Psalm 119:55

Psalm 119:55

“I remember your name in the night, O Lord, and keep your law.”

It’s not surprising that many vile things occur a night. Maybe it’s a practical issue because light makes things easier to see. It could also be that we all are made in God’s image and we want our shameful acts hidden. Either way, the Psalmist is reminding himself, in a prayer-like way, that he will remember the Lord and His ways even at night.

This is a great sign of spiritual vitality. Waking up with our mind on the Lord. Or even placing our thoughts on the Lord and obeying Him even when we can’t sleep. Some things to meditate on in the middle of the night, if you’re awake, would be:

-The greatness of the divine Being
-The perfections of his nature
-His wonderful works of creation, providence, and grace
-His word and ordinances, by which He was made known to us

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Psalm 119:54

Psalm 119:54

“Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my sojourning.”

As the exile sings songs of his home (Psalm 137:3), so the Christian, “a stranger on earth,” sings the songs of heaven, his true home (Psalm 39:12). In ancient times, laws were put in verse, to imprint them more on the memory of the people. So God’s laws are the believer’s songs.

Do you think of this life as being permanent? Are you hopes mainly about what you can get here? The American dream is very deceptive. It is fool’s gold that will not last. Put your hope in heaven, and look forward to the riches there, because they will not spoil or fade.

Psalm 119:53

Psalm 119:53

“Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked, who forsake your law.”

The state referred to here is that of one who sees the storm of burning wind and sand approaching. This is because of the conduct of those who turn from God’s word or ignore it altogether. It is important to note that the offense is mainly due to the forsaking of God’s law. We are to be jealous for God’s holiness and Kingship. We should want His name to be lifted up, and when it’s not, it should bother us.

Most importantly, we need to have this kind of conviction over our own sin. We are every bit as wicked as the next person, and if we’ve been redeemed, we should see evidences of grace in our own lives. There should be progress, which is spiritual maturity. With that spiritual maturity will come a big view of God, and therefore the “hot indignation” will not be as a result of being personally offended, but of wanting God to be honored.

Psalm 119:52

Psalm 119:52

“When I think of your rules from of old, I take comfort, O Lord.”

We can take great comfort in God’s eternal nature. We don’t have to worry about whether or not things are going to work out. They are working out perfectly, according to His plan.

We can also take great comfort in His rules. He is the sovereign judge, and while some things in this life seem to be unfair, He is also a perfect judge. We often don’t think of Him that way, because we place ourselves in the role of judge. However, we are not God, and we cannot take over that role because we aren’t in charge. While we can’t understand why He allows some of the things He allows, we can trust that in a fallen world there will be trouble and pain and death. We’ll experience all of those things, but if we’re in Christ, it will only be for a short time.

Psalm 119:51

Psalm 119:51

“The insolent utterly deride me, but I do not turn away from your law.”

Insolent is referring to the proud. Obviously, we all are proud, but the Psalmist here is talking about those who mock God, and make a jest of the gospel. As Christians, we’ve all experienced this at some point, and maybe this was how we were before God rescued us.

The point in this verse is that he doesn’t let the insolent discourage him from following the Lord. He is not afraid of what God’s law says, and is also not discouraged from obeying it. When we fear people more than God, then their approval will be more important. But, when God is big and people are small, we’ll be freed up to worship the Lord and worry less about the approval of people.

Psalm 119:50

Psalm 119:50

“This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.”

The comfort in our affliction is not that God will give us what we want. He does that sometimes, but our hope is not in Him giving us what we think we need. He will always give us what we actually need, which is always for our spiritual good.

For this verse, we need to understand that ultimately, our comfort is in the eternal life that we have in Him. So, in a trial, we definitely pray to God in numerous ways including that He would help mitigate the suffering. However, we also need to understand our own limitations, specifically that we often do not know His will, and that His path for us may be to suffer in order to bring Him glory. And this shouldn’t surprise us. Christ suffered, and said very clearly that those that would follow Him will suffer as well.

Psalm 119:49

Psalm 119:49

“Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope.”

God has promised us eternal life in Christ. Clearly He doesn’t forget His own word, so what is meant here? David is bolstering his own faith with this prayer. He is reminding himself that when unbelief prevails and doubt arises, there is a need to stir ourselves to believe what’s true. And, it is a good practice to ask God for things. Even though He is sovereign, and we know He remembers His word to us, it is good for us to humble ourselves and ask for help.

Psalm 119:48

Psalm 119:48

“I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.”

The lifting of hands is an expression of worship, and a gesture of great esteem. The Psalmist lifts His hands, embracing God’s commandments, signifying his earnest desire to observe them.

One way to ensure that we obey is to meditate on God’s word. Rolling over a single verse in your mind and thinking about the myriad applications both vertically and horizontally is a fruitful exercise. Any time we can focus our attention on God for long periods is time well-spent.

Psalm 119:47

Psalm 119:47

“For I find my delight in your commandments, which I love.”

God’s word is something the Christian finds to be beautiful, and His commands bring us joy. However, the reality in a fallen world is that we don’t always love Him or His word. Thankfully, Christ did, and was able to not only obey perfectly, but also love perfectly. If you know your own heart well, this is nothing short of miraculous. Of course, it is supernatural, because He is.

Thank the Lord today that He is growing you in delighting in His commandments. Thank Him especially that you will not be judged based on your ability to do that, but on Christ’s perfect obedience, which stands in your place.

Psalm 119:46

Psalm 119:46

“I will also speak of your testimonies before kings, and shall not be put to shame.”

David most likely did this before Saul, the King of Achish, and the Princes of the Philistines all before he became King. And when he was a King himself, when other Kings came to visit him, instead of talking only about the affairs of the state, he probably spoke of God’s testimonies.

This is how our lives need to reflect God’s glory. Not everyone is called to be in the ministry full-time. But, we are all called to be using the various positions we have been given in our families, at work, with our kids activities, and with our neighbors to share the gospel.