Friday, May 20, 2011

Psalm 119:161-168

Princes persecute me without cause. 
~ Ps. 119:161 
Have you ever been persecuted without cause?  Treated unjustly by someone you know - or worse, someone you trusted?  David is recounting a time when he was persecuted by his peers, but those in ruling authority.  As Spurgeon notes, "Such persons ought to have known better; they should have had sympathy with one of their own rank. A man expects a fair trial at the hand of his peers."  

 Matthew Henry shares this mindset in his commentary:
The case is the worse if princes be the persecutors, for they have not only the sword in their hand, but they have the law on their side . . . it is sad that the power which magistrates have from God and should use for Him should ever be employed against Him. 
It appears that the accusations brought against David are false and unfounded:
 I hate and abhor lying,
but I love Your law.
~ Ps. 119:163

  Love and hatred are the leading affections of the soul - if these be fixed aright, the rest move accordingly.  Verse 163 clearly indicates they are fixed aright in David - he had a rooted antipathy to sin, and a rooted affection to the word of God.  ~ Henry

I rejoice at Your word
As one who find great treasure.
~ Ps. 119:162

Great peace have those who love Your law,
and nothing causes them to stumble.
~ Ps. 119:165

I'm a "child of the 60's."  A new pop culture arose, and the "flower power - peace out, man!" generation swept the nation!  Flower power, hallucinogenic drugs, "free love," Woodstock, and phrases like "make love, not war!" were hip . . . and the young generation were bell-bottom, hip-hugger wearing, authority-shirking, long-haired hippies outspoken against the Vietnam war and all out searching for "peace."   How much more of a guided direction that generation might have had if they had sought peace like David . . . through God's law!
Matthew Henry likens verse 165 to this Latin phrase:
sat lucis intus - abundance of internal light
Men who are governed by a principle of love to the word of God are "easy," they may be in great troubles without, and yet great peace within.  They will make the best of that which is, and not quarrel with anything that God does.
Doesn't that sound like what you want your life to look like - even if there are great troubles without, you have great peace within!  Nothing knocks your feet out from under you - your footing is sure in spite of your circumstances!  How do we get this abundance of internal light?  David shows us in these stanzas:
  • Stand in awe of God's word in our hearts
  • Treasure His word
  • Love His Law
  • Keep His testimonies
  • God's word is awesome
  • God's word is valued as a great treasure
  • Love of God's word brings great peace
  • God's judgments are righteous
  • I praise the Lord for the treasure of His word 
  • I praise the Lord that I can have internal peace in my heart & soul in spite of my circumstances - by loving His word and hiding it in my heart
 PRAYER: by Ruth Myers:
     I glorify You for the Bible - that wonderful, written revelation of You and Your plan.  As snow and rain fall from the skies to meet our needs, so You have condensed Your thoughts - which are vastly higher than all human thoughts - into written-down form.  I'm so grateful that You cared enough to communicate with us in this clear, unchanging, always-accessible way, so that Your thoughts are now available at all times to refresh and nourish and teach me  . . . and that You are still a communicating God, speaking these words to me as I am attentive to You, as I read and meditate with a listening heart.  What a privilege it is to store Your Word in my heart, where You can use it any any moment to bless me and guide me . . . to keep me from sinning against You . . . and to be a storehouse of inspired words that the Spirit can bring to my mind to help others.
     Thank You that in Your Word I can see Your face and hear Your voice.  I can discover Your will and Your patterns for living and serving.  I can develop deeper faith and  confidence.  Thank You that the Holy Spirit inspired Your Word and uses it to enlighten and guide me, and to change me more and more into Your image, form one degree of glory to another.  Amen and amen!


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