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‘Accept, Lord, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws’ (v 108).

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Bible passage Psalm 119:97–112 PDF Print E-mail
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 97 Oh, how I love your law!
       I meditate on it all day long.

 98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,
       for they are ever with me.

 99 I have more insight than all my teachers,
       for I meditate on your statutes.

 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.

 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.

Nun
 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
       and a light for my path.

 106 I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
       that I will follow your righteous laws.

 107 I have suffered much;
       preserve my life, O LORD, according to your word.

 108 Accept, O 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.

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

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Pleasurable Word
It is clear that the psalmist’s whole life is dominated by God’s Word. He is always thinking about it (vs 97–99), always trying his best to obey it (v 101). This makes him wiser than all the influential people he knows – enemies, teachers or elders (vs 98–100).

God’s Word brings him more pleasure than anything else in life (v 103). What he gains from it is not just intellectual understanding but the wisdom ‘to hate every wrong path’ (v 104).

Supported psalmist
The psalmist finds from experience that God’s Word guides him both in the general direction he should take and in particular immediate decisions (v 105). So whatever the cost, he is determined to follow the right path (v 106).

This doesn’t mean that life will be easy – in fact, the reverse is true. He continues to ‘suffer much’ (v 107) and constantly takes his life in his hands (v 109). There is always a temptation to stray from God’s way (v 110). But the psalmist is very determined. Nothing but nothing is ever going to deflect him from following the Lord’s way – ‘to the very end’ (v 112).

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There is always a danger not so much to decisively reject God’s Word as to stray, or gradually drift away from it (see Hebrews 2:1). ‘Lord, may your words be the joy of my heart. May you yourself teach me and keep me from evil.’

Andrew Clark

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Deeper Bible study PDF Print E-mail

‘Get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.’ (James 1:21)

A friend who had just lost his lovely, godly wife after years of marriage said, somewhat astonishingly, ‘If you can’t say Hallelujah now your praise isn't real’. It's easy to praise God when things are going right but when life is tough it can be a different matter. We can safely assume that David composed this psalm, since it reflects his experience. Before he was king, as shepherd and fugitive, he knew what it was to suffer and take his life in his hands. After he became king, people were often out to get him. Yet, those experiences have only enhanced the value he sees in God’s word.

He testifies that God’s word was ‘sweeter than honey’ (v 103), providing much comfort in the tough places of life, and also that it was ‘a lamp for my feet and a light for my path’ (v 105), providing guidance through life. By guidance he doesn’t mean personal guidance about who to marry or where to live, but moral guidance about how to live righteously, how to respond to enemies and how to lead with integrity. God’s word is his indispensable moral compass. The remarkable effect is that God’s word makes David wise beyond his years – wiser than his teachers (vs 98–100), who often build their decisions on faulty foundations and continue building with faulty logic. God’s word also keeps him from falling into temptation (v 101).

Benefiting from God’s word doesn’t happen automatically. He, and we, have to meditate on it (vs 97–99), obey it (v 100), follow it (vs 102–105), learn from it (v 108), remember it (v 109) and stick to it, persevering to the end (v 112). We need to get into God’s word, so God’s word can make us the people we should be.

Derek Tidball

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Dominated by God’s word PDF Print E-mail
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In today’s passage we read how the psalmist’s life in dominated by God’s word. For the Bible to dominate our lives, it needs to have an influence over all that we do, and all the decisions that we make.

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Prepare (From: 18 Aug 2017) PDF Print E-mail

Thank God that he keeps his promises. Thank God that he freely pardons repentant sinners. Thank God for genuinely good news.

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Bible passage Isaiah 55:1–13 (From: 18 Aug 2017) PDF Print E-mail

Isaiah 55

Invitation to the Thirsty
 1 “Come, all you who are thirsty,
   come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
   come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
   without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
   and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
   and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
   listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
   my faithful love promised to David.
4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
   a ruler and commander of the peoples.
5 Surely you will summon nations you know not,
   and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the LORD your God,
   the Holy One of Israel,
   for he has endowed you with splendor.”

 6 Seek the LORD while he may be found;
   call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways
   and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them,
   and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
   neither are your ways my ways,”
            declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
   so are my ways higher than your ways
   and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
   come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
   without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
   so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
   It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
   and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
   and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
   will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
   will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
   and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the LORD’s renown,
   for an everlasting sign,
   that will endure forever.”

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