Tuesday, June 11, 2024

2024.06.11 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 119:33–40

Read Psalm 119:33–40

Questions from the Scripture text: What does Psalm 119:33a ask YHWH to do to the psalmist? What does he wish to be taught? In order to do what with it (verse 33b)? What does Psalm 119:34a ask Him to do to him? In order to be able to do what? To what extent does he hope to keep it (verse 34b)? What does Psalm 119:35a ask Him to do to him? In what path? Why this one (Psalm 119:35b)? What does Psalm 119:36a ask Him to do to his heart? Incline it to what? To what would it be inclined otherwise (verse 36b)? What does Psalm 119:37a ask Him to do to his eyes? From what do his eyes need to be turned away? In order to give the psalmist life how (verse 37b)? What does Psalm 119:38a ask Him to do to His Word? Unto whom? How can this servant be identified (verse 38b)? What does Psalm 119:39a ask Him to do? What needs to be turned away? How does the psalmist feel about this reproach? Why would the Lord do this with his reproach (verse 39b)? How does Psalm 119:40a begin? At what is he asking the Lord to look? How is he asking the Lord to give him life?

How can sinners come to live righteously? Psalm 119:33–40 looks forward to the opening portion of morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these eight verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that sinners can only come to live righteously by being revived by sovereign grace.  

The Lord Who is in sovereign control. The lines of the fifth eight-verse stanza of this acrostic all begin with the letter that we would transliterate “H.” 

This is easy to do in the Hebrew language, because the causative verb stem (i.e., “cause [object] to [action]”) includes a prefix that begins with this letter. So, the first seven verses all begin with a causative verb, and Psalm 119:40 begins with the interjection that means “look!” 

The result is a stanza that is primarily pleading for the Lord to exercise His sovereign power over the psalmist, his circumstances, and even the Lord’s own words.

Sovereign grace for righteous livingPsalm 119:33-36. The first half of the stanza focuses especially upon keeping YHWH’s way (Psalm 119:33), observing His law (Psalm 119:34), walking in His commandments (Psalm 119:35). These are different ways of describing the same thing. 

The difficulty with coming to delight in His commandments (Psalm 119:35b) and give our whole heart to obeying them (Psalm 119:34b) is that, apart from sovereign grace, we are inclined exactly opposite. We need the Lord doesn’t give spiritual, moral understanding to our minds (Psalm 119:35a). And if He does not incline our hearts to His own testimonies, then our hearts will default to inclining toward covetousness! Apart from God’s sustaining, sanctifying grace, covetousness is what we will always revert to.

Sovereign grace for restored life, Psalm 119:37-40. The second half of the stanza is bookended with requests to be revived (Psalm 119:37Psalm 119:40)—to be brought back to life. In our flesh, we foolishly think that getting our way would be reviving, but it is God’s way that is reviving (Psalm 119:37b). 

In His righteousness, God revives us into His righteousness (Psalm 119:40b). It is His righteousness that turns our eyes away from worthless things (Psalm 119:37a) and makes us to long for His precepts instead. By His Word, He makes us to fear Him (Psalm 119:38), and by His good judgments, He turns away our reproach (Psalm 119:39). 

Left to ourselves, we are dead. But His Word is the means by which He revives us in righteousness. 

Revival and righteousness require sovereign grace. That is what He gives, and that is what He teaches us to pray for.

What do you default to, apart from grace? How is God’s rule over your heart a comfort to you? 

Sample prayer:  Lord, grant that Your Spirit would give us understanding to worship, in Your way, with our whole heart. Incline our hearts to delight in You and Your commandments, and turn our eyes away from worthless things unto You. Give us Your own life, through Christ, and satisfy our longing for You and Your precepts, we ask in His Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP119E “That I May Keep Your Statutes” or TPH119E “Teach Me, O LORD, Your Way of Truth”

No comments:

Post a Comment