Daily Family Worship

Psalm 119: 153-160: Love for the Lord’s Word

by | Jun 28, 2024

psalm 119: 153-160

In this portion of the Psalm, David seems to draw still nearer to God in prayer. He seems to state his case and invoke Divine help with even more boldness and expectation than he has shown hitherto. This octave is a pleading passage, and its keyword is consider. With much boldness, the Psalmist pleads his close relationship with the Lord’s cause as a reason why he should be aided. The special aid that he seeks is personal quickening or revival, for which he cries to the Lord again and again.

“Consider mine affliction,” he prays; “and deliver me!” (verse 153) The writer has a good case, although it is a grievous one; and he is ready – and even anxious – to submit it to the Divine arbitration. His matters are right, and he is ready to lay them before the Heavenly Supreme Court. His manner is that of one who feels safe before the throne of grace. Yet there is no impatience; he does not ask for hasty action, but for consideration. It is as if he cries out, “Look into my grief, and see whether I do not need to be delivered! From my sorrowful condition, judge as to the proper method and time for my rescue.” He desires two things, and these two things are blended. First, he asks for a full consideration of his sorrow; second, he prays for deliverance; and then he desires that this deliverance should come with a consideration of his affliction. It should be the longing of every believer who is in adversity that the Lord would look upon his need, and relieve it in such a way as would be most for the Divine glory and his own benefit. David’s prayer is eminently practical, for he seeks to be delivered – that is, brought out of his trouble, and preserved from sustaining any serious damage by it.

“I do not forget thy law.” The Psalmist’s affliction was not sufficient, even with all its bitterness, to drive out of his mind the memory of God’s Law; nor could it lead him to act contrary to the Divine command. He forgot prosperity, but he did not forget obedience. If we are kept faithful to the Lord’s Law, we may be sure that He will remain faithful to His promises. He will not long leave that person in trouble, whose only fear in their trouble is that they may end up yielding to the temptation to leave the way of righteousness.

“Plead my cause, and deliver me,” David continues (verse 154). In verse 153, he had prayed, “Deliver me”; and here he specifies one method in which that deliverance might be given – namely, by the advocacy of his cause. In Providence, the Lord has many ways of clearing slandered persons of the accusations which are brought against them. He can make it manifest to all that they have been belied; and in this way, He can practically plead their cause. He can, moreover, raise up friends for the Godly – friends who will leave no stone unturned until their characters are cleared. Or he can smite their enemies with such fearfulness of heart that they will be forced to confess their falsehood, and thus the righteous will be delivered without the striking of a single blow. When we feel ourselves speechless before the foe, here is a prayer that is ready for us to take upon our lips! What a comfort is the assurance that if we sin, we have an Advocate; and that if we do not sin in specific situations, the same Pleader is engaged on our side!

“Quicken me!” (verse 154) We had this prayer in the last section, and we shall have it again and again in this one as well. Truly, it is a desire which cannot be too often felt and expressed! The soul is the center of our being; therefore, to be quickened in our souls is the central blessing. To be “quickened” means to become the recipient of more love, more grace, more faith, more courage, and more strength; and if we get these, we can hold up our heads before our adversaries! God alone can give this quickening; but to the Lord and Giver of life and breath itself, the work is easy enough – and He delights to perform it.

David prays that he may be quickened “according to thy word” (verse 154). He had found a blessing among the promises of God, which taught him that tried believers would be quickened and brought up again from the dust of the earth. Therefore, he pleads the promise, and desires the Lord to act to him according to His Word. What a mighty plea is this – “according to thy word!” No gun in all our arsenals can match it!

The sweet singer finishes up this section (verse 160) in the same way as he concluded the last octave – namely, by dwelling upon the sureness of the truth of God. It will be good for the reader to note the likeness between verses 144, 152, and 160. “Thy word is true,” David declares. No matter what the transgressors may say, God is still true; and His Word is true also. The ungodly are false, and they charge us with being false; but God’s Word is true, and our solace is that His true Word will clear us. His Word has been true from the first moment in which it was spoken – “from the beginning” – and it has been true throughout the entirety of history. It has been true to us from the moment in which we believed it; in fact, it was true to us before we were true to it! Experience had taught David this lesson, and experience is teaching us the same. The Scriptures are as true in Genesis as in Revelation, and the five books of Moses are just as inspired as the four Gospels. That which the Lord has decided remains irreversible in every case. There is not one single mistake either in the Word of God or in the Providential dealings of God. All of His judgments, decrees, commands, and purposes are righteous; and every single one of them will outlive the stars. “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” God’s justice endures forever, and this is a cheering thought; but there is a much sweeter one, which was the song of the priests in the Temple! Let it be our song as well: “His mercy endureth for ever!”

Lord, we praise You for the assurance that Your judgments, decrees, commands, and purposes are righteous; and that every single one of them will outlive the stars! Amen.

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