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 119:65-72 Teth Learning Good From Affliction
Verses 65-66 say experience teaches;
Verses 67-72 show how God gives good lessons.
Verses 65-66: (Verse 65) Based upon what God has said He would do, no one can say God has done them wrong! Many misrepresent what God has promised; or become impatient before He has acted in their lives; or misunderstand His promises; but God has never failed His servants! (Verse 66) By following His “commandments” (precise obedience), we develop “good judgment and knowledge.” By diligent application of God’s commandments, we learn that “solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14).
Verses 67-72: (Verse 67) It’s easy to run wild until we learn where the brick walls are. This is why, for many, it takes: drug addiction before desiring to dry out; pre-marital abuse and parenthood before trying marriage; rejecting parents before acknowledging their contributions to life; failing at jobs before learning good work habits; dented fenders before driving caution; facing loneliness before finding Christians; despairing at personal sins before obeying Jesus’ Gospel and being added to the church of Christ. Unfortunately, only then do people discover God’s Word—but at last, they do that! (Verse 68) God’s “statutes” (lines marking proper behavior), when learned, are always “good, and do good.” Jesus said only God is the source of “good” (Matthew 19:17), Jesus is the “good Teacher” (Mark 10:17), whose disciples do “good works” (Matthew 5:16), even for their enemies (Matthew 5:44-45), and are “zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14). (Verse 69) Those ruled by their own pride create lies against do-gooders, but whole-hearted obedience of God’s “precepts” (words which make things clear) will keep us faithful to Him. (Verse 70) God’s “law” (words marking the straight path) keeps us on track, instead of following those whose hearts are “fat as grease” (dull, insensitive, sated by sin instead of righteousness). Isaiah’s prophecy spoke of Jews in his day (Isaiah 6:9-10), Jews in Jesus’ day (Mark 4:11-12), and Jews in Paul’s time (Acts 28:23-29). This very attitude should be avoided by all who obey Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:17-20). (Verse 71) “Affliction” is oftentimes, not always, only a reminder that we need to re-learn and return to God’s “statutes” (words defining lines of proper conduct). (Verse 72) God’s “law” (words guiding conduct), therefore, is worth more than any “gold and silver” (valuable metals). Lessons in life through experience are costly, lessons learned through God’s Word are priceless!
Thought: Living life gives all of us ample opportunity and time to see that we need to learn what God is trying to tell us in the Bible! Life is “discipline” designed to force, even the dull-hearted and hard-headed, to see truth in God’s Word (Hebrews 12:1-11). Whether they accept it or not, they cannot plead ignorance.
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.