Psalm 119:54-59 – “The Bible: Your Spiritual GPS”

spiritual compassI stated in the previous devotional based on Psalm 119:49-72 that the psalmist list twenty-four spiritual benefits derived from the diligent study of the Word of God.  I have so far enumerated the first five spiritual benefits:

1) The Word of the LORD gives hope (119:49); 2) The Word of the LORD comforts and revives (119:50); 3) The Law of the LORD encourages Perseverance (119:51); 4) The judgments of the LORD convict. (119:52); 5) The Law of the LORD incites an intolerance of sin (119:52).

As a reminder, the Word, Law, Judgments, Statutes, Precepts, Testimonies, and Commandments together describe the whole body of Scripture, the Word of God.  I invite you to consider six additional benefits derived from studying God’s Word.

6) The statutes of the LORD influence music and inspires songs.

Psalm 119:54  Thy statutes [ordinance; decree; law] have been my songs [psalms] in the house [household; temple] of my pilgrimage [sojourn; dwelling].music

The “statutes”, laws and ordinances of the LORD had inspired the songs employed in worshipping the LORD in His house.  It is instructive that the inspiration for music and song in the LORD’s house was the Laws and statutes of God.  It was the Word of God, not the culture, which was shaping music and song used in worship.  Sadly, the very definition of church music today, “Christian Contemporary Music” or CCM, is indicative of how far the church and believers have strayed from the Word and how much secular culture has infected our worship.

7) The Law of the LORD influences the mind [heart and attitudes] (119:55).

Many Christians struggle to sleep at night.  They toss and turn while racing thoughts, burdens and sorrows close in on their hearts and despair takes hold on their souls.  Let’s take a lesson from the psalmist and notice how he disciplined his heart and thoughts in the night.

namesPsalm 119:55  I have remembered [call to remembrance] thy name [i.e. character; honor or reputation], O LORD, in the night, and have kept [observed; watched; regarded] thy law [“Torah”; Ten Commandments or Pentateuch; instructions].

The psalmist meditated on the law of the LORD in the night.  He fixed his thoughts on the “name” of the Lord and meditated on His  character and attributes [example – God is loving, just, kind, gracious, merciful, forgiving, and faithful].  As a result, the psalmist’s meditations in the night had a direct bearing on his actions in the day [“and have kept thy Law”].

8) The precepts of the LORD influence manners (119:56).

Psalm 119:56  This I had [the joy of knowing he had kept God’s Law], because I kept [preserved; watched; guard] thy precepts [commandments; mandates; statutes].

Legalist!” no doubt would be the name hurled at the psalmist in our day; however, the “precepts”, the laws of the LORD and His commandments were a delight to the man of God.  Rather than a burden, guarding his heart and keeping the precepts of the LORD was his joy!

9) The Words of the LORD increases devotion to Him (119:57).

Psalm 119:57  Thou art my portion [allotment; inheritance], O LORD: I have said [answered; tell; boast; determined] that I would keep [preserved; watched; guard] thy words [commandment].

Having given his heart to the LORD, it was a small matter for the psalmist to obey God’s Word and keep His commandments.

10) The Word of the LORD schools in conduct, promising God’s favor and mercy (119:58).

Psalm 119:58  I intreated [beseeched] thy favour [face; presence] with my whole heart [mind; understanding]: be merciful [gracious; favorable] unto me according to thy word [speech; commandment].

Unlike lost sinners who reject God and adopt laws and standards to accommodate their sin and wickedness [i.e. Gay Marriage; Abortion];  the Word of God is the believer’s standard for life and conduct.  Knowing he was not worthy of God’s mercy (119:58a), the psalmist prayed to the Lord, “according to thy word” (119:58b).Bbile compas

11) The testimonies of the LORD are a Spiritual GPS for the soul (119:59).

Most of us are familiar with the use of a “Global Positioning System” (GPS) and recognize there are two essential details we need to utilize a GPS in our travels; one’s current location and secondly, one’s destination.  Notice the “testimonies” of the LORD served as the spiritual GPS for the psalmist.

Psalm 119:59  I thought [devised; imagined; accounted] on my ways [journey; road; path], and turned [turn back; turn away] my feet [walk; journey] unto thy testimonies [witness].

The psalmist employed three steps for assessing where he was and where he was going:  1) Deliberation“I thought all my ways” (119:59a);  2) Determination“and turned my feet” (119:59b); and  3) Discrimination“unto thy testimonies” (119:59b).

Youthful minds full of mush and lacking spiritual convictions often gravitate to the philosophies of men as void of wisdom as the souls of the men with whom they originate.  It was not the thoughts of men, nor the majority opinion of his peers that set the course of the psalmist’s life.  The “testimonies” of the LORD had convicted the psalmist and provoked him to repent and change the course of his life.

I close with a question:  What is the spiritual compass of your heart and soul?  If it is anything or anyone other than the Word of God, you are playing the fool with your life and eternity!

Jeremiah 17:9-10 – “I the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10  I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith