Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 119 verses 49-72

Psalm 119:49-72

49Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.
50This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.
51The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law.
52I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself.
53Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.
54Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.
55I have remembered thy name, O LORD, in the night, and have kept thy law.
56This I had, because I kept thy precepts.
57Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words.
58I intreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.
59I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.
60I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.
61The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law.
62At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.
63I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.

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

65Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word.
66Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.
67Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.
68Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.
69The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.
70Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law.
71It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

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

Chapter 119 verses 49-72

What I have to say about verse 49 is that God sticks to His Word -- no pun intended -- which is a wonderful thing to trust in and realize. I can't say I've thought that God remembers His Word towards His people before, but in terms of His faithfulness towards His people, that is displayed throughout scripture. An example would 2 Chronicles 7:14, which says, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." In order to experience God's faithfulness, though, that requires action on the part of the believer -- it doesn't come out of wishful thinking. In my darkest moment, I had to take action by praying and trusting that God would help me out. He did help me out and illustrate His faithfulness towards me as I've talked about before. Praise God for His faithfulness! The fact that God remembered His Word and displayed His faithfulness towards me (v. 50) was what helped me to find comfort in affliction (or suffering). My pain wasn't physical but spiritual, so the aspect of affliction still applies. "Quickened me" can be translated as "kept me alive," according to Bullinger. So trusting in Him and His Word was what kept me alive spiritually, which I can't really describe beyond that. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 51, but I guess there's been instances before on the internet where proud (or arrogant) people had me greatly in derision (or mocked me) for being a Christian. Their words didn't make me give up on my faith nor did I decline His law. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 53, but I am thankful for His statutes (v. 54) and I do praise Him for them, particularly in church. I do thank Him at the end of the day for allowing me to live another day (v. 55), which I do as a result of obeying His precepts (v. 56).

I like Henry's comment on verse 57, "True believers take the Lord for the portion of their inheritance, and nothing less will satisfy them." That reminds me that God is my inheritance and I make the effort to learn from His Word -- or portion -- pretty much every day of the week. I guess when I became a Christian, part of the covenant included keeping and obey God's Word and commandments. I try to do the simple things, such as obeying my parents and loving my neighbors and going from there. Those aren't easy things to do, but with God's help, I can do 'em. I'm trying to get better about taming my tongue at the moment, which I think I'll ask God for so He can help me out. I do look to Him -- His favors or face -- by doing things that glorify Him (v. 58), which I've listed and talked about before. If I do seek after Him, His mercy or grace will be with me. I'm not if I experienced a time like that in my life, but there have been times when I've done things that have offended people and ended up being forgiven. I don't feel comfortable about talking about a particular instance here, but I will say that one time I did something that intimidated a female friend of mine and it got blown way out of proportion. She did forgive me, though, and I think that was God working through her as a way of showing grace towards me. I try to think of my animation career -- which is what I wanna pursue -- as something that I can look to God to (v. 59). I figure I'll glorify Him in it and think of my career as a blessing. If I get involved in something that has a biblically or spiritually-based message in regards to doing an animated movie or something, that'd be cool too. I guess verse 60 would kind of apply to when I decided to become a worship host in my church. I believe that God spoke through the head host to get to me to be a part of the ministry. I didn't delay or take a long time to line up with God's will. I probably thought about it for a week or two and kept His command by committing to His will. I can't say I've experienced the instance described in verse 61 on a literal level, but in my darkest moment, the enemy did try to bind me, but I think being a Christian beforehand and trusting in His Word was what helped me to not forget the promise that He's there even in the midst of my trials. I don't have much to say on verse 62, but I do like Henry thought's on it, "Let us feel ashamed that others are more willing to keep from sleep to spend the time in sinful pleasures, than we are to praise God."  It kinda makes me wanna do something about those who live in their sinful nature instead of living a life which glorifies God. If God wants me to use the gospel to reach those people, I will so that way they can turn from their sin and live for Him. I would also relate to that verse by also saying that at the end of day, I usually do praise (or thank) Him for the day He provided. Wouldn't hurt to start praising Him for His laws, though. By being a companion (or friend) of those that fear Him (v. 63), I have a strong bond with them and we can build each other up in the good and bad times, which I praise Him for. I do desire to learn from and apply His statutes (v. 64). I also like Henry's comment on the verse, " And we should be more earnest in prayer, that our hearts may be filled with his mercy, grace, and peace."

I like Henry's comment on verse 65, "However God has dealt with us, he has dealt with us better than we deserve; and all in love, and for our good." To give an example of how God has dealt with me, I'd talk about my darkest moment. Not only did He free me from the enemy's group, but He also worked in such a way in which my relationship was renewed with Him. God really delivered and I'm thankful that He stayed true to His Word. Even since I became a Christian, I did believe His commandments (v. 66). If I didn't believe them, I wouldn't have a desire to learn them. I am thankful, though, that God reveals Himself to me in His Word and I have the desire to learn more and apply it. I can't say I've had an experience that would relate to verse 67, but I will say that it is a verse to keep in mind in case God punishes or afflicts me as a result of going astray. I would see His punishment as a good thing (v. 68) because it would illustrate to me that He cares enough about me to lay the smack down on me when I royally screw up. And even though He may punish me in the future for something, I'm not gonna give up on studying His Word. I don't let the proud (or arrogant) take advantage of me by telling lies about me (v. 69). I've had people in the past make up or forge lies about me that I was a homosexual and I was somehow involved with Michael Jackson or something. I did get pissed, yes, mostly because they had no basis for thier claims and also probably because they were trying to ruin my reputation. Keeping God's Word in mind, I didn't let their lies get the best of me. Their hearts were as fat as grease (v. 70) -- or rather "callous and unfeeling" (NIV). Despite that, I still delighted in His law and followed Him. If I was dragged down to their level and joined them in spreading lies about people, I would've been focusing on worldly things and not spiritual things, which would've been bad. For my thoughts on verse 71, just look at my thoughts on verses 67-68. No value can be placed on His law (v. 72) and I am thankful that I can learn from it.

                                                   Source used:

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

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