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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

January 12 2024

Friday, January 12

We Need to Remember


Psalm 119:49-56


49 Remember the word to Your servant, Upon which You have caused me to hope.

50 This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life.

51 The proud have me in great derision, Yet I do not turn aside from Your law.

52 I remembered Your judgments of old, O LORD, And have comforted myself.

53 Indignation has taken hold of me Because of the wicked, who forsake Your law.

54 Your statutes have been my songs In the house of my pilgrimage.

55 I remember Your name in the night, O LORD, And I keep Your law.

56 This has become mine, Because I kept Your precepts.


Psalm 119:49-56 is the seventh stanza of this psalm, and every line or verse begins with the seventh letter of the Hebrew alphabet “ZAYIN”, in the Hebrew Bible. If the psalmist was a priest or a Levite, and he probably was, then he was required to be an expert on the book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy means "second law." The book records Moses's "farewell speech" that he gave to prepare the new generation of Israelites for the conquest of Canaan. After forty years of wandering, the nation would stop being nomads and would become settlers, but new generations would come along and be prone to forget the lessons of the past. In Deuteronomy, you find the word "remember" fifteen times and the word "forget" fourteen times. Some things in the past we must forget (Phil. 3:12-14), but some things we must never forget.


We need to remember that God remembers His people (vv. 49-51). When applied to the Lord, the word "remember" means "to pay attention to, to work on behalf of." Being omniscient, God cannot forget anything, but He can decide not to "remember it against us" (Isa. 43:25; Jer. 31:34; Heb. 8:12; 10:17). That is the negative side; the positive side is that He "remembers" to do us good and give us His blessing. He remembered Noah and delivered him (Gen. 8:1); He remembered Abraham and delivered Lot (Gen. 19:29); He remembered Rachel and Hannah and enabled them to conceive (Gen. 30:22; 1 Sam. 1:19). Remembering is not recalling, for God never forgets; it is relating to His people in a special way. The psalmist prayed that God would use the Word to work on his behalf. The writer had hope because of the promises God had given to him, and he prayed that those promises would be fulfilled. When Daniel found in the prophecy of Jeremiah the promise of Israel's deliverance from captivity, he immediately began to pray for the promise to be fulfilled (Dan. 9). True faith not only believes the promises but also prays for God to work. In his believing and praying, the writer found comfort and encouragement, ("comfort" comes from the Latin meaning "with strength"). He did not abandon his faith or run away from his problems. He was revived with new life (v. 50)!


We need to remember God's Word (vv. 52-54). How could this spiritual leader know the "ancient laws" that God gave Moses centuries before? The nation had preserved the Word (Deut. 31:24-29) and taught it to each new generation (Deut. 4:1-14), and this is the obligation of the church today (2 Tim. 2:2). Unless the Word of God is honored, taught, and obeyed in a church, that congregation is one generation short of extinction. The psalmist was dealing with proud and wicked people (vv. 51, 53). His response was to turn God's statutes into songs and to use the Word to praise the Lord (v. 54; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). He did not consider God's law a burden to bear; he saw the Word as a blessing to share—and he sang it! Praise that is not based on the truth of Scripture is unacceptable to the Lord. We are on a difficult pilgrimage from earth to heaven, and we need God's songs to encourage us and to help us witness to others along the way (Acts 16:22-34). We are strangers on the earth, and the Bible is our guidebook to this world (vv. 19, 64) and to ourselves (v. 64).


We need to remember His name (vv. 55-56). The name of God—Jehovah, Yahweh—is full of meaning and power. God's name Yahweh speaks not only of His existence and His eternality, but also of His sovereignty, His power, and the dynamic working out of His will in this world. To remember His name is to encourage our hearts to trust Him, obey Him, and not be afraid. "And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, Lord [Yahweh], have not forsaken those who seek you" (Psalm 9:10).


To remember God's name is to ask Him to remember us and work on our behalf. We must do this when we are in the darkness and afraid (v. 55), or when we are lonely and discouraged (Psalm 42:6). "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe" (Prov. 18:10).


God bless!

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