3649.) Psalm 119:161-176

April 13, 2023

Psalm 119:161-176   (NIV)

The final verses of the great Psalm 119.

ש Sin and Shin

Rulers persecute me without cause,
but my heart trembles at your word.
I rejoice in your promise
like one who finds great spoil.

Matthew 13:45-46  (NKJV)

The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

I hate and detest falsehood
but I love your law.
Seven times a day I praise you
for your righteous laws.
Great peace have those who love your law,
and nothing can make them stumble.

“Shalom is a large, embracing word for the good that comes to the one God favors.”

–James Montgomery Boice

I wait for your salvation, Lord,
and I follow your commands.

“I wait for your salvation” is faith. “I follow your commands” is works. Here is what James proclaims later in the New Testament. Faith and works go together.

I obey your statutes,
for I love them greatly.
I obey your precepts and your statutes,
for all my ways are known to you.

ת Taw

May my cry come before you, Lord;
give me understanding according to your word.

This is very much the same kind of thought the Apostle Paul expressed in Romans 12:-2: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. The Psalmist wanted his understanding of life and the world shaped – transformed – by the word of God.

May my supplication come before you;
deliver me according to your promise.
May my lips overflow with praise,
for you teach me your decrees.

The hymnist tells us that 

“Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.”

Scripture tells us that the oceans roar and the trees clap their hands!

Surely our mouths should not keep silence! (see next verse)

May my tongue sing of your word,
for all your commands are righteous.
May your hand be ready to help me,
for I have chosen your precepts.
I long for your salvation, Lord,
and your law gives me delight.

These two expressions go together. Because God’s salvation is from and according to His word (1 Peter 1:23), it was natural for him to delight in God’s word as he longed for God’s salvation.
–David Guzik

Let me live that I may praise you,
and may your laws sustain me.
I have strayed like a lost sheep.
Seek your servant,
for I have not forgotten your commands.

The Psalm ends on the reminder that the power and greatness of God’s word does not rest only in its literary brilliance. Its greatness and glory is in the fact that God comes to us and seeks us in and through His word.



The last verse takes me back to another great psalm!  HERE  is Ralph Carmichael’s “The New Twenty-Third,” sung by the Faith Alumni Chorale.


New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Images courtesy of:
verse 174.   https://www.pinterest.com/pin/191191946653609687/
pearl.   http://thebiblestudy.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/pearl.jpg
Shalom.   http://hirnhomeschoolers.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/shalom.jpg
faith and works.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/ps119-faith-works-boat.png
waterfall.   https://i.pinimg.com/564x/6e/4b/89/6e4b892ce72562fbb352e3c9a4f6353f.jpg
lost sheep.   http://farm8.static.flickr.com/7505/27526223975_583bce826c_m.jpg

3648.) Psalm 119:137-160

April 12, 2023

P119 truth

Psalm 119:137-160   (NRSV)

137.  You are righteous, O Lord, and your judgments are right.
138.  You have appointed your decrees in righteousness and in all faithfulness.


139.  My zeal consumes me because my foes forget your words.
140.  Your promise is well tried, and your servant loves it.
141.  I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts.
142.  Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your law is the truth.

Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness: “This is the joy and glory of the saints, that what God is he always will be, and his mode of procedure towards the sons of men is immutable, having kept his promise, and dealt out justice among his people, he will do so world without end.” (Spurgeon)

Your law is truth: We remember the conversation between Jesus and Pontius Pilate. Jesus said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate’s cynical reply was, “What is truth?” (John 18:37-38). For Pilate, soldiers and armies were truth; Rome was truth; Caesar was truth; and political power was truth. Yet Jesus knew what truth was, while Pilate was still seeking. Jesus knew, “Your law is truth.”

This is especially meaningful in a day when relativism has a strong hold in the everyday thinking of people. It is common for people today to think there is no such thing as “real” truth; there is only my truth and your truth and their truth. Western society used to believe that truth was that which corresponded to reality (what is really there); now truth is often held to be what makes sense or is helpful to me individually.

The late Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer used to promote the idea of “true truth.” His concept was that the Biblical message is true fundamentally, apart from how one receives it or how it works in one’s life.

–David Guzik

143.  Trouble and anguish have come upon me, but your commandments are my delight.
144.  Your decrees are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live.


145.  With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O Lord. I will keep your statutes.
146.  I cry to you; save me, that I may observe your decrees.
147.  I rise before dawn and cry for help; I put my hope in your words.

“God looks not at the elegancy of your prayers, to see how neat they are; nor yet at the geometry of your prayers, to see how long they are; nor yet at the arithmetic of your prayers, to see how many they are; nor yet at the music of your prayers, nor yet at the sweetness of your voice, nor yet at the logic of your prayers — but at the sincerity of your prayers, how hearty they are.”

–an old saint

148.  My eyes are awake before each watch of the night, that I may meditate on your promise.
149.  In your steadfast love hear my voice; O Lord, in your justice preserve my life.
150.  Those who persecute me with evil purpose draw near; they are far from your law.
151.  Yet you are near, O Lord, and all your commandments are true.


152.  Long ago I learned from your decrees that you have established them forever.

Do you want to be effective in life? If so, ‘Begin with the end in mind’ said Stephen Covey in his classic book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Effective people think long term. They look at the finish line before they start running because the end shapes our beginning. But what does the finish line look like? What’s at the end?

There are two things that will last forever: the word of God and the souls of men. To see this clearly will help you focus your life with the end in mind.

–John Rinehart

153.  Look on my misery and rescue me, for I do not forget your law.
154.  Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise.
155.  Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek your statutes.
156.  Great is your mercy, O Lord; give me life according to your justice.
157.  Many are my persecutors and my adversaries, yet I do not swerve from your decrees.
158.  I look at the faithless with disgust, because they do not keep your commands.
159.  Consider how I love your precepts; preserve my life according to your steadfast love.
160.  The sum of your word is truth; and every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever.




HERE  is Don Moen and “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” The story behind the hymn:  Thomas Chisholm wrote “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” as a testament to God’s faithfulness through his very ordinary life. Born in a log cabin in Franklin, Kentucky, Chisholm became a Christian when he was twenty-seven and entered the ministry when he was thirty-six, though poor health forced him to retire after just one year. During the rest of his life, Chisholm spent many years living in New Jersey and working as a life insurance agent. Still, even with a desk job, he wrote nearly 1,200 poems throughout his life, including several published hymns.

Chisholm explained toward the end of his life, “My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me on until now. Although I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God and that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care, for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness.”



New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.

Images courtesy of:
verse 142.    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7271/7515691278_a4569925b4_z.jpg
I am the truth.  http://slideplayer.com/slide/6033513/20/images/11/Jesus:+I+Am…+the+Truth+John+14:6b.jpg
living God, living hope.   https://i.ytimg.com/vi/cvqCSSvRdto/maxresdefault.jpg
Matthew 24:35.   https://dailyverses.net/images/en/NIV/matthew-24-35.jpg

3647.) Psalm 119:129-136

April 11, 2023

Psalm 119:129-136   (NIV)

פ Pe

129 Your statutes are wonderful;
    therefore I obey them.
130 The unfolding of your words gives light;
    it gives understanding to the simple.

P119 open Bible

Oh, that Thy words, like the beams of the sun,
may enter through the window of my understanding,
and dispel the darkness of my mind!
~Charles Spurgeon

131 I open my mouth and pant,
    longing for your commands.
132 Turn to me and have mercy on me,
    as you always do to those who love your name.
133 Direct my footsteps according to your word;
    let no sin rule over me.

“This, then, is how you should pray . . .
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”
(Matthew 6:9 and 13)

134 Redeem me from human oppression,
    that I may obey your precepts.
135 Make your face shine on your servant
    and teach me your decrees.
136 Streams of tears flow from my eyes,
    for your law is not obeyed.

P119 tearful

 The eye is for two things, sight and tears:
if we see God dishonoured,
presently our eyes should be filled with tears.
~William Greenhill



One of my favorite hymns and well suited to Psalm 119 — “How Firm a Foundation.”  Click  HERE  to hear an orchestral arrangement.

How Firm a Foundation

How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He has said,
To you, who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

Fear not, I am with you, O be not dismayed,
For I am your God and will still give you aid;
I’ll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call you to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with you, your troubles to bless,
And sanctify to you your deepest distress.

When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be your supply;
The flame shall not hurt you; I only design
Your dross to consume, and your gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

–London pastor John Rippon, 1787


New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Images courtesy of:
God’s Word.   http://www.disciplersonline.org/uploads/1/9/7/4/19748495/published/18-6-4.jpg?1496456601
open Bible.    https://scottpauley.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/bible-266×200.png
Lord, teach us.   http://uploads.webflow.com/579564c8412fc21f2b672663/588b50cd768c6de764b593a9_lords-prayer-clip-art-381772.jpg
“tearful”  pencil drawing.   https://www.pinterest.com/pin/444519425691563838/

3640.) Psalm 119:113-128

March 31, 2023

P119 window

Psalm 119:113-136

New Living Translation


113 I hate those with divided loyalties,
but I love your instructions.

“I hate the double minded, but I love your law,” the ESV has it.

Spurgeon says, “When we love the law it becomes a law of love, and we cling to it with our whole heart.”

114 You are my refuge and my shield;
your word is my source of hope.
115 Get out of my life, you evil-minded people,
for I intend to obey the commands of my God.

How careful we must be in the choosing of our friends! 

“It is better to be alone than in bad company.”
~George Washington

“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.”
~Henry Ford

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

116 Lord, sustain me as you promised, that I may live!
Do not let my hope be crushed.

P119 hope

Everything that is done in the world
is done by hope.
~Martin Luther

117 Sustain me, and I will be rescued;
then I will meditate continually on your decrees.
118 But you have rejected all who stray from your decrees.
They are only fooling themselves.
119 You skim off the wicked of the earth like scum;
no wonder I love to obey your laws!

The fall of the wicked is the work of God.
~William Cowper

120 I tremble in fear of you;
I stand in awe of your regulations.


121 Don’t leave me to the mercy of my enemies,
for I have done what is just and right.
122 Please guarantee a blessing for me.

P119 guarantee

The Psalmist cried out to God as Job did:
Now put down a pledge for me with Yourself.

(Job 17:3)

Don’t let the arrogant oppress me!
123 My eyes strain to see your rescue,
to see the truth of your promise fulfilled.
124 I am your servant; deal with me in unfailing love,
and teach me your decrees.
125 Give discernment to me, your servant;
then I will understand your laws.
126 Lord, it is time for you to act,
for these evil people have violated your instructions.


Some read it, and the original will bear it,
It is time to work for thee, O Lord!
It is time for every one in his place to appear on the Lord’s side

— against the threatening growth of profaneness and immorality.
We must do what we can for the support
of the sinking interests of religion.
~Matthew Henry

127 Truly, I love your commands
more than gold, even the finest gold.

“Should I not love them? Can gold, yea, fine gold, offer to me blessings such as these? Can it heal my broken heart Can it give relief to my wounded spirit? Has it any peace or prospect of comfort for me on my death bed?”
~Charles Bridges

128 Each of your commandments is right.
That is why I hate every false way.



One of my favorite hymns and well suited to Psalm 119 — “How Firm a Foundation.”  Click  HERE  to hear an orchestral arrangement.

How Firm a Foundation

How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He has said,
To you, who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

Fear not, I am with you, O be not dismayed,
For I am your God and will still give you aid;
I’ll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call you to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with you, your troubles to bless,
And sanctify to you your deepest distress.

When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be your supply;
The flame shall not hurt you; I only design
Your dross to consume, and your gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

–London pastor John Rippon, 1787


New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
light through the window.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/bethlehemblogentrycopy.jpg
hope candle.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/hope-in-focus.jpg
only with thine eyes.    http://slideplayer.com/slide/3517764/12/images/70/8Only+with+thine+eyes+shalt+thou+behold+and+see+the+reward+of+the+wicked..jpg
guarantee.   http://www.integrityinspection.com/images/guarantee.jpg
Psalm 37:9.    https://www.kcisradio.com/blog/psalm-397/

3635.) Psalm 119:97-112

March 24, 2023

p119 lamp to my feet

Psalm 119:97-112   (NIV)

מ Mem

“This is a pure song of praise. It contains no single petition, but is just one glad outpouring of the heart.” 

–G. Campbell Morgan

97 Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.

If one wants to, they can increase their love for God’s word. You can’t make yourself love something or someone; but you can cultivate love towards someone or something.

– Give it your time; set it before you constantly.
– Give it your attention and care; look after the word of God (it is my meditation all the day).
– Give it a truly listening ear.
– Give it your honor and your obedience.
– Give it your appreciation; value it for all the good it has done for you and be thankful for all that good.
– Give it your dependence and trust; let it care for you.
– Give it your praise; speak highly of it before others.

–David Guzik

98 Your commands are always with me
and make me wiser than my enemies.
99 I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your statutes.

There is a story about the life of Harry Ironside, the pastor and author and Bible commentator. Ironside went to visit a man near death, suffering from tuberculosis. The man was almost dead and could barely speak. As Ironside spoke to him the sick man asked, “Young man, are you trying to preach Christ, are you not?” Ironside said that he was, and the man replied, “Well, sit down a little, and let us talk together about the Word of God.” Then the man opened his Bible and spoke with Ironside until his strength was gone; he shared insights from the Bible that Ironside had not appreciated or even seen before. 

Ironside was stunned and asked the man, “Where did you get these things? Can you tell me where I can find a book that will open them up to me? Did you get them in seminary or college?” 

The old man replied, “My dear young man, I learned these things on my knees on the mud floor of a little sod cottage in the north of Ireland. There with my open Bible before me, I used to kneel for hours at a time and ask the Spirit of God to reveal Christ to my soul and to open the Word to my heart. He taught me more on my knees on that mud floor than I ever could have learned in all the seminaries or colleges in the world.”

Ironside became a Bible teacher, preacher, theologian, pastor, and author of more than 100 books, booklets and pamphlets. He pastored Moody Church in Chicago from 1929 to 1948. And in 1930, Wheaton College presented Ironside, who quit school after eighth grade, with an honorary Doctorate of Letters degree.

100 I have more understanding than the elders,
for I obey your precepts.
101 I have kept my feet from every evil path
so that I might obey your word.
102 I have not departed from your laws,
for you yourself have taught me.

P119 honey

103 How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104 I gain understanding from your precepts;
therefore I hate every wrong path.

נ Nun

P119 oil lamp

105 Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.

How are we as Christians to walk?

Ephesians 4:1-3  (NASB)

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Isaiah 57:1-2  (NASB)

The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart;
And devout men are taken away, while no one understands.
For the righteous man is taken away from evil,
He enters into peace;
They rest in their beds,
Each one who walked in his upright way.

1 John 1:7   (NASB)

If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light,
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Micah 6:8   (NASB)

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?

106 I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
that I will follow your righteous laws.
107 I have suffered much;
preserve my life, Lord, according to your word.
108 Accept, Lord, the willing praise of my mouth,
and teach me your laws.
109 Though I constantly take my life in my hands,
I will not forget your law.
110 The wicked have set a snare for me,
but I have not strayed from your precepts.
111 Your statutes are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.

“What is the psalmist’s spiritual heritage, that is, what is he looking toward and working for? Some heavenly reward? A word of praise from God? Surprisingly, he says that his heritage is what he has been speaking about all along: God’s Word itself.”

–James Montgomery Boice

112 My heart is set on keeping your decrees
to the very end.



Can you hear it even before the music starts? Amy Grant and “Thy Word.” Click  HERE  to listen!


Images courtesy of:
Psalm 119:105.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/lamptomyfeet.jpg
Harry Ironside.   http://www.harryironside.com/ironside.jpg
honey.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/p119-honey.jpg?w=450&h=315
Psalm 119:105 with oil lamp.   http://www.emblibrary.com/el/Product_images/E3592.jpg
Matthew 28:20.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/887ca-1467374092627.jpg

3625.) Psalm 119:81-96

March 10, 2023

Psalm 119:81-96   (NIV)

כ Kaph

“Some writers…pointed out that for the ancients there was often significance in the shape of the Hebrew letters. Such is the case here. This is the kaph stanza. Kaph is a curved letter, similar to a half circle, and it was often thought of as a hand held out to receive some gift or blessing…. He holds out his hand toward God as a suppliant.”

–James Montgomery Boice

81 My soul faints with longing for your salvation,
    but I have put my hope in your word.

This verse brings to mind Paul’s similar affirmation of being desperate but not despairing in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 —  We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. In it all, Paul could say, “we have the same spirit of faith” (2 Corinthians 4:13).

82 My eyes fail, looking for your promise;
    I say, “When will you comfort me?”
83 Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke,
    I do not forget your decrees.

What can I do to help myself remember the Lord’s decrees? Here are some ideas:

– reading the Bible regularly
– learning Scripture by heart and repeating it 
– hanging Bible verse plaques up around your house
– keeping devotionals in convenient places
– singing hymns and spiritual songs

– carrying Scripture with you (easy now on our phones)

What are other things that you have found helpful?

84 How long must your servant wait?
    When will you punish my persecutors?
85 The arrogant dig pits to trap me,
    contrary to your law.

86 All your commands are trustworthy;
    help me, for I am being persecuted without cause.

“Many a time have these words been groaned out by troubled saints, for they are such as suit a thousand conditions of need, pain, distress, weakness, and sin. ‘Help, Lord,’ will be a fitting prayer for youth and age, for labour and suffering, for life and death. No other help is sufficient, but God’s help is all-sufficient and we cast ourselves upon it without fear.”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

87 They almost wiped me from the earth,
    but I have not forsaken your precepts.
88 In your unfailing love preserve my life,
    that I may obey the statutes of your mouth.

ל Lamedh

89 Your word, Lord, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you established the earth, and it endures.

P119 Genesis1_1

The word of God itself is what establishes the earth and causes it to abide. The earth and all of creation began with a word from God (Genesis 1); it is no surprise that they are also sustained and endure according to the word of God.

This gives new understanding to some wonderful statements of Scripture:

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever (Isaiah 40:8)

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away (Matthew 24:35)

These passages put the word of God outside the created world and indicate that the word of God is more permanent and enduring than creation itself. Since the created world came into being by God’s word and is sustained by His word, this makes perfect sense.

–David Guzik

91 Your laws endure to this day,
for all things serve you.
92 If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have preserved my life.
94 Save me, for I am yours;
I have sought out your precepts.

Ps119 94

This speaks of the wonderful relationship between the Psalmist and His God, flowing from the word of God. With the Psalmist, we can affirm
– that God is our God!
– that salvation is not in ourselves!
– that God hears and answers prayer!
– that God will indeed save us!
– that God’s word is valuable and necessary for us!

95 The wicked are waiting to destroy me,
but I will ponder your statutes.
96 To all perfection I see a limit,
but your commands are boundless.

I like how this verse is phrased in The Message:

I see the limits to everything human,
    but the horizons can’t contain your commands!



HERE is a song to feed your heart!  “Speak, O Lord,” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, and sung by Kristyn Getty.


New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Images courtesy of:
verse 81.   https://i.pinimg.com/originals/f7/ce/87/f7ce8747c0d93bc5a85da7120561219a.jpg
 help me.   https://d5wt70d4gnm1t.cloudfront.net/media/annika_strom/please_help_me_blue/annika_strom_5293_1024x768.jpg
Genesis 1:1.    http://wallpaper4god.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/genesis1_1.jpg
verse 94.   https://www.pinterest.com/pin/189221621824072423/

3615.) Psalm 119:65-80

February 24, 2023

Psalm 119:65-80

(Good News Translation)

The Value of the Law of the Lord

65 You have kept your promise, Lord,
and you are good to me, your servant.

We don’t think about it enough, but it is wonderfully true that “You have dealt well with Your servant, O LORD.” Think of all the ways God has dealt well with us. He loves us, He called us, He drew us to Himself. He rescued us, He declared us righteous, He forgave us, He put His Spirit with us, He adopted us into His family. He makes us kings and priests and co-workers with Him, and He rewards all our work for Him.

–David Guzik

66 Give me wisdom and knowledge,
because I trust in your commands.
67 Before you punished me, I used to go wrong,
but now I obey your word.

68 How good you are—how kind!
Teach me your commands.

Another translation of this verse goes, “You are good and you do good.” This is praise for who God is, and for what God does. Even afflictions work out to show God’s kindness. With that in mind, where is room for complaining?

“We talk of goodness, but yield to discontent. We do not profess to dislike trials in general — only the trial pressing upon us — any other cross than this; that is, my will and wisdom rather than God’s.”

–Charles Bridges

“I never,” said Martin Luther, “knew the meaning of God’s word, until I came into affliction. I have always found it one of my best schoolmasters.”

69 The proud have told lies about me,
but with all my heart I obey your instructions.
70 They have no understanding,
but I find pleasure in your law.
71 My punishment was good for me,
because it made me learn your commands.

P119 coins
72 The law that you gave means more to me
than all the money in the world.

The largest Bible in the world is in the Vatican. It is a manuscript Bible and written in Hebrew. The book weighs 320 pounds and there is a history connected with it. Some Italian Jews obtained a view of the precious volume, and told their co-religionists of Venice of it. The consequence was that a syndicate of Venetian Jews endeavored to purchase it, offering the Pope the weight of the book in gold as the price. Pope Julius II, however, refused the offer, even though the value of such a large amount of gold was enormous. The saving truth which the Bible contains, accessible to the poorest, is more valuable than all material wealth combined.

–Christian Science Journal

The Justice of the Law of the Lord

The reference to God forming him is a deliberate echo of Genesis 2, which says God ‘formed man from the dust of the ground’ (Genesis 2:7)

73 You created me, and you keep me safe;
give me understanding, so that I may learn your laws.

74 Those who honor you will be glad when they see me,
because I trust in your promise.
75 I know that your judgments are righteous, Lord,
and that you punished me because you are faithful.
76 Let your constant love comfort me,
as you have promised me, your servant.

P119 Hebrews
77 Have mercy on me, and I will live
because I take pleasure in your law.

78 May the proud be ashamed for falsely accusing me;
as for me, I will meditate on your instructions.
79 May those who honor you come to me—
all those who know your commands.

80 May I perfectly obey your commandments
and be spared the shame of defeat.



“Beneath the Cross of Jesus” is a hymn that has long spoken to me. And particularly the line shown above: “My sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross.”  So many things I have done which I am ashamed of or embarrassed by, so many foolish or unkind things — yet at the cross, all is forgiven.  HERE  is the hymn sung by The Hastings College Choir from Hastings, Nebraska.


Good News Translation (GNT)   Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society
Images courtesy of:
You have done many good things.   https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4085/5064866654_738a306de9_b.jpg
coins.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/psalm119-72.jpg
breath of life.   https://thebreathablebody.com/reasons-breathing-through-your-nose-is-good-for-you/
Hebrews 4:16.    http://ih2.redbubble.net/image.11592695.2391/flat,550×550,075,f.jpg
my sinful self.   http://images.slideplayer.com/25/7969489/slides/slide_40.jpg

3605.) Psalm 119:49-64

February 10, 2023

Psalm 119:49-64   (NIV)

Just for a bit of variety — we will be looking at sections of Psalm 119 while we are also reading through Jeremiah.

“Surely it is significant that this intricate, finely crafted, single-minded love poem—the longest in the Bible—is not about marriage or children or food or drink or mountains or sunsets or rivers or oceans, but about the Bible itself. . . . Psalm 119 is the explosion of praise made possible by an orthodox and evangelical doctrine of Scripture.” 
~Kevin DeYoung

The particular stanzas here follow very similar themes:

Zayin (verses 49-56) could be summarized,

“Remember me, Lord, as I remember you and your word”

 Heth (verses 57-64) could be summarized,

 “I am keeping my promise, Lord, please keep your promise.”

~Peter Wallace

ז Zayin

49 Remember your word to your servant,
    for you have given me hope.

50 My comfort in my suffering is this:
    Your promise preserves my life.

51 The arrogant mock me unmercifully,
    but I do not turn from your law.
52 I remember, Lord, your ancient laws,
    and I find comfort in them.
53 Indignation grips me because of the wicked,
    who have forsaken your law.
54 Your decrees are the theme of my song
    wherever I lodge.
55 In the night, Lord, I remember your name,
    that I may keep your law.

At night especially our sorrows press painfully upon the mind. The remembrance of the Lord’s “name” — i:e., His manifestation of Himself in acts as His people’s Deliverer–is at such seasons most consolatory. Of the time that others give to sleep, I gladly take a part to comfort myself with the remembrance of thy glorious name.

~commentary on Psalm 119 by Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown

56 This has been my practice:
    I obey your precepts.

ח Heth

57 You are my portion, Lord;
    I have promised to obey your words.
58 I have sought your face with all my heart;
    be gracious to me according to your promise.

59 I have considered my ways
    and have turned my steps to your statutes.

60 I will hasten and not delay
    to obey your commands.
61 Though the wicked bind me with ropes,
    I will not forget your law.
62 At midnight I rise to give you thanks
    for your righteous laws.
63 I am a friend to all who fear you,
    to all who follow your precepts.

The proverb says that “A man is known by the company he keeps.” We do well to choose friends who call us to live on the higher plane — more lovingly, more gracefully, more faithfully, more patiently, more joyfully. On the other hand, Jesus was known as “a friend of sinners.” But Jesus didn’t just hang out with drunks and loose women for the sake of a good party! Perhaps it is more accurate to say that sinners were drawn to Jesus, that Jesus gladly spent time with sinners who were open to his teaching, that Jesus forgave repentant sinners, and that Jesus embraced sinners who believed in him. Sinners like us can be known by the company we keep, especially if that company is our Savior, Jesus!

64 The earth is filled with your love, Lord;
    teach me your decrees.



Verse 59  in three translations:

 I have considered my conduct,
and I promise to follow your instructions. (Good News)

I thought about my ways
and turned my feet toward your instruction. (CJB)

I thought very carefully about my life,
    and I decided to follow your rules.   (ERV)

They all are saying we should “direct our feet” and “turn” and “promise to follow” God’s Word. Here is Rich Mullins singing his “Step by Step.” I think it is a catchy number, so we could sing it all day long, thus directing our feet and turning our hearts to follow the Lord. Click  HERE  to listen and join in!

Sometimes the night was beautiful 
Sometimes the sky was so far away 
Sometimes it seemed to stoop so close 
You could touch it but your heart would break 
Sometimes the morning came too soon 
Sometimes the day could be so hot 
There was so much work left to do 
But so much You’d already done

Oh God, You are my God 
And I will ever praise You 
Oh God, You are my God 
And I will ever praise You 
I will seek You in the morning 
And I will learn to walk in Your ways 
And step by step You’ll lead me 
And I will follow You all of my days

Sometimes I think of Abraham 
How one star he saw had been lit for me 
He was a stranger in this land 
And I am that, no less than he 
And on this road to righteousness 
Sometimes the climb can be so steep 
I may falter in my steps 
But never beyond Your reach

And I will follow You all of my days 
And I will follow You all of my days 
And step by step You’ll lead me 
And I will follow You all of my days 
And I will follow You all of my days 
And I will follow You all of my days


New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Images courtesy of:
I have thought about my life.    https://darlenecollazo.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/psalm-119-59.jpg
verse 50.    http://ourdailyblossom.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/101211-590×393.jpg
I thought on my ways.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/b8144-ps2b119-592bturned2bmy2bfeet.jpg

3604.) Psalm 119:33-48

February 9, 2023

Psalm 119:33-48   The Message (MSG)

Just to keep things interesting — we will be looking at sections of Psalm 119 while we are also reading through Jeremiah.
In 1539, commenting on Psalm 119, Luther wrote, “In this psalm David always says that he will speak, think, talk, hear, read, day and night constantly—but about nothing else than God’s Word and Commandments. For God wants to give you His Spirit only through the external Word.” This phrase is extremely important. The “external Word” is the Book. And the saving, sanctifying, illuminating Spirit of God, he says, comes to us through this “external Word.”
~John Piper

33-40 God, teach me lessons for living
so I can stay the course.

P119 4 candles

Give me insight so I can do what you tell me—
my whole life one long, obedient response.

“There is a great market for religious experience in our world; there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue, little inclination to sign up for a long apprenticeship in what earlier generations of Christians called holiness.” 
~Eugene H. Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society

Guide me down the road of your commandments;
I love traveling this freeway!
Give me a bent for your words of wisdom,
and not for piling up loot.

P119 worthless
Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets,
invigorate me on the pilgrim way.

Each of us wrestles with the problem of inward purity. We might be able to put on a good show outwardly, but inwardly we are sinners by nature and we wage war against wrong thoughts, desires, and attitudes. Psalm 119 shows us God’s Word is essential for becoming pure in heart. 
~Steven J. Cole

Affirm your promises to me—
promises made to all who fear you.
Deflect the harsh words of my critics—
but what you say is always so good.
See how hungry I am for your counsel;
preserve my life through your righteous ways!

Ps119 41

Let your love, God, shape my life
with salvation, exactly as you promised;

David loved the Scriptures, but he longed experimentally to know the salvation contained in them: he was not satisfied to read the word, he longed to experience its inner sense. He valued the field of Scripture for the sake of the treasure which he had discovered in it. He was not to be contented with chapter and verse, he wanted mercies and salvation.

~Charles H. Spurgeon

42-48 Then I’ll be able to stand up to mockery
because I trusted your Word.
Don’t ever deprive me of truth, not ever—
your commandments are what I depend on.
Oh, I’ll guard with my life what you’ve revealed to me,
guard it now, guard it ever;
And I’ll stride freely through wide open spaces
as I look for your truth and your wisdom;
Then I’ll tell the world what I find,
speak out boldly in public, unembarrassed.

P119 I reach

I cherish your commandments—oh, how I love them!—
relishing every fragment of your counsel.

“The more we read the Bible, the stronger our faith becomes.
~Pope Pius X



The NIV has verse 34 as “Give me understanding, and I will keep your law / and obey it with all my heart.”  Here is the Oslo Gospel Choir singing “I give you my heart.”  Click  HERE  to listen.  Lord, have Your way in me.


3600.) Psalm 119:17-32

February 3, 2023

Open my eyes, that I may see glimpses of truth thou hast for me . . .

Psalm 119:17-32   (NIV)

Just to keep things interesting — we will be looking at sections of Psalm 119 while we are also reading through Jeremiah.  

George Wishart was the Bishop of Edinburgh in the 17th century (not to be confused with another Scot by the same name who was martyred a century earlier). Wishart was condemned to death and would have been executed. But when he was on the scaffold he made use of a custom that allowed the condemned person to choose one psalm to be sung, and he chose Psalm 119. Before two-thirds of the psalm was sung, his pardon arrived and his life was spared!
~David Guzik

ג Gimel

17 Be good to your servant while I live,
that I may obey your word.
18 Open my eyes that I may see
wonderful things in your law.

“Blinding ignorance does mislead us. O! Wretched mortals, open your eyes!”
~Leonardo da Vinci

“In these times you have to be an optimist to open your eyes when you awake in the morning.”
~Carl Sandburg

“Light only benefits one whose eyes are open.” 
~Matshona Dhliwavo

19 I am a stranger on earth;
do not hide your commands from me.
20 My soul is consumed with longing
for your laws at all times.
21 You rebuke the arrogant, who are accursed,
those who stray from your commands.
22 Remove from me their scorn and contempt,
for I keep your statutes.
23 Though rulers sit together and slander me,
your servant will meditate on your decrees.

“The best way to deal with slander is to pray about it: God will either remove it, or remove the sting from it. Our own attempts at clearing ourselves are usually failures.”
~Charles Haddon Spurgeon

24 Your statutes are my delight;
they are my counselors.

ד Daleth

25 I am laid low in the dust;
    preserve my life according to your word.
26 I gave an account of my ways and you answered me;
    teach me your decrees.
27 Cause me to understand the way of your precepts,
    that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28 My soul is weary with sorrow;
    strengthen me according to your word.
29 Keep me from deceitful ways;
    be gracious to me and teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
    I have set my heart on your laws.

I like how Eugene Peterson puts verses 29-30 in The Message:

Barricade the road that goes Nowhere;
grace me with your clear revelation.
I choose the true road to Somewhere,

I post your road signs at every curve and corner.

31 I hold fast to your statutes, Lord;
    do not let me be put to shame.
32 I run in the path of your commands,
    for you have broadened my understanding.

In the beginning of the section he is clinging to the dust (verse 25); by the end he is clinging to God’s word. In the beginning he is laid low; now he is joyfully running with all his strength in the race God’s word sets before him.
~David Guzik



HERE  is an old one — “Open My Eyes, that I May See,” by Clara M. Scott. Scott was born in Illinois in 1841 and died in Iowa in 1897. In 1856, Scott attended the first Music Institute held by C.M. Cady in Chicago, Ill. By 1859, she was teaching music at the Ladies’ Seminary, Lyons, Iowa. She married Henry Clay Scott in 1861, and published in 1882 the Royal Anthem Book, the first volume of choir anthems published by a woman.

Horatio R. Palmer, an influential church musician in Chicago and later New York City, was a source of encouragement for Scott, and helped her publish many of her songs. Three collections were issued before her untimely death, when a runaway horse caused a buggy accident in Dubuque, Iowa.

  1. Open my eyes, that I may see
    Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
    Place in my hands the wonderful key
    That shall unclasp and set me free.
              Silently now I wait for Thee,
              Ready my God, Thy will to see,
              Open my eyes, illumine me,
              Spirit divine!
  2. Open my ears, that I may hear
    Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;
    And while the wave notes fall on my ear,
    Everything false will disappear.
  3. Open my mind, that I may read
    More of Thy love in word and deed;
    What shall I fear while yet Thou dost lead?
    Only for light from Thee I plead.
  4. Open my mouth, and let me bear,
    Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
    Open my heart and let me prepare
    Love with Thy children thus to share.


New International Version (NIV)   Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Images courtesy of:
open eye.  https://www.novaeyedocs.com/eye-care/what-causes-puffy-eyes/
verse 18. Calligraphy by Tim Botts.   http://www.prestoimages.net/store30/rd183/183_pd2678828_1_psalm_119_18_timbotts.jpg
Truth.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/psalm119_30.jpg