Feast on Christ!
Psalms 119:57 Heth. Yahweh is my portion; I promise to keep your words.
What is your portion, O child of God? Where do you get your sustenance for the day? Our Lord taught us to pray “Give us this day our daily bread,” (Matthew 6:11) and told us that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
It is a miserable man who is surrounded by friends and yet is lonely, but we can understand that phenomenon. Even stranger would be a man who starves to death in a house full of food. But the man or woman of God who isn’t regularly feasting on the Word of God, (even Christ Himself), is to be most pitied. For Christ is always there (Hebrews 7:25) for us, and His bounty never runs out. Though you feed 5,000 others, giving them your own meager portion, you will depart with a load of grace greater than what you began with.
Now once you have digested the sweet Words of Christ, what else is there to do but to keep them? “You are what you eat” is spiritually axiomatic and produces more startling effects on our soul than junk food does on our body. For when we eat junk food it quickly passes out of our system. Ingesting spiritual junk food should bring to mind candy on the teeth: it breeds decay and leaves us craving nutrition—but we still have a hankering for the junk. Fill your soul with the honey of God’s Word, the meat of deep doctrine, and the fellowship of the saints, and you will find yourself not only willing but able to keep God’s words. Be transformed by the power of God through the renewing of your mind!
It’s Always By Grace!
Psalms 119:58 I entreat your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.
As we have seen a number of times already in previous portions is Psalm 119, the psalmist follows up a commitment to faithfulness with an earnest plea to the Lord of grace to help him keep it. There is a sense of desperation in his words: “I entreat” as David knows that apart from Yahweh, he can do no good thing. It is with all his heart that he entreats the Lord to be gracious to him, and we trust that earnest prayers to God for grace will be swiftly answered.
God has told us to love Him with all our hearts, so we also pray with all our hearts and cast our cares on Him with all our hearts. God loves to give His children good gifts (Matthew 7:11), and there is no greater gift than the gift of holiness. Commit to keeping God’s Word, ask Him to assist you from your whole heart, and then grab hold of the grace that is certain to abound. We serve a God who has already given us His Son! Will He not also freely give us all things (Romans 8:32)? Does He withhold anything good from His child? (Psalm 84:11)
God had promised to send a messiah, a deliverer. And now we live on the other end of that promise. We have seen the Christ. We know of His glorious resurrection and ascension into Heaven. Yet we still cling to the promise of future deliverance and the promise of present help in times of trouble. We enjoy present justification, but we continue to look forward to glorification. This earthly experience gives us plenty of reason to doubt, but God is faithful and His Word has been established and is unchanging (Psalm 119:89). But while we remain in this corruptible flesh, while we wait for when this corruptible will put on incorruptible (1 Corinthians 15:53)—we enjoy the grace of victory over our sin and flesh!
It would have been enough if God simply forgave our sins and then promised a glorified body. We would owe him infinite gratitude if that were all He delivered. But our God has promised more than that and is always faithful. He gives us present victory over the world (1 John 5:3-4). Yes, we are free from the bondage to sin and enabled to keep His Word by His marvelous grace. We are saints in-deed.
Repentance Is Godliness
Psalms 119:59 When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies;
Earlier in Psalm 119:26, David confessed his sin and received forgiveness. Here David is thinking about his sin. There is a difference between fantasizing about your previous life of sin and meditating on it for the sake of repenting. While we are not to dwell on that which God has forgiven, it is a healthy exercise for the Christian to periodically recall who he once was and who he sometimes still can be.
Recalling our previous life of sin should fill us with great joy for the richness of the beauty of God’s grace toward us. As well, our temperament toward sinners should be one of humility. Christians are fallible and are apt to forget their own days of rebellion, resulting in poor treatment of our neighbor whom we ought to be compassionately reaching toward with the gospel. Yes, dear child of God, you are allowed (even encouraged) to hate sin. But do not forget that even your will to abhor that which is evil is a gift from God.
And as we consider our ways from of old, and move our minds toward today, how many sins must we still confess? How much of our lives is wasted on lawful but worthless pursuits? We have stopped all the outward sins—this is great and we ought to praise and thank Jesus for that. But we still have sin in our flesh, battling to come to the surface and enjoy itself for a season. We have no defense against this pernicious attack except to walk in God’s ways. When we look at our transgressions, we see that our feet were not turned toward God’s testimonies. We walked according to the prince of the power of the air for a time, and we cannot right our own course. But turning our walk and our gaze toward the reviving Word of God will bring us back into sweet fellowship with the dear Son of God through His Spirit whom He has poured out into our hearts.
Repentance Is Only Seen By Action
Psalms 119:60 I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments.
Once we have turned our eyes toward God’s commands (Psalm 119:6) and then pointed our feet in the right direction, we now must walk. It is the man who flees sexual immorality who escapes it (1 Corinthians 6:18), not the man who dawdles amidst it. Remember Lot’s wife (Luke 17:32). She didn’t hasten but delayed to keep God’s commandments, and it spelled her doom. We exhibit our mind’s decision to follow God’s statutes and walk in His commandments when we outwardly head in that direction.
There is a sense of anxiety in our psalmist in the Heth octave. He entreats God’s favor, positions his feet properly, and does not delay. Every parent knows that “delayed obedience is disobedience.” How much more true is that than with God Himself? We have no excuse to delay our obedience to God’s commands except to confess that we are often a stiff-necked people. The mature man or woman of Christ is quick to repent and show it outwardly. Not “in order to be seen” by others, but because so little pride remains they cannot bear the thought of public reproach on Christ because of their sin.
My friend, hasten your trust and obedience! Do not put off until tomorrow what God desires you to do today. Stop presuming upon His grace. Whether you are actively ensnared in sins of commission or omitting to do all that you know to be good, do not delay your repentance, and do not allow your repentance to be nothing more than a change of mind. If faith is not accompanied by works it is dead, and repentance apart from a change in course is fake repentance.
You would spit out foul tasting food the moment it touched your tongue. You’d remove your hand from a fire before you could feel the heat. Without planning, we rarely go more than a few hours without a meal. We naturally recoil from things we dislike and naturally crave that which will nourish us when we need it. So why is it that you are able to go so long without feasting on God’s Word? Why do you linger so long with sin and temptations to sin? Why does your mind not recoil from wicked thoughts as your hand from a hot flame? The answer is that a part of us still likes the sin, still finds enjoyment there rather than in Jesus.
Entreat the favor of the Lord today that He might grant you new desires and more holiness. Beg our Triune God to conform you to the image of His Son, no matter what the personal cost. (Psalm 119:72)
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