Psalm 119:45

Psalm 119:45

“And I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts.”

In obeying God’s commands, the Psalmist will not feel himself constrained. He is walking in freedom because inclination, not constraint makes him obey the Lord. He seeks God’s precepts, and loves God’s word, delighting in the peace that comes from walking with Him.

The Christian loves God, realizes their own nothingness, repents and believes in Christ, and esteems Christ because of their helplessness. This person will follow the Lord, obeying Him, but not feeling constrained by His word. To this one, God’s word is freeing and beautiful, and brings life and joy and peace.

Psalm 119:44

Psalm 119:44

“I will keep your law continually, forever and ever.”

The Psalmist here is not saying that he will keep God’s law perfectly. His focus is on the constancy of His effort. We will all inevitably fail at keeping God’s law. None of us can obey perfectly, but the believer is marked by turning back to the Lord after stumbling.

Psalm 119:43

Psalm 119:43

“And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your rules.”

It is very easy when persecution comes to deny the truth. As a result, David here prays that he would remain steadfast in not only believing, but saying that he believes outwardly. This first and foremost must be the case in our prayer life. We need to pray and we need to not despair and simply listen to ourselves. Silence in terms of our communication with God reveals unbelief. Prayer shows that our hope is in Him and His rules.

Psalm 119:42

Psalm 119:42

“Then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me, for I trust in your word.”

This refers back to verse 41, and is truly the unanswerable answer. When God gives us salvation, and when we are confident that He loves us in Christ, we are at total peace. There is nothing greater than being in good standing with the Creator of the universe. When we have this eternal confidence, we are ready to answer the objections of those who oppose us.

Psalm 119:41

Psalm 119:41

“Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise.”

The Psalmist is here asking to experience and know God’s mercy and favor. Specifically, according to the latter half of the verse, the hope of mercy held out in the word of God.

Our ideas of what God is like have to be grounded in the gospel. The myriad false gospels which are prevalent today are often what confuse us. So, if we think of God as merely a cosmic genie, who is simply there to grant our wishes, we’ll be very disappointed with our lives. However, if we understand that God has already given us way more than we deserve, we’ll be filled with joy and thankfulness.

Psalm 119:40

Psalm 119:40

“Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!”

The Psalmist continues with requests for help in desiring God. When we enjoy the sweetness of God’s word, it will make us long for a deeper relationship with Him. This should resonate with every believer reading this, because the very opposite is true as well. In other words, when we ignore Him, we struggle to have an interest in His ways. When we pridefully skip our time with Him in the morning, our desires turn inward. We aren’t spiritually mature enough to start off any day without grounding ourselves in His word and in prayer.

Psalm 119:39

Psalm 119:39

“Turn away the reproach that I dread, for your rules are good.”

The Psalmist is confessing that He fears the reproach of sinning against the Lord. He desires to please the Lord, and so therefore, conversely, feels the burden of forsaking the Lord.

He also is preaching to himself. He is reminding himself that God’s rules are good. They are not oppressive, and they do bring contentment because we were created to live under them joyfully.

Psalm 119:38

Psalm 119:38

“Confirm to your servant your promise, that you may be feared.”

The Psalmist is here asking for a firm and true perception of the truth of God’s word. We often perceive wrongly that God doesn’t exist because we don’t see Him. We need to ask for help with our faith, and assistance to believe what God’s word promises.

The prayer also is that God would be worshiped or feared. Remembering His promises, and focusing our hearts and minds on His word should stir reverence in us. Simply realizing that He made us and is Lord over all things is enough. However, we have to discipline our minds to remember because we quickly forget.

Psalm 119:37

Psalm 119:37

“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.”

There is danger in contemplating things that turn us toward sin. We can be desensitized very easily in this way. Our hearts and minds easily twist worthless things into idols. So, we need to remember that there is not life in those ways. In other words, it is not profitable for us to fix our hearts and minds on idols. We’ll be depressed and disappointed constantly because those things will not bring us contentment. Most importantly, unrepentant and persistent worship of those things will result in eternal death.

Psalm 119:36

Psalm 119:36

“Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!”

Our hearts are naturally inclined to focus on ourselves. Consider the thoughts that you’ve had already this morning. Have they largely been focused on your circumstances, your needs, and your problems? This is how all of us are wired as a result of living in a fallen world. We are obsessed with ourselves.

The good news is that there is a rescue plan to save us from this selfishness. The God of the universe made us for the purpose of obsessing over Him. He is perfectly good and right and just to do that, because He is our Creator. However, our selfishness is one aspect of our sin, which opposes God and puts us in bad standing with Him because of His holiness and justice. Christ lived a perfectly holy life, living for God, and always turning from selfishness. He laid down His life for our sake, taking on God’s wrath. He was raised from the dead, and is now interceding on our behalf if we respond rightly to this very good news. We need to turn from our sins and put our hope and faith in Christ.

These are the testimonies we need to incline our hearts toward mainly. By doing so, we’ll turn away from selfish gain out of gratitude, joy, and obedience to the One who has shown us amazing grace and mercy.