Tuesday, May 07, 2024

2024.05.07 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 119:1–8

Questions from the from the Scripture text: Who are happy (Psalm 119:1a)? In what path do they walk blamelessly (verse 1b)? What do they keep (Psalm 119:2a)? What (Whom!) do they seek (verse 2b)? In what manner? What don’t they do (Psalm 119:3a)? In what do they walk (verse 3b)? What has the Lord commanded (Psalm 119:4)? What does the psalmist desire about his own will and character (Psalm 119:5)? Unto what end (Psalm 119:6)? What will he do to the Lord (Psalm 119:7a)? In what manner? As a response to what (verse 7b)? What does he aim to do (Psalm 119:8a)? What does he ask in verse 8b?
As we come to hear about the delight in the law of the Lord, what does the first stanza of this great Psalm emphasize? Psalm 119:1–8 prepares us for the opening portion of public worship on the Lord’s Day. In these eight verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that the first stanza of this great Psalm emphasizes to us that God’s Word is God’s own Word.

“Blessed,” literally “Happy!” is the first word of this Psalm, and appropriately so. Here is a thorough display of that “delight in the law of YHWH” of Psalm 1:2. And why is that man so blessed? Because of Whose law it is.
  • It is YHWH’s law, Psalm 119:1b. So their way is the path for walking blameless, verse 1a.
  • They are YHWH’s testimonies, Psalm 119:2a. So keeping them is essential to seeking Him with the whole heart, verse 2b.
  • They are YHWH’s ways, Psalm 119:3b. So iniquity is evaded by walking in them, verse 3a.
  • They are YHWH’s precepts, Psalm 119:4b. So they must be kept diligently, verse 4a.
  • They are YHWH’s statutes, Psalm 119:5b. So they are a sure guide to direct our way (verse 5a), like perfect GPS for living.
  • They are YHWH’s commandments, Psalm 119:6b. So, we especially do not want them to condemn us (verse 6a). 
  • They are YHWH’s judgments, Psalm 119:7b. So, they are cause for praising Him.
If we are to keep them all, unto our happiness, then it must be by the Lord’s favor, Psalm 119:8.

This Psalm is an acrostic, an A to Z (aleph to tav) of the goodness of God in His Word. Eight verses for each letter extol the virtues of His Word. This is enhanced by the frequent use of eight synonyms for His Word (only “Word” and “promise” are missing from this opening stanza). But the main point of this stanza is not what the Word is, or even how useful it is (although that is certainly here), but rather Whose it is. This is why the Word is so profitable. Because it is His!

Dear reader, do not just keep His Word diligently; keep it personally. And don’t just keep His Word; praise Him for it!
What does it look like for you to take the Scripture personally and to interact with the Lord personally in it? In your private worship? In your family worship? In the public worship? What does it look/feel like to praise Him for it?
Sample prayer:  Lord, we praise You for how happy You make Your people. Truly, by Your mercy and Your power, we are directed, protected, and gladdened. So make us to be Happy in You, not only keeping Your Word diligently but praising You for it. We have come to seek You. Grant that, by Your Spirit, we would indeed seek You with all our heart. Do not forsake us, but grant that our ways would be directed to keep Your statutes, we ask through Christ, AMEN!

 Suggested songs: ARP119A “How Blessed Are Those above Reproach” or TPH119A “How Blessed Are Those”

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