Saturday, August 27, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 119 verses 97-112

Psalm 119:97-112

97O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
98Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.
99I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
100I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.
101I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
102I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.
103How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
105Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
106I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.
107I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word.
108Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments.
109My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.
110The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.
111Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

112I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.

Chapter 119 verses 97-112

I like Matthew Henry's comment on verse 97, "What we love, we love to think of. All true wisdom is from God. A good man carries his Bible with him, if not in his hands, yet in his head and in his heart." I do love His law and I do take the time to memorize scripture. I'd say that I express my love for His law by applying it since doing so glorifies Him. I try to love everyone, which isn't always easy, but when I do it, God is glorified. I can't say I've had an instance where I had an enemy that I depend on God's wisdom for (v. 98), but it encourages me knowing that as a result of learning His wisdom, I can overcome my enemies through prayer and reliance on Him instead of taking revenge on them. For clarity, here's Henry's insight on verses 99-100, "The written word is a more sure guide to heaven, than all the fathers, the teachers, and ancients of the church." I don't depend on man to get me to God or to to grant me salvation since Christ's death on the cross was what granted me salvation, which I honored by coming to Him. Those verses remind me that God's Word should be my ultimate authority. It reminds of this quote by Petr Chelčický, "The man who obeys God needs no other authority (over him)." Those verses also remind me that it's good idea to read and interpret the Bible myself, especially if I don't agree with something man says, such as the (false) doctrine of baptism being a requirement for salvation, which illustrates that me that some people believe that Christianity is works-based when it's supposed to be (and is) faith-based. Learning God's Word from an early age, I'd say it was what influenced me to not live a lifestyle of sin and evil (v. 101). I am thankful that God's Word influenced me that way from the beginning and continues to do so. It kinda reminds me of being dead to sin and alive in Christ and starving the flesh and feeding the spirit. It wouldn't be a good idea for me to get drunk every night and yet still think of myself as a Christian. The more I expose myself to His Word, the less desire I have to sin, which I think relates to sanctification because if I make the effort to live a holy life, I'm gonna see the fruits of that. Some days are worse than others in terms of not watching my tongue, for, example but sanctification is a process and I am thankful that God's grace is expressed through that. Hopefully I have the right idea about santification because I haven't done much study on it. What I have to say about verse 102 is that since God teaches me valuable lessons from His Word, I keep coming back for more. I don't plan on quitting and it's always an awesome thing when God opens my eyes to His relationship with Joshua or Solomon's speech in 2 Chronicles chapter 6. I do pray before reading the Word and I typically ask that God will help me to understand. I also ask, afterwards, that He'll help me to apply what I've learned, which makes a difference. I already discussed math being a Jordan for me, so I'm not gonna talk about it again, but I do believe that crossing over my Jordan was something that resulted from prayer and faith in God. His Words are sweet (v. 103) and they give me hope, especially in the most doubtful of times. I had my doubts going into algebra, thinking it was gonna be a difficult class, especially because the only way to earn credit was through tests and quizzes. However, reading the Book of Joshua at the time was what gave me hope and influenced me to push though. I also like Henry's insight on the verse, "The soul has its tastes as well as the body. Our relish for the word of God will be greatest, when that for the world and the flesh is least." What understanding do I get from His precepts? (v. 104) I get the understanding that I am to hate sin and reflect that by following Him and living a holy life. I have no desire to live a sinful life and I don't plan on starting anytime soon.

Verse 105 relates to my darkest moment because I relied on God's Word for light, which helped to direct towards Him and away from the enemy's influence. Knowing God would free me was enough to know because it was that aspect of His Word that gave me light. When I became a Christian, part of that covenant included and still includes performing or living out His Word (v. 106), which I think I've touched on before. I do try to love others, which isn't always easy, but I thank Him for counting trying as doing. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 107, but I do like Henry's insight on it, "The psalmist is often afflicted; but with longing desires to become more holy, offers up daily prayers for quickening grace." Perhaps I need to take time to really look at that verse and examine myself to see if I need to ask for God's grace. What I get out of verse 108 is that God always accepts my praise, which I can choose whether or not I want to, I guess, partake in. I thank Him (or praise Him for) the little things, such as His Word, food to eat, and a roof over my head. How I would relate to "teach me thy judgments" would by asking God to help to learn from His Word before reading it in the mornings. I can't say I can relate to verse 109, but verse 110 relates to my darkest moment because even though the enemy tried to lay a trap before me and trip me up by trying to get me to believe his lies, he didn't influence me to go away from God's promises because I knew I could rely on them to help me out. What verse 111 means to me is that I when I leanr from His testimonies (or statutes) found in His Word, I illustrate that His testimones are my hertiage (or treasure) when I apply them. By applying them, I show to God that I have taken the time to inherit wheat I have learned, which pleases Him. Verse 112 reminds of the covenant I made with Him when I decided to follow Him -- the covenant of keeping His Word till the end. And when there's a situation where I have to show patience or thank the Lord for my trials, I will try my best to do those things because doing things will not only show the character of Christ, but they will also show that I care about glorifying God.

                                                    Source used:

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

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