August 21st Lamed
89: For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. 90: Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. 91: They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants. 92: Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction. 93: I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me. 94: I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts. 95: The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies. 96: I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.
97: O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. 98: Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. 99: I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. 100: I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. 101: I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. 102: I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. 103: How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104: Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
105: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. 106: I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments. 107: I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word. 108: Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments. 109: My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law. 110: The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts. 111: Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. 112: I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes always, even unto the end.
113: I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love. 114: Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. 115: Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God. 116: Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. 117: Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually. 118: Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood. 119: Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies. 120: My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.
121: I have done judgment and justice: leave me not to mine oppressors. 122: Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me. 123: Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the word of thy righteousness. 124: Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes. 125: I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies. 126: It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law. 127: Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. 128: Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.
129: Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. 130: The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. 131: I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments. 132: Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name. 133: Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. 134: Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts. 135: Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes. 136: Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.
137: Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments. 138: Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful. 139: My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words. 140: Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. 141: I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts. 142: Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth. 143: Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights. 144: The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.
145: I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD: I will keep thy statutes. 146: I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies. 147: I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word. 148: Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word. 149: Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: O LORD, quicken me according to thy judgment. 150: They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law. 151: Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth. 152: Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.
153: Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law. 154: Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word. 155: Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes. 156: Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD: quicken me according to thy judgments. 157: Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies. 158: I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word. 159: Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness. 160: Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
161: Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word. 162: I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. 163: I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love. 164: Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. 165: Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. 166: LORD, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments. 167: My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly. 168: I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee.
169: Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word. 170: Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word. 171: My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes. 172: My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness. 173: Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts. 174: I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight. 175: Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. 176: I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.
Today we will read the second part of Psalm 119. The Psalm is divided into 22 parts, each having a letter of the Hebrew Alphabet. In ‘Lamed’ the Psalmist speaks of Jehovah and his word. In the beginning he says that the word of Jehovah is settled and eternal and at the end, he says the word of Jehovah is perfect and eternal. Then in between these thoughts, he says, that no amount of affliction can destroy his delight in the word and secondly no wicked person can destroy the joy of his meditation in the word. Then between these thoughts he gives two statements and justifies it with two reasons. So he begins saying that the word of the LORD is eternally settled in heaven and the faithfulness of the Lord will be to all generations. Of course this faithfulness is subject to his continuance in the law. But while the Jews are faithful to the Lord, the Lord remains faithful. He confirms this by saying the servants of the Lord continue to keep the ordinances of the Mosaic Law. And he says if the Law of the Lord had not delighted him then he would have perished in his troubles. There were three types of judgments of the Lord on Israel. There were the afflictions that tested their loyalty, even when they lived righteously under the law. Then there were the afflictions that the Lord brought on the godly that had turned away from the Lord and these troubles were designed to bring them back. And there were the judgments of the Lord in which he totally cast them out of his presence forever. These judgments came on Israel on a personal level and collectively. Israel’s national existence was a collective experience of God in their lives, yet they all also, had a personal experience of God in their lives. We see this in the book of Ruth. The Lord brought judgment on the whole nation through famine yet he was also using this national calamity to deal with people individually. None of these judgments and blessings dealt with the salvation of the soul from sin, that would be seen in the new covenant. The Lord dealt with their mortal lives and he promised the righteous resurrection to eternal life. So the Psalmist continues I will never forget the principles of the law because they are the source of his life. He calls on the Lord to deliver him from death because he has faithfully sought the Lord’s ways. The wicked want to kill him, but he is focused on keeping the Law of Moses. It is important that christian become clear in their understanding of OT theology so that they can contrast it with NT theology and read the OT with profit. In ‘Mem’ the Psalmist says that the Law of the LORD is the source of all wisdom. In the beginning and the end of this verse he says that the Word of the Lord is precious. In between these thoughts twice he says that the law is the source of spiritual understanding and between these thoughts he says twice that it is also the guide for the Jews for all practical living. In the first phrase he declares his love for the word of the Lord and in the last he says how much he hates the false life of the wicked. Then he shows that the word of the Lord makes him wiser than his enemies. In fact he says I have excelled my teachers in their understanding. And I understand more than the ancient men of old. There is a certain level of conceitedness in the midst of his frankness. He says I have kept my feet from straying that I may keep the word. The use of the first person singular is typical of the law keeper. We can hear the single-mindedness of Saul of Tarsus. The words of the Lord are sweeter than honey to his mouth. In ‘Nun’ The Psalmist talks of the word of the Lord as the source of all light and joy. In the beginning he speaks of the word as his light and at the end as his joy. There was a joy in keeping to the Mosaic Law. In the centre of these thoughts the Psalmist speaks of prayer in the midst of afflictions and protests to the Lord in the midst of dangers. He says that the word of the Lord illuminates his path in life. Then he states his human resolve to keep the Law. Then he prays for divine help to lift him up in his troubles. He brings his freewill offerings with his mouth. He says my life is in your hands everyday yet I still remain faithful. How different to the christian, his continuance is based on the faithfulness of God to him, but the man under the law has to be faithful to keep the law in order to obtain Gods blessings. In ‘Samech’ the Psalmist says that the Word of Jehovah brings security. But they are all based on self determination. In the beginning we have the ‘I’ of I hate vain thoughts but I love the law. At the end we have the ‘I’ of, I love your testimonies but I am afraid of your judgments. For the Christian there is no judgment. All judgment has been borne at the cross and Christ says He that hears my word and believeth in him that sent me hath everlasting life and will not come into judgment. How could there be judgment is no sin is every brought up again against the man who is declared righteous forever in his sight, by faith. Paul says there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. The Psalmist between these thoughts speaks of evildoers twice and between them he speaks of his longing to be upheld by the Lord. He says hold me up and I will be safe. In the rest of the Psalm we have a repeat of many of the same points and issues. In ‘Ain’ he speaks of the confidence of his trust in the Lord. In ‘Pe’ he speaks of the guidance that the Word of Jehovah gives. In ‘Tzaddi’ he speaks of the effect of the word of the Lord on his life. In ‘Koph and Resh’ he brings two verses that describe his prayer in times of distress, especially in the night. In ‘Schin’ he speaks of the comfort and rest of having Jehovah’s word. He hopes for physical deliverance from his enemies and trusts in the Lord to save his life. In the last verse ‘Tau’ He pleads for the Lord to hear him and to teach him the word of the Lord because in doing Gods will he obtains blessing of the Lord. This is in complete contrast to the Christian who is not received by what he has done however noble but by trusting that Christ has done in all and he comes as a sinner and breaker of the law to find the grace of God extended to the unrighteous.