Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #308 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Psalm 119:161-176 today and our focus is on How to Delight in the Lord. + Trouble and Trials Come Even to The Best and Godliest. . We are a daily 10ish minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Well, it seems like it has taken us almost a year, but today we finish reading through Psalm 119 – the longest chapter in the Bible by far, and longer than several books in the Bible.
Let’s open with a powerful verse that is quite unknown, but should be much more well known:
I rejoice over your promise
like one who finds vast treasure. Psalm 119:162
This is not an exaggeration -the promises of God are sure and certain, and therefore they are more valuable to us than a wonderful treasure. A good friend of mine in Birmingham named Josh used to talk about the promises of God in terms of currency, and he would try to often have some of God’s promises memorized so he could “hand them out” to people in need of encouragement or a boost to their faith.
I also like the promise of vs. 165: “Abundant peace belongs to those who love your instruction; nothing makes them stumble.” When we genuinely love God’s instruction – love to study it, love to understand it, love to meditate on it and love to obey it- then we will not stumble – a love for God’s word is protective and it is peace giving.
Delight is a great word, and as I’ve probably mentioned before, the heading of this chapter in the CSB Bible is “delight in God’s Word.” Psalm 119 is probably the most delight filled chapter in the Bible given that the word is used a little over 100 times in the entire Bible, and at least 8 times in Psalm 119. Over and over again, the Psalmist is telling us and telling the Lord how he delights in God’s commands, His promises, His instructions and His judgments. Vs. 174 is exemplary of this:
I long for your salvation, Lord,
and your instruction is my delight. Psalm 119:174
This repeated emphasis on delighting in God and His Word reminds us of that wonderful promise in Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.” One of the chief and primary ways we delight ourselves in the Lord is by delighting in His Word. When we delight in His Word, then His Word will dwell in us, and thus we will pray according to His will, and then God will grant to us the desires of our heart – those desires that are formed by the will of God made manifest in the Word of God. Jesus also taught this principle, but in a slightly different way in the John 15 passage we just read a couple of days ago: “7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. ” John 15:7 The promise of answered prayer comes when we pray God’s will, and we pray God’s will when we pray with God’s Word abiding in us.
The last verse is pretty striking. We have spent 176 verses listening to this Psalmist pronounce His love and delight in God’s Word, and yet here we get to the end of the passage, and read this:
176 I wander like a lost sheep; seek your servant,
for I do not forget your commands. Psalm 119:176
Here is a man who is clearly and obviously devoted to God and His Word, and yet, as we read through the Psalm, we find out that the Psalmist is going through multiple trials and struggles and – he considers himself wandering around like a lost sheep. Unfortunately, that is the way of things for humans that are born into a fallen world with a fallen nature. We are broken and long for wholeness. As that wonderful hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” puts it so brilliantly, we are “prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God we love.” Paul also discusses this dynamic in an almost poetic way in Romans 7:
14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
So, my friends – on this side of eternity, it may well be that we wander about like lost sheep and struggle with the sin that is intrinsic to our human flesh, but know this: our hope is set on the one who, as Jude 24 notes, “is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,”
Bible Memory passage for the month of November: John 14:6 “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
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