Meditation Leads to Practice
Psalms 119:129 Pe Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them.
David is a man after God’s own heart, and we would do well to follow in many of his steps. One of the ways that David is a model for our own prayers is his consistent exaltation of God and His Word. Too often the Christian prayer is something like this:
Oh Heavenly Father, grant such and such that I want. Help me today. Thanks for the food, too. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
But when we consider the constant prayer that is Psalm 119, we see repeatedly that praising God and exalting His Word is the theme. And why shouldn’t it be? God himself has exalted His name and His word above all things (Psalm 138:2). So, dear Christian, make your requests known to God (Philippians 4:6), but do so with thanksgiving in your heart and prayerful praise to God and His word.
And when we begin to pray that way, we see the promise of Philippians 4:7-9 manifest in our lives. Because when we understand that God’s testimonies are wonderful we will meditate on them. And when we think about things above us we will begin to live them out, and practice them (Philippians 4:9). But it starts with the humble confession that “Your testimonies are wonderful” before we can arrive at “therefore, my soul keeps them.”
Out of Darkness Into The Light
Psalms 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.
Ephesians 5:8 tells us that at one time we were darkness. It is not only true that we were in darkness, but we were darkness before Christ converted us to light in the world. And it is through the washing of water with the word that we are cleansed from our sin and delivered from the domain of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). The psalmist reminds us that the revelation of God gives light. Without God’s Word, we would be completely in the dark.
Darkness is a spiritual force in the heavenly places designed to deceive us. It has the power to blind the eyes of men (1 John 2:11). But God, who is rich in mercy can enlighten the eyes (Psalm 19:8) by His commandment! He is the one who delivers from darkness and draws us to the light. And isn’t bringing light into darkness the very first work of God that we read about in Genesis 1:2-3? He is literally in the “shining light on the darkness” business!
And his words impart understanding to the simple. Wisdom from God is our goal. You may say, “No! Being conformed to the image of Christ is our goal.” But what is wisdom if not the person of Jesus? When we learn Christ, we learn wisdom; when we learn wisdom, we learn about Christ. And not only that, but we are made wise instead of simple. Not many of us were wise, but God chose what is foolish in this world to shame the wise (1 Corinthians 1:26-27). There is a corollary implication here. It isn’t only true that God’s word gives understanding to the simple, but that those who are wise in their own eyes will never be able to gain wisdom from God. It is solely a humble spirit that receives understanding from God’s words.
Excited About God’s Word Yet?
Psalms 119:131 I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments.
Now we get to the crux of where every man, woman, and child needs to be. Having established that God’s testimonies are wonderful (Psalm 119:129), that the revealing of them delivers from darkness and makes wise the simple (Psalm 119:130), the reasonable result is that the child of God would desire them. David is so desirous of God’s commandments that he has literally lost his breath. The excitement of being forgiven and brought to the light overwhelms him. The promise that he will have understanding as to how to obey God is too much to take sitting down. He pants!
Dear believer, do not misunderstand. We (as David was) are justified by grace through faith alone in the finished work of the resurrected Jesus. But our salvation doesn’t end there. That is the beginning of our new-creaturehood. That is the inception of our lives as children of God. And, as children who call God Father, we are to be conformed to His ways and not our former ones.
1 Peter 1:14-17 ESV As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile,
And how do we know God’s plan? How do we know our Father’s will? It is through His Word. When we wake up in the morning and, in our flesh, are unsure how to live, we should be excited to have an instruction manual. Do you find yourself longing for God’s commands today? Is your heart’s fire for obedience to God a smoldering wick, or is it a burning flame? Is insight from God what you long for today?
It’s All Grace
Psalms 119:132 Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your way with those who love your name.
And how are we supposed to receive God’s Word? We receive it by faith. Faith has been said to be “taking God at His Word,” and we have no hope of doing this if not for grace. Every good and every perfect gift is from above (James 1:17), and understanding the Bible is no exception. So we pray with the psalmist that God would be gracious toward us. Yes, we have already received an abundance, but humble spirits need more! And why not, Our God is able to supply according to his infinite riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
John 1:16 ESV For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
God is glorified by His giving of more and more grace. It magnifies God’s benevolence and kindness in the eyes of creatures when He expresses pity on them and blesses them with still more grace. Oh, how many Christians will go to Heaven and only realize there that there was more grace available in this life had they only asked? God will never run out and you can never exhaust His grace! Too often we don’t ask for more grace because we don’t feel we deserve it.
We never deserve it. That’s why we call it grace. It is not earned. It’s granted by a good and merciful Savior.
So what is our confidence and hope? It is that God’s way with those who love Him is graciousness. Because Yahweh is immutable, He can do nothing but be gracious to the elect—those creatures whom the Father chose, for whom Christ atoned, and to whom the Holy Spirit applied the blood of Jesus, the sacrificial lamb of God. If you are in Christ today, God’s disposition toward you is and can be nothing except divine love. The Father can have no ill will toward the Son, and that includes His body, the church. His treasure trove of graces is infinite; do not fear to come to Him today for more!
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