I will praise Him!
My soul faints with longing for your salvation,
but I have put my hope in your word.
My eyes fail, looking for your promise;
I say, “When will you comfort me?”
Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke,
I do not forget your decrees.
How long must your servant wait?
When will you punish my persecutors?
The arrogant dig pits to trap me,
contrary to your law.
All your commands are trustworthy;
help me, for I am being persecuted without cause.
They almost wiped me from the earth,
but I have not forsaken your precepts.
In your unfailing love preserve my life,
that I may obey the statutes of your mouth.
(Psalm 119:81-88, NIV)
I will praise Him!
He has shown his people the power of his works,
giving them the lands of other nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
They are established for ever and ever,
enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
He provided redemption for his people;
he ordained his covenant forever—
holy and awesome is his name.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.
(Psalm 111:6-10, NIV)
Reading: Psalm 19
The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
The decrees of the LORD are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward (NIV).
The voice of the speaking stars (see yesterday’s reading) is now joined by the voice of the written Holy Word. If nature, specifically the sky, is the first witness to testify to the glory of God, then the scriptures—the written word of God—constitute the second great witness to speak of God’s existence. Both these great witnesses have gathered here to testify within the context of Psalm 19.
While nature speaks to us of the existence of God the creator, it is largely silent regarding the nature or character of this all-powerful supernatural being. Is He good? Is He evil? Is He indifferent to us? Is He angry with us? What is this great, overarching, omnipresent God really like? May we approach Him?
God’s word shows us the way. Here David tells us, “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.”
The law is perfect, flawless, inerrant and infallible. Only a perfect, flawless, inerrant and infallible God can be the source of such a document. The law of the LORD that is referred to here is in fact the Bible, the Word of God. Jack Hayford in his commentary on this verse from the Psalms states, “That the ‘law of the LORD is perfect,’ is direct reference to the absolute, complete, and entire trustworthiness of the Holy Scriptures, which constitute the Bible.”
And this perfect, true and infallible law, or Word of God, has an effect. The Word of God is active. It revives the soul. God’s word literally brings souls back to spiritual life. There is great power in the written word. The word of God is redemptive, personal and transformational.
Response: LORD God, help me draw life, wisdom and joy from your word every day. Light my way. Amen.
Your Turn: Do you read God’s word daily? How has it helped you grow in faith?
Reading: Psalm 119
You are righteous, LORD,
and your laws are right.
The statutes you have laid down are righteous;
they are fully trustworthy.
My zeal wears me out,
for my enemies ignore your words.
Your promises have been thoroughly tested,
and your servant loves them.
Though I am lowly and despised,
I do not forget your precepts.
Your righteousness is everlasting
and your law is true.
Trouble and distress have come upon me,
but your commands give me delight.
Your statutes are always righteous;
give me understanding that I may live (NIV).
In the spring of 2015 my son bought his first new car. He was understandably proud of his purchase. The vehicle boasted great handling, exceptional fuel economy and almost zero harmful emissions. What’s not to like about a diesel-powered car like that? Volkswagen engineering was ranked among the best in the world.
Less than a year later, the illusion of zero harmful emissions came crashing down. Volkswagen had installed specially designed software to make sure its vehicles passed emissions tests, but real world, on-the-road results were totally different. The thorough testing that consumers rely on had been subverted.
Fortunately, God’s laws cannot be subverted. Humans may try, but the judge of all the earth knows all; He sees all. We can never pull a fast one on God. Today’s reading from Psalm 119 makes that perfectly clear. You are righteous, LORD, and your laws are right. The statutes you have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy. The psalmist then goes on to make this assertion: Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them.
God’s word and His promises have been road tested by us, His people. They stand up in real life situations. The Bible—God’s word is designed to be applied. It doesn’t just work in the test lab. It works in the laboratory of life—day-to-day life, where it really counts. That’s why spending time in God’s word is so important. It becomes the roadmap for life—an abundant life—the life Jesus promised to his followers.
Response: Father God, your word and your promises stand true for all eternity. Help me to believe and live each day through the wise application of your word. Give me understanding that I may live. Amen.
Your Turn: Have you tested God’s word? Did it work for you in real life situations?