We Delight in God’s Word – Psalm 119:89-96
On the back of books and in the front few pages there will often be platitudes written by colleagues in praise of the book. They’ve been given an advance copy of the book to peruse and they offer their thoughts on the book-The best and most complimentary are then placed in the book to communicate its appeal and encourage people to buy it.
Such platitudes are not written on the back cover or in the opening pages of the Bible, but rather they are throughout the Bible. Regularly God’s Word points to itself as the central authority for truth. It might be off putting if an author of a book regularly told you throughout the book how good of a book he had written or how important the book is, however when scripture does this it’s fitting.
- Every author builds a case for why their book is important- why their perspective on politics, ethics, business, leadership, or what ever needs to be heard. They present evidence and research that their book is built upon. They communicate throughout their work why it is of value.
The Bible regularly reminds us of the foundation upon which it stands, Divine Origin.
- The scripture was written by 40 individuals, so they are pointing to the value of the works of others- they are not pointing toward their own work with praise… The passage we will read in a moment speaks of delighting in God’s law and no doubt refers back specifically to the law that God had given to Moses.
- Most importantly, while God’s word is the work of 40 individuals, it’s the work of God and He is most definitely able to speak of the great worth of His wisdom and truth.
God’s truth is permanent.
Verse 89 tells us that God’s law is fixed in heaven.
Verse 90 tells us that God is faithful to all generations
Verse 91 tells us how this is possible, that the truth never changes and that God is faithful to every generation – He is in control of all things.
I mentioned that there are often platitudes in the opening pages or back cover of books and that in God’s Word those appear throughout. Sometimes at the beginning of a book you will find an introduction to the new revision or updated version. A book that I was reading this week was extremely successful in early 90s and then was re-released about 5 years ago and when they re-released the book they updated some of the statistics and the research, because doctors had learned quite a bit more in the field. So in the beginning of the book the author spoke of the changes or updates that had been made in this version because of the new findings. You will never find that in God’s Word.
There is no new update based up on new research or findings. God’s truth has stood for generations and His faithfulness has been from the very beginning. The Psalmist sings, “Forever, O Lord thy Word is settle in Heaven.” God has established truth and wisdom and law. He has established His standard and it doesn’t change. His expectations, his requirements, his advice, it has never changed.
Entire cultures have come and gone, kings have written out laws and codes that have been widely enforced and then forgotten, Nations (good and bad) have risen and fallen, and God’s Word remains. How so? How is it that God is able to remain constant and steady- faithful to all generations? All things are subject to Him, forever and always.
In our nation we have what are called check and balances. There are three branches of government that hold one another at bay- this often leads to gridlock and frustration, but it keeps anyone from having absolute control. It’s one of the beauties of our governmental system- no one has absolute power. No one is able to maintain absolute power without being corrupted. I’m thankful no one person has absolute power, but we are thankful that God has absolute power and control. He is sovereign.
Everything is subject Him and that will never change, so His truth will never change. He will not be voted out of power, there will be no peaceful transition of power…
In a culture that changes like the wind, in a world that constantly redefines basic institutions, in a world where viewpoints are “evolving” meaning that we’re catching up with the latest Gallup polls, in a world where politicians spend great time and effort researching what people want them to believe and stand for so they know what to believe and stand for- I’m thankful to have truth that is everlasting.
This is a song of praise, not a song of lament. You would think that someone speaking of a power that has control over everything would be a lament, it would be a solemn dreadful song.
This is good, because He is good. He is far better than we deserve. It’s a song of praise because God is good.
Because God is good, His Word is good. It is not merely law that constricts and binds- it is wisdom, it is truth that benefits us. Truth that helps us. God’s truth is permanent and God’s truth is beneficial.
God’s truth is beneficial.
Now just think about that for a moment. God, the absolute sovereign, who has established truth and wisdom and moral law- He didn’t say this is the way it is, deal with it, He developed law that was for our benefit. Throughout the world there are despots and dictators that have developed laws and bureaucracies that benefit only them.
My grandfather did quite a bit of work in Haiti and he would often show people a picture of the royal palace which sat on the same street as huts made of tin and people living in absolute squalor poverty. The codes and corruption of that land benefited the people at the top…
Verse 92 – His truth saves us from affliction
verse 93 – His truth gives us life
verse 94 – His truth leads to trust
verse 95 – His truth gives us peace.
92Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.
We delight in God’s truth because it is true and because it is good!
Know one has gone deeper into studying God’s Word and walked away disappointed. No one has spent time in God’s Word and said, eh it just didn’t do anything for me…
You may remember though it’s been a while away when we talked about how Psalms 1 speaks of being like a tree planted by a river- that tapping into that source of life not only produces life, but gives stability…The roots of a tree not only tap into the resources such as minerals and water, they also give the tree strength and keep it steady when the winds come… We are in danger of trees falling down when there’s a combination of strong winds and soaking rains because the rains make the ground soft, weakening the roots… Get a hold of this…
There is no storm that will soften God’s Word.
Trials come, but with deep roots in the word of God, we do not perish in the affliction. In this world it is not a matter of if affliction will come, but when.
93I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.
Quicken means to make alive. When we interact with God’s Word, we come alive! God’s word does not merely protect from the negatives of this life, it produces the positive as well! Deep roots provide stability and tap into life! It doesn’t merely protect us in the storms, it brings sunlight into our lives!
There are some of you here that I think you would agree with me that it was through God’s Word that parts of you that you didn’t know were there, came to life, pieces of your heart came to functions… After all, our very Spiritual New Life comes from the truth of God’s gospel, His Good News or Good Truth… Speaking of the gospel, I believe we see it in the next verse.
94I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts.
Through interaction with God’s Word, trust has formed and the Psalmist says, God I am yours. God I place my self in your hands. The evidence of this trust, the result of this trust? I have sought your precepts… How strange it is that people who trust God with our eternal souls, people who say, God has saved me, He has graciously rescued me, that we would trust him with that but that we would not value His Word, that we would not seek his precepts, that we would not search for His wisdom.
If he’s able to save your soul from eternal damnation, perhaps you should seek Him out in all areas… Then a further result is peace.
95The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies.
There are people out to get me, enemies that seek to ruin me, evil that wishes to harm me. In your own life if your gave yourself just a few moments I’m sure that you could come up with a list of reasons to worry, you could easily name several hypothetical situations that would bring great despair in your life- The Psalmist says there are enemies who seek to do me harm, but I think on your truth and testimony. That’s what I put my mental energy into, that’s what I think about…What does your mind rest on?What does your mind race to whenever you have quiet moments?
I believe the reason that media is so ubiquitous, why there is constantly some new thing to look at, watch, or scroll through.
I believe the reason that we are always looking for something to distract us is because our hearts and minds are full of dread, guilt, worry, fear, shame, despair…
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3
A heart filled with God’s truth produces a mind at rest.
I want to underscore verse 96. I want to really emphasize it.
Our world is in love with the concept of achievement. Our world is in love with ideals. We think if we achieve the fitness we want, we’ll be happy. We think if we achieve the job we want, we’ll be satisfied. We think if we find the answer to some medical problem, we’ll be at peace.
The Psalmist says, I’ve seen perfection and it is limited. Even when everything is the best… there’s still something lacking
God’s truth is sufficient.
Because it covers all…
The wisdom of this world is like a throw blanket. We’ve got a throw blanket that we keep on our couch and it’s good for covering up while you’re watching a movie or a ballgame, but it’s no good for sleeping with because it can’t cover me all the way- If I pull it up high enough, my feet stick out.
At times I’ve turned it diagonal so that it get as much length as possible, but still it isn’t enough. The perfection of this world is like a blanket that isn’t long enough, but God’s truth is exceedingly broad.