After writing the last post, Life lessons From Psalm 119 Part 1 , I happened to reread it in my devotions and realized how much more there was that I hadn’t touched on. Hence ‘Part 2’. This time I want to share about the ‘word of God’, how it is used in this chapter and how we, as His people, can put it to use in our life. Psalm 119 is so descriptive and full of life, I just love it. I hope you come to love it just as much.
In Psalm 119 there are ten different words used to describe God’s word. Each one is used at least once and a few of them are repeated quite a bit. These are: law, testimonies, way(s), precepts, statutes, works, ordinances, judgments, word(s) and commandments. Each lends a bit more understanding to what God’s word is. You may want to look them up in a Hebrew dictionary/concordance like Strong’s for a deeper look than the basic one I give here.
Blessed are the undefiled in the way,
Who walk in the law of the Lord!
Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart!
They also do no iniquity;
They walk in His ways.
The law is speaking of the Torah, the first five books of the old testament. It refers to all the instructions and directions that are found in it. Testimonies are God’s standards of conduct or rules. Way or ways is a pattern of life that God requires us to follow.
You have commanded us
To keep Your precepts diligently.
Oh, that my ways were directed
To keep Your statutes!
Precepts are requirements, or commandments. Statutes were laws that had been inscribed; like the tablets which held the ten commandments. They are also laws that are upheld or enforced.
Make me understand the way of Your precepts;
So shall I meditate on Your wonderful works.
And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
For I have hoped in Your ordinances.
The Torah contained many examples of miracles performed by God and the extraordinary help that God did on behalf of the people. These are what is referred by verse twenty-seven where it says, “…Your wonderful works”. Ordinances in verse forty-three have the same meaning as testimonies; rules and standards of conduct required by God.
Seven times a day I praise You,
Because of Your righteous judgments.
My tongue shall speak of Your word,
For all Your commandments are righteousness
Judgments are decisions that God brought forth for His people to obey. We are all familiar with commandments, as we only have to think of the original ten commandments; God’s special orders by which people were to live. This would cover many more than just the familiar ten. Word refers to any words given by special revelation from God to man through Moses and the prophets.
Now go back and read those verses again. Notice the details. They mention being blessed for living a life that follows God, of seeking after Him and seeking to understand His ways. They talk of praising God for His righteous judgments and commandments. This is just as true for us today.
God’s word is living and powerful. Meant to guide us through this life. Meant to empower us to live victoriously. This chapter also speaks of the way a believer responds to God about His word. It touches his heart and soul so deeply that the psalmist begins to make declarations about how God’s word makes him feel and what it makes him want to do. These are the ‘I will____…’ statements. There are eleven different types; some mentioned more than once.
I will praise You with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments.
I will keep Your statutes;
Oh, do not forsake me utterly!
I will meditate on Your precepts,
And contemplate Your ways.
I will delight myself in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.
Look at what is being said. These verses are written by someone who is in love with God’s word. The psalmist loves to read and study it. He can give praise over what he reads. Do we? Are we just ‘doing our duty’ when we read? Do you read the words or do you meditate upon them? When was the last time you actually felt delight in God’s word? Hopefully not too long ago.
I will run the course of Your commandments,
For You shall enlarge my heart.
And I will walk at liberty,
For I seek Your precepts.
I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings,
And will not be ashamed.
My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments,
Which I love…
Psalm 119:45-46, 48a
Many people, Christians included, look at God’s laws, rules and such as binding, constricting; keeping us from enjoying life and having fun. But if we look here, we can see that we can walk in liberty. Obeying God’s rules free us. It frees us from the grip of sin; for if we are following God’s ways, sin will have less of a hold on us. It also gives us peace. The peace of knowing we are living our lives for God in the way He wants us to.
I am Yours, save me;
For I have sought Your precepts.
The wicked wait for me to destroy me,
But I will consider Your testimonies.
If we believe in the word of God, and follow what He asks of us, we need not worry about anything or anyone. All we have to do is have faith in what His word says and walk in His ways. If we believe in His son, Jesus Christ and what He did for us on the cross; sacrificing His life for ours by the shedding of His blood as the payment for our sins, raising up after three days buried, ascending back up to heaven, then we are truly free.
Until next time, God bless.
Photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/@candis-hidalgo-23771