G’day and welcome to Partake and our series “Scriptural Delights!” Here is our tenth podcast of our series going through the wonder that is Psalm 119! Today we look at the eighth of its twenty-two letters, Heth and its verses 57 to 64.
57 You are my portion, O LORD;
I have promised to obey your words.
58 I have sought your face with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.
59 I have considered my ways
and have turned my steps to your statutes.
60 I will hasten and not delay
to obey your commands.
61 Though the wicked bind me with ropes,
I will not forget your law.
62 At midnight I rise to give you thanks
for your righteous laws.
63 I am a friend to all who fear you,
to all who follow your precepts.
64 The earth is filled with your love, O LORD;
teach me your decrees.
David starts off this segment with a bang! A great burst of exclamation of praise “You are my portion, O Lord!” Wow! Here David is lost in awe and wonder of the great God in whom he has put his trust and hope! This great God whom David desires to obey! This God is part of his treasure and David is enraptured! David could easily have turned to his vast wealth and resources for comfort. He could have plundered the great treasures of the ancient world. Yet that is not where his heart is – his heart is firmly set on the gift-giver, the Great God! So much so that he reaffirms yet again his promise to obey God’s every law, precept and command! Here is a man expressing total heartfelt devotion to the God who chose him and therefore seeks to serve Jehovah God!
God may have chosen David, but David still desires to develop the relationship with God! He seeks God’s face fervently, wholeheartedly and with great devotion. By seeking God’s face (verse 58), David is seeking to be in the very presence of the Living God, enfolded in the grace God. At the very core of God’s being is grace, love and mercy. And the Psalmist knows that God will give him grace, love and mercy, because God has promised that He will! And God always keeps his promises, his side of the deal!
As a response, in verse 59 & 60, David considers how he has been living disobediently and turns back to following and obeying the great God who is his portion, his all! That is repentance! He was stepping out of synch with God but turned himself around to the God of grace and made a conscious choice to obey God’s commands instead of going his own way. He chose the way of Life instead of the path that leads to destruction. It is a lifelong commitment David is making, not a half-hearted gesture. No! David is taking all the steps he can in order to be found fully obedient to God and God’s law!
David’s enemies and persecutors may try to bind him with ropes and try to ensnare him, yet he will not forget God and God’s words. Nothing deflects him from following God. Not being tied up by enemies who oppress and seek to restrict him, even kill him. The Psalmist knows they cannot match the God of grace whom he seeks! So when he had the opportunity, David arose at the midnight hour! Not in order to pray for deliverance but to give thanks! Giving thanks not that he may suffer for the sake of his God but more to thank the Lord for His righteous laws! God’s judgement will fall upon the wicked, the disobedient and unruly!
We know from the historical books of the Bible that David was a friend with all those who chose to obey God – those who feared the Lord. These were the truly wise people, because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom! It didn’t matter whether they were rich or poor – if they feared the Lord and obeyed Him, David would be with them and befriend them! This great King David befriending the obscure who feared the Lord they served together.
Whatever David had faced in his life, he knew that God had been there and loved him. Through exile, betrayal, war, peace, famine and prosperity – God has always shown His love to David. This assures David that the Lord truly is his portion! So enamoured is he with God he constantly seeks to be taught by this great God! Lord you are my portion, he started this section and he finishes with another exclamation of how the earth is filled with the glorious love of the LORD! Despite being a ruler, leader and King, David still acknowledges that he is also teachable in all areas of life!
How are you doing when faced with the daily problems? Where is the great God’s place for you? He desires most earnestly to be your full portion for every day. He calls you to seek His face. The great God, the Holy Spirit indwells you, to empower you, transform you and teach you how to live! You are to be constantly filled with the Spirit, not just as a one off experience. The main way is through the Bible! Read it, pray it and be eager to learn from it! Don’t be distracted by anything else but be found fully seeking God in all facets and aspects of life. When times of trouble come, just as they did to David, you will find that the Bible and the Holy Spirit’s inspiration will help you, give you succour and comfort, as the gracious God of mercy enfolds you in His loving arms of compassion. Seek Him! Desire to live rightly for Him! Show others you know Him, by doing good and showing this God of love to those around you who do not fear Him. Build friendships with those you know who love the Lord as you do – regardless of their social status or rank. May you also be found exclaiming that the Lord is your portion! Thank you.