The goal of growing in godliness is to become more like Christ and think His thoughts after Him (2 Corinthians 10:5). But what many of us do is to become so committed to “never getting angry anymore” that instead of avoiding anger because it’s sinful and we hate it, we simply avoid the thoughts or emotions that ever even evoke anger from us. We become stoics out of strict pragmatism. We have traded sinful anger for sinful legalism. When what we ought to do is follow the man, Jesus Christ, who experienced all the temptations we do, yet exercised perfect anger, never sinning as the result. Avoiding anger altogether because you indulged too deeply in that sin before conversion is akin to avoiding church because you were a religious zealot before Christ. Put away the old—but put on the new.
when we are confronted with the temptation to be ashamed of God or His law, our only hope is to continue to trust in God and His Word! Christian, have you ever felt the need to apologize for God? How about when nonbelievers accuse God of evil because He judges His own creation? Or when God has provisions for slave owners in His Word? What about severe penalties for seemingly minor sins in Israel’s civil law? It is precisely because God’s ways are so different from ours that the wicked scoff at Him and His ways. Flee the temptation to apologize for God and to present Him as more palatable to the unregenerate heart—do not turn away from His law and His Word!
In verse 48, notice the repetition of the psalmist’s love for God’s commandments with is a little detail added. For what we find our delight in we will soon find ourselves giving our lives to. Is it not so with you, dear saint, that you dedicate the most time, effort, and energy toward that which you love the most? You want to know what a man loves? Direct your attention to where he spends his money, his time, and his gaze, and you will quickly know!
Secondly, we are reminded that the God of the Old Testament is the same God as the God of the New Testament and that He is a God of love. But not only is God love, what is striking is that He loves me. It is God’s love that is on display at the cross, and David well knows that he has no hope of delighting in the path of God’s commandments (Psalm 119:35) or keeping God’s law (Psalm 119:34) unless God “makes the first move.” We love because He first loved us! In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and gave His Son to be a propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:19,10)!
Turn My Eyes Psalm 119:37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. David has prayed throughout this Psalm, and particularly in the first half of the He octave, for a heart that truly delights in God’s ways (Psalm 119:5,27,32,33-36). But, as Jesus told us, the eye is […]
Seek Him Psalm 119:33 He Teach me, O Yahweh, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. As we begin the fifth octave, we find the psalmist repeating the desire to be taught by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Knowing that we have no hope apart from the revelation of […]
Lying Lips Psalms 119:29 ESV Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law! In the first half of the “Daleth” octet, we saw the psalmist confess to God and ask the Lord to guide him to greater understanding, so that he might not continue to sin against God (Psalm 119:11,26-27). Picking […]
Thirsty For Life? Psalms 119:25 ESV Daleth. My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word! What is brought to your mind when you read this verse? What does it mean for a soul to “cling to the dust?” I think a good clue is in the second clause: “give me […]
When we face trials of any kind, only the comfort of God can truly satisfy a man’s soul. Where do we find this comfort? Against what type of trials will this comfort suffice? What do we draw upon and from when the world gives us all it’s got? Answers are given in verses 21-24 of Psalm […]
Welcome to another pSaturday Psalm! This week we enter a new octet. Psalm 119:17 starts with the letter “Gimel.” One thing I realized for those who memorize this passage of scripture — when you’ve finished you’ll know the Hebrew alphabet! This octet continues the themes we’ve already seen in this psalm and drives home a key […]
Psalm 119:13-16 ESV With my lips I declare the rules of your mouth. In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. As we’ve begun […]
This week’s memory verses bring us deeper into this blessed Psalm and introduce a biblical term which is under-used and not often understood—purity. As we continue to study Psalm 119 and memorize it, I trust that God is causing you to meditate on His Word throughout your day. Memorization is a tool—a good tool—but the […]
As I meditated on Psalm 119:5-8 this week, I was overwhelmed by the psalmist’s obvious love for the Lord Jesus Christ. What is remarkable about my observation is that nowhere in the first 40 verses of this glorious psalm does the term love even appear. The legalist that still resides in my dead flesh wants me to […]
What an exciting and blessed year 2019 is going to be. If you don’t already know this about me, I am a serious proponent of scripture memory. In fact, I started a website dedicated to helping people memorize scripture. You can see it at memorizethescripture.com. Maybe you will join me one day in a group […]
In Psalm 32, David recounts the joy he experiences knowing that God has forgiven his sin. Psalms 32:1-2 ESV A Maskil of David. 1Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. […]
Beast mode refers to a state of performing something, especially difficult activities, with extreme power, skill, or determination (dictionary.com). For sports enthusiasts, this is most commonly understood when Marshawn Lynch famously has torn through opposing defenses (see here). The idea is that a human being begins to function in a different mode than normal, exhibiting characteristics […]
It’s been one of my life’s great joys to exegete Psalm 34 here on Things Above Us. Perhaps, to our readers, that will seem like an overreaching comment. I assure you it is not. It was weeks of writing, months of reading and research (which was a joy), a Sunday sermon, and a lifetime in […]
In understanding Psalm 34:18, we came to understand that it is within the crisis that God is present. What this means is that God often allows His faithful to suffer and to face various trials. This is exactly what verse 19 tells us:  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him […]
It never ceases to astonish me how similar suffering is from person to person, even if they are suffering for different reasons. The thing I hear most often with suffering believers is “I pray, but does God even hear me?” Our verses from Psalm 34 today put that issue to rest for each and every […]
Psalm 34 has a definite structure. The first third of the Psalm is David recounting God’s faithfulness. He rehearses it again and again: God answered him, God heard him, God encamps around him, and on and on it goes. There’s a give and take, David exalts God and God takes care of David. The second […]