G’day and welcome to Partake and our series “Scriptural Delights!” Here is our eleventh podcast of our series going through the wonder that is Psalm 119! Today we look at the ninth of its twenty-two letters, Teth and its verses 65 to 72.
65 Do good to your servant
according to your word, O LORD.
66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
for I believe in your commands.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I obey your word.
68 You are good, and what you do is good;
teach me your decrees.
69 Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies,
I keep your precepts with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,
but I delight in your law.
71 It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.
72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me
than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
Just like the previous section, the Psalmist starts again with a great acclamation! “Oh my Lord God! You have done good to your servant, according to your word”! Here David acclaims God for his faithfulness and for the consistency of God’s innate goodness! God’ has again kept his promises to His servant David and is faithful to him. From God’s promises, flow the benefits of serving the Living God! Then the servant David, asks the Great God to teach him knowledge and judgment, for without either David could not live rightly in accordance with God’s commandments and precepts. This is a King willing to be a servant of the Lord, with a teachable mind and a malleable spirit. So by the renewing of his mind and the gain of knowledge, David seeks to use this knowledge wisely and in good taste and judgement as he makes decisions – both private and public, personal and as king!
But from v67 we see that David had not always done so! He have gone astray from being obedient to God! Whether it was one incident or if he is relating himself to the natural rebelliousness against God that all people have, David now seeks to be fully obedient to God, in mind, heart and in service. His zealousness for God and God’s law is palpable. You can taste it as you read how David went from rebellion to obedience and submission to God’s ways and laws. Whatever David’s affliction was, it certainly had a curative affect on him. As he looked back on his life, David saw what God had done and how God had brought him through, teaching him and loving him. David could see that rebellion and insolence marked the historical Israel’s relationship with God and how God had taught and moulded them.
Verse 68 sees the servant David yet again pleading, begging and beseeching God to teach him! Teach me your decrees O great God! O Great God you are good and goodness is you! All that God does is good, the Psalmist cries, because goodness is part of the innate and essential character of God! He knows that God is good and good all the time! But knowing God is good, David doesn’t seek or pray for wealth, honours or privilege! By no means! David seeks and prays continually to be taught how to obey this great and awesome God who is worthy of being fully obeyed.
The Psalmist then compares his perjurers against God! The proud enemies of David have perjured against him, telling lies, spreading malicious talk and denigrating his character. Does David now wish to take revenge upon them? Nope! David desires once again with heartfelt yearning to learn from God and keeping his precepts and statutes in his heart. These opponents of his have hearts of impenetrable and unmovable stone. They have no feelings or sensitivity to the ways of God. All this could well discourage David: leaving him depressed, feeling defeated, battered, bruised and beaten. But again, no! The Spirit of God pierces David’s heart and he is shown to be malleable and teachable, willing to be obedient to this God he serves. David’s delight is not in seeking revenge, but in reading about God and his innate goodness and Law.
During his affliction, David may well have questioned God, and asked “Why me?” He may well have been feeling quite dissolute during the times. But now, after the event, he says that it was good because God chastised him! That was part of God’s method of teaching him, because God loved him. David knew that he was naturally obstinate against God. David now knew that obedience is better than sacrifice and that what God wanted from him, was his utter and total obedience. No amount of sacrifices could beat that! In this last verse, David again states that his primary desire is not for honour, riches or a vast inheritance or kingdom, but rather to listen to God speaking to him through the Word.
WOW! That is awesome isn’t it? God is good and good all the time! Good in who He is! Good in what He does! Good in what He does to teach us. Our response, as it was for the Psalmist, is to be totally obedient to this God of goodness. Yet, if we are honest, we have to say at least to ourselves, that sometimes we don’t feel or see this goodness of God. We all are naturally rebellious and disobedient against God. God demands our obedience and conformity to Him. Not as a means to salvation, because that could only ever be by His grace and mercy. We show we are His people, by being obedient to Him – which consists of loving Him and loving others. We are to love also getting to know Him, and have zealousness for the Bible and for prayer! Read about how God is good in your bible and pray to Him to teach you! He will! We are to be obedient by serving others and by doing so this reveals we are serving this Almighty God of goodness. Then we too, like the Psalmist, will be servant hearted, teachable, humble and obedient, shining as lights in darkness.