Psalm 119:161-168

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GOOD MORNING! The twenty-first octave of Psalm 119 is the testimony of a devout child of God. The joy of this believer is deep and profound. Reverence and gratitude fills his soul. The everlasting promises of God are like a rainbow against the dark background of earthly circumstances. "Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word. I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love. Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. LORD, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments. My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly. I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee." [1]

Did you hear the statement the Psalmist makes? "Great peace have they that love thy law: and nothing shall offend them."

The Psalmist has not said that uninterrupted peace belongs to those whose law-keeping is flawless, but he is saying that "great peace" comes to those that "love" God's law.

The Bible speaks of certain "loves" that are greatly rewarded: those that "love the name of the LORD, … Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer:" [2]

Our LORD said, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." [3]

There is a crown of righteousness laid up for all those who are "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;"[4] and there is "a crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." [5]

The "love" spoken of in these Scriptures is the God-kind-of-love which is a total, self-giving, emotion-packed affection.

In this Psalm there are two very precious rewards granted unto them that "love God's law:" they have "great peace," and there is nothing that "offends" (becomes a stumbling block) to them. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."[6]

Those that love God's law (which in this Psalm embraces the whole of the word of God), "shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."[7]

We may nail this truth down: To love God's law, God's unchangeable living word, is to be given "great peace." "Peace I leave with you," saith our Saviour, "my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."[8]

The gospel changes the life within, so that the outer circumstances are no longer the ruling passion. "Nothing shall offend them." The New Testament illumines this truth: "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." [9]

Finally, the Psalmist declares: "All my ways are before thee." That the living God sees the innermost secrets of the heart is a point terrible to the ungodly, but the source of great joy to saints.

Walk, Christian, in the confidence of God's omniscience. "O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. … Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."[10]

The greatest possession of my life is to be able to sing, "All my ways are before thee."

Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart, and the boast of my tongue;
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last,
Hath won my affections, and bound my soul fast.

Great Father of mercies, Thy goodness I own,
And the covenant love of Thy crucified Son;
All praise to the Spirit whose whisper divine,
Seals mercy and pardon, and righteousness mine. [11]


[1] Psalm 119:161-168
[2] Isaiah 56:6-7
[3] John 14:21
[4] Titus 2:13
[5] James 1:12
[6] Romans 8:28
[7] Psalm 1:3
[8] John 14:27
[9] 2 Timothy 1:7
[10] Psalm 139:1-4, 23-24
[11] From "The Divine Mercy" by John Stocker

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