Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Studies in Psalm 119|
Passage: Psalm 119:57-64
A. Find Out:
1. How does he see the Lord & what has he promised? v.57
2. What has he done & what does he rely on? v.58
3. What has he considered, done, and will do? v.59,60
4. Who will he resist doing what, and how? v.61
5. When will he rise to do what? v.62
6. To whom will he be a friend? v.63
7. What does he know, so what does he ask? v.64
1. If v.61,62 are physical, what do they suggest?
2. If they are spiritual, what do they suggest?
3. What is his general intent throughout this stanza?
We've commented that there is one reason that appears in each stanza that reveals what the stanza is about. Verses 61 & 62 give the reason. When he speaks of the wicked binding him with ropes, that could be physical (meaning they restrict his life) but it is more likely to have a spiritual meaning – they oppress him. The fact that he rises at midnight suggest an inability to sleep, that follows what is happening to him or what he feels. When people oppress us, physically or spiritually, we feel hemmed in and cast down.
It is perhaps in the light of this that he writes the rest of the stanza. He's fixed on the Lord (v.57), he seeks Him whole heartedly (v.58), he's made sure he's walking in God's law (v.59), he will instantly obey whatever he sees in it (v.60). In all these ways he will resist the pressures put upon him by others, to give up on God (implied by the restrictions that seek to put on him).
The result of what has been happening to him is that he is open to the community of God's people, those who fear Him (v.63); he will be a friend to them all. He has come to appreciate good company. He sees with a clearer sight; he sees that this world is filled with God's love (v.64) and so he wants to know more of God's ways.
1. When others seek to oppress you, turn to the Lord.
2. Let God's word act as an anchor for you during such times.
Passage: Psalm 119:65-72
A. Find Out:
1. What does the psalmist first ask the Lord? v.65,66
2. How had he been, what happened & now what does he do? v.67
3. What does he affirm? v.68
4. What had others done? v.69
5. What had they been like? v.70
6. How does he view what happened? v.71
7. What does he now feel about God's Law? v.72
1. How had he been?
2. How had he been chastised?
3. How did that leave him feeling?
This stanza is all about correction. The psalmist confesses that he had “gone astray” (v.67a), but then things started going wrong. Others come against him with lies (v.69), those he describes as arrogant and whose hearts were callous and unfeeling (v.70). Twice he describes what happened as being afflicted (v.67,71) and the implication is that it was brought by the Lord. When, in v.68, he says “You are good and what you do is good” this follows on from speaking about being corrected and it is as if he says, I realise that your correcting of me was for my good, because he specifically says that in v.71 and sees that it was so that he would learn that God's will (His laws, decrees etc) is good.
We do need to see this, although it is not specifically stated, that all God laws, decrees, commands etc. are simply His perfect will for mankind expressed as rules for living. Coming out of this period of discipline he simply has a desire for Gods word which he speaks of as “knowledge and good judgement” (v.66). Even in the midst of the disciplining he learned to hold onto God's will (v.69b). Now he just wants to learn more (v.68b) for he delights in it (v.70) and it is more precious than anything else (v.72). He has learned!
1. God's discipline is to draw us back to Himself.
2. As He does that we learn that His will is best.
Passage: Psalm 119:73-80
A. Find Out:
1. How does the psalmist see himself? v.73
2. Who does he hope to influence? v.74
3. What does he feel the Lord has done? v.75
4. In what does he take comfort and hope? v.76,77
5. Who does he want the Lord to sort out? v.78
6. Who, again, does he want to influence? v.79
7. What does he desire of himself? v.80
1. How has he suffered?
2. Who does he want to bless and how?
As with some of the previous stanzas this one speaks about the discipline of the Lord. The psalmist sees that the Lord has afflicted him (v.75) and it seems to have been through the words or actions of those he describes as the arrogant (v.78) who have wronged him. Those in opposition to him have been one group mentioned, and presumably they are godless men, those against God.
But there is another group that the psalmist refers to twice, those who fear the Lord (v.74,79). These will be God's faithful people. He hopes that his coming through discipline into a good place of trusting in God's word will cause the other believers to rejoice (v.74). But he also hopes that seeing him restored they will turn to him and fellowship with him as fellow believers (v.79).
Under-girding all this is the awareness that he sees that he is a product of God's activity (v.73). Now whether this means from conception or simply through discipline being made a new man, is not made clear. But as this man of God now, he desires the Lord to teach him so that he will have understanding to have a heart to learn God's commands (v.75) and he takes comfort in God's love (v.76) and hope for his future in God's compassion (v.77). He wants help to be blameless to avoid shame of failure (implied) (v.80).
1. Do others turn to us as people of the Word?
2. Do others come to fellowship with us as God's people?
Passage: Psalm 119:81-88
A. Find Out:
1. What is the psalmist waiting for and feels he needs? v.81,82
2. What does he feel he is like? v.83
3. How is he suffering? v.84-87
4. What does he ask of the Lord? v.88
1. What has been happening to the psalmist?
2. What do you think v.83 says he's like?
3. What do verses 81 & 82 convey?
This stanza that takes us up to half way through the psalm is a prayer of anguish really, in the face of persecution. These constant references to those who oppose him, make us wonder if this psalm if almost a poetic diary of David's, focused on God's word and His will, expressing the anxieties that come with opposition.
He speaks of persecutors (v.84b) arrogant men who seek to bring him down (v.85a), men who live their lives contrary to God's law (v.85b) and who come against him without cause (v.86b) and who he feels have almost removed his life and influence from the earth (v.87a). These men are godless and unrighteous and oppose the righteous children of God. They are a force to be reckoned with for they have the potential to bring us down if we allow them.
He almost feels weak with the longing he has to experience God's saving power (v.81a) for it is to that that he looks, having put his hope in God's word (v.81b). God's word promises blessing for the righteous and he almost feels his sight is failing, having strained and strained looking to see signs of God coming to comfort him and change the circumstances (v. 82). We sometimes hear the expression, “I've been hung out to dry”, meaning they gave me up, and that's what is in v.83. He feels the effects of this ongoing opposition have left him dried out and wrinkled, yet despite all this, he is going to hang on to God's word (v.83b, 87b,88b) and cries to the Lord to preserve his life (v.88a).
1. Life does involve opposition. Jesus warned that it would be so.
2. In such times, trust in the Lord, look to His word.
Passage: Psalm 119:89-96
A. Find Out:
1. What does the psalmist say about God's word? v.89
2. What does he say about God's faithfulness? v.90
3. What does he say about His laws? v.91
4. What did His law save him from? v.92,93
5. Why should God save him? v.94
6. What threat was he still under? v.95
7. To what does he compare God's commands and why? v.96
1. What declaration do the first three verses make?
2. From what does he consider God's law has saved him?
3. How does he consider it will save him?
As with most of these stanzas there is reference to difficulties. They are first described as affliction (v.92) which is usually used in respect of an illness, and this, whatever it was, had obviously threatened his life (v.93). The psalmist see that by keeping these laws, they have been the means of preserving him (v.92,93). Even more than that, there are wicked (unrighteous) men who are waiting to pull him down and destroy him (v.95a), but he sees that by remaining in God's word he will be saved from them (implied v.95b).
To see why he has this assurance we need to look at the other verses. The first three verses declare the steadfastness of God's declared will. His word is eternal (v.89) and God's faithfulness, His constant presence that is there, unchanging, always ready to uphold what He has said, will be continued as long as there are people on the earth, and because the Lord has established the earth, it goes on and on (v.90). God had declared His will through His laws and they remained applicable to that very day (v.91); nothing had changed, for everything was subject to His will. For these reasons he hangs on to God's declared will and trusts that God will uphold him in compliance with that declared will. The extent of the things covered by His will are limitless (v.96)
1. God's declared will never changes. It can be replied upon.
2. Living within the will of God brings security.
Passage: Psalm 119:97-104
A. Find Out:
1. Who is the psalmist wiser than? v.98
2. Of whom does he have more insight, and why? v.99
3. Of whom does he have more understanding, and why? v.100
4. What has he ensured? v.101,102
5. What does he feel about God's word? v.103
6. What does he do with them? v.97
7. With what result? v.104
1. When it comes to the Law who is he better than?
2. To what does he put that down?
This might appear as a psalm where the psalmist boasts but it is really a straight forward declaration of truth. It focuses, as the whole psalm does, on God's law, but more especially about what he does with it, and the outcome of what he does.
Perhaps we should start with what he does. He meditates on God's law all day long (v.97), he meditates or thinks on God's statutes or written laws (v.99b) but even more, he obeys all of God's instructions (precepts) (v.100b). He ever holds God's demands before him (v.98b). Knowing God's will, understanding it and obeying it are key to his life.
He has enemies (v.98), yes, but the focus is not on them. The focus is on the effect of meditating on, holding to and obeying what God has said. That is the all-important thing. Result number 1: he is wiser than his enemies (v.98a) because God's law bring wisdom and understanding. Result number 2: he has more insight into God's heart than even his teachers (v.99b) because of the thought and effort he puts in. Result number 3: he has more understanding of God's ways than even the town elders (v.100a) because he not only knows and understands God's law, he does what it says and sees the fruit of it. He stays from evil (v.101), he has learnt from God (v.102) and the truth has become a delight (v.103) so he hates all wrong (v.104).
1. Putting effort into understanding God's word brings blessing.
2. Knowledge, understanding and obedience need to go together.
A. Find Out:
1. What is God's word like? v.105
2. For what has he taken an oath? v.106
3. What does he feel about his life? v.107,109,110
4. Despite this, what will he do? v.108
5. What does he feel about God's law? v.111
6. So what has he determined? v.112
1. How would you put v.105 in your own words?
2. How does he describe his life?
3. So what does he determine to do?
Yet again the psalmist conveys a sense that at times his life is difficult, that there are moral challenges that come, but more than that, that his life is sometimes under threat. When he says he has suffered much (v.107a), he asks the Lord to preserve his life (107b), which indicates that it has been under threat. He speaks about taking his life in his hands (v.109) which again speaks of a risky life and then adds that the wicked set a snare for him (v.110), and the second half of the verse, “I but I have not strayed”, suggests that the snare is to lead him astray from God's commands, God's law, God's will. That is the challenge to our lives that comes again and again from the enemy: temptation to lead us off the path of righteousness.
He sees God's word as a means of revealing that path and showing him the way (v.105), and he has promised himself and the Lord that he will keep to those laws that show him the way (v.106). He asks the Lord to keep him (v.107b), and teach him (v.108b). For his part, he will praise the Lord (v.108a) despite the enemy's activity; he won't let the enemy make him forget God's will (v.109b) for he see the laws of God as part of his inheritance (v.111a) which bring him joy and so he has set his heart to make sure he keeps to God's will (v.112) whatever happens, to the very end.
1. Are we as set on living within God's will as the psalmist is?
2. Do we see the enemy's threat and know what we have to resist?
A. Find Out:
1. Who does the psalmist hate? v.113
2. Who does he want away from him? v.115
3. Who does he know the Lord rejects? v.118,119
4. How does he see the Lord? v.114
5. What does he ask the Lord to do? v.116,117
6. So what does he feel about the Lord? v.120
1. Who, negatively, does the psalmist want to stay away from?
3. What, positively, does he want to do?
This is a psalm of outright commitment to goodness and rejection of wrong. He recognises that there are people who are double minded (v.113), who appear to be God's people yet whose hearts and minds are far away from God and from God's law. He wants to make the Lord a refuge from such people (v.114). He wants to have nothing to do with these evil doers (v.115) because he wants to keep God's commands, remain in God's will and (implied) they will seek to cause him not to do that. To achieve that he realises that he needs the Lord to sustain him (v.116a), to give him strength so that his hopes of a righteous life will not be dashed (v.116b).
He recognises that he needs the Lord to uphold him (v.117a), to support him so he will be delivered from their ways. He knows that the Lord rejects those (v.118a) who turn from Him and from His ways and His word and live a life of deceitfulness, pretending to be one thing but in reality being something else, but it will be in vain (v.118b) because the Lord will see through them. The Lord will reject the wicked in judgement (v.119) and so to make sure he does not become one of them, he will hold firmly to the Lord's laws. He knows the Lord sees all things and knows all things (implied) and so he lives in the light of the healthy fear of the Lord (v.120), and of His laws, which he WILL keep.
1. Do we hate evil? Do we hate unrighteousness?
2. Will we do all we can to stick to God's will?