I recognize my study of Psalm 119 may have been a grueling marathon for some, but I have been pleased to take time and mine the wonderful spiritual truths found in every verse of this chapter. I conclude my study of 14 principles and precepts of a spiritually victorious life by focusing on the final three precepts.
Psalm 119:140 Thy word [speech; commandment] is very [exceedingly; highly] pure [test; refine; tried by fire]: therefore thy servant [bond slave] loveth it [i.e. to have a strong emotional attachment; a desire to possess].
Notice the psalmist’s declaration that the Word of the LORD is not only pure, but also his affirmation, “thy servant loveth it” (119:140b). The twelfth precept of a thriving soul is he is Passionate: Finding refuge and peace in the LORD and His Word.
You can judge the character of a man by what he loves. Sinners love the pleasures and vanity of sin; however, the saints of God love the LORD, His Word, law and precepts. Declaring the incomparable purity of God’s Word, the psalmist’s love for the Word of the LORD is revealed in his declaration, “thy servant loveth it” (119:140b).
The writer of Hebrews defined the godly character of Moses when he writes he chose “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season…27 By faith he forsook Egypt” (Hebrews 11:25-27). Moses, the Hebrew son adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter, rejected the riches of Egypt because he had set his heart and affections on the LORD.
My friend, what do you love? Who or what is pre-eminent in your heart and affections?
The psalmist identifies our thirteenth precept in verse 141: Be humble – Put off bitterness and remember the LORD’s precepts. Humility is characteristic of the saints who love the word, laws, precepts and statutes of the LORD.
Trials and temptations remind us how weak we are apart from the LORD. Battling with feelings of insignificance and worthlessness, the psalmist affirmed his confidence in the LORD and declared he would not forget God’s precepts, commandments and laws.
The final precept we will note in our focus passage in Psalm 119 is found in verse 143. Be unwavering: Rejoicing in God’s everlasting commandments.
Psalm 119:143 Trouble [stress; enemy] and anguish [distress] have taken hold [caught; fallen] on me: yet thy commandments [Laws; precepts; ordinances] are my delights [joy; pleasure].
We are not told what or who was troubling the psalmist, but he felt entrapped by his circumstances [trouble and anguish]. Perhaps it was anxiety over the sinful choices of his loved ones. Maybe he felt oppressed by the threats of enemies. Perchance he was emotionally overwhelmed or physically ill. In spite of his circumstances and the troubles that had taken hold on his life, the psalmist declared, “thy commandments are my delights” (119:143). The words of the LORD had given light in the darkest hours and sweetened bitter times!
Psalm 119:137 Righteous [right; just; lawful] art thou, O LORD [Yahweh; Jehovah; Self existent, Eternal God], and upright [right; straight; just] are thy judgments [manner; ordinance; justice].
Oh that you and I would, like the psalmist, find peace and solstice in the words of the LORD!
Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith