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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

January 08 2024

Monday, January 08

We Need God’s Word


Psalm 119: 17-24


17 Deal bountifully with Your servant, That I may live and keep Your word.

18 Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.

19 I am a stranger in the earth; Do not hide Your commandments from me.

20 My soul breaks with longing For Your judgments at all times.

21 You rebuke the proud--the cursed, Who stray from Your commandments.

22 Remove from me reproach and contempt, For I have kept Your testimonies.

23 Princes also sit and speak against me, But Your servant meditates on Your statutes.

24 Your testimonies also are my delight And my counselors.


Psalm 119:17-24 is the third stanza of this psalm, and every line or verse begins with the third letter of the Hebrew alphabet in the Hebrew Bible. If ever we feel we can ignore our daily time with God in His Word, then this is the Scripture to read. We need the Word because we are servants, a word that the psalmist uses often in this chapter, (vv. 17, 23, 38, 49, 65, 76, 84, 122, 124, 125, 135, 140, 176). It is in His Word, that our Master gives us directions for the work He wants us to do.


It appears that most people view God as a “Jack-in-the-box”. They put in their quarter each Sunday, turn the handle and expect God to jump out and do their bidding. But the truth is that we are His servants and should have our eyes on Him seeking what He wants us to do. The Apostle Paul acknowledged in every epistle he wrote that he was a “bondservant”, a slave of the Lord Jesus Christ and so should we. Everything in creation serves the Lord (v. 91), and we who are His redeemed people ought to join them. He always deals bountifully with His servants and provides for them adequately (13:6; 116:7; 142:7; Luke 22:35; Phil 4:19).


Not only are we servants, but we are also students (v. 18), and our basic manual is the Word of God. However, unless God opens our eyes, we will never see the wonderful things hidden in its pages (Eph. 1:17-18). God's Word is wonderful (v. 129), His works are wonderful (107:8, 15, 21, 24, 31), and His love is wonderful (31:21), and we must meditate on the wonder of His Person, His truth, and His mighty works. The eyes have an appetite (vv. 82, 123; 1 John 2:16) and we must be careful where we focus them (v. 37). Eyes that feast on the vanities of this world will never see the wonders in God's Word.


Like the patriarchs of old, we are also strangers in this world (vv. 19-20; 39:12; 105:12, 23; Gen. 23:4; Ex. 2:22; Lev. 25:23; Heb. 11:8-9, 13-16; 1 Peter 1:1; 2:11), and we need the Lord's guidance as we walk the pilgrim path. The laws for driving in Great Britain are different from the laws in the United States and it is dangerous to confuse the two. God's people are being led on the narrow road that leads to life, while the people of the world are on the broad road that leads to judgment (Matt. 7:13-14). Just as the cloud and fiery pillar led Israel in their wilderness journey (Num. 9:15-23), so the Scriptures lead us (v. 105). The psalmist felt a crushing burden to read and ponder God's ordinances, and unlike many travelers today, he was not afraid to ask the Lord for directions. If we take time to meditate on the Word and seek the Lord, He will show us the path of life (16:11).


Because we serve a different Master, obey a different set of laws, and have our citizenship in a different country (Phil. 3:20), we are different from the lost people whom Jesus called "the children of this world" (Luke 16:8). We will not conform to the world (Rom. 12:2), and the world opposes and persecutes us because of this. Therefore, we are sufferers who bear reproach for Jesus Christ (vv. 21-14; Matt. 13:20-21; Heb. 13:13). The psalmist called these persecutors "the arrogant [proud]" (v. 21). This opposition was in high places among the rulers (vv. 23, 161), which would mean the nobles and officers of the land. The psalmist wanted God to remove the reproach they had put on him like a garment (v. 22).


The writer needed wisdom to know how to handle these difficult situations and he found counsel in God's Word (v. 24). Instead of listening to the enemy's slander, he meditated on God's truth.


This is a good way for us to keep our mind clean and confident too (Phil. 4:4-7)!


God bless!

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