It is fitting that the greatest tribute to the Word of God is IN the Word of God, itself, and is in the longest chapter of the Word of God! This Psalm has no author’s name, historical incident, or other distraction from its theme. It is divided into 22 sections (one for every letter in the Hebrew alphabet), each consisting of 8 lines, each line beginning with the alphabet letter of that section (aleph is the first letter of each line under the aleph section, for instance). The chapter uses some 8-10 different words to describe the Word of God, each bringing something extra to the total picture of the Word of Truth. In order to savor the depth and richness of teaching in this Psalm, we will examine each portion as if it were its own chapter.
Psalm 119:113-120 Samek The Certainty of the Word
Verses 113-114 tell why God is our choice;
Verse 115 tells which direction we are going;
Verses 116-117 describe how God helps;
Verses 118-119 show how certain God is of the outcome;
Verse 120 describes how this certainty should affect us.
Verses 113-114: (Verse 113) “The double-minded” are people who are torn between two opinions, skeptical of truth, and can’t decide which to follow. Elijah, the prophet, called for people to make up their minds: “And Elijah came to all the people, and said, ‘How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him.’ But the people answered him not a word” (1 Kings 18:21). Faith is to be “with no doubting,” or else we are “a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5-8). To love God’s “law” (words that make straight) means we have made a definite decision. (Verse 114) God’s “word” (what God actually has said) keeps our “hope” alive, so that we know God is our “hiding place” and our “shield.”
Verse 115: Once we have decided whose “commandments” (authoritative orders) we “will keep,” it is easier to reject the “evil doers.” Jesus will, on the Judgment Day, say these very words (Matthew 7:21-23).
Verses 116-117: (Verse 116) We need to be upheld (propped up) by God’s “word,” “that I may live” (the believer knows life begins with faith) without “shame” (timidity). “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). (Verse 117) We need for God to “hold [us] up” (above evil) that we may be “safe.” But this requires “observing” God’s “statutes” (words marking out proper conduct) “continually” (cannot dismiss it from thought).
Verses 118-119: (Verse 118) God has made His decision, not about individual names, but of whoever follows “deceit” and “falsehood.” They have made a definite decision to “stray” from God’s “statutes,” and God has decided He will “reject” them “all.” (Verse 119) God definitely will “put away all the wicked of the earth” (which He has before, in Noah’s day, Genesis 6:5-7), as if they were “dross” (rejected impurities of melted metal, Ezekiel 22:18-22). The obedient believer decides to “love” God’s “testimonies” (words proving God’s character to be true) because His decision is final.
Verse 120: This verse glimpses into the Judgment Day, as described by the Apostle Paul: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences” (2 Corinthians 5:10-11).
Thought: Every believer should be certain in knowing what way to go, and what way God will reject. “Have I not written to you excellent things Of counsels and knowledge, That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, That you may answer words of truth To those who send to you?” (Proverbs 22:20-21)
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.