Tuesday, May 21, 2024

2024.05.21 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 119:17–24

Read Psalm 119:17–24

Questions from the from the Scripture text: What does the psalmist call himself in Psalm 119:17a? How does he ask God to deal with him? Unto what end (verse 17b)? What does he need, in order to see what (Psalm 119:18)? What is his status on earth (Psalm 119:19)? So, what does he need revealed to him (verse 19)? What is the condition of his soul (Psalm 119:20a)? For what does he long so much (verse 20b)? What does the Lord do to whom (Psalm 119:21)? So that they are in what state? As they do what? But what does the psalmist ask the Lord to do to him (Psalm 119:22a)? In accordance with what (verse 22b)? How formidable are the psalmist’s enemies (Psalm 119:23a)? And what is his own status (verse 23b)? But Whose servant is he? And upon what does he meditate? What two additional roles do the Lord’s testimonies have in his life (Psalm 119:24)? 

What comfort does a believer have in his troubles? Psalm 119:17–24 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 believer’s great comfort is God Himself, especially by means of His Word.

God’s bounty for our obediencePsalm 119:17. Fleshly religion obeys in order to earn reward from its deity. But in the true religion, it is the bounteousness, the generosity, of God that even enables us to obey in the first place.

God’s grace for our understandingPsalm 119:18. The Word is more full of wonders than the world. But they are the sort of wonders to which sin more directly blinds us. While our eyes are still darkened, we cannot see them. A child with grace has more access to the wonders of Scripture than a PhD without it.

God’s instruction for our helpPsalm 119:19. As evidenced by this verse, the believer has been a stranger on the earth for much longer than since 1 Peter was written. It is by following God’s Word that we are able to operate with the whole world against us.

God’s judgments to satisfy our longingPsalm 119:20. O that we would so desire to know what God says about things that it felt like our souls would break with longing! How satisfying we would find Him in His Word! 

God’s mercies to remove our reproachPsalm 119:21-23. The proud of the world (Psalm 119:21), the princes of the world (Psalm 119:23), look down their noses at believers. They believe that they are the successful and powerful and intelligent and good ones. But Psalm 119:21 tells the reality of their situation: they are the cursed ones. They stray from the commandments of God; their days are numbered, and their end is destruction. It is better to be a servant of the Lord (Psalm 119:23b) than a prince who is against Him (verse 23a). For, to those to whom He gives to keep His testimonies, He will surely take away their reproach (Psalm 119:22). 

God’s testimonies to delight and counsel usPsalm 119:24. For those who have such a longing for God and His Word (Psalm 119:18Psalm 119:20), the things of this world just won’t do. God’s testimonies, however, are the godly one’s delight. I wonder, dear reader, are they your delight? 

And for believers who have no princes to support them (Psalm 119:23) because they are strangers in the earth (Psalm 119:19), God’s testimonies have a special role: they are the “men of my counsel” (Psalm 119:24b). It seems an odd thing to say about words, but they are living words of the living God. He is our great friend and counselor, and the testimonies of His Word are like a multitude of wise counselors, guiding us through life. 

How does God’s generosity relate to your obedience? To your understanding of the Word? How are the truths of His Word your delight? How are they your counselors?

Sample prayer:  Lord, deal bountifully with Your servants in this place. Make us to live and keep Your Word. Open our eyes, so that we may see wondrous things from Your law. We long for You and Your judgments. Your testimonies are our delight and our counselors. So, help us now, as we read Your Word, pray Your Word, sing Your Word, hear it preached, and have it confirmed to us in the Supper. Grant that by Your Spirit, we would draw near to You and reverence You through Your Son, in Whose Name we ask it, AMEN!

 Suggested songs: ARP119C “That I May Live and Keep Your Word” or TPH119B “Do Good to Me, and I Will Live”

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