Daily Family Worship

Psalm 119: 33-40: Love for the Lord’s Word

by | Jun 23, 2024

psalm 119: 33-40

A sense of dependence and a consciousness of extreme need pervade this section of the Psalm, which is entirely made up of prayer and pleading. The last octave of verses (25-32) trembled with a sense of sin, and quivered with a childlike sense of weakness and folly; and this caused the man of God to cry out here, in this portion, for the only help by which his soul could be preserved from falling back into sin.

“Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes!” Yes, these are child-like and blessed words; and yet they are coming from the lips of an experienced believer who is a king, and a man inspired by God. Alas for those who stubbornly refuse to be taught! They dote upon their own supposed wisdom, but their folly is apparent to all who rightly judge. See how the Psalmist desires the Lord to be his Teacher, for He feels that his heart will not learn from any less effectual instructor. What condescension it is on our great Jehovah’s part, that He deigns to teach those mortal humans who seek Him! The lesson which the Psalmist desires is thoroughly practical; the holy man wished to not only learn the statutes of the Lord, but also “the way” of them, and the daily use of them. He wanted to know that path of holiness which is hedged in by Divine Law – along which, the commands of the Lord stand as signposts of direction and milestones of information, which guide and mark our progress. The very desire to learn “the way of thy statutes” is, in itself, an assurance that we shall be taught therein; for He Who made us long to learn will be sure to gratify the desire!

“And I shall keep it unto the end.” Those who are taught by God never forget their lessons. When Divine grace sets a man in the true way, he will be true to it. Mere human wit and will have no such enduring influence; there is an end to all perfection of the flesh, but there is no end to heavenly grace – except its own end, which is the perfecting of holiness in the fear of the Lord. Perseverance to the end is most certainly to be predicted concerning those whose beginning is in God, with God, and by God; but those who commence without the Lord’s teaching soon forget what they learn, and turn aside from the way upon which they profess to have entered. No one may boast that he will hold on his way in his own strength, for that must depend upon the continual teaching of the Lord alone. We shall fall like Peter, if we presume upon our own firmness – just as he did. If God keeps us, we shall keep His way; and it is a great comfort to know that He does keep the feet of His saints! Earnestly, then, let us drink in Divine instruction, so that we may hold fast our integrity, and so that we may follow on in the path of uprightness, to life’s last hour! If we receive the living and incorruptible seed of the Word of God, we shall live; but apart from this, we have no eternal life.

“Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end!” “The end” of which David here speaks is either the end of life, or the fullness of obedience. He trusted in grace to make him faithful to the utmost; he never drew a line and said to Obedience, “Hitherto shalt thou go, but no further.” The end of our obedience to the Word of the Lord will only come when we cease to breathe; no child of God will think of marking a date and saying, “It is enough; I may now relax my watch, and live after the manner of the worldly heathen.” Just as Christ loves us to the end, so also must we serve Him to the end! The purpose of Divine teaching is to cause us to persevere “unto the end. The portions of eight verses still show a relationship between each group. The “Gimel” section begins with prayer for life, so that the Psalmist may keep the Word (verse 17); “Daleth” cries for more life, according to that Word (verse 25); and now this portion opens with a prayer for teaching, so that the Psalmist may keep the way of God’s statutes.

Lord, we repent of times when we have foolishly doted upon our own supposed wisdom, and refused to be taught by You. Thank You for loving us to the end! Give us grace so that we may reciprocate that love and serve You to the end! Amen.

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