Being a Servant Requires Humility
Psalms 119:125 I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies!
It is a blessing to “know one’s place,” and for the child of God, we have obtained many roles in relation to our Lord. We are joint-heirs with Christ, sons of the Father, and called saints throughout the New Testament. Because our sinful tendencies are likely to lead us toward pride as we assume these roles, it is good that we remember that we were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). We are servants, or to say it better: we are slaves to Christ.
Spiritual privilege is not easy for a humble man to deal with. Most of us cannot honestly say we are “the humble man.” How much harder is it for those of us who still feed our indwelling pride to kill it? We have the disease and God’s Word is the medicine. Kill your pride by reminding yourself of the truth that you are nothing more than an unworthy servant (Luke 17:10). Cast the idea that God is lucky you chose Him far from your mind and serve him like you owe him everything and you’re happy to try to pay Him back.
And what is the cry of a servant’s heart? It is to know the master’s will. No servant will do anything worthwhile if it is not the will of his master. Can you imagine a queen wanting a glass of tea and one of her servants fetching her a bowl of delicious ice cream? No matter how well-meaning the servant nor how excellent the frozen dessert, the fact remains that the servant has acted as if he knows better than his master. This is not servanthood! Much more should we cry out to God for understanding of His testimonies and his ways so that we might worship Him in Truth through our good service by the strength that He supplies (1 Peter 4:11).
Lawbreakers Break Christian Hearts
Psalms 119:126 It is time for Yahweh to act, for your law has been broken.
Christian servants love their Master, Jesus Christ. Although we fail to love Him as we ought, our lives
should be are marked by our devotion to Him and nothing else (Matthew 6:24). One of the ways you know that you love God is that you love His commandments (1 John 5:3). To keep His law is to love His law, and is the duty of every Christian. We are justified by grace through faith apart from works of the law, yet the regenerate soul cries out with David that God’s law is our love and delight (Psalm 1:2; Psalm 119:97).
For the man or woman who has been transferred from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of his marvelous light, the standard pagan practice of breaking God’s law is horrid. Again, reminders of who we once were are much needed to quell our pride. We should never have so much disdain for sinners that we forget the line drawn by God’s grace alone which we are now on the right side of. But for a Christian to wink at God’s law being violated or to be completely indifferent is unknown to the holy scripture. Christians are law-keepers by nature (1 John 3:9), having been made into new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17), and are being conformed into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).
Because we love what is righteous we hate what is evil. Therefore we cry out with David, “It is time for you to act, Lord!” It is one thing to count it all joy when we encounter various trials (James 1:2), but we can do that while still despising the sin and shame around us. We beckon the Lord Jesus to return for his bride and take us home—delivering us from the presence of evil and lawlessness. You may also interpret this as a call for Holy Spirit wrought revival. Because God’s law has been broken, it is time for God to act—because God alone can do what is necessary to fulfill the requirements of His law (Galatians 3:13).
God’s Law > Fine Gold
Psalms 119:127 Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold.
A similar sentiment to the one found in Psalm 119:72, verse 127 reminds us that the things that have the greatest value from an earthly perspective are worth nothing compared to the value of God’s Word. Even God’s commandments which are too weak to justify a man or make him righteous are of greater value than the finest gold.
David is a helpful example for us. He was “rich” with earthly possessions and yet saw that it was all worthless when compared to God’s commandments. David, with all his wealth, could not make a sacrifice pleasing to God unless it came from a heart that had been broken by God’s law (Psalm 51:17). And it is David’s love for God’s commandments which motivates him to open his mouth to tell transgressors God’s ways.
Psalms 119:46-47 ESV I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame, 47 for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love.
Think of it this way, if you were really, really wealthy, do you believe you would be happy to share that wealth? Wouldn’t you feel obligated to be charitable, especially to those who are severely less fortunate than you? Well—you are wealthy if you know Christ today (Ephesians 3:8; Philippians 4:19; Colossians 2:3). You have something of far greater worth than earthly treasure. How can you keep your mouth closed to declare the praises of the One who blessed you with such a blessing! Maybe you do not truly value Christ and His Word as you ought to. Maybe you value earthly possessions, status, and creature comforts above the eternal, unchanging Word of God. If this is you, turn back to the God of all grace today and drink from his wellspring of hope in Christ that you may be strengthened for this battle.
Start with God, then GO…
Psalms 119:128 Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right; I hate every false way.
One of the most important trademarks of God’s Word is that it is inerrant. How can we trust a God who either lies or makes mistakes? A god like that is foolish, and nothing more than the result of man’s wicked imagination. We fancy a god who is just like we are (Psalm 50:21). But our God never learns. There is no room for improvement in any of His perfections. Therefore, He is always right, and whatever He says is right. This is a terror for the evildoer, but a great comfort to the forgiven child of God.
When we begin with God’s precepts as the absolute standard, we have rational hope that we may righteously judge the world around us (John 7:24). Modern pagans will tell you it is not right to judge at all. Let them all learn the Heimlich maneuver that they may save each other from choking on the irony of their own unrighteous judgments! We all judge; it is our nature because we are made in God’s image (Isaiah 61:8; Psalm 37:28). Our problem lies in our refusal to employ God’s standards for our judging.
Thus, David begins the end of this octet with the proclamation that God’s precepts are right. All of them! And thus it follows that every other way is false and therefore worthy of disposal. It is not enough for the Christian to say “I believe what I believe but I won’t judge someone else for their beliefs.” This is as hateful as letting a child play with a fork near an outlet or allowing him or her to walk through a parking lot with his or her hand unheld. When you love someone, you do what you can to protect them while they are weak, teach them how to protect themselves so they’ll grow, and warn them of the very real dangers they are ignorant of.
Oh no, the “christian” who will not declare God’s law to sinners loves not sinners, but himself alone. When we hate every false way because of our love for God’s ways, that hatred for evil manifests itself when we open our mouths. We’d call a national emergency if we knew the water had been poisoned, but to tell people they’ll burn for eternity if they don’t come to Christ is too offensive. Let us start with the perfect precepts of God, let them strike the blows they’ll strike in our neighbors’ hearts, then offer the healing salve of the Gospel to those who have ears to hear.
See all posts in this series
Psalm 119:1-4 — Blessed!
Psalm 119:5-8 — Blessed!
Psalm 119:9-12 — Purity is the Objective
Psalm 119:13-16 — Declare and Delight!
Psalm 119:17-20 — Open My Eyes!
Psalm 119:21-24 — The Comfort of God
Psalm 119:25-28 — Thirst and Life
Psalm 119:29-32 — Shame Shifting
Psalm 119:33-36 — Seeking The Way
Psalm 119:37-40 — Behold God's Promise
Psalm 119:41-44 — Answering the Taunter
Psalm 119:45-48 — A Wide Place
Psalm 119:49-52 — Comfort Amidst Affliction
Psalm 119:53-56 — Righteous Anger?
Psalm 119:57-60 — What's Your Portion?
Psalm 119:61-64 — Companionship
Psalm 119:65-68 — Afflicted by God
Psalm 119:69-72 — More Affliction?
Psalm 119:73-76 — Sovereign Creator
Psalm 119:77-80 — May God Supply!
Psalm 119:81-84 — Our Whole Being Longs for God
Psalm 119:85-88 — They Have Dug Pitfalls
Psalm 119:89-92 — Established
Psalm 119:93-96 — Limited Perfection
Psalm 119:97-100 — Elevated Wisdom
Psalm 119:101-104 — Sweeter Than Honey
Psalm 119:105-108 — Freewill, Oaths, and More Affliction
Psalm 119:109-112 — Sorrows, Snares, Sons, and a Savior
Psalm 119:113-116 — My Hiding Place and My Shield
Psalm 119:117-120 — God Discards the Dross
Psalm 119:121-124— Deliverance
Psalm 119:125-128— God's Law > Everything on Earth
Psalm 119:129-132 — Into The Light
Psalm 119:133-136 — Does Your Love Bring You To Tears?
Psalm 119:137-140 — Zeal + Ignorance = Worthless Religion
Psalm 119:141-144 — Assurance of Perseverance
Psalm 119:145-148— Meditate on the PROMISE
Psalm 119:149-152 — Be Comforted For God Is Near
Psalm 119:153-156— Christ Alone Delivers
Psalm 119:157-160 — We Are In A Battle
Psalm 119:161-164— Do You Hate Falsehood?
Psalm 119:165-168 — Cause → Effect
Psalm 119:169-172 — Eruption of Praise
Psalm 119:173-176 — Seek Your Servant Like a Lost Sheep