Psalm 119 Trust and Obey. As I have done this study in Psalm 119, what was originally going to be a 4-week series has now turned into 5 weeks! When I started, I did not realize the deep beauty and truth contained in this Psalm. Honestly, when reading through the Psalms, I had usually sort of skimmed through Psalm 119 simply because of its length. But, with this verse-by-verse study, I feel that I found a gold mine! I hope you feel the same.
Psalm 119:113-120 TPT Samekh – Trust and Obey
- I despise those who can’t keep commitments, for I passionately love your revelation-light!
- You’re my place of quiet retreat, and your wrap-around presence becomes my shield as I wrap myself in your word!
- Go away! Leave me, all you workers of wickedness, for you can’t stop me from following every command of my God.
- Lord, strengthen my inner being by the promises of your word so that I may live faithful and unashamed for you.
- Lift me up and I will be safe. Empower me to live every moment in the light of your ways.
- Lord, you reject those who reject your laws, for they fool no one but themselves!
- The wicked are thrown away, discarded and valueless. That’s why I will keep loving all of your laws!
- My body trembles in holy awe of you, leaving me speechless, for I’m frightened of your righteous judgments.
Here, the Psalmist has a few things to say about those who do not trust and obey. Some of his language is pretty strong!
- He despises them! He wants them to go away and says these people are rejected by God. The wicked are thrown away, discarded and valueless!
His love for God is amazing!
- He passionately loves God’s revelation light!
- No one can stop him from following every command of God’s.
- He asks to be strengthened in his inner being by the promises of the Word so that he may live faithful and unashamed.
- Then he asks to be lifted up and be safe. He also wants to be empowered to live every moment in the light of God’s ways.
- He says his body trembles in holy awe, he is speechless and frightened of God’s judgments.
Again, here is a pattern for us to follow.
- First, we should avoid wicked and evil ways.
- Then, we see someone passionately in love with God’s revelation-light. It isn’t just ‘light.’ It is light that brings revelation. The word ‘revelation’ means enlightening, revealing, or making known. To see something, we need light. So, as we abide in God’s light, He reveals things to us. Things we can only see when standing in His light. He speaks things to us, shows us pictures, and reveals His nature and will to us. This is where we need to find ourselves each day – passionately loving God’s revelation-light.
- He affirms that no one can stop him from following every command of God. That is a bold statement, yet one we all need to take up in our own prayer affirmations. If we fail, we start over and affirm it again. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.
The Theme of Psalm 119 is Trust and Obey!
- The Psalmist asks to be strengthened in his inner being. Such a wise thing to pray but how often do we pray that for ourselves? Probably not enough. The writer is bold and open before God. It seems as if there is nothing he won’t ask for! What a wonderful way to be! The Word says that we don’t have because we don’t ask. Sometimes, it’s because we are asking for the wrong things. Here is something that God would definitely answer. The writer is not asking for wealth or power, he is asking for strength so that he can live faithful and unashamed before God! No wonder he is so bold. His motives come from a pure heart.
- He asks to be lifted up. It seems as if he realizes that we all can be dragged down by the world and taking on burdens that don’t belong to us. He wants to be lifted up. Maybe, just to be closer to his God.
- Being empowered to live every moment in the light of God’s ways, he is being lifted up out of darkness and into God’s glorious light. He asks boldly for exactly what he needs and it is also what we need.
Psalm 119:121-128 – Ayin – I Will Follow Your Ways
- Don’t leave me to the mercies of those who hate me, for I live to do what is just and fair.
- Let me hear your promise of blessing over my life, breaking me free from the proud oppressors.
- As a lovesick lover, I yearn for more of your salvation and for your virtuous promises.
- Let me feel your tender love, for I am yours. Give me more understanding of your wonderful ways.
- I need more revelation from your word to know more about you, for I’m in love with you!
- Lord, the time has come for you to break through, for evil men keep breaking your laws.
- Truly, your message of truth means more to me than a vault filled with the purest gold.
- Every word you speak, every truth revealed, is always right and beautiful to me, for I hate what is phony or false.
Here the psalmist returns to requesting some things of God.
- Don’t leave me to the mercies of those who hate me. This is something we all ask for, just using different phrasing. We want God to protect us from our enemies. Why do we deserve God’s protection? Well, we don’t, except for Jesus. Because we are in Him, we can say, with the psalmist – I live to do what is just and fair.
- Let me hear of Your promise of blessing over my life. We can never hear that enough. Because of feelings like being unworthy; the negative push of the world; and, because of our circumstances, we need this assurance many times and God is happy to give it. Those promises break us free from our oppressors – just like the writer. When we choose to believe God over everyone and everything else, we find freedom.
- I am a lovesick lover of God. Such an intimate statement of the writer’s relationship with his God. I’m sure you have felt that way at times. There are times when the love of God feels so real – almost tangible. Then, there are those times when we feel as if He has gone to the other side of the universe. But he hasn’t and never will. Our feelings do not affect God’s reality. We need to be lovesick lovers. What is the writer yearning for? Salvation and God’s promises. Exactly the same thing we need. We need to be reminded of our salvation and the work of Christ, the reality of Holy Spirit living within and the precious promises of God.
The Lovesick Lover
- He asks for more revelation from the Word so he can know more about God. Paul repeats this desire in the New Testament – that I may know Him. Why does he ask for this? Because He loves God.
- The writer asks for a breakthrough. Evil people keep breaking God’s laws and he wants God to put a stop to it!
- Does God’s message of truth mean more to us than a vault filled with gold? This is what the writer proclaims. Again, his love for God is above all else.
- Every word God speaks is always right and beautiful. Every truth revealed is always right and beautiful. God’s words, His truth, the rightness of all His ways, and the beauty of all of this stands in stark contrast to what is phony or false and the writer embraces the truth, rightness and beauty, rejecting the false.
Psalm 119:129-136 TPT – Pe – I Long to Obey You
- Your marvelous words are living miracles; no wonder I long to obey everything you say.
- Break open your word within me until revelation-light shines out! Those with open hearts are given insight into your plans.
- I open my mouth and inhale the word of God because I crave the revelation of your commands.
- Turn your heart to me, Lord, and show me your grace like you do to every one of your godly lovers.
- Prepare before me a path filled with your promises, and don’t allow even one sin to have dominion over me.
- Rescue me from the oppression of ungodly men so that I can keep all your precepts.
- Smile on me, your loving servant. Instruct me on what is right in your eyes.
- When I witness the rebellious breaking your laws, it makes me weep uncontrollably!
From Miracles to Weeping
In this section, the psalmist extols God’s wonderful words and, at the end, he weeps over those who break God’s laws – God’s word. The words of God are central to his life as is obedience to God’s laws. Then he begins to make requests of God. Each request is something that enables him to be pure and obedient.
He asks God to:
- Break open the Word within him. What an expressive way to ask for the ability to deeply and fully understand, grasp and live God’s word. He wants more of God’s revelation-light. So much more that it will shine out of him! He recognizes that an open heart will give insight into God’s plans.
- Turn His heart toward the psalmist and show His great grace. His faith says that this is what God does for all those who love Him and who God loves. It would be a frightening thought to have God turn His heart away from us.
- Prepare a path for the writer. Not just any old path. He wants a path that is filled with God’s promises. In addition, he wants God to stop all sin from having dominion over him. He fully believes in the absolute power of God to do these things. Try to picture a beautiful path strewn with God’s promises – salvation, mercy, grace, peace. Each step you take is on a bed of God’s love and you are trusting Him to help you and keep your life pure.
- Rescue him from the oppression of ungodly men. His reasons for asking this are expressed in the fact that this will allow him to keep God’s commandments and also because the evil brings him to tears.
- Smile on him and instruct him. Can you picture God looking down on you and smiling? While that may be hard because we see our faults and sins, God does not! He sees us in Jesus and smiles! He is rejoicing over us. The psalmist can see it! He wants to know what is right in God’s eyes – not his own. This certainly makes God smile.
Again, each point here is one we could incorporate into our own prayers and proclamations for ourselves and others.
Psalm 119:137-144 TPT – Tsadhe – His Word is True
This section is a glorious song of praise of God, His words, truth, and the psalmist’s devotion.
- Lord, your judgments reveal your righteousness, and your verdicts are always fair.
- The motive behind your every word is pure, and your teachings are remarkably faithful and true.
- I’ve been consumed with a furious passion to do what’s right, all because of the way my enemies disrespect your laws.
- All your promises glow with fire; that’s why I’m a lover of your word.
- Even though I’m considered insignificant and despised by the world, I’ll never abandon your ways.
- Your righteousness has no end; it is everlasting, and your rules are perfectly fair.
- Even though my troubles overwhelm me with anguish, I still delight and cherish every message you speak to me.
- Give me more revelation so that I can live for you, for nothing is more pure and eternal than your truth.
When I read the Psalms, I am continually amazed that each person was extolling the Law! They obviously saw something in the law that I don’t see. The Ten Commandments are a beautiful expression of living in God’s love. The Jewish laws which were added to the Ten Commandments became onerous burdens to the people setting standards of living that no one could ever live up to. Yet, in all of that, the Old Testament writers saw God’s love, righteousness, truth, mercy, and they found hope in it. It is truly remarkable to me. When I compare that to what Jesus did and the burden He removed from us, I cannot imagine loving the law. Yet, the psalmist saw how evil triumphs when mankind disobeys God’s word. The law, particularly the Ten Commandments, is what kept evil from overtaking mankind.
Psalm 119 Why We Trust and Obey
However, the writers were not referring to just the 613 Jewish laws. The law that is spoken about here is actually the Torah – the first five books of the Bible. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. These are more than just law. They are the expression of God’s character. They contain His promises and His love along with His judgments. This was the “Bible” of David’s time. So when the psalmist says that he loves God’s words and the law – he is talking about much more than the Jewish Social standards. If you read the first five books of the Bible, you not only learn the history of the Jewish nation, you see their interaction with God and hear His instruction and heart to them. This is what the Psalmist loved. He loved the love of God!
In verse 137, the psalmist expresses his view of God’s judgments. Rather than seeing them as harsh, he sees them as righteous and fair. Interestingly, he also extols God’s pure motives as being behind every word He speaks. In turn, God’s teachings are then faithful and true.
Motivation to Trust and Obey
The psalmist expresses an interesting motivation for his actions. As he sees the disrespect people have for God’s laws, he is consumed with a furious passion to do what’s right! Instead of being discouraged by what he sees, he uses it as a motivation to a greater passion for obedience. What an awesome outlook.
In The Passion Translation, the next verse says, “all Your promises glow with fire.” The word fire is what is actually used in the Septuagint. The Septuagint is the first translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek and is used to help translate the Hebrew Old Testament more accurately. It was used by the Jewish rabbis in Old Testament times and is still in use today in the Greek Church. Saying that God’s promises glow with fire, paints a picture for us of power, warmth, spreading, consuming, and heat. Hebrews 12:29 says that our God is a consuming fire. Think of all the times in the Old Testament where fire was a symbol of God’s power. Moses and the burning bush, Elijah and the offerings consumed by fire are just two examples.
Here, even His promises glow with fire causing the writer to be a lover of God’s word. Even when we feel insignificant and maybe even despised, our feelings do not change our obedience. Even when our troubles overwhelm us, we will still delight in and cherish every word God speaks to us because His righteousness has no end and His rules are perfectly fair.
There is nothing more pure and eternal than God’s truth and we need ever-increasing revelation of it.
The Passionate Love of Psalm 119
Each section of this Psalm speaks of passionate love for God. It extols His purity and wonder. We are given instruction and exhortation to grow closer and closer to Him. Psalm 119 is a handbook on having a relationship with the Savior!