G’day and welcome to Partake and our series “Scriptural Delights!” Here is our foureenth podcast of our series going through the wonder that is Psalm 119! Today we look at the twelfth of its twenty-two letters, Lamedh and its verses 89 to 96.
89 Your word, O LORD, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you established the earth, and it endures.
91 Your laws endure to this day,
for all things serve you.
92 If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have preserved my life.
94 Save me, for I am yours;
I have sought out your precepts.
95 The wicked are waiting to destroy me,
but I will ponder your statutes.
96 To all perfection I see a limit;
but your commands are boundless.
Thank you for reading, Sandy! From languishing in the pit of despair in the previous section, the Psalmist here starts with a bang – “Your word, O Lord, is eternal, it stands firm in the heavens” WOW! While in the pit, he was being tossed and turned like a small boat on a stormy sea! Now he has focussed on a steady rock – God’s word! It is ordered, steadfast, secure and timeless! In his times of trouble, he turns his attention from himself and his troubles to something much more certain – the Lord and his promises, judgements, orders, decrees, laws and statutes. God’s promises are so certain, assured, and secure that the Psalmist places his whole hope in them! Secure in the Psalmist’s mind and heart is the knowledge that God will rescue him as promised!
He goes on in the next verse to continue the WOW factor! The Psalmist knows that God’s faithfulness is unchangeable, timeless and persevering! Look here at the correlation between God’s word and God’s work! Just as He is faithful throughout time to all generations, so He created the whole world at a single command, and it too endures! Just as the earth endures having been established by God’s powerful words, so too do God’s laws endure with precision. God’s word sustains all of creation and all things made are to serve almighty God. For the Psalmist this signifies that serving God means to obey God and live a life of service to God. The Psalmist learns to obey, by studying what God has instructed and learning from the lessons of the past from his ancestors and ancient Israel.
This same word preserves the Psalmist. It is his utter delight. It is his succour, help and source of joy! Cogitating upon and remembering God’s law is his way of being sustained. For without it, the Psalmist would be dust at the bottom of the pit – extinguished, lifeless, maligned and afflicted. The Psalmist, David, lifts his mind to heaven and sees the consistency and constancy of God’s dwelling place! There is his only hope, and that hope was found in God alone through God’s word because unlike him, God is not perishable! He reflects on how God’s truths, precepts and instructions have been a source of comfort, joy and encouragement to him to keep going! Without them, he would have just given up and let his persecutors malign him further.
Because of this hope, the Psalmist reaches out to God to save him, because he knows that only God can rescue him! He reaches out to God through God’s own precepts, law and word! The Psalmist’s salvation can only come from God and he acknowledges that God is his only hope as discovered through God’s teachings and through the knowledge of how God handled the Psalmist’s ancestors.
While his persecutors wait for him, laying traps to ensnare and take his life, the Psalmist is taking comfort through what he knows about God through the word. He ponders them, recalls them, brings to mind the promised made by God and the righteous laws given so that he can live a right life for God. David doesn’t worry what mere humans can do to him! No! He gets stuck in to getting to know God better and strengthening his relationship with God! That is what matters to him – being close to God, studying God and becoming closer to God through pondering God’s word and God’s decrees.
Then finally, the Psalmist concludes that all is meaningless and limited apart from God and God’s utterances. God’s commandments and laws bring freedom and hope! While all things visible have a degree of perfection, they are also temporary, unstable and narrow. Through the trials of life, the only hope that sustained him was God’s ways and God’s word. Its perfection is its glory! By acknowledging that he falls far short of God’s holiness and glory, does he continue in the knowledge that his salvation can only come from God. Its not his own perfection he seeks as a means to being rescued, but to God’s perfection! Not his own strength but God’s strength to save!
How are you doing and what do you do when the trials of life hit you with a bang? Do you go into your shell and take pity on yourself? Do you think God doesn’t care about you and your situation? Its all very well saying you are on God’s side when things are going well, but life here on earth just isn’t like that! That is not reality! Reality is that God wants to help you, He has promised to help you, promised to sustain you and promised to be in relationship with you! Are you worrying and burdened? Then tell God about them, and cast your burdens upon Jesus and let him take the load! Are you serving God and God’s people and yet feeling weak? Pray and ask God to empower you with the Holy Spirit, so that you do things using His inexhaustible energy and indefatigable power! Where does your help come from? It comes from God and from pondering what He has said in the Bible, helping to build your relationship with Him!