Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 119 verses 1-24

Since Psalm 119 is the longest psalm and the longest chapter in the Bible, I will go through the chapter in sections.

Psalm 119:1-24

1Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
2Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
3They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
4Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
5O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
6Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
7I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
8I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
9Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
10With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
11Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
12Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.
13With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.
14I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.
15I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

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

17Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.
18Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
19I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.
20My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.
21Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.
22Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.
23Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.

24Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.

Chapter 119 verses 1-24

I do try to walk in His law -- that is, I try to live by His Word (v. 1). I don't do it just so I can get blessed, but I know that living by His Word has helped me love others and serve them, which result in the blessings of hugs and being loved back. I do try to keep His testimonies (v. 2) and I do try to seek Him and His kingdom with my whole heart because I know that blessings will result from that. What's cool is that God counts trying as doing. What verse 3 means to me is that since I'm dead to sin and have no desire to sin, I have a desire to follow Christ since His work in me is what makes me dead to sin. I may sin, yes, but I don't live as a slave to it since Christ has freed me from it. I find His precepts in His word (v. 4) and if I keep them, I'll (continue to) live as God wants me to. I like the fact that He commanded His people to keep His precepts because if it was just a suggestion, then most of His people wouldn't be living holy and odedient lives, which would be a bad thing. To comment on verses 5-6 as a whole, I will say that I try and make sure to follow Him and keep His ways since I know them to be a rock solid foundation. I do respect God commandents and I feel that is expressed by living them out. One example would be worship hosting in my church, which I have humility for and give God all the glory for. I am thankful for His judgments (or laws), which I express to Him by living a holy life. I don't have anything to say about verse 8, but I do like Matthew Henry's thoughts on it, "The psalmist coveted to learn the laws of God, to give God the glory. And believers see that if God forsakes them, the temper will be too hard for them."

I do live by His Word (v. 9) and have since I was young. I believe that doing so has resulted in not living a life as a drug addict or a sex addict or what have you. I sought God in early life, which contributed to living in a moral way and never doing drugs. I think God for His influence on me and that it helped me to live as to how He wanted me to live. I should examine myself if I do seek Him with my whole heart (v. 10). What "O let me not wander from thy commandments" is that His Word keeps me bound and helps me to not wander from my faith. I ask Him to help me to sin less, which I like seeing the fruits of. I like Henry's comment on verse 11, "God's word is treasure worth laying up, and there is no laying it up safe but in our hearts, that we may oppose God's precepts to the dominion of sin, his promises to its allurements, and his threatenings to its violence." I don't have much to add to that, but I think it's cool that God's Word impacts me to not sin against Him. To me, His power is revelaed by His Word when He works in that way. I am still capable of sinning, yes, but I don't have a desire to go out of my way to sin against Him. Learning His statutes (or laws) is a wonderful thing and before reading His Word, I ask that He'll help me to live by it and learn from it. I can't say I've (verbally) put verse 13 into practice but it wouldn't hurt to. How I would relate to verse 14 is by realizing that His testimonies (or statutes) are of much value and that I can learn from them and live by them. By meditating in His precepts, I will respect and follow His ways (v. 15). I learn from His Word, which helps me to know His ways and follow what He wants for me instead of following my own will. How I would relate to verse 16 is that I do delight in His statutes by being excited to learn from His Word and looking forward to a Bible study. And since I delight in His statutes, remembering or writing down what I have learned, like I'm doing, is helpful.

I like Henry's comment on verse 17, "If God deals in strict justice with us, we all perish. We ought to spend our lives in his service; we shall find true life in keeping his word." I do consider myself a servant of the Lord and I am thankful that His Word provides life for me. I am open to learning from His Word (v. 18) and I think that results in beholding the wondrous things resulting in His law. That means to me that if I'm open to what God has to say to me in His Word, it will have an effect on me, which would show His Spirit at work. I want His Word to (continue to) have an effect on me so I'll know when His Spirit is touching me and revealing something to me. "I am a stranger in the earth" (v. 19) reminds me that I am not of this world and that I should not live in worldly ways. I think since I live according to the Spirit, God's commandments are not hid for me since I have a hunger for them as a result of living in the Spirit. I do long to learn from His judgments (or laws), which I'd say is represented by the fact that I read His Word and never plan to stop doing so even if I read all of it. I could go back and read Ecclesiastes again, for example, and get something out of it that I didn't catch the first or second time around, which is cool. I can't relate to verse 21 since it doesn't pertain to me, but since I keep His testimonies (or statutes), I can trust that God will deal with those who are against me (v. 22), which is what I get out of "Remove from me reproach and contempt." I can't say I've dealt with the people descrobed in verses 21-22, but those verses are ones to keep in mind in case I ever do. I haven't had any prices or rulers speak against me, I will find comfort in His Word in case that ever happens. My thoughts on verse 16 pretty much apply to what I would have put for verse 24, so just look at my thoughts regarding that.

                                                 Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 119". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

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