Friday, May 25, 2012


“My tongue sings about Your promise, for all Your commands are righteous.  May Your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen Your precepts.” (Psalm 119:172-173 HCSB)

The Bible is chock-full of promises.  Many of those promises, however, are conditional.  In such cases, keeping God’s precepts enables us to receive God promises.  The best life is one which is in alignment with God’s will, and that will is clearly taught in His Word.

Today, we will examine some of the promises in believing and obeying the Word of God, as we look into the latter half of the 119th Psalm, which extols the wonder of the Word.

There is the promise of PERPETUAL RELEVANCE in verses 89-112.

Lord, Your word is forever; it is firmly fixed in heaven.” (v.89)

We do not have to make the Bible relevant!  God has promised it will be—forever!  It is timeless truth, as eternal as the God who gave it.  God hasn’t changed—He has the same character.  Man hasn’t changed—he has the same nature.  God’s expectation and provision for people has not changed—He has the same plan of salvation.  Therefore, the Scripture speaks with relevance to every culture and circumstance.

There is A FAITHFUL WORD FROM A FAITHFUL GOD (v.89-96).  You can’t always trust in people to honor their promises.  Even the best of folks can fail you—but that isn’t true of God.  He is absolutely trustworthy.  There are times that people don’t keep a promise—not because they intended to deceive—but they were forgetful or unforeseen circumstances prevented them.  None of that happens to God.

There is A PRACTICAL WORD FROM A PURPOSEFUL GOD (v.97-104).  Scripture is eminently practical.  By it, God gives us a winning strategy over our enemies, “Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are always with me.” (v.98)  The best secular education—worthwhile though it might be—doesn’t compare to the spiritual education we get from studying God’s Word, “I have more insight than all my teachers because Your decrees are my meditation.” (v.99)  Experience can educate us.  History can help us.  Our problem is that we tend to take a few facts and reason to the wrong conclusion.  But, in the Bible, we have unadulterated truth.  It is Divine history—His story!  God is the supreme source of truth, “I have not turned from Your judgments, for You Yourself have instructed me.” (v.102)  By His Word, He gives direction in order to fulfill His purpose for our lives, “I gain understanding from Your precepts; therefore I hate every false way.” (v.104)

There is A LIVING WORD FROM A LIVING GOD (v.105-112).  Ours is a dark world, but the Word of God gives light—perhaps only enough for the next step, but that is enough!  The Scripture revives us personally, when we are drained and discouraged.  Physically, emotionally and spiritually, we may feel depleted, but the Word will pump fuel into our tank.  It revives the church with power as the Spirit comes in fullness and blesses the Book He inspired.

Remember Ezekiel, who was commanded to preach to a valley of skeletons.  God took that Word and sent His breath—His Spirit, the Wind of Heaven—upon those dry bones, bringing them to life and forming a mighty army (see Ezekiel 37).  He can still do it through the preaching of the Word!
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Another promise of God’s precepts we find is it brings POWERFUL RESULTS (v.113-136).

“You are my shelter and my shield; I put my hope in Your word.” (v.114)

Spurgeon said that God’s Word didn’t have to be defended.  He related it to a lion—you just let it loose!  There is power in that Word!

GOD DEFENDS US BY FAITH IN HIS WORD (v.113-120).  Our security is promised in Scripture.  We are given assurance of a confident hope.  The world seeks to drag us away, but the Word upholds us, “Depart from me, Ps 6:8; 139:19; Mt 4:10 you evil ones, so that I may obey my God’s commands. Ps 119:22 Sustain me as You promised, Ps 54:4 and I will live; do not let me be ashamed of my hope. Ps 25:20; 31:1; Rm 9:33; Php 1:20   Sustain me so that I can be safe  Pr 29:25and always be concerned about Your statutes.” (v.115-117 HCSB)

GOD DISTINGUISHES US BY FAITHFULNESS TO HIS WORD (v.121-128).  This Book is our manual for effective service.  It is our playbook for a winning walk.  It is our battle plan for victorious warfare.  It is a blueprint for building a distinguished life of faithfulness.

GOD DIRECTS US THROUGH FOLLOWING OF HIS WORD (v.129-136).  We cannot afford to be Biblically illiterate, “The revelation of Your words brings light and gives understanding to the inexperienced.” (v.130)  Here is the only direction to the right path.  This marks the way to freedom from the tyranny of sin, “Make my steps steady through Your promise; don’t let any sin dominate me.” (v.133)  How our heart should grieve when we see a world that turns away from the highway to heaven and continues down the path to perdition, “My eyes pour out streams of tears because people do not follow Your instruction.” (v.136)

There is then the promise from PERSONAL RESPONSE (v.137-152)

“I rejoice over Your promise like one who finds vast treasure.” (v.162)

The Psalmist shows the proper response to God’s promises in His precepts.  The way we respond makes all the difference.  We will fall upon the Rock of Truth and express brokenness in repentance, or the Rock of Truth will fall on us and we will be crushed in judgment.  Jesus said that He would not judge us, but that the words which He spoke would judge us (read John 12:48).

Our response should be that of one CONSUMED BY TRUTH (v.137-152).  Consider this, “My anger overwhelms me because my foes forget Your words.” (v.139)  This describes a man who is driven by passion for God’s precepts.  They are truth! “Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your instruction is true.” (v.142)  The Bible doesn’t just contain truth—it is the truth!  A zeal for God’s Word breeds a passion for prayer, “I call with all my heart; answer me, Lord. I will obey Your statutes.” (v.145)  His Word becomes an obsession, “I rise before dawn and cry out for help; I put my hope in Your word.  I am awake through each watch of the night to meditate on Your promise.” (v.147-148)  The precious promise is that if we will draw near to God, He will draw near to us (James 4:8).

We respond as one CONSECRATED TO TRUTH (v.153-168).  The Psalmist expresses this when he says, “I obey Your decrees and love them greatly.” (v.167)  We are called to be more than mere hearers of the Word, but to be doers also (James 1:22).  The Bible isn’t given just for information, or inspiration, but for transformation.  We can’t follow the crowd and follow Christ, “My persecutors and foes are many. I have not turned from Your decrees.  I have seen the disloyal and feel disgust because they do not keep Your word.” (v.157-158)  There are those who do forsake God’s way, due to the pressure of their peers.  But, there is also the problem from pressure of the price, “Princes have persecuted me without cause, but my heart fears [only] Your word.” (v.161).  Consecration to God’s Word will often cost us—and can cost a lot!  But if we fear God, we need fear no man.  God knows what we are going through, and He cares.  We may rest assured He is taking note and is pleased with such commitment, “I obey Your precepts and decrees, for all my ways are before You.” (v.168)

Then our response will be one CAPTIVATED WITH TRUTH (v.169-176) .  The thrust of these verses discloses a soul captivated by Scripture.  Often, we read of the writer’s testimony to delight in the Word.  How grateful we should be for this Bible we have!  The Psalmist was.  “My lips pour out praise, for You teach me Your statutes.” (v.171)  Pole Creek Baptist Church has its flaws—and the Senior Pastor surely has his—but of this you can be assured—the Word of God will be preached from the pulpit and taught in the classroom.  This message is consistently given for the glory of God and for the good of His people.  Shepherds must feed the flock—and God’s Word is the soul food.  During the week, the sheep tend to wander, “I wander like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I do not forget Your commands.” (v.176)  But, if they have been given the Scripture, it will be like a staff to reach out and capture the straying sheep—bringing him or her back to the fold.

Considering what you have read, you should understand the relevance of God’s Word and you should know the results of its activity in the life of one who yields to it.  Now, the crucial matter is—what of your response?  Will you study it personally, hear it publicly and apply it practically?  Will you do that passionately and persistently?  If so, the promise is—the Word will work in you powerfully!

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