Live and Learn

Psalms 119:73-80 “Thy hands have made me and fashioned me; give me understanding, that I may learn Thy commandments. They that fear Thee will be glad when they see me, because I have hoped in Thy word. I know, O Lord, that Thy judgments are right, and that Thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. Let, I pray Thee, Thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to Thy word unto Thy servant. Let Thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live; for Thy law is my delight. Let the proud be ashamed, for they dealt perversely with me without cause; but I will meditate on Thy precepts. Let those that fear Thee turn unto me, and those that have known Thy testimonies. Let my heart be sound in Thy statutes, that I not be ashamed.”

This “JOD” stanza deals with the personal blessings and instructions received after experiencing the refining fire of adversity. A renewed desire for fellowship with the righteous is a key element in the revival, as well as a keener awareness of the plight of the wicked.

“Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort…”(vv.75-77). Though undeserving, we are afforded tender mercies from our Lord which transcend anything this world could ever offer. Why do we look for comfort anywhere else when we have all in Christ Jesus? Why do we question our Father’s care when we are called upon to bear a heavy burden or go through a difficult circumstance? The psalmist learned through his experience that God’s judgments were right, and that even if these judgments resulted in his own affliction, God was faithful in accomplishing His purpose (v.75). The psalmist desired God’s best as promised in God’s Word. Our prayer should reflect what we, too, have learned in the Word and through experience: perfect peace and overcoming love are found only in our Lord.

“Let those that fear thee turn unto me…” (vv.74,78-79). Victorious grace manifested in the midst of affliction is a blessing to others; the saint who has proven the trustworthiness of the Word by experience is a joy to the righteous (v.74). Notice too how the psalmist seeks out the fellowship of those who have reverence for God and a respect for His Word (v.79). Yes, Christian maturity places an extremely high value upon right fellowships with faithful believers who are dedicated to the way of righteousness and who bear the marks of a courageous life on the forefront of the battle. Not so for those who have “dealt perversely”; they will be ashamed.

“Let my heart be sound in thy statues…” (vv.73,80). The sovereign Creator fashioned man to live for the pleasure of His tender mercies (v.77), and quickened the spirit of the redeemed to learn His perfect will (v.73). He also renewed the heart of the inner man so that its spiritual vitality and soundness will only be experienced when that heart is set on “thy statutes.” It is no wonder then that a life opposed to the Word is destined for shame and utter confusion.

Time and again we see the integral link between meditation in the Word and enjoying God’s blessing in the life. May we propose to walk in His light today.

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