Psalm 119:49-56

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Psalm 119 is a very full portion of the Sacred Scriptures. In the Authorized English Version there are 176 verses. The grand theme of the Psalm is, "The living word of God."

The Psalm is divided into 22 parts of 8 verses each; the parts are according to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, which is the original language of the Psalm.

The Psalm is itself a miniature Bible, the Scriptures condensed, and it is worthy of a lifetime of meditation and examination.

The part we read today begins with verse 49: "Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.  This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.  The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law.  I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself.  Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.  Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.  I have remembered thy name, O LORD, in the night, and have kept thy law.  This I had, because I kept thy precepts." [1]

What comfort, what strength, what encouragement is the blessed word of the LIVING GOD! This is pointed out in the New Testament. "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." [2]

The Old Testament of the Bible is not a compilation of human thought about Godly things; neither is the BIBLE the record of man's groping after God. The Old Testament, indeed the whole BIBLE, is God's revelation of Himself to man. This holy Bible originates with God. Every part of the BIBLE was written by holy men of God who were moved upon by the Spirit of God.

We may properly pray with the Psalmist, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law."[3]

Twice the thought of comfort is brought out in this portion of the Psalm: "This is my comfort in my affliction." The word that caused him to hope, was his comfort. "I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself." The very recollection of God's "judgments" restored him, aided him, refreshed his spirit. The older we get, the more of God's gracious providence we have to recall for which to praise God.

Jacob, in his blessing of the sons of Joseph, said, "God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads:"[4]

Much of Jacob's life had been lived selfishly, yet the providence of the heavenly Father had overshadowed his life, to the fulfilling of the promises of grace that had been shown to his father Isaac and his grandfather Abraham.

"I have remembered thy name, O LORD, in the night." There are many things that cause us to be awakened, or even to lie awake. It is then, almost without realizing, we become anxious of something in the present circumstances; and we begin to question, and fret over that which we cannot change.

Our LORD and Saviour shows us the direction we are to pursue. Instead of taking care for the necessities of the natural life, we are to seek "the kingdom of God and his righteousness."[5]

"The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe."[6] It is the love of the heavenly Father that reminds us that He is the God of all comfort. Moses gave the word of the LORD to the children of Israel in the wilderness when he wrote, "Thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee."[7]

Twice the Psalmist speaks of remembering: "I remembered Thy judgments;" "I have remembered thy name, O LORD." And this stanza of the Psalm begins with the words, "Remember thy word unto thy servant."

How precious, how soul-satisfying, is the comfort of the LORD. How all-embracing of life is the "Comforter," the Holy Spirit, sent down from heaven to live in the life of the child of God.

"Holy Spirit, faithful guide, ever near the Christian's side;
Gently lead us by the hand, pilgrims in a desert Land." [8]

 "Precious hiding place
In the shelter of His love
Not a doubt or fear,
Since my LORD is near,
And I'm sheltered in His love."[9]


[1] Psalm 119:49-56
[2] Romans 15:4
[3] Psalm 119:18
[4] Genesis 48:15-16
[5] Matthew 6:33
[6] Proverbs 18:10
[7] Deuteronomy 8:2
[8] From "Holy Spirit, Faithful Guide" by Marcus M. Wells
[9] From "Precious Hiding Place" by Avis M. Christiansen

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