Psalm 119:4-8

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GOOD MORNING! The Psalmist writes: "Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently! O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly." [1]

When one begins to pray and to meditate deeply upon the development of Christian character and the maturing of the spiritual life, realization comes to him of his deep need and true dependence upon the grace of God.

Every eager desire to make spiritual progress climaxes in yearning for more of the living God. When the holy resolve seizes the obedient child of God, he begins to pray for Divine enabling.

Let us consider this from the negative standpoint: one makes a determined resolution to do better, to be more obedient, more powerful, more useful; but at the same time this one is not urgently desiring Holy Spirit control; then such resolution is an empty and meaningless pursuit. "All is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One come down." The Christian's concern must be that of the Psalmist, when he prayed, "O forsake me not utterly."

"I need Thee O I need Thee," the blessed old hymn sings, "Every hour I need Thee." Obedience without faithful dependence on the LORD, or dependence without obedience are equally vain!

"Teach me the way which I should go;
I lift my soul to Thee;
Redeem me from the raging foe;
To Thee, O LORD, I flee."[2]

Let us learn from the Psalmist's petition: "O forsake me not utterly." First, a Divine truth is stated: "Thou hast commanded us to keep Thy precepts diligently." -Diligent obedience in all that the LORD our God has set before us to keep. This word "diligence" carries with it the meaning: "wholly, speedily" plus the idea of "guarding closely."

When I observe Who it is that is commanding a full and careful keeping of the holy precepts, I become humbly grateful for the "throne of grace," where I receive mercy, and "find grace to help in time of need."[3] "O that my ways were directed to keep Thy statutes!"

In recognition of the "mercies of God," we are to present our bodies "a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,"[4] …"that we may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." [5]

"Respect unto all thy commandments" keeps me from being "ashamed," and greatly encourages "praise" unto the LORD. "And now, little children, abide in him; that when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming."[6]

There is a double diligence for all of God's dear children: there is a holy urgency and a gladsome peace and fellowship with the gracious LORD to Whom we belong. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear," [7] ... "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our LORD, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature." [8]

[1] Psalm 119:4-8
[2] "When Morning Lights the Eastern Skies", The Psalter of 1912
[3] Hebrews 4:16
[4] Romans 12:1
[5] Romans 12:2
[6] 1 John 2:28
[7] 1 John 4:18
[8] 2 Peter 1:2-4

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