Tuesday, May 14, 2024

2024.05.14 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 119:9–16

Read Psalm 119:9–16

Questions from the from the Scripture text: About whom does Psalm 119:9a ask a question? What does it ask about him? What must he do (verse 9b)? According to what? What has the psalmist done, with what (Psalm 119:10a)? But Whose help must he have in order not to do what (verse 10b)? What has he hidden (Psalm 119:11a)? Where? To what end (verse 11b)? What sort of prayer is Psalm 119:12a? For what does he ask in verse 12b? What has he used to do what (Psalm 119:13)? In what has he rejoiced (Psalm 119:14a)? How much (verse 14b)? What will he do with the Lord’s precepts (Psalm 119:15a)? And what with His ways (verse 15b)? What will he do with the Lord’s statutes (Psalm 119:16a)? What won’t he do with the Lord’s Word (verse 16b)?

What can cleanse a sinner from sinning? Psalm 119:9–16 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 only God Himself cleanses sinners from sinning, which He has appointed to do via His Word as the means of His grace.

Overcoming original sin. A believer desires nothing more than to honor and obey his Lord, but he has a tremendous problem: that which is in him from his original nature must be cleansed (Psalm 119:9b). He goes astray easily from the Lord’s commandments (Psalm 119:10b), sinning against Him (Psalm 119:11b). Unto this end, our Lord has given us His Word (Psalm 119:9b, Psalm 119:11a, Psalm 119:16b), commandments (Psalm 119:10b), statutes (Psalm 119:12b, Psalm 119:16a), judgments (Psalm 119:13b), testimonies (Psalm 119:14a), precepts (Psalm 119:15a), and ways (verse 15b). Nearly all of the synonyms for God’s verbal revelation appear in this section. What must we do with His Word?

Take heedPsalm 119:9b. The Word is not merely to be heard or remembered but kept. Be not hearers only, but doers (cf. Matthew 7:24–27; James 1:22–25).

Seek the God of the WordPsalm 119:10Psalm 119:12. Beyond even learning and doing the Word, one must seek the Lord Himself by it (Psalm 119:10a). For it is He, by His grace, Who alone can keep us from going astray (verse 10b). He is the blessed God, Who instructs and trains us (Psalm 119:12).

Hide it in your heartPsalm 119:11. This is more than just memorization. It is the installation of the Word as the controlling factor in one’s thinking, feeling, and desiring. 

Meditate upon itPsalm 119:13Psalm 119:15. The “declaring” in Psalm 119:13 is recounting. It is closely related to the word “meditate” in Psalm 119:15a, which is fundamentally to recount/mutter God’s Word to oneself. verse 15b rounds out the description with “contemplate,” a visual word meaning to look all across. God’s Word is a communication of Himself to us, and He gives us contemplation of it as a means of communion with Him.

Delight in itPsalm 119:14Psalm 119:16. If the Word is indeed God’s communication of Himself, taking proper heed of it means more than just meditating upon it and doing it. He is worthy of praise and delight, adoration and rejoicing. And if we delight in Him, then surely we ought to delight in His Word. It ought to be our special pleasure to enjoy it and Him.

Why do you need help not to sin? Into what particular sins are you most tempted to wander? What (Who!) can protect and spare you from this? How has He appointed to do so? How does your thought life, when you are going about your business, reflect that the Word is hidden in your heart? At what times, especially, is it your habit to meditate upon Scripture? What sense do you have of taking joy in this?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we have come now to seek You in Your worship, by Your Word. Grant that Your Spirit would make us to seek You with our whole heart. Give us joy in Your testimonies as much as in all riches. Make us to delight in Your statues. As we come to bless Your Name and be taught Your statutes, give us to remember and heed Your Word, so that it would be hidden in our heart and shape our thoughts, feelings, and choices. Thus, be glorified in our worship, as You do us good by Your Word, we ask through Christ, AMEN!

 Suggested songs: ARP119B “How Can a Young Man Cleanse His Way?” or TPH119B “How Shall the Young Direct Their Way?”

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