Psalm 119:169-176

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GOOD MORNING! The final eight verses of the 119th Psalm are a prayer. "Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word. Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word. My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes. My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness. Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts. I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments." [1]

The great 119th Psalm sets forth the excellencies of the word of God. Here in the final portion, there are a series of petitions deeply breathing the attitude of all who love the word of the LORD and sincerely seek to obey it from the heart.

God's word is all-sufficient. The more like the LORD Jesus we become by the Holy Spirit's applying the Scriptures to our lives, the more concerned we are for the removal of our spiritual imperfections. "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his suffering, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." [2]

The New Testament passage continues: "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. … I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in CHRIST JESUS."

Let us look at the final requests of the Psalmist: "Give me understanding according to thy word." This is a desire for the spiritual perception promised in the word of God. Such a desire is altogether in harmony with the Scriptures; for it produces obedience to God's word.

To understand spiritual things is the gift of God and not the attainment of man. To have a wisdom enlightened by heavenly light and conforming to heavenly truth is a possession that only grace can give. "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." [3]

May we all this day be among those who are taught of the LORD! "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."[4]

Other expressions of desire by the Psalmist are: "Let thine hand help me, … Let my soul live. … let thy judgments help me. … Seek thy servant." These all are the requests of a child of God who often approaches the throne of grace in true spiritual worship.

Let the grace of God enable us to maintain in our hearts the memory of God's commandments. This will continually restore us to practical holiness of life. "I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments."

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love,
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for thy courts above.[5]

"Wherefore, he [my LORD and my God] is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."[6] ... "Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever."[7]


[1] Psalm 119:169-176
[2] Philippians 3:10-11
[3] Romans 8:26-27
[4] Titus 2:11-14
[5] From "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" by Robert Robinson
[6] Hebrews 7:25
[7] Hebrews 13:20-21

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