Daily Family Worship

Psalm 119: 137-144: Love for the Lord’s Word

by | Jun 27, 2024

Psalm 119: 137-144

This particular group of eight verses deals with the perfect righteousness of Jehovah and His Word, and it expresses the struggles of a holy soul in reference to that righteousness. As for the initial letter (in the original language) with which every verse in this section begins, it sounds like the Hebrew word for righteousness – which is very fitting indeed, for our keynote in this section is righteousness.

“Righteous art thou, O Lord!” (verse 137) The Psalmist has not often used the name of Jehovah in this lengthy composition. The whole Psalm shows him to have been a deeply religious man, who was thoroughly familiar with the things of God; and such persons never use the holy name of the Lord carelessly, as the thoughtless and the ungodly do. Familiarity begets reverence – and not contempt – in this case. But here, in the opening verse of this octave, David does use the sacred name in worship. He praises God by ascribing perfect righteousness to Him. The Lord is always right, and He is always actively right – that is, righteous. This quality is bound up in our very idea of God! We cannot imagine an unrighteous God.

“Upright are thy judgments.” Here David extols God’s Word – that is, His recorded judgments – as being right, just as their Author is righteous. That which comes from the righteous God is itself righteous. Jehovah says and does that which is right, and nothing else. This is a great support to the soul in times of trouble. When we are most sorely afflicted, and when we cannot see the reason for the trial, we may fall back upon this most sure and certain fact: God is righteous, and His dealings with us are also righteous. It should be our glory to sing this brave confession when all things around us appear to suggest the contrary. The richest adoration is this kind which rises from the lips of faith, when carnal reason speaks of undue severity.

“Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful” (verse 138). Everything that God has testified in His Word is right and truthful. It is righteous, and it may be relied upon for the present; it is faithful, and it may be trusted in for the future. Every portion of the inspired testimonies is surrounded by Divine authority. They are issued and published by God’s command, and they bear the impress of the royal style which carries Omnipotence about it. Not only the precepts, but also the promises are commanded by the Lord; and so are all the teachings of Scripture. It is not left to our choice whether we will accept them or not; they are issued by royal command, and they are not to be questioned. Their characteristic is that they are like the Lord Who has proclaimed them; they are the essence of justice and the soul of truth. God’s Word is righteous, and it cannot be impeached; it is faithful, and it cannot be questioned; it is true from the beginning, and it will be true unto the very end!

Take a moment to dwell upon that sweet word – “very faithful!” What a mercy it is that our God is scrupulously faithful! He is true to all the items and details of His promises; He is punctual to time, and steadfast during all time. Therefore, we may be very comfortable risking all upon a Word which is “ever faithful, ever sure!”

“Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,” the Psalmist says, in verse 142. In a previous verse, he ascribed righteousness to God; and now he goes on to declare that this righteousness is unchanging, and endures from age to age. This is the joy and the glory of the saints! What the Lord is, He always will be; and His mode of procedure toward the sons and daughters of men is immutable. He has kept His promises and dealt out justice among His people; and He will continue to do so, world without end! Both the righteousness and the unrighteousness of man come to an end, but the righteousness of God never terminates.

“Thy law is the truth” (verse 142). Just as God is love; so also, His law is the truth – the very essence of truth. We continually hear great disputes over that timeless question which Pontius Pilate once verbalized: “What is truth?” But the Holy Scriptures are the only answer to that question! Not only are they true, but they are the very truth itself! We may not say of them that they contain the truth, but that they are the truth. There is nothing false about the law or precepts of Scripture. Those who are obedient thereto shall find that they are walking in a way which is consistent with fact, while those who act contrary thereto are walking in a vain show.

Lord, we will imitate the Psalmist in the opening verse of this octave, and use Your sacred name in worship! We praise You for Your perfect and unchanging righteousness and faithfulness! Amen.

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