The Longest Chapter – Part 6 Feb. 16, 2016

It’s Tuesday again.  Are the weeks flying by or is it just me?

119b

Open your Bibles to Psalm 119.  We begin today at verse 41:

Lord, give me your unfailing love, the salvation that You promised me.

Then I can answer those who taunt me, for I trust in Your word.

Do not snatch your word of truth from me, for your regulations are my only hope.

I will keep on obeying Your instructions forever and ever.

I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to Your commandments.

I will speak to kings about Your laws, and I will not be ashamed.

How I delight in Your commands! How I love them!

I honor and love Your commands. I meditate on Your decrees.

‘Unfailing love’.  Do you know what that means?  God has in fact given us His unfailing love.  He says so in His word.  Unfailing love means that no matter how many things You do to make God not love you, none of them is strong enough to overcome His ‘unfailing love.’  Isn’t that amazing? Doesn’t it make you want to stop and give Him praise for His great goodness?  OK – pause and do that……….

It appears that as much as we revere King David, in his lifetime there were some who taunted him, insulted him, harassed him.  We remember his wife, Michal, who scorned David’s exuberant worship of the Holy One of Israel.  There were other critics as well.

Who hasn’t experienced painful moments of being teased, embarrassed, humiliated by others?  David’s response was to turn to God’s Word.

I find this particularly meaningful at present.  I live in Israel.  Just a few miles away, a vicious war is raging in Syria and Iraq and large numbers of men, women and children are being killed – brutally killed – not because they are part of an opposing army, but simply because they believe in God and refuse to deny their faith.  Yet, out of this horror we are hearing the most amazing testimonials of persecuted Christians who are declaring the goodness of God and holding fast to His Word.  The same was true of Jews in Spain who were martyred during the Inquisition rather than renounce their faith in the Holy One of Israel.  How do such people stand strong in the face of barbaric brutality?  From what we hear, it’s because of their uncompromising devotion to, and trust in, God and His Word.

I will walk in freedom, the psalmist writes, for I have devoted myself to Your commandments. 

We discussed freedom a couple of weeks ago – freedom ‘from’ and freedom ‘to’.  Remember that?  Like a good teacher who knows the value of repetition to instill a lesson, the psalmist returns to that very same concept as if to say, “Did you get it the first time?

Are you convinced that true freedom is found in walking according to God’s ways?

Are you meditating on His decrees, like I do?

Do you love His commandments? Do you honor Him by obeying them joyfully?

Are you ‘devoted’ to His commandments or do you obey grudgingly?

These are the questions this week’s section of Psalm 119 poses to us.

Is it any wonder that God said of David: He’s a man after my own heart.  What an amazing accolade.  Oh, to be a man or a woman of whom God could say the same thing!  Let us strive for that lofty goal.  It’s worth the effort.

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And do leave a comment below!  It’s a pleasure to hear from you.

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