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Psalm 1:1-6
Psalm 2:1-12
Psalm 3-4
Psalms 5-7
Psalms 8-9-10
Psalms 11-14
Psalms 15-16-17
Psalm 18:1-50
Psalm 19:1-14
Psalms 20-21
Psalm 22:1-31
Psalm 23:1-6
Psalm 24: 1-10
Psalm 25-26
Psalm 27:1-14
Psalm 28-30
Psalm 31-32
Psalm 33-34
Psalm 35-36
Psalm 37-38
Psalm 39-40
Psalm 41-43
Psalm 44-45
Psalm 46-47
Psalm 48-50
Psalm 52-55
Psalm 56-58
Psalm 59-61
Psalm 62-65
Psalm 66-68
Psalms 69-72
Psalm73-1-28
Psalms 74-77
Psalm78-1-72
Psalms 79-81
Psalms 82-83
Psalm84-1-12
Psalms 85-87
Psalms 88-89
Psalm 90:1-17
Psalm 91:1-16 Psalms 92-93 Psalms 94-95 Psalms 96-99 Psalms 100-102
Psalm 103:1-22 Psalm 104:1-35 Psalm 105:1-45 Psalm 106:1-48 Psalm 107:1-43
Psalms 108-110 Psalms 111-113 Psalm114-116 Psalm117-118 Psalm 119: 1-16
Psalm 119: 17-40 Psalm 119: 41-64 Psalm 119: 65-88 Psalm 119: 89-112 Psalm 119: 113-136
Psalm 119: 137-160 Psalm 119: 161-170 Psalms 120-125 Psalms 126-128 Psalms 129-132
Psalms 133-135        
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Psalm 119:65-72

 

TETH

 

“Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word.  Teach me good judgment and knowledge:  for I have believed thy commandments.  Before I was afflicted I went astray:  but now have I kept thy word.  Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.  The proud have forged a lie against me:  but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.  Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law.  It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.  The law of thy mouth is better than thousands of gold and silver.”

 

Introduction

 

“Verse 65, we have journeyed that far in this longest chapter of the Bible, the longest of the Psalms, this chapter about the Bible, fitting that it would be the longest chapter, and certainly about the God of the Bible.  Verse 65 says, “Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word.  Teach me good judgment and knowledge:  for I have believed thy commandments.  Before I was afflicted I went astray:  but now have I kept thy word.  Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.  The proud have forged a lie against me:  but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.  Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law.  It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.  [i.e. it made me teachable]  The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.”  This first section where the Psalmist tells us about difficulties in his life, affliction, he’s telling us that ‘it is well with my soul,’ and he says that.  “Thou hast dealt well with thy servant,” you want to be able to say that when you’re going through difficulties, that is “thy servant”, that’s a very comfortable and more confident place to be when things seem to be falling apart and you can say ‘LORD,’ that whatever else is going on, you know this, ‘I’m your servant.’  Because he’s going to talk about being afflicted here in verse 67 and 71.  So he says ‘LORD, you’ve dealt well with thy servant.’  Now think of that in context here.  He’s going to talk about difficulties that come, and affliction.  And look, affliction comes, when you read through the Bible, you take just the word “afflicted” and you go through the Bible, it comes in lots of different ways.  It can come from a spouse [been there], it can come financially, it can come via disease or death, it can come in many different ways through the Scripture, from an army, from a battlefield.  Ah, it’s interesting, when you take that word and go all the way through the Scripture with it [say using Strong’s Concordance to look up everywhere it shows up in the Bible], so the LORD knows us, the LORD measures certain things in our lives, allows a certain amount of pressure/affliction to come into our lives.  And it says here ‘You have dealt well with thy servant.’  Now this is in hindsight.  I’m not pretending that when things are falling apart I’m excited.  When things are getting better I’m excited.  When things are falling apart I’m not really excited.  I’m like ‘Lord, are you sure?  I’m your pastor, if word gets out it’s gonna look bad for you beating up your pastor this way.  This is not good for your rep,’ just, I’m a whiner and a wimp.  But the Psalmist, looking back, from terrible and difficult, genuinely difficult times says ‘LORD, from here, on this side of it, 20/20 being hindsight, you dealt well with me, LORD, with your servant, O LORD.  And it was according to your Word, I should have known, it was there, it was recorded, it was written down, it’s who you are.’  So he says, ‘LORD, “Teach me good judgment and knowledge:  for I have believed thy commandments.” (verse 66) ‘LORD, help me make good decisions, help me make the right decisions,’ does anybody need help in that place?  [cf. Proverbs 16:9]  By the way, if you don’t, you really do.  Believe it or not, you get home and turn on the news tonight, right now, we are all rookies, we are all somewhere we have never been before.  And so much of what we see in the world flairs up, dies down, flairs up, dies down, you know, one of these times it’s gonna flair up, and it’s gonna flair upper.  I don’t know if that’s now.  But there are very interesting malovant forces at work, behind the scenes, and yet I think even people that think they are calling the shots aren’t aware of what is driving them.  We have his Word.  How wonderful that is for us.  “Teach me good judgment:  for I have believed thy commandments.”  ‘and knowledge’ he says, ‘for I have believed thy commandments.’ in other words, what he’s looking for, ‘LORD, that it will be proper in the context of the written Word, good judgment, doing things rightly, LORD, they have a barometer, there’s a measuring rod, and that is your Word.’ 

 

What He Says “Astray” Is, Is Not Keeping The Word

 

And he says now, look, “Before I was afflicted I went astray:  but now have I kept thy word.” (verse 67)  So this Psalmist wasn’t always obedient, all of the things we find, he knows about the Word of God through 176 verses here.  He’s telling us he didn’t always obey, he’d gone astray, he didn’t always walk in step with that, he made mistakes.  You can’t relate to that, I understand.  But he’s being very honest with us.  He says “Before I was afflicted” before these things, whatever they were, they’re undefined here, and I’m glad of that, because I think they’re different for each of us, “Before I was afflicted I went astray:  but now have I kept thy word.” (verse 67)  Please notice, what he says “astray” is, is not keeping the Word.  “Before I was afflicted I went astray:  but now” what’s not being astray, “now have I kept they word.”  So he’s telling us what going astray is, is for you and I, the children of God, is not keeping the Word of God.  And look, there are many times when looking at the Scripture and just saying ‘Alright, I’m going to knuckle down here,’ face value, it takes faith, because we’re just afraid, ‘It’s just that simple, if I just do it that way you’re telling me things are gonna work out?’  ‘I’m telling you, heaven and earth are going to pass away, but my Word’s going to abide forever.’  And we live in a world that’s very contrary to all of that, every system of values.  “Before I was afflicted I went astray” so it says here, this affliction, whatever it was, was a medicine, it was corrective, it put something back on track again, it made something better that was waning, that was suffering, that was dying, that was atrophied.  He says ‘You allowed this affliction to come on into my life,’ whatever that may have been, ‘and before you did that, I was off-track, I was going astray.  You know, a lot of difficulties have come into my life, and now LORD, I’m keeping your Word again.’  And look, sometimes those come, and what we’re saying, ‘This ain’t fair,’ there’s a big Court in the Sky called fairness, he’s gonna have to appear if we call him there.  ‘This ain’t fair!’ well he knows next week, and he knows next month, and he knows next year, and he knows what’s gonna happen in our lives [God knows the beginning from the end, for each and every one of us he’s called according to his purpose.  Sounds freaky, blows the mental fuse to try to figure out how that’s possible, but it’s true of God].  As we get to the next set of verses it becomes very clear, that he allows certain pressures to come into our lives.  If I asked I’m sure there’s been a lot of people here tonight that look back into life to a certain time, and the very difficult things they went through, and realize ‘Lord, that became an Ebenezer in my life, that set a pillar, you put something in my life in that circumstance that I am never going to let go of.  And I can be hard-headed, but you’re harder-headed in your love.  And you allowed those things to come, and looking back now LORD, verse 65, you’ve dealt well with your servant, those things were medicinal, and I wouldn’t have realized it at the time, but now I’ve kept your Word.’  Verse 68 says, “Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.”  And I know you think it should say “all the time.”  ‘So LORD, teach me thy statutes.’ there’s no wavering here. 

 

Pride Is At The Root Of So Many Of Our Problems

 

“The proud have forged a lie against me:  but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.” (verse 69)  No doubt, many times, that lie that comes, and the proud, are very much in step with “the proud one,” Isaiah 14 tells of Lucifer, and it says his heart was lifted up, he is the first one to lift up his will against the will of God.  There was one Kingdom and one will until then.  Ezekiel 28 describes him in his unfallen state in Eden.  In Isaiah 14  he says, ‘I will be like the Most High, I will stand on the congregation on the sides of the north, I will do this,’ and all of a sudden we have another will, and pride, pride is at the root, it’s Satanic, but it’s at the root of so many of my problems, personally.  And don’t look at me like you’re surprised.  I know about you.  You know, there’s male pride, there’s female pride, those are different creatures, but they’re both real.  And you know, we’re learning, we’re walking with him, his affliction is reaching us, and curing us, and medicinal in our lives.  But he says here, there is in the enemy’s camp, ‘The proud have forged a lie,’ no doubt part of that lie was ‘You know, God doesn’t love you, how could you be going through what you’re going through if God loves you, if God is good, you’re out there preaching Good News, everybody, we’re watching what’s going in your life, no thanks!  We don’t want your God.  If he loved you, why is that going on?’  The Psalmist says, ‘LORD, you’ve dealt well with your servant.  When I was going through it I didn’t realize it, but you allowed me to be in affliction because I was off-track, and now I’m keeping your Word again.  Ya, there’s people around me, they want to throw that on my head, and they want to accuse you.’  ‘God doesn’t love you, he doesn’t care about you.’  Look, it tells us this in Revelation, it says ‘I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, Now has come salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ, for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night, and they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, and they loved not their own lives to the death.’  They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, and it says Satan is the accuser of the brethren, he accuses 24 and 7 it says there in the Greek.  He never stops, 7 days a week.  And very interesting, the word accuse there in the Greek is “Katagero,” he [Satan] loves to get us into categories.  ‘Well I’m doing good in this area, and in this category I’m getting a B, C+, I’m really failing in this category,’ no, no, no, there’s one category, sin.  And the blood of the Saviour has washed us and has cleansed us, and has emancipated us and has set us free.  He is not grading on a curve.  But we like to judge one another like that, categories.  And the thing is, I’ve seen people in ministry fall, and afterwards you think ‘How could they have been doing that?’ because they categorize, they put it in a file, they divide their sin in their life up into categories and files and somehow they think the good files outweigh the bad, and that God understands ‘and I can kind of move forward, and I’m going to work this out.’  No, Satan is the accuser, he’s the kategorero, he loves to get us into that fall.  ‘But they overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony,’  And he’s the proud of the proud, he’s the first one that says here “The proud have forged a lie against me:” ‘but LORD, I’m going to keep your precepts with my whole heart.’  “Their heart” in contrast to my heart “is fat as grease;” (verse 69a) sounds like a cardiologist’s nightmare, doesn’t it?  Look, in that day fat was different, then it was healthy, it was good, it was stout, “their heart was as fat as grease,” means ‘it’s carnal, it’s indulgent, it’s sensual,’ is what it’s saying, that’s the way their heart is.  but I delight in thy law.” (verse 69b)  It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” (verse 70)  That’s really hindsight, you really have to come to some conclusions. “It is good for me that I have been afflicted,” look, “that I might learn thy statutes.”  I’ll tell you one thing he’s saying here, ‘It made me teachable, LORD, it was good for me that I was afflicted, it made me teachable,’ it just knocks the smarty-pants right out of you, ‘it made me teachable.’ 

 

‘Your Law Is Better Than The Wealth Of The World’

 

“The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.” (verse 72)   Look what he’s saying here… “The law of thy mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver”—than all of the wealth of this world, the law of your mouth,’ it doesn’t say it’s better to everyone.  It certainly wasn’t better to Judas, he had a price.  He said ‘it’s better to me than thousands of gold and silver.’  I think when the Father looks down from heaven it delights him to see that, when his sons and daughters are not so carnal that all they’re caring about is this world, you know.  Because Jesus, when he was in the temptation in the wilderness, Satan came to him and offered him all of the kingdoms, all of the glory, all the wealth of the world, and he turned away, and said ‘You should serve the Lord your God, and him alone shall you serve.’ (Matthew 4:10)  Sometimes we can, our hearts can be in the place which says ‘If we had this, if I had that, if I had this, if I had that.’  Isn’t it interesting, this guy’s been through enough, he’s got enough scars on his heart and on his soul, he’s been afflicted enough, he says ‘LORD, the law of your mouth is better than making all of the wealth of this world, thousands of gold and silver.’ 

 

Psalm 119:73-80

 

JOD

 

“Thy hands have made me and fashioned me:  give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.  They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.  I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.  Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.  Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live:  for thy law is my delight.  Let the proud be ashamed for they dealt perversely with me without cause:  but I will meditate in thy precepts.  Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.  Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.” 

 

Introduction

 

Now, next section, he says this, “Thy hands have made me and fashioned me:  give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.  They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.  I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.” (verses 73-75)  He’s making a statement, and it gives birth to five requests now, if you look there, they all begin with the word “let.”  Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.  Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live:  for thy law is my delight.  Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without cause:  but I will meditate in thy precepts.  Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.  Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.” (verses 76-80)  Very interesting, he talks of God’s involvement in his life, even to the point of afflicting him, realizing the truth of God’s Word. 

 

“Thy Hands Have Made Me And Fashioned Me”

 

And then he says this, “Thy hands have made me and fashioned me” (verse 73)  ‘I am hand-made’ he says, ‘custom-made, I am hand-made, I did not get here through pond scum and monkeys, I am hand-made.’  You know, in several pages, if this is David, he will say there ‘Thou hast possessed my reins, thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb, I will praise thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are thy works, that my soul knoweth right well, my substance was not hid from thee when I was made in secret and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth, thine eyes did see my substance yet being imperfect, in thy book all my members were written, which in continuous were fashioned…’  Remarkable things of the sovereignty of God.  Paul, of course, saying that ‘we are his workmanship, that there are good works fore-ordained,’ Ephesians 2:10, ‘that we should walk in them.’  The Psalmist has a great sense here now, ‘I can’t get away with it, you afflicted me, you’ve dealt with me,’ and now he says ‘You know, LORD, it’s because your hands have made me, I’m yours, you don’t let me get lost, you don’t let me get off-track, LORD, your hands, I’m your workmanship, you’ve done something miraculous in me, and I’m just learning about that, LORD.’  Of course it flies in the face again of the evolutionary theory [but not theistic evolution, which may or may not be true, have to wait till Jesus returns to find out the exact methods he used in Creation].  Darwinian evolution is like Bosco or something, it’s worn out, it’s gone, anybody whose honest today [such as in bio-chemical molecular biology, cf. Darwin’s Black Box, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/dinosaurs/molecularmachines.htm], who understands the genome, the epi-genome realizes that that’s ridiculous.  First of all there is no simple cell, and Darwin was a racist, had so many things wrong.  To buy into that is insane.  Even my little kids, fairy tales, they watch things on TV, and this princess, she kisses a frog, and the frog turns into a handsome prince, and your kids laugh at that because they know it’s not true.  Why evolutionists believe it’s true is beyond me.  Now they believe it took longer, obviously, but that’s what they believe, that a frog turned into a handsome prince.  They just think by adding time, and by adding energy, that they can make that happen.  And that’s untrue.  You have to have information, time and energy don’t produce anything.  God said to Jeremiah, ‘Before you were conceived, I knew you,’ which proves that energy is separate, information is separate from time.  You and I, each one of us in this room, God’s creation, God’s work.  God was involved in conception to birth, miraculous.  And the Psalmist is realizing it, ‘Here I’ve lived out my life, you’ve made me, and when I’ve gotten off track you’ve chastened me, you’ve afflicted me, you’ve brought me back on course, you’ve loved me, there’s purpose in all of this.’  So he says, give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.” (verse 73b)  In other words, looking at his Creator, “give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.”  You know, it’s the manufacturer’s handbook [i.e. the Bible, the whole Word of God, along with his Laws, which haven’t been done away with, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/newcovenant/TheNEWCOVENANT.htm].  I mean, understand, ‘I’m handmade, and you have purpose, and there isn’t anybody that I can appeal to that would be a more sane appeal than the manufacturer LORD.  If I’m your workmanship, then you have the rules on how my life should function more than any other intelligence in the Universe.  If I’m made by you in all of these intricacies that we can’t even measure in this throwaway container, let alone the soul and the spirit,’ he says, ‘LORD, then your Word, LORD, then teach me, help, give me understanding, LORD.’ 

 

The Importance Of The Fear Of God

 

He says, “They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.” (verse 74)  Look, all the way back to verse 63, if you look there, he says, “I am a companion of all them that fear thee...” that’s a good crowd to be around.  Because when God talks to the nation of Israel, and they’re involved in every foul sexual thing, they are involved in drunkenness, they have gone off the course, they’re lost, and the LORD says to them, ‘Has a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods?  But my people have changed their Glory [K’vod] for that which doth not profit.  Be astonished O ye heavens and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate saith the LORD, for my people have committed two evils, they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.’he says, ‘Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backsliding shall reprove thee.  Know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the LORD God of hosts.’  Look, the greatest problem in this nation is there’s no more fear of God.  The greatest problem isn’t nukes coming across the North Pole, the greatest problem isn’t the things we’re seeing on the news, the greatest problem is there’s no fear of God.  If there was fear of God how would we treat one another?  If there was a real fear of God, how would we look at justice?  If there was a real fear of God, how would we live out our lives?  If there was a real fear of God, would there be 55,000,000 abortions, if there was a real fear of God, we look at somebody whose got their head cut off, the whole country’s horrified, what about 55 million abortions?  Because it’s out of sight it’s out of mind.  Understand, that figure puts us worse than Nazi Germany, worse than Stalin and Lenin, worse than Pol Pot, worse than anything that’s happening in the history of the world, if you think about that.  [Comment: We’re already worse than Nazi Germany because of what America has done in Latin America and around the world.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/topical%20studies/America-ModernRomans4.htm]  Again, if you’re under 22, half your generation didn’t make it out of the womb, one out of two.  If you’re sitting here, the most dangerous place for an American today is not in Afghanistan or Iraq, the most dangerous place for an American is in the womb.  But we don’t think, we don’t think, and it’s because there’s no fear of God, we’ve left off basic things, we’ve left off basic things.  Now God can re-awaken that, and I pray that he does.  You know, you look at people struggling with pornography.  I know that if a nuke goes off in Chicago, everybody’s going to get victory.  Everybody’s saying ‘Oh I wrestle with this,’ they’re not gonna be backsliding, ‘I’m here, Lord, I’m here!  Lord, I’m here!  I’ve gotten it together Lord, I’m here!’  But it’s funny, when there’s no fear of God, and that fear is not torment, but it is reverential fear, it is a wonderful thing.  He says here “They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.” (verse 74) that’s where my hope is.’ 

 

The Divine Purpose Of Affliction

 

“I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.”  Listen, he knows that God’s judgments are right.  ‘I know, O LORD, thy judgments, what you do, is right,’ “and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.”  Well that’s quite a statement, “thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me”, because in the process we’re not happy, in the process of being worn down sometimes, you know, look, preparation is not always an easy season in our lives, it’s needful, but it isn’t easy.  Preparation is often a hard season in our lives.  But God has got the whole thing working.  And look at Joseph, in Egypt, look at this kid, the affliction that he went through.  Without God’s involvement? no way, no way.  His grandfather Abraham comes into the land, goes through this whole thing with Egypt, goes down there with Sarah, comes back, Hagar conceives, Abraham shows deference to Ishmael, there’s favoritism in the home, where Sarah wants Hagar and Ishmael driven out.  And of course Isaac, his favorite, as he grows up in the middle of all of that, he has two sons, and they show favoritism to opposite sons, and those boys were womb-mates, remember that?  Isaac shows favoritism towards Esau because he’s a bigger, stronger guy, brings home the venison and the stew, and Jacob connives his way into the birthright.  Jacob ends up fleeing from his brother, who wants to kill him, has a dream, the dream sets the course of his life, but after the dream, he ends up ripped off in Padam Aram by uncle Laban who makes him work 7 years for Rachel, but then gives him Leah on the wedding night, then he’s gotta do 7 more years to get Rachel.  He ends up with two wives, two concubines and a whole mess of kids, and Joseph is the 11th in the process, talk about a dysfunctional home, grows up in the middle, one of his earliest memories is his mom dying on the side of the road giving birth to Benjamin, Rachel dies on the side of the road.  His two older brothers Levi and Simeon slaughter all of the men at Shechem, tricking them into getting circumcised, then slaughtering, murdering.  Imagine this kid, his earliest memories.  And Jacob ends up Israel, Jacob…and Jacob says, no doubt a sweeter old man, he says ‘I did things wrong, my brother hated me, my brother wanted to kill me, but God covered me, and Jacob said, ‘I had a dream, and I saw God in that dream, nobody else understood, and it set the course of my life, I got ripped off, I did my best for 7 years, thought things were going right, and I worked 7 more years after that.’  And Joseph ends up in a situation where he’s hated by his older brothers, he has a dream, the dream sets the course of his life, he’s sold into slavery into Potipher’s house, he works for 7 years to do what’s right, then gets ripped off.  Does that story sound familiar?  And then the years in prison again, doing his best.  And then there’s some divine amnesia that takes place, the butler forgets about him, the whole process.  It says in the Book of Psalms God is putting iron in his soul.  He goes to bed in prison with a beard, he’s dirty, Egyptians have none of that, by the way, you don’t have a beard, the prisoners have beards.  Pharaoh has this dream, you know the story, fat cows, the thin cows, the whole thing, and he’s troubled, and the butler goes ‘I know this Hebrew kid, he interprets dreams.  He had dreams, he’s good with dreams.’  God used dreams to set the stage of his life.  They go and get him, he comes shaven like a cue ball, cover him all up, put perfume on him, apply makeup, he goes to bed with a beard, the next day he’s standing in front of the most powerful man in the world.  And by that afternoon, he’s second in command, he’s the second most powerful man on the planet.  He was a prisoner the night before.  And God’s preparation is not always the season that we wish it was, but it’s necessary.  He’s saying here, you know, “in faithfulness hast thou afflicted me.”  You look at David, Samuel coming, goes to all the brothers,  ‘Is there any more?’ no, but there’s one more Hippie out in the field playing his guitar.’  ‘Bring him in here,’ Samuel anoints him with oil.  It was years before he would be the king that he was anointed to be, fleeing like a partridge on the mountains, pursued by Saul, nothing but afflicting, afflicting, and God is carving away, and carving away, and makes him the greatest king that ever lived, that Israel ever saw.  Daniel, ripped away from his parents, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, ripped away from their parents, when he was probably 13 years old, carried to Babylon, made a eunuch, went into the service of Nebuchadnezzar, but he ends up 60 years later a man of sterling character, and he changes again the course of the world, as Joseph did, changed the course of the world.  So by saying that when I’m being afflicted I’m happy because…no, no, I’m miserable.  I’m just saying, the truth is, that in God’s seminary there are mandatory courses that are not electives.  And he says here ‘I know, LORD, in faithfulness, LORD, you’ve afflicted me, the season of preparation is not easy, but LORD, you were at work.’ 

 

‘Let Vindication Come, O LORD

 

So now his prayer is, the let’s, ‘Allow LORD, “Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.” (verse 76)  ‘Let your mercy be on me, LORD, you’re the one who does these things, I’m hand-make, I fear you, and those who fear you, they’re going to be glad when they see me, because my hope is in your Word.  I know, LORD, that your judgments are right, what you do is right, I’m not happy about it all the time, but I know what you do is right, and in your faithfulness you’ve afflicted me, so now LORD let your mercy and your kindness come upon me, and let it be for my comfort, not the way the world comforts, let it be for my comfort,’ and here’s why, “according to thy Word unto thy servant.”  Secondly, “Let, I pray thee, thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live:  for thy law       is my delight.” (verse 77)  ‘Let your tender mercies come, that my life may continue, LORD.’  “Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without cause:  but I will meditate in thy precepts.” (verse 78)  ‘Let vindication come, LORD, in the final analysis,’ he says the proud in heart, in verse 69 forged a lie against me, he says “Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause:  but I will meditate in thy precepts.” (verse 78) 

 

‘Bind Us Believers Together LORD

 

The next request, “Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.” (verse 79) he mentioned them in verse 63, he mentioned them in verse 74, “Let them that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.”  ‘LORD, let us, bind us together LORD, bring us together LORD, let me have that witness LORD.’  [It is the LORD’s desire for the Body of Christ to be bound together in some form of unity, not ecumenical unity, but unity of purpose and through the unity the Holy Spirit brings, coupled to revival within the Body of Christ.  see http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophets/Zephaniah/Zephaniah1.htm and scroll the section on Zephaniah 2:1-3.]   

 

“Let My Heart Be Sound In Thy Statutes”

 

And then look, “Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.” (verse 80)  ‘Please allow my heart, if it goes, I already know, it goes astray, and then you’ve gotta afflict me to bring me back,’ “Let my heart be sound” your translation may say “blameless,” “faultless,” the idea is ‘let it be healthy or whole, let my heart be right LORD,’ “in thy statutes;” the reason, “that I be not ashamed.”  ‘LORD, let me do what is right LORD, put it in my heart.’ 

 

Psalm 119:81-88

 

CAPH

 

“My soul fainteth for thy salvation:  but I hope in thy word.  Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?  For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.  How many are the days of thy servant?  when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?  The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law.  All thy commandments are faithful:  they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me.  They had almost consumed me upon the earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.  Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.”

 

Waiting For God’s Promise To Be Fulfilled Is Not Easy

 

“And verse 81 then says, ‘waiting for this is not easy.’  Have you noticed that?  Waiting is tough.  I don’t like to wait for anything.  My wife probably says it in her sleep, “You are so impatient.”  [A very close friend of mine, she tells me the same thing]  Says it to me all the time, when I’m driving, wherever we are, the Mall, saying [to her] ‘Come on!’  Because you go to the Mall with your wife, I love Cathy, but I understand, I’ve broken the code, ‘Honey, do you want to go to the Mall?’  She’s not really asking me if I want to go to the Mall, she’s saying ‘You’d better go with me.’  And again, when we go to the Mall, she’s shopping, I can’t stand shopping.  I’m a man, I want to shoot it, strap it ontop of the car and bring it home.  I’m hunting, I know what I want, when I see it I get it in my sights, I pull the trigger.  She sees it in one store, has to go to fifteen other stores to see what their price is and colors are like.  And if we don’t buy anything that’s fine, it was fun.  It wasn’t.  [Loud laughter]  [To see how important it is for a guy to go shopping with his wife, read the first page on this series on how marriage works, at http://www.HOWMARRIAGEWORKS.com]  God made us different, so I’m impatient there, at the check-out stand when someone takes out a check, I say ‘This is not why it’s called a check-out stand, here is 20 bucks, go through the line.’  Traffic, I can’t stand when somebody’s doing 34 miles and hour in a 35 mile an hour zone.  What’s wrong with these people?  So, look, she says to me “You are so impatient,” and I guess I am, Jesus is coming, I got things to do.  Waiting is not easy for any of us.  Listen, and particularly let’s read these verses.  “My soul fainteth for thy salvation:  but I hope in thy word.  Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?  For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.  How many are the days of thy servant?  when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?  The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law.  All thy commandments are faithful:  they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me.  They had almost consumed me upon the earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.  Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.” (verses 81-88)  Here the Psalmist goes to the point where he’s saying ‘Let this happen, let that happen, LORD, I know I have difficulty, I know this, I’ve learned in the past.’  But he’s saying, look, there are times, it isn’t just waiting, I’m impatient in just normal waiting.  You know in the New Testament it often uses the word for patience hupomene, that means “to wait under pressure.”  It’s not just you’re waiting, you’re waiting while you’re getting hit on the head with hail.  I mean, just, you’re waiting while every pressure’s against you, and this is waiting, this is patience during a time of apparent abandonment.  That’s not true, God doesn’t abandon us.  But there are times when we’re waiting, we feel like What is the deal?!?  You’ve forsaken me.  I’ve witnessed to everybody else, where are you?  My life stinks, my heart is broken, I don’t even want to do this anymore, I’ve got nothing left, I’m worn out.  I’m cried out, I’m dried up, I’m done, where are you?’  [That’s exactly the way I feel, and where I’m at right now.]  It’s difficult enough to be impatient, but it’s very hard not to be impatient when there’s this season of apparent abandonment, which [God abandoning us] is never gonna happen.  He said “I’ll never leave nor forsake you, I’m with you always, even to the end of the age.”  But he’s not tangible, some days when we want to reach out and touch him, like John, we want to lean on his breast.  But he’s right there.  And when you don’t sense his presence, I know exactly where he is, he’s standing right next you, not wanting you to sense his presence.  It’s the only answer there is.  He says here, look, “My soul fainteth for thy salvation:  but I hope in thy word.” (verse 81)  Now “fainteth” is “languishing,” it’s worn out, and his “salvation” in the context, is “your deliverance LORD,” ‘My soul is languishing,’ this is something inward, it’s not just whatever is happening physically, he’s saying ‘internally, LORD, I am worn out, I’m languishing, my soul is constantly fainting,’  “fainteth,” the “eth” gives us the sense “is in the process of this,” ‘but I hope in your Word, I don’t understand everything that’s going on, but my hope is still in your word.’  “Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?” (verse 82)  It’s almost like his eyes, ‘my eyes are weary, their tired, they’re strained,’ the idea is he’s searching God’s Word for that thing that’s gonna comfort him.  And you know what that’s like.  Sometimes we go through a very difficult circumstance, difficult time, and you read the Word, you read the Word, you read the Word, sometimes it’s two, three or four days, then all of sudden something rises off the page and it looks you right in the face, the tears come, you begin to break, you begin to weep.  Even David, ‘How long, O LORD, all of your waves, your billows are going over me.’  Here he says, ‘My eyes are worn out, they’re weary, looking in your Word saying ‘When will you comfort me?’ 

 

How Much Time Do You Have Left?

 

“For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.” (verse 83)  There were no bottles then, so ‘I have become like a wineskin,’ goat milk was put in it, wine was put in it, water was put in it.  The idea is, that you only had in those days clay pottery for liquid, or you had a skin.  The skin was flexible, was easy to take with you, it was a canteen, you could have it with you.  But the problem is, wherever you made your fire, wherever your hacienda was, your tent was, your tabernacle, your tent, it would hang in the tent, and it would get dried.  Jesus said you can’t put new wine in old skins, because they’re dry, they burst.  He said ‘I’m dried up, LORD, I’m like a wineskin in the smoke, hanging by the fire, I’m dry, and I’m weary LORD, I’m getting hard, I’m shriveling there, I’m become like a bottle in the smoke, a skin drying from the heat of the fire,’ which was something that was common in that culture.  yet do I not forget thy statutes.” (verse 83b)  ‘LORD, I’m not letting go of your Word, I know that.’  “How many are the days of thy servant?  when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?” (verse 84)  ‘LORD, how long am I gonna live?  How many days do I have [i.e. your promises to me, how long will I have to enjoy their fulfillment, seeing I grow old waiting, that’s the essential question he’s asking of the LORD—how do I know?  because that’s the question I am asking the LORD]?  How many days do we have in our lives, guys?  How much longer are we gonna live?  What do we have left?   Just again, you think of it very briefly, you spend 8 hours a day sleeping—I wish, huh—and if you spend 6 hours a night sleeping, that’s a fourth of your life, gone.  If you spend 3 hours a day eating, if you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Out of 24 hours of a day, that’s another 8th of your life gone.  If you spend a couple hours journeying back and forth to work, you spend a couple hours in front of the tube, you spend a couple hours on the computer [the Smart-phone is fast turning into man’s and woman’s worst enemy for chewing up time doing basically useless things, but if you tell someone who has one, they get mad at you and find all kinds of excuses to prove you wrong—when what they have is a serious addiction to the damn device].  You spend an hour a day bathing [my showers are much shorter, ranging in the range of minutes], going to the bathroom, washing your face, just taking care of yourself, you’re left with a very small portion of your life, and at 60 years old, 50, wherever you are, how much time do you have left?  I’ll tell you this, there’s not enough time for backbiting, or fighting, for sinning, for meanness, not enough time left.  [We may have just enough time left for a good revival within the Body of Christ, but just barely enough, the way things look].  He says “How many are the days of thy servant?  when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?” (verse 84)  ‘LORD, how long of my life will it be?  when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?  the pressure is killing me.’  “The proud” there they are again, “have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law.” (verse 85)  It was against the law to set traps for human beings to fall in.  You could trap a wild animal, but this was against the law to dig a pit, to cover it up, if a human being fell in you were in all kinds of trouble.  He said, ‘The proud, that’s what they do, it’s like they’re setting snares, digging pits for me, that’s not even right with your law.’   “All thy commandments are faithful:  they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me.” (verse 86)  ‘LORD, your Word is good, LORD, your Word, all thy commandments are faithful, they persecute me wrongfully, so help me LORD, all your commandments are good LORD, I get back to your Word, I realize LORD I am doing what’s right, everything seems to be coming down on my head, and I realize LORD they’re persecuting me wrongfully, they’re wrong.  They got the upper hand, they’re wrong.  Help me LORD.’  “They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.” (verse 87)  ‘Almost, they seem to be way more than they really were in the final analysis.  They seem to be one thing,’  “They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.” (verse 87)  ‘That’s what held me there, God’s precepts.’  And of course it is what Satan would love us to do, would be to forsake the Word, the precepts of God.

 

In Closing, ‘LORD, Revive Us’

 

And he says this, “Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.” (verse 88)  ‘I’m gonna keep your Word.’  ‘LORD, you’ve dealt well with me, I am your servant.  Teach me what’s right, before I was afflicted I went astray, I’m a hard-head, I’m a knuckle-head, I admit it.  But your affliction was medicine, it brought me back on path.’  [and remember, sometimes years of affliction have nothing to do with being off God’s path, but is done to prepare us for something greater, some greater work God is going to have us be doing, remember Joseph]  ‘The proud, they’re always forging a lie, this is going on, their heart is fat like grease, but LORD, it’s good for me that you’ve afflicted me, it made me teachable again.  The law of, LORD, your mouth, your Word is more to me than all of the riches of this world.   I realize you made me with your hand, so LORD, give me understanding, let me function in that truth, I need to see it, LORD.  I know LORD that your judgments are right and in your faithfulness you’ve afflicted me, so let me have your tender mercies, LORD, so I might be comforted by your Word, let your tender mercies come unto me that I might live the right way.  Let the proud have to face their own thing, let there be vindication.  Let those that fear thee come to me LORD, gather me together with true believers.  And let my heart be sound, LORD, let it be healthy, let it be right, so that I don’t have to be ashamed.  And my soul is hanging here, I’m waiting for all this, it isn’t easy LORD.  I’m worn, I’m languishing, and yet I hope in your Word.  My eyes, they’re failing me, I’m looking for promise after promise in your Word, LORD, that might comfort me.  I’m become like a wineskin in a dry place by the fireplace, I’m drying out and I’m becoming hard, and I know it’s no good LORD.  And yet I’m not forgetting your statutes.  How many are the days of my life?  LORD, you need to intervene, life is so temporary, so fragile, I’m so mortal.  The proud, they’ve dug ditches for me, to just snare me.  All your commandments are faithful.  And I know that, and I realize they’re persecuting me wrongfully, so LORD I need your help.  I’ve almost been consumed, I’m almost gone, my foot had well-nigh slipped as Asaph said, I’ve not forsaken your precepts,’ and now comes the final request where he says, ‘LORD,’ “Quicken me” if you have a literal translation it says “Revive me” ‘Give me life again,’ but what he’s asking for is supernatural.  And in all of the things he’s been through, he’s realizing there is no earthly resource for this to take place.  And look, he’s talking upward, look at verse 65, “Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word.”  “Thy” verse 66, “Thy” verse 67, “Thy” verse 68, you go all the way through every verse, directly it’s speaking to God, every single verse of the 176 verses, except for the first five.  Remarkable.  And in the bottom of it all, he says, ‘Revive me, bring me back to life, LORD, you need to do this.’  I think it’s a great prayer [and it’s mine].  I look at our nation, I look at the world, I look at the Church [greater Body of Christ], I look at our culture, it’s a great time for us to be praying ‘LORD, revive us, revive us, bring us back to what we should be, LORD, a people that fear the LORD in the midst of this culture, let us be salt and light, let us be health to those around us, LORD.  This world, people are in darkness and they’re lost.  You so loved the world you gave your only begotten Son, this world is going to hell LORD, you sacrificed your Son for it, to save it, to embrace it, to cleanse it, to wash it in your blood, to make atonement.  So LORD, revive us, let us be the messengers of Light, let the love of Christ be shed abroad from our hearts, and LORD in the process of course bringing me back to life.’  Sounds like a good prayer, doesn’t it?  Now, just me and another guy here need to be revived? so pray for the two of us, would you please [laughter].  Let’s do this, let’s stand, we’ll have the musicians come, and we’ll sing our petition to the Lord, we’ll ask him to move among us and touch our lives.  Read ahead, read ahead…[transcript of a connective expository sermon on Psalm 119:65-88, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

related links:

 

“Thy hands have fashioned me” see

http://www.unityinchrist.com/dinosaurs/molecularmachines.htm

 

God’s laws have not been done away or ‘nailed to the cross.’  The Bible is God’s handbook for what he made, God’s the manufacturer.  See

http://www.unityinchrist.com/newcovenant/TheNEWCOVENANT.htm

 

“Bind us believers together, LORD  see

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophets/Zephaniah/Zephaniah1.htm

 

 

 

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