David, the writer of this Psalm, explicitly journals the great distresses that he faced on account of his enemies who repaid him evil for good, vs 2-5,22-25. He cries out to God for deliverance, vs 1,26 and counsels God with regard to the harsh judgments that God should inflict upon his persecutors, vs 6-21! He is confident that God will bear witness to him and deliver him so that his enemies will realise that God is for him and will be put to shame as a result, vs 27-31. This will result in God's Name being magnified and for this he will praise God openly, vs 21,30,31. While it is not right for us to wish the vengeance of God to come upon our enemies, we can surely pray for them to repent while forgiving them from our hearts! On the other hand, it is far better to call on the Name of the Lord for deliverance and pour out our hearts to him, like the Psalmist did, instead of backbiting or gossiping about those who do harm to us. God uses these times to refine us from all unchristlikeness, and for this we need to be thankful and give Him praise!
In this Psalm David reveals a revelation that he receives when He sees God saying to the Lord Jesus Christ, 'Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool', vs 1. This same verse was quoted by the Lord Jesus in Mathew 22:44 and by the writer of the book of Hebrews in Chapter 1 vs 13. And when we consider that, by faith, we too are seated with Christ in the heavenly places, Ephesians 2:5,6, then, as sons and daughters of the living God, we too can partake of certain privileges, once we recognise and apply them in accordance with this Psalm! However, in order to sit with Christ in the heavenly places, we need to first put our self lives to death, because only to the extent that we suffer with Him, will we be able to reign with him, 2 Timothy 2:11,12. It is to such that the privileges of this Psalm apply! God shall strengthen them from Zion, and they will be enabled to rule in the midst of their enemies, or those who oppose them, vs 2. They will willingly follow the Lord in the day of battle, clothed with the beauty of holiness and refreshed by His presence, and so, have their youth renewed, just like the dew refreshes one at sunrise, vs 3. The Lord gives them His promise on oath, saying to them, just like He said to Jesus, "You are an eternal priest after the pattern of Melchizedek.", vs 4, meaning that we are no longer priests after the priestly tribe of Levi, through which the old covenant came, but rather priests after the tribe of Judah, through which the New Covenant is given through Jesus Christ our Lord, even the Covenant that was made through His blood, because instead of offering sacrifices for sins, like the tribe of Levi did, He offered Himself, once and for all, Hebrews 7:27, and is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them, Hebrews 7:25. All those who follow in the Lord's footsteps, will together with Him be able strike down kings in the day God unleashes His anger, vs 5, and judge among the nations, while the valleys will be full of dead bodies and the head over a great country will be wounded by them too, vs 6, while they, together with Him, will be refreshed by the streams that make glad the city of God, for God who is in their midst will lead them into the final victory over sin, death and satan, vs 7. May God grant that hope arises in our hearts, to lay hold of this high and holy calling that we have been called to, and be willing to give up what we cannot keep, (our pride, ego and self life) in order to gain what we cannot lose (eternal life in Christ Jesus), even while we still have some time!
In this Psalm, the Psalmist is determined to praise the Lord with His whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, as well as, in the general congregation, because of certain aspects of God's Nature that have been revealed to Him, vs 1. He realises that the Lord's works are great, honourable, righteous and glorious; but often recognised only by those who seek them out and take pleasure in them, vs 2,3. To them, it is not easy to forget His works, because they realise that all God's works are full of mercy and compassion, vs 4. He gives food to them that fear Him, because He never forgets His covenant with them, vs 5. He even did mighty works in order to give His people the lands of the heathen, just so that He would keep His Covenant with them, vs 6,9. So, we can rest assured that the works of His hand are faithful and just and all His commandments are reliable, vs 7; and because they are established in truth and uprightness, they will never pass away, vs 8! It is for this reason, that we see God to be holy and so reverence His Name, vs 9. And as we walk in obedience to His commandments, we show that we truly fear Him, and so, begin to grow in wisdom and understanding. Only such will receive praise from Him that will endure throughout eternity, vs 10! Even as we get this revelation, our lives will become simple and stable and our praise will become constant and powerful!
This Psalm records the various blessings that follow a man who fears the Lord and greatly delight in His commandments. For this the Lord is worthy of our praise, vs 1. According to this Psalm, when we fear the Lord, our seed will be blessed and mighty upon the earth , vs 2! So, this is an encouragement for all parents who walk in the fear of the Lord, and tremble at His Word, and who are, yet anxious about how their children would turn out. Let us walk in the fear of the Lord and then thank God, in faith, for keeping His promise that He has given to us in this verse. Wealth and riches will be in his house, but it it be obtained through righteous means and not as a result of bowing our knee to the devil, vs 3, Mathew 4:9. In times of darkness, when evil reigns, and the love of many grows cold, his path will be enlightened by the Word of God and, as a result, he will be able to be gracious, compassionate and righteous even in those days vs 4! In tough times, he will be the one that shows the needy favour while lending to them graciously, and he will also conduct his business in an honest manner, even if those around him are dishonest, vs 5. No circumstance or storm will throw him out of focus or shake him, and he will always be remembered by those who cross his path, vs 6. He will not fear bad news, for no matter what comes his way, the Lord will cause all things to work together for good, because he has chosen to walk in obedience to God's commandments, vs 7, Romans 8:28. Fear shall not rule over him, 1 John 4:18; because his trust in God will make him confident of seeing the downfall of all his enemies, (in case they don't repent), vs 8, and as he generously gives to the needy, not returning evil for evil but good for evil, without any ulterior motivation, God will fight all his battles, Exodus 14:14, and vindicate and honour him, vs 9. When the wicked see this, they will be angered and grieved, and will ultimately be consumed by their own wickedness, but nothing that they do will ever be able to shake the God-fearing man or rob him of his joy, vs 10! So, godly seed, provision of earthly needs, godly character, an absence of fear, an unshakable faith and eternal blessings will be the portion of the godly man/woman who chooses to fear God and tremble at His Word, even at a time when most people around him/her choose not to do so!
In this Psalm, the Psalmist gives God praise for specific reasons, which He finds so amazing and praiseworthy!
So, he exhorts the servants of the Lord to praise and bless the Name of the Lord too, from the rising to the setting of the sun, both now and forevermore, vs 1-3. Then he gives 2 specific reasons for which we ought to praise God for. He says that though our LORD is high above all nations, and His glory above the heavens, vs 4,5; yet, He humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth, vs 6! And when God sees a poor (poor in spirit), or a needy man (a man who has a sense of his own need or sin), then He takes him out of the dust and lifts him up from his low position in order to give him a place among the rulers, even with the rulers of His people, vs 7,8. He also takes notice of a barren woman (maybe physically or spiritually, and who like Hannah is seeking Him earnestly in faith) and makes her become a joyful mother of children, vs 9. For these two specific reasons, the Psalmist is touched by God's sensitive, just and compassionate heart, and is led to praise God for the same and encourages us to do the same too. Surely, it must have been that David, having experienced God personally, from his own life's experience, and also from the story of prophet Samuel's mother Hannah's life, must have thought it worthy of mentioning the outcome that resulted when one, poor in spirit viz. David himself, and a barren woman, Samuel's mother, Hannah, dared to continue in humble perseverance to seek God in faith, which eventually led to the coming forth of a Prophet and King, as a result! It is no wonder that Psalm 34:10 tells us that those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing! So, let us take heart, that no matter where we are walking today, if we HUMBLY seek God in faith and with perseverance, for His highest will to be done in our lives, in accordance with His perfect and original plan for us, it will surely come to pass, as it did in the lives of David and Hannah. For this the Lord is worthy of our praise!
This Psalm tells us about the remarkable difference that the presence of God can make in any given difficult, or even, impossible situation!
It tells us of God's people Israel, whom God supernaturally delivered from Egypt, who oppressed and enslaved them, and whose customs and language was very different from their own, vs 1. He delivered them, because their ancestor Judah, made Him his sanctuary, by being honest about his sin, Genesis 38:26, and their ancestor Jacob too, was honest about his sin, in that he deceived his father, Genesis 27, and so, also willingly bore the brunt of the same, on being separated from his father's household, as a result, for nearly 20 long years! Yet, when he met with God in Genesis Chapter 32, he was honest about his name being Jacob, a grabber, and although his thigh was put out of joint, by the one who wrestled with him, yet, he did not let go of God, in frustration or disappointment, but instead insisted that he would let go of God only after God blessed him! As a result, God blessed him and gave him the name 'Israel'. Thus, he gave God the permission to have dominion over him and his subsequent generations as well, vs 2. And so, subsequently, as the Nation of Israel walked in obedience and departed from Egypt, at the Lord's command, the presence of God who was with them made the Red Sea and the river of Jordan part as well, vs 3, 7! Even the mountains and the hills were so shaken with excitement that it seemed like they skipped like rams and lambs respectively, vs 4-7! Subsequently, when they cried out for water in the wilderness, the presence of the Lord made the rock into a water-spring, and the hard stone into a fountain, vs 8, so that their need was met!
This meant that no matter how impossible it may have seemed for their needs to be met, the presence of the Living God, even the God of Israel, who was with them, was able to meet every need of theirs! Even so, as we continually remain honest and repentant about our sin, and receive Christ as the perfect sacrifice for the same, we enable God to make His sanctuary in our hearts, just like Judah did, and as we give Him dominion of our lives like Israel (Jacob) did, by refusing to let go of Him until He blesses us, no matter how he may choose to break us, then surely, we too shall experience the mighty works of God being manifested in and through our lives as well, for He remains the same, yesterday, today and forever, Hebrews 13:8, and what he did for Israel under the Old covenant, He will do for us too, far more than what we could ever ask or imagine, since we are now under a New and better Covenant!
This beautiful Psalm tells us to shift the focus of our prayer from wanting our needs to be met, to wanting the Lord's Name to be glorified in our lives! This unselfish attitude will move God to delivers us, and the heathen will no longer doubt the supremacy of our God above all other gods vs 2. For our God is in heaven and can do just as He pleases, vs 3, whereas the gods whom the heathen worship are merely idols of gold and silver, the work of men's hands, vs 4; who don't speak; don't see, vs 5; don't hear; don't smell, vs 6; don't handle and don't walk, vs 7! And further, those who make such idols and believe them to be gods are as blind, deaf, dumb and incapacitated as the idols that they make, vs 8, because they fail to realise that God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth, John 4:22-24! So, the Psalmist exhorts Israel, Aaron and those that fear the true God to keep trusting in Him, for He is the God who answers the heathen, and is their help and shield, even when they cry out to their false gods in ignorance, vs 9-11. Thus, when He cares to answer those who don't know and serve Him, as a result of their ignorance, we must realise that He is definitely mindful of His own children and will surely bless us, and Israel, and Aaron, as well as, those who fear Him, both great and small, and increase our numbers too, vs 12-15. The heavens are the Lord's domain, but the earth he has given to the children of men to have dominion over, vs 16. And it is only when we walk in obedience and dominate the lust in our flesh, the lust of our eyes and the boastful pride of life, as well as, dominate the physical earth around us, then we will truly be alive as He would have us to be, and our verbal praise would have meaning in His sight! However, if we don't, we will fall in the same category as those who have no life or are dead, and so, no longer seem to live on this earth, vs 17. But, nay, let us, by our obedience, choose to be among those who consciously bless and praise the Name of our God, not just in word alone, but in deed as well, vs 18! For as we do so, surely He will strongly support us and make all things beautiful for us in His time, Ecclesiastes 3:11!
This Psalm is indeed a proof of what the Psalmist said about our God in the previous Psalm, viz. that He is, indeed, a God who sees and hears! The Psalmist tells us that he loves the Lord, because the Lord heard his prayer when he cried out for mercy, vs 1,2! In this particular situation, he was so close to death and was distressed and sorrowful as a result, vs 3. At such a time, he chose to call on the Name of the Lord for deliverance, and God indeed did deliver him, vs 5,6! Indeed, God delivered him not only from physical death, but also spiritual death in that he was kept from mourning in depression, as well as, stumbling into sin as a result, vs 8! Now, he can walk in the Lord's presence in the land of the living and is glad that inspite of being severely afflicted, he chose to believe God's Word and refused to pay heed to the lies that all those around him spoke, vs 9-11, and as result of the outcome of his faith, (which was founded on God's Word), he received the salvation of his soul, 1 Peter 1:7-9! However, he does not simply end the Psalm on that note! He goes on further to ask: What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me, vs 12 ? First of all, he determines that he shall seek salvation from the power of sin, vs 13. Next, he shall not forget all the vows that he had made to God when he was in distress, vs 14, 18. Then, he will offer unto the Lord, the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD, vs 17. He will do this publicly in the courts of the LORD'S house, in the midst of Jerusalem, vs 19, yes, He will praise ye the LORD, in the presence of all God's people, because he has discovered that God will not allow His children to die without cause and without fulfilling their destiny, because precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints, vs 15. This teaches us that we need to call on the Name of the Lord in honesty and faith in the midst of out distressing situations, because even though God looks upon His children with compassion and mercy, yet His righteous nature cannot pardon sin, unless it is repented of, vs 5,6!
This is the shortest Psalm as it contains only 2 verses! Yet, its message is so powerful! It tells us that all the Nations and all its peoples should praise the Lord, vs 1. And the reason for us to do so, (that is given in this Psalm), is because God's merciful kindness is great towards us and His faithfulness (some translations say 'truth') endures forever, vs 2! We cannot be mercifully kind to someone, and forever faithful to him/her, no matter how they may treat us, unless we love that person very much!
Behold! What manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God, 1 John 3:1. Greater love has no man than he lays down his life for his friend, John 15:13. For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life, John 3:16.
These 3 Scriptures show us to what extent God has loved us, viz to the point of sending His only begotten Son to die for us! Further, He has loved us to the point of making us His very own sons, and that too, not because we were perfect, for the Scriptures tell us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, Romans 5:6! What more could we ask for! If Eve had this revelation, she would never have doubted God's love for her in the garden of Eden, by believing that God didn't really seek her welfare in giving them that commandment! That's how important it is for us to come to know and believe the love that God has for us, 1 John 4:16, for when we do so, we will be assured that all God's commandments are given to us in perfect love and so we will never want to disobey even a single one of them, no matter what our feelings tell us! As we walk in such obedience, we are perfected in love, 1 John 2:5, and being perfected in God's love, we will have no cause for fear, for perfect love casts out all fear, 1 John 4: 18. And our love (obedience) for God will not be motivated because we are afraid that He will punish us if we disobey, but rather, since He first loved us, we are pained to see Him pained when we disobey Him and hurt ourselves as a result of our disobedience, 1 John 4: 19, and from this love for God will also flow a love for our brother/sister too, 1 John 4: 21! It is, therefore, that the Psalmist tells us to praise God for His merciful kindness and His faithfulness! Also, we will do well to note that the disciple John who got this revelation, and wrote about it in most of the Scriptures quoted above, was the one who was the closest to Jesus and often leaned upon His breast! He was also the one who could possibly be living till Jesus comes, John 21:22,23; and who when thrown into boiling hot oil, (as history records), could not be killed!
This happened before he was exiled to the island of Patmos for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus, Revelation 1:9. So, he writes from experiencing the love of God for himself and its power to carry us through the toughest trial, as well as, help us stay in love towards the most difficult people that we could encounter!
Psalm 118 :
In this Psalm, the Psalmist tells himself to thank the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness, vs 1. He exhorts Israel and Aaron the High priest, as well as God's loyal followers to do so too, vs 2-4. He feels compelled to do this, because when he cried out to the Lord in his distress, the Lord answered him and delivered him, vs 5. Now he understands that all he needs is the Lord to be on His side in any given situation. For then he shall not be afraid of the plans of evil men against him and will be able to look in triumph on those who hate him, vs 6,7; by not being overcome by evil, but by overcoming evil with good, Romans 12:17-21. He now understands that it is better to believe God's Word and obey it (taking shelter in the Lord), than going by what people or princes (leaders) tell us to do, especially when they contradict the Word of God 8,9! For then, even though all the Nations come against us, we will be able to overcome them and push them away in the Name of the Lord, because we walk in obedience to His commandments, vs 10-12. Even if they try to aggressively attack us and knock us down, the Lord will help and protect us, give us strength and become our deliverer, vs 13,14. There will always be deliverance for the godly, for they will cry out to the Lord, in faith, in their distress, instead of doing what seems best to them and so the Lord's right hand will conquer and give them victory, vs 15,16. Yes, even though God may severely punish us for our sin, yet as we repent, He will not hand us over to death, and so, we will live to proclaim the mighty works of God on our behalf, vs 17,18. He then asks for the gates of the Lord's temple to be opened to him so that he can enter in and give thanks to the Lord for answering him and becoming his deliverer, vs 19,21. He now gets a revelation that Jesus is the gate/door, through which the godly enter, vs 20, John 10:1,9! He is the stone that the builders discarded, but has now become the cornerstone, vs 22! This is an amazing provision made for us by the Lord, Himself, and it is marvelous in our eyes, vs 23! He understands that the Lord is going to make this happen in a future day when the Lord Jesus walks the earth and we will have reason to be happy and rejoice in that glorious day, vs 24. In that day, we will cry out to the Lord for success and deliverance and bless the one who comes in the Name of the Lord, in His holy temple, vs 25,26. For this deliverance, we will give the Lord thanks and praise and gladly offer our offerings on the altar unto Him, because He is good and His loyal loves (faithfulness) endures for ever, vs 27-29! We are now living long after that day has come and gone and it is for us to understand the significance of the same, like the Psalmist did, because of the revelation given to him. When we do, we too shall walk in victory, because we have learnt to call on the Lord's Name in our distress and depend on His deliverance, instead of leaning on our own understanding or on what other people tell us to do, and doing what seems best in our own eyes!
Let us take a look at 40 verses at a time of the longest Psalm and longest Chapter in the Bible!
Verses 1-8 tell us that those who :
walk in line with the law of the Lord and in His ways, seek Him with a whole heart, keep His testimonies, do not sin intentionally, keep His statutes and precepts diligently, respect all His commandments and take time to learn His righteous judgments will be truly happy, will not be put to shame, will be able to praise God with an upright heart and will not be forsaken!
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living his life according to God's Word vs 9. So the Psalmist determines to seek God wholeheartedly and not wander from His commandments, but rather to hide God's Word in His heart so that he may not sin against the Lord, vs 10,11. He asks God to teach him His statutes and he takes pains to declare with his lips all the judgments of God, vs 12,13. He has rejoiced in God's testimonies as much as he did in all riches, and has shown respect for God's ways and meditated on His precepts, vs 14,15. He has delighted in the Lord's statutes, so as to always remember His Word, vs 16. He realises that God rebukes the proud who have no respect for His commandments, vs 21. So, he pleads with the Lord for grace to live and keep His Word, vs 17. He asks God to open His eyes that he may see wonderful things in God's law, vs 18; because being a stranger here on earth, He needs God's commandments to enlighten him, 19. He earnestly desires to know God's judgments at all times and keep His testimonies so that he will not be reproached, vs 20,22,39. However, even if princes look down on him, he is determined to meditate on God's statutes and make God's testimonies His delight and his counsellors, vs 23,24. When His soul is burdened within him, He asks God to revive him according to His Word, vs 25,28. He tells God about his problems and asks God to counsel him from His statutes and precepts, so that he can overcome and tell of God's wondrous works, vs 26,27. In trying times, it is only God's laws and judgments that can keep him from the way of lying and help him choose the way of truth, vs 29,30. In holding on to the testimonies, statutes, laws and commandments of God, he will gain understanding, be kept from shame, covetousness and vanity; be quickened in righteousness and his steps shall be enlarged whereby he will not easily slip into sin, vs 31-38, 40. Just these 40 verses are more than enough to show us how much the Psalmist valued the law of God and how many blessings he stood to gain and pitfalls he was able to avoid as a result!
Legacy of the Good Lasts Forever
As the glow of the descending sun lights up the mountain peaks long after the sun itself has sunk behind the heals, so the works of the pure, the holy, and the good shed light upon the world long after the actors themselves have passed away. Their works, their words, their example, will forever live. "The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance"
A Law of the Human Mind
It is a law of the human mind that by beholding we become changed. Man will rise no higher than his conceptions of truth, purity, and holiness. If the mind is never exalted above the level of humanity, if it is not uplifted by faith to contemplate infinite wisdom and love, the man will be constantly sinking lower and lower.
The Word Our Defense
The Bible should never be studied without prayer. The Holy Spirit alone can cause us to feel the importance of those things easy to be understood, or prevent us from resting truths difficult of comprehension. It is the office of heavenly angels to prepare the heart so to comprehend God's word that we shall be charmed with its beauty, admonished by its warnings, or animated and strengthened by its promises.
We should make the psalmist's petition our own: "Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law"
Ps 119:77. ....for your law is my delight.
V105 . . Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path
If you love the law of God,Word of God,the way of God,the will of God ,the lord will delight in You.Law expresses God's written instructions .In this world of pain ,uncertainties ,and enemies God has given a reliable guide for living.We have a free will to obey God's law.Ps 119:32 I run inthe paths of your commands ,for you have set my heart free
It is a lamp by night ,light by day,and a delight at all times..In this world ,where there is darkness everywhere,we can try to live righteously only by following the light giving word.Otherwise we will slip .We should use the word of God personally,practically,and habitually so that we may know God's way Word of God is like a flaming torch and shows us the way.
God's word contains spiritual principals that will help us to avoid many dangers,sorrows,pitfalls and tragedies brought by our wrong decisions and choices God's word makes us wise.We must treasure God's word and hold its precepts and use it in all life's
We hear God's voice in His word.v 64... O Lord teach me your decrees We find God's love in His word
V111.. Your statutes ...are joy of my heart God's word protects us from wrong ,gives us wisdom to understand our situations,and makes new life flow into us.No wonder the psalmist writes with such thankfulness.He finds God Himself.
Cynthia Sathiaraj, Chennai
Obedience leads to Peace
❇ Various synonyms are used for the Word of God in this Psalm almost in all the verses such as law, precepts, statues, commandments, testimonies and judgements.
This shows the various dimensions of the Word of God which demands the following from man.
❇ Man's responsibilities
▪To walk in the Law (v1)
▪To keep his testimonies (v2)
▪To keep God's precepts
▪To respect God's
▪To hide God's words in his
▪To meditate on God's
▪To delight in God's statues
▪To cling to God's testimonies
▪To run the way of God's
▪To keep God's statues to the
▪To incline our heart to God's
▪To long after God's precepts
▪To trust in God's word (v42)
▪To keep the law continually
for ever (v44)
▪To speak God's testimonies
before kings (v46)
▪To believe his
▪To ponder God's statues
▪To stand in awe of God's
❇ God's response to man
▪To open man's eyes to help
man see wondrous things
out of God's law (v18)
▪To teach his statues to
▪To grant man the law
▪To give understanding to
▪To turn man's heart towards
his statues (v36)
▪To turn man away from
worthless things (v37)
▪To quicken man with God's
▪To give discernment to man
to understand God's statues
❇ Character of God's word
▪God's words are sweeter
than honey (v103)
▪God's word is a lamp to
man's feet (v105)
▪God's word is a light to
man's path (v105)
▪God's testimonies are man's
heritage for ever (v111)
▪God's testimonies are the joy
of man's heart (v111)
▪God's testimonies are
▪God's testimonies are
righteous & trustworthy
▪God's judgements are
When man loves and obeys God's law he experiences great peace and nothing shall offend them