for ill.  If we spend time with those who keep the precepts of God, and desire to glorify God, it’s likely that we’ll end up participating in those things with them.  Yet if our friends end up doing things in rebellion to God, it’s equally likely we’ll end up in the exact same sins.
    • That’s not to say that we’re supposed to remain in a “holy huddle” and never meet anyone who doesn’t know Christ.  After all, how would we introduce anyone to Christ?  Yet there’s a difference of being a kind friend to those outside of Christ, and truly participating with someone as their “best friend.”  Jesus was a friend of sinners, but He didn’t engage in their sin.  That’s the same sort of balance we need to strike.

64 The earth, O LORD, is full of Your mercy; Teach me Your statutes.

  • We need to know the word in order to recognize God’s actions & work within the world.  How are we going to recognize God’s mercy when we see it, if we don’t know what to look for?  That’s where we need the “statutes” of God.
  • Teth: The Word is better than the World

65 You have dealt well with Your servant, O LORD, according to Your word. 66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge, For I believe Your commandments.

  • Whenever we’re dealt with by God according to His word (which we always are), it’s a good thing.  God’s word is just & righteous by definition (because it is given to us by a just & righteous God).  The author acknowledges God’s goodness when he acknowledges how he’s been treated.
    • This is important to state up front because the author has definitely experienced suffering (some of which is outlined in this stanza).  Holding to the goodness of God is crucial in our suffering.  As has been often said, when we encounter things we don’t understand, we hold to the things we DO understand.  We don’t always know why we suffer, but we can know that God is good in spite of our suffering.
  • God gives wisdom.  Much will be written later about the wisdom of the word of God; it’s just introduced here.  The author believes God’s commandments & knows that the truths he learns from God are “good judgment and knowledge.”  It’s not just Bible stories & trivia; it’s valuable because it is wise.
    • Do you believe it?  Do you believe the commands and precepts of God are truly wise?

67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word.

  • What was & what now is.  Before, the psalmist sinned & experienced affliction as a result.  Now, the psalmist keeps the word of God.

68 You are good, and do good; Teach me Your statutes.

  • Because God is good, what God teaches is good. (Reiterating vss. 65-66)

69 The proud have forged a lie against me, But I will keep Your precepts with my whole heart. 70 Their heart is as fat as grease, But I delight in Your law.

  • Despite trials, the psalmist has a passionate desire to obey the Lord.  (This is a consistent theme throughout the psalm…already saw it in vs. 61.)  No matter what he endures from the outside, he is determined to stay loyal unto God by obeying His word.
    • To be sure, many of us may start with that kind of commitment, and later fall short – but how important it is to START with the commitment!  If we’re not determined to walk with God before we encounter the trials, we’re not likely going to have much success doing it in the middle of them.
  • Regarding hearts being “fat,” the idea is that they are hard & dull.  Kind of like a steak that has so much marbling on it, it can’t be bent.  The proud person (presumably the unrighteous people who told lies against the psalmist) are hard-hearted.  Gives a new meaning to the idea of clogged arteries! 
  • Not so with the person who delights in the law of God.  Their heart is “healthy” when it comes to a relationship with the Lord.

71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.

  • Here’s a truth we don’t often like to admit.  Afflictions can turn us to God.  The author actually called his affliction a “good” thing.  Not that it was pleasurable, or that being lied about was something to be recommended to others – but it ended up having a good result in that it caused him to be even more dependent upon the Lord.
  • This is a truth that is reflected throughout the Scripture.  Joseph acknowledged that although his brothers meant evil for him in selling him into slavery unto Egypt, God meant it for good in order to keep the family alive. (Gen 50:20).  If Paul hadn’t been imprisoned, we wouldn’t have received much of the New Testament.  If Jesus hadn’t suffered and been crucified, we wouldn’t even have the offer of salvation!  God can and DOES use evil afflictions for His own glory.  In the psalmist’s case, it was so that he would learn the word of God.  In Paul’s case, his affliction of a thorn in the flesh was so that he would learn that God’s grace was sufficient for him.  What will it be in your case?  Only God knows – but you can be sure it will be something valuable & good.

72 The law of Your mouth is better to me Than thousands of coins of gold and silver.

  • This seems to be one of the things he learned in his affliction: the value of the word of God.  Better than all of the riches of the world was the precious word of God.  If we only understood the value of what we hold in our hands when we hold the Scripture!  Christians throughout history have died horrendous deaths in order that you might be able to read the Bible with your own eyes.  Not that the paper is valuable, but the words contained within are priceless!  It has been breathed out by the Holy Spirit of God, and has an eternal affect upon every believer in Jesus Christ.  Apart from Jesus Himself & the impartation of the Holy Spirit, there can truly be no more precious gift given unto man than the written-out words of Almighty God.
  • Yod: The Word and Discipline

73 Your hands have made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.

  • Talking about the Creator God.  God made our bodies; He can make & fill our minds as well.  We can trust Him to teach us, and to help us understand what He’s said in the Bible.
  • Please note the author wanted to “learn” God’s commandments.  Do you want to learn?  Too many Christians don’t want to learn; they want to absorb by osmosis…  We’ve got to be willing to engage in the discipline of Bible study so that we would actually learn what God has to say to us, rather than having it go in one ear & out the other.
    • That’s not to say all of us need to enroll in seminary & all become full-time scholars.  Yet we DO all need to be students of the word.  As Paul wrote to Timothy, we are to be diligent to present ourselves approved to God, as workers that do not need to be ashamed. (2 Tim 2:15).  Certainly, those were words written to a young pastor in the church, but that is instruction that can be applied to all of us.  Especially as Christians in the 21st century United States!  With all of the vast amount of resources available to us (for free, in many cases), there’s no reason that we need to be ignorant when it comes to the Scripture.  We can study the word of God freely and ask Him to give us the understanding we need, even as He equips us to use the tools at our fingertips.
    • Why?  Again, this goes back to the value of the word of God.  Do you understand what it is you’ve been given in the Bible?  It’s truly priceless; it is an incredible privilege to hold the word of God in your hand.  If you were given a car, you’d certainly want to know how to drive it & take care of it.  But if you were given the understanding that it was a special car, such as a Ferrari Enzo, of which only 400 were made, and sell for over $1M at auction, you’d likely want to know everything you could about that car in order to know how to best care for it.  You’ve been given a book whose words have been supernaturally inspired by the Almighty Everlasting Creator God of the Universe, Who actually will speak directly and individually to you through those words.  You’ve been given a book that speaks specifically about the heart and mind of the Lord Jesus Christ who saved you from eternal hell and promises you a co-inheritance with Him in all of eternity.  Truly THAT is a book worth studying & knowing!

74 Those who fear You will be glad when they see me, Because I have hoped in Your word.

  • Faith unites us together…it was those who “feared” the Lord that would be glad to see the author.  Those who reverenced the Lord rightly would rejoice to be with someone else who did the same thing.  This is one reason we can rejoice with brothers and sisters in Christ around the world at our first meeting.  We’re united in our worship of Jesus.
  • The sign of faith was the author’s hope in God’s word. “Because…”  Just as we know believers in Christ by their confession of Christ & the fruit of the Spirit, so did the others recognize the author’s faith by his trust in the Scripture.

75 I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are right, And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.

  • Who was the one who afflicted the author?  God.  Obviously God wasn’t the one who lied about the psalmist – but God certainly allowed it to take place.  When God allows affliction, we can trust Him.  We can join with Job in his affirmation, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15)

76 Let, I pray, Your merciful kindness be for my comfort, According to Your word to Your servant. 77 Let Your tender mercies come to me, that I may live; For Your law is my delight.

  • Looking to the loyal love and promises of God for comfort.  The author had been afflicted by God, but he could still trust God for comfort.  This is what the proper understanding of the fear of God looks like.  It’s not that we’re to run away from God when He allows suffering or discipline into our lives; it’s that we’re to run TO God especially in the midst of those times.  We see Him not as the cosmic kid with a magnifying glass looking to burn an ant, but as a loving Heavenly Father who’s ready to comfort, guide, and strengthen us.  The author knows that he’ll find exactly that as he opens the word of God.

78 Let the proud be ashamed, For they treated me wrongfully with falsehood; But I will meditate on Your precepts.

  • The psalmist needs justice, but he’s not going to try to avenge himself.  That he leaves to the Lord.  God allowed the affliction, but God is not guilty of sin.  The “proud” bear their own guilt for what they did against the author.  The psalmist isn’t going to take matters into his own hands; he understands that God is in control, and he leaves things up to God.
  • Instead, the psalmist only seeks God.  Note: his eyes aren’t upon his enemies; they are upon the Lord through His word.  When our focus gets off God and we start rehearsing every bad thing someone else did to us, and we start thinking about every confrontation we’re going to have with them over it, we’re getting ourselves into trouble.  Certainly some situations require some sort of meeting, but we don’t want to be obsessed about it.  The proper thing for us to be meditating upon is the Bible; not what our enemies did to us.

79 Let those who fear You turn to me, Those who know Your testimonies. 80 Let my heart be blameless regarding Your statutes, That I may not be ashamed.

  • Again, referring to the unity of faith.
  • The prayer is good…basically asking God to help him not be a hypocrite.  He wants to be blameless & not end up as those who had oppressed him.  The proud had a reason to be ashamed; he wants to remain humbly submitted unto the Lord.
  • Kaph: The Word and Suffering

81 My soul faints for Your salvation, But I hope in Your word. 82 My eyes fail from searching Your word, Saying, “When will You comfort me?” 83 For I have become like a wineskin in smoke, Yet I do not forget Your statutes.

  • Notice the desperation here.  There is a hunger & longing for the Lord.  The psalmist is looking to God’s promises as his only hope.
  • wineskin in smoke” = the idea is being dried up & parched for the things of God.  He’s at a desperate point, but he’s not without hope as long as he remembers the statutes of God.

84 How many are the days of Your servant? When will You execute judgment on those who persecute me?

  • Familiar cry in the Scriptures.  “How long, Lord?”  How long will God allow suffering to endure?  How long until the day He brings judgment upon the wicked?  It’s an honest question, and one that the prophets & psalmists have asked.  Even the Tribulation Martyrs will ask the same question (Rev 6:10).  To ask the question isn’t to assume a lack of faith; it’s simply appealing to the righteous sovereign Judge.  We’re asking the only One who knows the answer.
  • Whenever we ask the question, we can come back to the promises of God that He WILL judge!  We may not know the time, but we do know the certainty.

85 The proud have dug pits for me, Which is not according to Your law. 86 All Your commandments are faithful; They persecute me wrongfully; Help me! 87 They almost made an end of me on earth, But I did not forsake Your precepts.

  • Contrast.  The proud broke the law and persecuted the righteous.  They took the law of God and discarded it in their rebellion and wickedness.  The righteous remain loyal to God by not forsaking His precepts.  One hated the law; the other treasured it.
  • How do you treat the word of God?  How do you value it and respond to it?  It’s a good indication of your relationship with the Lord.

88 Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth.

  • Whatever the wicked people did to him, he knows who gives life: the Lord!  Prays that God would grant him life again according to the covenant promises.  (This is exactly the promise we have in the gospel!  We’re granted life because of the covenant promises we have through Jesus.)
  • Why does he ask for revival?  So the psalmist can keep serving the Lord!  The only way he can walk with God in faithful obedience is by the quickening/revival of the Lord.  The only way to walk with God is by the power of God.  Jesus told the disciples this very thing prior to His ascension.  In order for them to be used by God as witnesses of Christ, they needed to first have the person of the Holy Spirit come upon them & empower them for the task. (Acts 1:8)  They needed to be empowered by God if they were going to be used by God.  Likewise for us.  When God gives us life – when He gives us power, THAT’s when we can truly walk with Him in faithfulness.
  • Lamed: Dependency upon the Word

89 Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. 90 Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides. 91 They continue this day according to Your ordinances, For all are Your servants.

  • God’s word is assured/settled.  Just as the earth is settled in its place, God’s word is even more firm.  It’s not changing – it’s not whimsical – it’s not based upon opinion polls and questionnaires.  It’s the word of God, which never changes.  Just as God never changes, neither do His promises.
  • For all are Your servants.”  To be sure, it doesn’t look like that today.  We look around and see many who rebel against the Lord and are His enemies.  For that matter, every single one of us formerly were the enemies of God!  Yet ultimately, the psalmist’s statement is true.  We may have been in rebellion against God, but we were still His servants.  We owed God our allegiance, even if we refused to give it to Him.  That’s what made our sin “rebellious.”

92 Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction. 93 I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have given me life.

  • How bad was the psalmist’s trouble?  He was facing death!  Without the word of God, he would have “perished.
  • How true this is regarding the gospel!  All of us were going to perish in our affliction – we were going to die in our sin, and we were bound for eternal trouble.  Yet the Lord intervened!  Because Jesus perfectly fulfilled the law of God according to the promises of God, now life is available to every one of us.

94 I am Yours, save me; For I have sought Your precepts.

  • Marvelous prayer!  “Save me because I belong to You!”
  • This is exactly how our salvation comes.  Jesus has purchased our redemption through His own blood.  When we cry out to God to save us, it’s not because of anything we’ve done; we’re simply claiming the promises of the grace of Jesus.  He’s made every provision for us to belong to Him; we’re acknowledging that we’ve entered into that covenant.  Thus when we pray to God to save us, we can do so because we’re calling upon God the Father through our Lord & King, God the Son.

95 The wicked wait for me to destroy me, But I will consider Your testimonies.

  • Contrast in waiting.  The “wicked wait” for the perfect time to bring destruction upon the author.  The psalmist waits upon the Lord as he “considers” the testimony of God.  Who are you waiting upon?

96 I have seen the consummation of all perfection, But Your commandment is exceedingly broad.

  • The stanza began with the certain assuredness of God’s word, especially in comparison with creation.  One day, creation will reach an end.  Everything ultimately has an end – nothing is infinite.  Nothing, that is, except God.  God’s promises have no limits!
  • Mem: Delight in the Word

97 Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.

  • Truly this is delighting in the word!  To love it & value it & think upon it all of the day.  Spurgeon says it so very well: “He meditated in God’s word because he loved it, and then loved it the more because he meditated in it. He could not have enough of it, so ardently did he love it: all the day was not too long for his converse with it. His main prayer, his noonday thought, his evensong were all out of Holy Writ; yea, in his worldly business he still kept his mind saturated with the law of the Lord. It is said of some men that the more you know them the less you admire them; but the reverse is true of God’s word. Familiarity with the word of God breeds affection, and affection seeks yet greater familiarity.”  How wonderful it is to grow deeper and deeper in our love for the word of God!  Certainly this may not describe our actions right now, but may it describe our intended goal.  Lord, create in us a longing hunger for Your word!
  • Be careful not to read this and start putting a guilt trip on yourself. “I might spend a few minutes in the Bible, but I know I don’t think about it all day long.  I must be a bad Christian!”  Not at all!  Keep in mind that the subject of the word of God is Christ.  Jesus is rarely far from the thoughts of any Christian at any given moment.  And even beyond that, the basic thought here isn’t legalistic binding to the Bible, but rather the focus of one’s heart and mind.  Just as Paul instructed the church to pray without ceasing, so are we to think upon the Lord all through the day.  We long to be with our King, so it’s no wonder we think about what He has said to us through the Scripture.

98 You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me. 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the ancients, Because I keep Your precepts.

  • There is wisdom in the word…supreme wisdom!  How valuable is the wisdom in the Scripture?  It’s better and more valuable than all other knowledge.  Through the commandments, the author was made wiser than his enemies, than his teachers, and than all the ancients who had come before.  Just think of it: all of the PhD’s in the world will do someone no eternal good if they do not understand the profound wisdom of the gospel.  Someone could teach in universities around the world and still be excluded from the kingdom of heaven.  The 5 year old who truly understands Jesus to be Lord has more understanding than the doctorate who is an atheist.

101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Your word. 102 I have not departed from Your judgments, For You Yourself have taught me.

  • He walked in purity.  Why?  So that he could be obedient.  It’s tough to be obedient to the Lord in the evening when we’ve walked in sin the rest of the day.  The author treasured the word of God, understanding its value – thus he put it into practice.  It’s not enough merely to know the basic teachings without applying it into our lives.  True understanding of the Scripture is demonstrated when we obey it.
  • God taught the author; God teaches us.  Our teacher is the Holy Spirit!  (Exactly as Jesus promised us. Jn 16:13 & 1 Jn 2:27)

103 How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way.

  • Sweetness in the Scripture…very descriptive of his delight.
  • There’s understanding in the sweet Scriptures; that’s why he hates the false way.  That which is false (obviously) takes us away from that which is true.  If we were to follow false directions on a map, who knows where we’d end up?  Wherever it is, it wouldn’t be where we had originally intended to go.  How much more important is the truth in our relationship with God?
  • Nun: Light & Life in the Word

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. 106 I have sworn and confirmed That I will keep Your righteous judgments.

  • God gives guidance in the word, like a lamp in darkness.  We know which way to go and what decisions to make by looking into the word of God.  (Note: this isn’t by playing “Bible bingo” by flipping the page to see where we might end up.  Rather, we steadfastly stay in the Scripture on a regular basis, and the Holy Spirit brings understanding to us when we need it.)
  • Again, he affirms an intentional desire to obey the word.  This is his vow – and though it’s certain he won’t keep it perfectly, he starts at least with the desire to obey.  We begin with the desire, and we are dependent upon grace all along.

107 I am afflicted very much; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your word.

  • As in vs. 88, his prayer is that God would give life, according to the promises in the Scripture.

108 Accept, I pray, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, And teach me Your judgments.

  • Prayer #1: accept my offering of praise.  Not an offering of obligation – not reciting words on a page for which they have no personal meaning – but rather “freewill offerings,” sincere praise born out of our hearts for the Lord.  The psalmist means what he says to God; he isn’t just saying something to sound good & spiritual.
  • Prayer #2: teach me Your word so that my offerings reflect Your judgments.  We want our praises to reflect God’s truth.  Sometimes the songs we sing might make us feel nice, but they don’t have much basis in the truth of Scripture.  We ought to praise God according to the way He has revealed Himself to us.

109 My life is continually in my hand, Yet I do not forget Your law. 110 The wicked have laid a snare for me, Yet I have not strayed from Your precepts.

  • He’s in danger, but he’s not going to fall into the trap of temptation.  Why?  Because of his knowledge of the law of God.  Goes back to the idea of Ps 119:11.  When the word of God is hidden our heart, then we have spiritual weapons with which to fight temptation and guidance to keep us far from it in the first place.

111 Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, For they are the rejoicing of my heart. 112 I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes Forever, to the very end.

  • He rejoices now in the promises of God.  He will rejoice forever in the promises of God.  His desire is to remain forever loyal to God.  From the current moment to the eternal future, all of his hope rests upon the faithful promises and covenant of the Everlasting God.  This is the hope we have in the gospel – this is the hope in which we can rejoice!

The psalmist understood the value of the Scripture & delighted in it.  The psalmist understood the privilege of being instructed by God in times of blessing and affliction.  The psalmist understood that what would keep him grounded in all of those times were the steadfast promises of God as revealed in the Bible.

How true that is for all of us!  Each of us likely finds ourselves in a different place than someone else here.  Some of us are rejoicing because of God’s blessing.  Others of us feel as if we’re dried up because of the afflictions that have come against us.  What is the one thing that doesn’t change in any of those circumstances?  The promises of the word of God…the promises about Jesus Christ.  His word is the rock upon which we can stand no matter what comes our way.  May we understand the value of the promises we have in Christ & drink deeply of what He offers!

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