“Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations.” (Vv. 89-90) “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Why will we not fear? because)…”The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Be still, and know that I am God.” (See Psalm 46) “Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.” (Rev. 4:6) The sea of glass around God’s holy throne is a picture of absolute calm in contrast to the wicked who are like the tossing sea in the tumult of a fallen world. “But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud.” (Isa. 57:20) “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.” (Isa. 48:22) But listen to the stability Jesus promises us as we hear and obey His Word: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matt.7:24-27) In the midst of an increasingly unstable world (Hebrews 12:27-28) it may seem to us that God’s good promises have failed but we must affirm this truth: “Your word is settled in heaven” and since an all- loving and all-powerful God is for us it doesn’t matter who is against us. (Rom. 8:31)
“You established the earth, and it stands. They stand this day according to Your ordinances, for all things are Your servants.” (Vv. 90-91) “He stretches out the north over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing.” (Job 26:7) How does God keep the vast earth hanging in mid-air and maintain the beauty and order of nature, “seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night” (Gen. 8:22)? ”And He (Jesus) is the radiance of His (the Father’s) glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.” (Heb. 1:3) “The Eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” (Deut. 33:27) If the God Who spoke this vast universe into existence has no trouble upholding and maintaining it, why would He not much more care for us the pinnacle of His creation? “If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matt. 6:30) Yet, though every blade of grass and every bird of the field and yes even every atom obeys Him perfectly, (“for all things are Your servants”) man, who is created in His very image, rebels against His good and perfect will. ”The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the LORD and against his anointed one. “Let us break their chains,” they cry, “and free ourselves from slavery to God.”” (Psalm 2:2-3) May we as believers, “twice owned ones” (His creation and bought back by His blood) be like Samuel and say: “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Sam. 3:10) and live “according to His ordinances” as His sons and servants and do what His starry host does, shine for His glory. (Matt. 5:16)
“If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction.” (V. 92) [“The word of God as a sustaining power amid the greater sorrows of life. 1. Its necessity. (a) For lack of it, men have become drunkards to drown their sorrows, have become suicides because life was unbearable, have become broken and hopeless because they had no strength to struggle against misfortune, have become atheists in creed as, alas, they were before in practice; all, in fact, become subject to sorrow's worst bitterness and calamity's worst effects. (b) Nothing can supply the place of God's word. Nature throws no light on the mystery of suffering. Human philosophy is at best cold comfort, and when most needed most fails. (My comment: It has been so sad to hear the confusion of “human philosophy and cold comfort” offered by the media in reporting the deaths and injuries perpetrated by a demonic murderer who slaughtered people in cold blood in Colorado.) 2. Its efficiency. Proved-- (a) In the experience of those who have tried it. (b) By the character of its promises. (c) By the discovery it makes of a beneficent providence working through calamity and sorrow. (d) By the revelation it gives of the pity of God and the sympathy of Christ. (e) By its record of the "Man of sorrows," who through suffering wrought out man's salvation, and entered into glory. (f) By its teaching concerning the Incarnate Word; thus showing a suffering God, which may well be a solace to suffering men. (g) By displaying the glory of heaven and the eternal felicity awaiting those who overcome through the blood of the Lamb.” J.F.] http://www.ewordtoday.com/comments/spurgeon/psalm119hints3.htm
“I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have revived me.” (V. 93) God Who inspired His Word to be written, uses His Word to revive us, to inspire us to love and serve Him with passion. Like David, when we have been revived and encouraged through God’s Spirit and Word we remember those experiences and it inclines us to resolve to “never forget” God’s Word. ”The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” (John 6:63) “Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD?” (Jer. 23:29) Thus we are to read His Word not to inform us but to inspire and inflame us, praying as we read, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in Your law (about You O Lord).“ (Psalm 119:18) It is also a wise resolve to tell God that you will stay in His Word so you will never forget Him and His good and perfect will for your life. ”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:11-13)
“I am Yours, save me; For I have sought Your precepts.” (V. 94) What a blessing and privilege to be able to know and say, I belong to God. He owns me as His eternal child and no one can snatch me out of His hands. (John 10:28-29; 1 John 5:11-13) And it is our obedience to His Word (“I have sought Your precepts” – i.e., so as to obey Him and honor Him), that gives us the assurance that we belong to Him; “I am Yours.” I recall from my years of ministry at Tucker Nursing Home, how some of the old folks there were worried about their salvation and would ask me to pray for them over and over again. It could be that they were saved but did not live a life of faithful obedience to God and thus lacked the assurance of salvation as they were approaching death. Ongoing disobedience to God also discourages boldness in prayer, “save me” – here meaning “deliver me, O Lord, in this trial or from this temptation.” Carnal believers do not have a vital prayer life but only pray “foxhole prayers” and those without much confidence that God hears. (Contrast Psalm 66:18 to 1 John 5:14-15`)
“The wicked wait for me to destroy me; I shall diligently consider Your testimonies.” (V. 95) While the wicked were patient in planning their evil deeds against David, he was patient in seeking God’s good will for him. The best defense is offense; the best defense against those who would harm us is to diligently study the path of life that God has laid out for us and that includes His plan for us to love those who hate us: “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:27-36; also see Matt. 18:21-35)
“I have seen a limit to all perfection; Your commandment is exceedingly broad.” (V. 96) Since the Fall mankind has lived in an imperfect world as imperfect people and can only truthfully say, “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” (Eccl. 1:14) And, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory (perfection) of God.” (Rom. 3:23) Only when we see our imperfection can we see God’s perfection as revealed in His Word and especially in His gospel- perfect justice and perfect love and mercy as God in Christ (the only Perfect One) took the just punishment that we all deserved and credited us with His perfect righteousness which we don’t deserve. Hallelujah what a Savior! Inspired by the Spirit, Paul prays, “that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:17-19) “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” (Psalm 16:6) The narrow road (and the only safe road in a fallen and dangerous world) that leads to life is filled with blessings so wide, long, high and deep that we must say, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph. 3:20-21) “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Rom. 11:33)
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND APPLICATION
1. What is your main take away from the message and how can you apply it to your life?
2. “Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations.” (Vv. 89-90) What did Jesus tell us to do to have great stability in an otherwise tumultuous world?
3. “You established the earth, and it stands. They stand this day according to Your ordinances, for all things are Your servants.” (Vv. 90-91) If the God Who spoke this vast universe into existence has no trouble upholding and maintaining it, why would He not much more care for us the pinnacle of His creation? “If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matt. 6:30) Why do you think believers worry about food and clothing when we know God is all-loving and all-powerful?
4. “If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction.” (V. 92) “Nature throws no light on the mystery of suffering. Human philosophy is at best cold comfort, and when most needed most fails.” (My comment: It has been so sad to hear the confusion of “human philosophy and cold comfort” offered by the media in reporting the deaths and injuries perpetrated by a demonic murderer who slaughtered people in cold blood in Colorado.) Why do so many people “perish in their afflictions” – become drunkards, atheists, suicidal? Why should we as believers be different? Read point 2, The Efficiency of God’s Word, under V. 92 commentary.
5. “I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have revived me.” (V. 93) “Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD?” (Jer. 23:29) Thus we are to read His Word not to inform us but to inspire and inflame us. Share how God’s Word inspires and inflames you.
6. “I am Yours, save me (or deliver me O Lord); For I have sought Your precepts.” (V. 94) Imagine yourself just a few breaths away from death. Could you say and pray all three statements with honesty and confidence? What is the implication of your answer?
7. “The wicked wait for me to destroy me; I shall diligently consider Your testimonies.” (V. 95) The best defense is offense, diligently studying and obeying God’s Word. What does God’s Word say about our enemies in Luke 6:27-36 and Matthew 18:21-35?
8. “I have seen a limit to all perfection; Your commandment is exceedingly broad.” (V. 96) Do you, being rooted and established in love, have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God? (Eph. 3:17-19) If you don’t grasp God’s exceedingly great love for you, what do you think would happen if you did grasp it?