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Psalm 119:153-160 Resh “Considerate Faith”

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 119:153-160  Resh                              “Considerate Faith”

Verses 153-155 appeal for God to consider a believers’ personal effort;

Verses 156-158 appeal for God to recognize a believer’s personal devotion;

Verses 159-160 appeal for God to see a believer’s personal heart.

Verses 153-155: (Verse 153) God is considerate (Nehemiah 9:32-33). “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ‘Surely we did not know this,’ Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not  render to each man according to his deeds?” (Proverbs 24:11-12) God “considers” both the obedient and the disobedient. God considers the “affliction” of one who does “not forget” His “law” (words pointing the straight path), and “delivers.” (Verse 154) Believers who sin (1 John 1:6-2:3) must have representation before God, Who will “redeem” (apply the price for) and “revive” (refresh, renew the effort) them. (Verse 155) “Statutes” (words tracing out right) keep clear who is “wicked,” because they do not seek them, but the “righteous” are mindful of them. “Salvation” is kept far from “the wicked” (Mark 16:15-16).

Verses 156-158: (Verse 156) God is the Father of “mercies” (2 Corinthians 1:3) which motivate Christians to become living sacrifices (Romans 12:1). His “mercies” (plural) are both “Great” (in forgiving the penitent) and “tender” (in helping the penitent), and Christians should imbed these (Colossians 4:12). (Verse 157) Christians cannot expect the same from “the wicked,” who become “persecutors” (with verbal taunting, physical abuse, or social ostracizing) and “enemies” (adversaries like Satan). “For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles–when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead” (1 Peter 4:3-5). (Verse 158) Those who “do not keep” God’s Word become “treacherous” (and should be avoided, Ephesians 5:11-13) and are “disgusted” (abhorred, loathed, like Lot, 2 Peter 2:7-8) by the faithful.

Verses 159-160: (Verse 159) While God is “considering” wicked hearts, His “precepts” (words that highlight what’s right) also “revive” a loving heart with His “lovingkindness.” “Thus says the LORD: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:23-24). (Verse 160) Total confidence in God is produced by studying “the entirety” of God’s Word, for it is always “truth” and “every one” of His “judgments” are right, “forever.”

 All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible, #bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #enemies, #faith, #god, #love, #lovingkindness, #obedience, #persecutors, #salvation, #sin, #tender-mercies, #truth

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Psalm 119:73-80 Yod “Keeping Faith Through Affliction”

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 119:73-80 Yod                   “Keeping Faith Through Affliction”

Vs. 73-74 confess the faith that God knows me;

Vs. 75-77 attribute to God good qualities that show through His ways;

Vs. 78 shows why the believer does not turn to unbelievers in troublesome times;

Vs. 79-80 state the faith of a believer who remains faithful throughout all.

Verses 73-74: (Verse 73) Begins with a quotation from Job 10:18: “Your hands have made me and fashioned me,” but Job added, “An intricate unity.” Every human is complex in working, but it works as a unity. The only thing missing from a person is the “understanding” to connect with, and use, God’s “commandments” (words showing what should and shouldn’t be done). (Verse 74) All who “fear God” are “glad” to know there’s another who has “hoped” in God’s “word” (communication of His way).

Verses 75-77: (Verse 75) “I know” (certainty based upon experience) the evidence proves that Jehovah’s “judgments” (decisions) are the standard of “right.” Abraham asked the question: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25) God’s character is without a wrong. When “affliction” occurs, we know God wants us to emerge with a yield of “the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11). “God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone” (James 1:13). (Verse 76) Afflictions are times to see God’s “merciful kindness” (attempts to help) as “comfort,” according to His “word” (what He actually has said). He is the “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).  (Verse 77) Affliction can help us see God’s “tender mercies” (reminders of His love for us) “that I may live” (still have purpose, knowing God cares for me). Through it all, we see God’s “law” (words guiding the straight path) is the only thing that brings “delight” (satisfaction at progress).

Verse 78: “The proud” have not triumphed by their wrongful mistreatment “with falsehood,” for the believer has survived their false attacks, seeing truth in God’s Word and ways. After the affliction and false attacks, experience gives even more reason to “meditate” (give slow, thoughtful consideration of) God’s “precepts” (what God has emphasized or pointed out).

Verses 79-80: (Verse 79) The believer who endures with faith becomes an encouragement to all others who “fear God.” Everyone who “knows God” has combined “testimonies” (words pointing beyond to God) with experiences. “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21). (Verse 80) Our prayer should be to survive, knowing “the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5). We must never be “ashamed” of God’s “statutes” (words outlining proper actions), for we need them to remain in “the way,” for Jesus said: “where I go you know, and the way you know” (John 14:4).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#affliction, #bible, #bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #faithfulness, #god, #life, #meditate, #obedience, #tender-mercies, #truth, #understanding, #wisdom