Psalm 119:17-24Amplified Bible
Deal bountifully with Your servant,
That I may live and keep Your word [treasuring it and being guided by it day by day].
Open my eyes [to spiritual truth] so that I may behold
Wonderful things from Your law.
I am a stranger on the earth;
Do not hide Your commandments from me.
My soul is crushed with longing
For Your ordinances at all times.
You rebuke the presumptuous and arrogant, the cursed ones,
Who wander from Your commandments.
Take reproach and contempt away from me,
For I observe Your testimonies.
Even though princes sit and talk to one another against me,
Your servant meditates on Your statutes.
Your testimonies also are my delight
And my counselors.
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
“Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose!”
Let’s face it! As Christians, we are beginning to feel more and more like strangers in enemy occupied territory.
However, “With God on our side, how can we lose?”
It feels like we are strangers because, with the world coming into our living rooms via television, we witness the radical treatment Christians are being subjected to in anti-Christian parts of the world, and in our own country we are increasingly told we must exclude Christ from public display and conversation.
Whereas our devotion to the Word of God has always been an identifying mark of God’s servants, such devotion nowadays risks alienating and dividing us too.
Thus, we can understand why we could say what the psalmist said many years ago – “I am a stranger on earth” (119:19a). God’s servant felt it then. We feel it today. We are all pilgrims passing through, but, with a message and a mission.
Our message is God’s Word. Our mission is Be true to God’s Word – with an openness to learning it and living it, and with the courage to profess it, practice it, and proclaim it in the face of opposition.
Thus, we can say with the psalmist that we have been
“Blessed with an ever living Courage by the Word of God” – Psalm 119:17-24
God’s Word gives us courage.
Courageous Christians, when rooted in God’s Word, stand upright and strong during the storms of life!
Psalm 31:23-24 Amplified 23
O love the Lord, all you His godly ones!
The Lord preserves the faithful [those with moral and spiritual integrity]
And fully repays the [self-righteousness of the] arrogant.
Be strong and let your hearts take courage,
All you who wait for and confidently expect the Lord.
That being the case, would not we want to pray as did the psalmist?
“Open my eyes so that I may contemplate (meditate upon) wonderful things (blessed assurances) from Your Word . . . Your instruction . . . Your commands . . . Your judgments . . . Your decrees . . . Your statutes.” In other words:
Whatever God has communicated to you and me about His ways and His Will . . . taught us on how to conduct our lives as His children . . . ordered us to do in how we relate to Him and to others . . . decided about requests we have made of Him and petitions we have presented to Him . . . foreordained to be . . . said as if it has already been carved in stone (Job 19:23-27)– all of this constitutes God’s Word.
The imagery of “eyesight” is used by the psalmist as we should use it: Ask God to turn our eyes away from those things in life that have no “lasting” value – i.e., teachings, values or actions, morals and ethics which are opposed to the Word of LORD God. Ask God to help us stay focused on His Word and His ways.
From time to time our spiritual vision becomes a bit blurred by distractions and disruptions which interferes with our daily prayer routine – and, before I know it, our spiritual discernment loses its cutting edge and we find ourselves in need of renewed vision – clarity – something which won’t happen on our own effort.
We need the help of someone greater than ourselves.
I need the prescribed meditations that the psalmist recommends. “Open my eyes that I may contemplate (meditate on) the wonderful things in Your Law.”
When we contemplate . . . meditate . . . think intensely, intently in a quiet place about greater wisdom, God’s Word, that which inevitably jumps out at us is a renewed understanding of Who God is – His character traits . . . that, if adopted by us and indelibly impressed upon our minds, becomes a part of who we are.
This “merger” of our spirit with the Spirit of God is the dynamic that blesses us with the real courage to do His Will in a world that opposes God and His people.
Psalm 119:23-24 English Standard Version
23 Even though princes sit plotting against me,
your servant will meditate on your statutes.
24 Your testimonies are my delight;
they are my counselors.
The Wisdom and Words and Precepts of God are not simply a thick rule book God threw down from atop Mount Sinai or E-Mails or Tweets to stir things up.
Rather, it’s a collection of testimonies, or the story of God coming through for his people.
Though Scripture does contain lists like the Ten Commandments and books like Leviticus with its Laws, it is primarily comprised of the stories of God’s people.
In short, the Bible is a book about God written by him through people.
The very way that he chose to reveal himself to us displays that he wants to be in relationship with us.
And, like the Psalmist, those very ancient testimonies should be our delight!
We should delight in them because:
- They are true and unflinching (John 17:17; Mark 14:66-72).
- They speak to every direction of life because God’s scope is unlimited (Isaiah 48:3).
- They are infinitely wise (Proverbs 3, Proverbs 8, Isaiah 55:10-13, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25; 2 Timothy 3:16-17), even if too many of the people in them were not.
Revisit these Scriptures when you meet with God in his word and be thankful.
From God’s first words of the Book of Genesis to God’s last word in Revelation, we have the greatest source of truth, direction and wisdom that has ever been.
And again, how did God choose to teach and reveal these to us?
Through the stories of both the faithful and unfaithful in Scripture.
Not only do we witness the blessing of the righteous but the end result of wickedness.
God shows us in real life through real people how real Christianity ought to be really lived.
He has not left us in the dark.
He has brought us into His Marvelous Light ….
Psalm 118:22-24English Standard Version
22 The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.[a]
23 This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Ancient Words …. Ever True …. Forever …. Changing Me …. Changing You ….
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
Father, faithful One, teach me your divine wisdom. Inspire me, Empower me to understand wise teaching. Give insight to my simple mind. Help me to live a life that is disciplined and successful, based on the wise teachings of your word. Give me the portion of knowledge I need to make smart decisions and glorify you in all that I do. I know that reverence for you is the beginning of wisdom. Help me listen when you correct me, and not neglect your instruction. I know when I follow your wisdom, I read, listen and give heed to the ancient testimonies, I will receive grace and honor and magnify my Jesus. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.