Read Psalm 119 C (v. 65-96)
65 Do good to your servant
according to your word, Lord.
66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
for I trust 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.
73 Your hands made me and formed me;
give me understanding to learn your commands.
74 May those who fear you rejoice when they see me,
for I have put my hope in your word.
75 I know, Lord, that your laws are righteous,
and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
76 May your unfailing love be my comfort,
according to your promise to your servant.
77 Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
for your law is my delight.
78 May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause;
but I will meditate on your precepts.
79 May those who fear you turn to me,
those who understand your statutes.
80 May I wholeheartedly follow your decrees,
that I may not be put to shame.
81 My soul faints with longing for your salvation,
but I have put my hope in your word.
82 My eyes fail, looking for your promise;
I say, “When will you comfort me?”
83 Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke,
I do not forget your decrees.
84 How long must your servant wait?
When will you punish my persecutors?
85 The arrogant dig pits to trap me,
contrary to your law.
86 All your commands are trustworthy;
help me, for I am being persecuted without cause.
87 They almost wiped me from the earth,
but I have not forsaken your precepts.
88 In your unfailing love preserve my life,
that I may obey the statutes of your mouth.
89 Your word, 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.
This week, we’re changing our rhythm. Normally we read one chapter a day, but this week we’re going to spread out this one chapter over the next six days. Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in all of Scripture, so squeezing it all into one day could make it hard to absorb. While we don’t know who wrote this psalm, we do know that it was written as a collection of thoughts and prayers largely focused on one main idea: God’s Word. Today, we’ll read verses 65-96. Thanks for reading along!
Although we don’t know the exact situation this psalmist was in, we know it was dire. In verse 87 and 92 the author references he was close to death because of the affliction he was facing. Even though he could possibly die at the hand of these afflictions, he declares in both verses “…I have not forsaken your precepts.” The author of this Psalm is so devoted to the word of God even the threat of death would not cause him to ignore its wisdom and promise.
The Good News Translation of verse 82 says, “My eyes have become strained from looking for your promise.” Our current culture understands eye strain. Digital eye strain is a very real condition that we have all likely experienced as a result of working too long at a computer or scrolling too long on a phone. We are familiar with the blurred vision, dry eyes, or even headaches we’ve had after staring at a backlit screen for too long. But how many of us have experienced these symptoms as a result of searching diligently for promises in God’s word?
It’s the diligence of the Psalmist in not only searching for these promises, but also in believing that they will keep him afloat amidst the tumultuous battles he is facing. In these 32 verses of Psalm 119, we are given the picture of a person who is fragile and weak but:
- “but now I keep your word.” (v. 67)
- “but with my whole heart, I keep your precepts.” (v. 69)
- “but I delight in your law.” (v. 70)
- “but I have not forsaken your precepts” (v. 87)
The author is modeling 2 Corinthians 4:8-10. He is “afflicted in every way, but not cursed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” May we follow the example of this psalmist, and be a people of faith whose eyes are strained from reading and believing the promises of God’s word and whose eyes are fixed on Jesus, even amidst the battles we face.
- When you are faced with affliction, what is your initial response?
- Psalm 119:17 says “The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” Would you say that you highly value God’s word? Why or why not?
- Re-read Psalm 119: 89-96 and spend some time thanking God for the unchanging nature of his word.
Psalm 119: 89 says “Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.” In a time when things tend to be ever changing and never settled, be encouraged, by Charles Spurgeon’s thoughts on this verse:
“After tossing about on a sea of trouble the Psalmist here leaps to shore and stands upon a rock. Jehovah’s word is not fickle nor uncertain; it is settled, determined, fixed, sure, immovable. Man’s teachings change so often that there is never time for them to be settled; but the Lord’s word is from old, the same, and will remain unchanged eternally.”
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