Knowing and loving the truth continues to be the focus of Psalm 119. As we continue through, we will examine verses 73-112. One of the themes of this Psalm is the love this individual has for God’s Word and His truth. Over and over, the writer repeats this theme through beautiful and varied expressions and examples.
- Your very hands have held me and made me who I am; give me more revelation-light so I may learn to please you more.
- May all your lovers see how you treat me and be glad, for your words are entwined within my heart.
- Lord, I know that your judgments are always right. Even when it’s me you judge, you’re still faithful and true.
- Send your kind mercy-kiss to comfort me, your servant, just like you promised you would.
- Love me tenderly so I can go on, for I delight in your life-giving truth.
- Shame upon the proud liars! See how they oppress me, all because of my passion for your precepts!
- May all your lovers follow me as I follow the path of your instruction.
- Make me passionate and wholehearted to fulfill your every wish, so that I’ll never have to be ashamed of myself.
Knowing and Loving the Truth
In only 8 verses, the writer speaks of God’s word 5 times and relates it to love or a loving action by God 8 times. Starting in verse 1, the psalmist has used the word ‘passionate’ repeatedly. This is not the description of a casual relationship or friendship with God, nor is it a casual knowledge of and interest in the Word. In every way, the Psalmist is passionate about His God and God’s words, truths, precepts, laws, judgments, and instruction. His love for God is a fire burning inside him – a passion to know and love the truth.
He is so passionate about following God that he:
- invites others to follow his example as he follows God’s path of instruction.
- asks God for increased passion and wholeheartedness so that he can fulfill every wish God has and never be ashamed of himself.
- wants more revelation light so he may learn to please God even more.
- has God’s word entwined around his heart.
Such a beautiful example for us to adopt in our own lives – a passionate love for God and His truth.
In this section, the Psalmist starts by saying he is lovesick for more of God’s salvation and consumed with longing for His promises. Then, the scene changes as he reflects on his current condition – My soul feels dry and shriveled, useless and forgotten.
- I’m lovesick with yearnings for more of your salvation, for my heart is entwined with your word.
- I’m consumed with longings for your promises, so I ask, “When will they all come true?”
- My soul feels dry and shriveled, useless and forgotten, but I will never forget your living truth.
- How much longer must I wait until you punish my persecutors? For I am your loving servant.
In these four verses, the Psalmist shows us how to deal with difficult circumstances.
- He starts by focusing on affirming that he is lovesick for more of God’s salvation and repeats the affirmation found in verse 74 by stating that his heart and God’s word are entwined.
- Next, he focuses on remaining consumed with longing for God’s promises. But, he is wondering when they will all come true.
- In a complete shift, he then states what his ‘feelings’ are. His soul feels dry and shriveled, useless and forgotten.
- BUT – he will never forget God’s loving truth.
- He is wondering how long he will have to wait for his persecutors to be punished.
Who hasn’t felt this way? In times like this, you feel divided because one part of you is trusting God while the other part feels dry, shriveled, useless and forgotten. We want to see our enemies punished, but we are standing on God’s living truth. It’s a very hard situation to be in and we have all been there. We see the psalmist working his way through his own emotions and circumstances. Two of his steps involve affirmations of what is really true – his love for God and trust in God’s promises. While his feelings are strong and real, he chooses not to forget God’s truth. Our feelings, while real, do not always reflect the truth. So, we must follow the Psalmist’s example and focus on knowing and loving THE truth – God’s.
Being Honest WIth God
Have you ever wished someone would be punished for what they’ve done to you? If we are honest, we all have. The Psalmist is simply being honest with God about his feelings and continues in the next four verses.
- Arrogant men who hate your truth and never obey your laws have laid a trap for my life.
- They don’t know that everything you say is true, so they harass me with their lies. Help me, Lord!
- They’ve nearly destroyed my life, but I refuse to yield; I still live according to your word.
- Revive me with your tender love and spare my life by your kindness, and I will continue to obey you.
The Psalmist lays out the whole situation and it’s a bad one. While we don’t know the exact circumstances, it appears he is in fear of losing his life, he is being harassed and lied about, and someone has nearly destroyed his life. I would call that pretty bad. Yet, look at his response.
- He refuses to yield.
- Pledges to still live according to God’s Word.
- Asks to be revived by God’s tender love.
- And asks for his life to be spared by God’s kindness.
- Affirms he will continue to obey God.
How can we handle the negative circumstances we may find ourselves in?
- Affirm and confess our love for God and His Word.
- Focus on God’s truth.
- Be honest with God about our feelings and express them all.
- Realize that our ‘feelings’ are not the truth.
- NEVER FORGET GOD”S TRUTH.
- Tell God all about your situation, including the fact that you might want someone punished.
- Refuse to yield to the situation or your emotions.
- Promise God and yourself that you will live according to the Word no matter what.
- Ask Him for what you need. If your soul needs revival – ask and He will move on your behalf because He loves you.
- Remember His kindness and His life in you.
- Pledge to yourself and God that you will continue to obey Him
- Then, pour out your love on God in praise and worship!
I have used The Passion Translation in this study of Psalm 119 because I appreciate how expressive and descriptive it is. This section is no exception.
- Standing firm in the heavens and fastened to eternity is the word of God.
- Your faithfulness flows from one generation to the next; all that you created sits firmly in place to testify of you.
- By your decree everything stands at attention, for all that you have made serves you.
Verses 89-91 are just beautiful. God’s word is fastened to eternity and stands firm in the heavens. What a magnificent picture of the Word – Jesus! Everything He created sits firmly in place testifying of Him. In addition, everything stands at attention serving Him.
The Word and the Living Word
I think it’s important that we remember that the Word is two-fold. It is the written word and it is THE Word – Jesus. He is the living Word of God. The Word made flesh. His faithfulness flows from one generation to the next and on into eternity.
- Because your words are my deepest delight, I didn’t give up when all else was lost.
- I can never forget the profound revelations you’ve taught me, for they have kept me alive more than once.
- Lord, I’m all yours, and you are my Savior; I have sought to live my life pleasing to you.
- Even though evil men wait in ambush to kill me, I will set my heart before you to understand more of your ways.
- I’ve learned that there is nothing perfect in this imperfect world except your words, for they bring such fantastic freedom into my life!
Again, the Psalmist gives us steps for success:
- If God’s words are our deepest delight – we won’t give up even when all seems lost.
- As we remember and remind ourselves of the profound and personal revelations God has taught us, they will keep us alive.
- We are completely His and he is our Savior so we seek to live our lives pleasing Him.
- No matter what comes, we will set our hearts before Him to understand even more of His ways.
- We need to remind ourselves that there is nothing perfect in this world EXCEPT – His words and – what do they do? They bring fantastic freedom into our lives.
Here is another section giving us a perfect prayer of affirmations to speak out as a confession to God and confirmation to ourselves. Again, this could be regarded as the Psalmist bragging about what a great person he is. I believe it is simply the confessions of God’s truth about this person.
The ‘me’ God created me to be has been altered by the world and circumstances. We are all working to regain that person again by shedding the flesh, the old man, the burdens of the world, and sin. Our ‘new man’ lives inside us but we are constantly being renewed, refreshed, and conformed to the image of Christ. The Psalmist, just like us, needed to speak out God’s view of him – the person God saw when he looked at the Psalmist. It’s the same for us. When God looks at us, He sees us through the blood of Jesus. This is our affirmation of who we are in Christ.
- O how I love and treasure the revelation of your word; throughout the day I fill my heart with its light!
- By considering your commands I have an edge over my enemies, for I take seriously everything you say.
- You have given me more understanding than those who teach me, for I’ve absorbed your eye-opening revelation.
- You have graced me with more insight than the old sages because I have not failed to walk in the light of your ways.
- I refused to bend my morals when temptation was before me so that I could become obedient to your word.
- I refuse to turn away from difficult truths, for you yourself have taught me to love your words.
- How sweet are your living promises to me; sweeter than honey is your revelation-light.
- For your truth is the source of my understanding, not the falsehoods of those who don’t know you, which I despise.
What A Positive Confession Should Be
This section is filled with positive confession. Years ago, as the prosperity movement was just beginning, people were being told to confess things like – “That brand new Cadillac is mine.” Hmmmm – I didn’t like it then and I don’t like it now. Our goal is not things – it is Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the Living God. I always wondered if they were also praying for the money to make the payment on that brand new Cadillac. A positive confession has nothing to do with things. It has to do with character and Christ-likeness. Everything else will follow. Jesus said:
Never Be Worried About Your Life
“This is why I tell you to never be worried about your life, for all that you need will be provided, such as food, water, clothing—everything your body needs. Isn’t there more to your life than a meal? Isn’t your body more than clothing? Look at all the birds—do you think they worry about their existence? They don’t plant or reap or store up food, yet your heavenly Father provides them each with food. Aren’t you much more valuable to your Father than they? So, which one of you by worrying could add anything to your life?
“And why would you worry about your clothing? Look at all the beautiful flowers of the field. They don’t work or toil, and yet not even Solomon in all his splendor was robed in beauty more than one of these! So if God has clothed the meadow with hay, which is here for such a short time and then dried up and burned, won’t he provide for you the clothes you need—even though you live with such little faith?
Forsake Your Worries
“So then, forsake your worries! Why would you say, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For that is what the unbelievers chase after. Doesn’t your heavenly Father already know the things your bodies require?
“So above all, constantly chase after the realm of God’s kingdom and the righteousness that proceeds from him. Then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly. Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself.” Matthew 6:25-34 TPT
Keeping Our Focus in the Right Place by Knowing and Loving the Truth
There is nothing wrong with asking God for the things we want. However, our focus, our words, and our life should be set on being like Him first, and the other things will follow. If you need a new car, ask for one and work hard to get it. But don’t make it the focus of your life. Confess God’s word, life, love, light, holiness, goodness, and your pursuit of them. Our pursuit is never to be ‘things.’ Knowing and loving the truth is our constant pursuit.
Instead, use Psalm 119:97-104 as your prayer.
Here, the Psalmist tells us what God’s truth is and what it does for us.
- Truth’s shining light guides me in my choices and decisions; the revelation of your word makes my pathway clear.
- To live my life by your righteous rules has been my holy and lifelong commitment.
The Guided Missile
God’s truth is a shining light. As we follow that light, it guides our choices and decisions, making our pathway clear. Have you ever had a time when you were asking God for direction but He went silent on you? It’s frustrating. However, here’s a tip. Years ago, a teacher came to our church and spoke on this very thing. He used the analogy of a guided missile flying toward its destination. As the missile stays on its assigned path, the green light is on. The only time the red light comes on is when the missile starts to veer away from the designated path. The red light comes on and adjustments are made. Then the green light comes on again.
We are like that missile. As long as we are on His track, God is not saying, “Greenlight, greenlight, greenlight, greenlight.” If we go off the path, He will speak up because He desires for us to remain in His pathway and light. So, if God needs to speak, He is really, really big and can do it whenever He wants to or needs to. If He doesn’t, we need to trust and realize that He is big enough to keep us where He wants us as long as that is our desire!
It’s fine to check and make sure the light is still green. If He says nothing, then move forward listening to your conscience. As long as your heart is like that of the Psalmist you’re in good shape. If this is your confession – My holy and lifelong commitment is to live my life by Your righteous rules – rest assured that God will keep you.
- I’m bruised and broken, overwhelmed by it all; breathe life into me again by your living word.
One Important Step in Knowing the Truth
Sometimes, when we are bruised, broken, and overwhelmed, we may think we are sinning or outside of God’s will. While that is a possibility, it’s usually not the case. Being bruised, broken, and overwhelmed could happen because of disobedience but we know when that is the reason, Otherwise – it’s just a part of life and learning. Instead of falling apart, berating yourself, giving up, and condemning yourself, take this one step – ask God to breathe His life into you again and then go to the Word.
Yes, you feel worthless, overwhelmed and don’t feel like doing it. Regardless, do it anyway. Keep doing it. That act of faith and devotion will yield results. We are meant to be the masters of our emotions. And, while we have them and are supposed to, we can feel them and acknowledge them as the Psalmist did. We are not supposed to allow them to rule over us and determine our actions and thinking. Instead, we must use the verse above as our prayer and then follow through no matter how we feel.
The Psalmist’s Positive Confession of Loving the Truth
- Lord, receive my grateful thanks and teach me more of how to please you.
- Even though my life hangs in the balance, I’ll keep following what you’ve taught me, no matter what.
- The ungodly have done their best to throw me off track, but I’ll not deviate from what you’ve told me to do.
- Everything you speak to me is like joyous treasure, filling my life with gladness.
- I have determined in my heart to obey whatever you say, fully and forever!
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). A prayer of faith is not based on what you see. A life of faith is not based on what you see. A life of faith is based on what you cannot see. The Psalmist expresses this – Even though my life hangs in the balance, I’ll keep following what you’ve taught me, no matter what. What he sees is that he may die! Yet, what he is doing is following what he has been taught. What he believes is not based on what he sees, it is based on God’s Word. That is faith. This is a person speaking openly and honestly to the God he cannot see, remembering that his life is not based on that.
Knowing and Loving the Truth is Part of Faith
Psalm 119 is a rich treasure of instructions, examples, and hope for us. The Psalmist is a person just like us, working through the struggles of life as he keeps his faith in the God he cannot touch or see in this world. I hope it has touched you and changed you.
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**We use verses from different Bible translations.
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If you missed them, here are the first two blogs in this series about Psalm 119: