Judgment from the Word

I. This stanza is more easily understood by arrangement.

A. There are declarative statements about personal behaviour.

1. “I have done judgment and justice” (Psalm 119:121)

2. “Mine eyes fail for thy salvation and for the word of thy righteousness (Psalm 119:123).

3. “I am thy servant” (Psalm 119:125)

B. There are prayers for deliverance.

1. “Leave me not to mine oppressors” (Psalm 119:121).

2. “Be surety for thy servant for good” (Psalm 119:122)

3. “Let not the proud oppress me” (Psalm 119:122)

4. “Give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies” (Psalm 119:125).

C. There is insistence for God’s intervention.

1. “Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy” (Psalm 119:124)

2. “It is time for thee, LORD, to work” (Psalm 119:126)

D. There are satisfactory conclusions

1. “I love thy commandments above gold; yea, even fine gold” (Psalm 119:127)

2. “I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right” (Psalm 119:128)

3. “I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:128)

II. The focus of this stanza appears to be the apparent success of evil.

A. The apparent conditions are obvious.

1. The oppressors and the proud are in power.

a. The Hebrew terms imply those who abuse power.
b. Proverbs 28:16 -- The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days.
c. Isaiah 33:15 -- He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;

2. The “oppressors” are “arrogant” and “insolent” and “haughty.”

a. Isaiah 13:11 -- And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
b. Proverbs 21:24 -- Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.

B. The symptoms of this evil condition are amplified.

1. Habakkuk’s prayer in Habakkuk 1:2-4 provides good insight (ESV quotation).

O LORD, how long shall I cry for help,
            and you will not hear?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
            and you will not save?
Why do you make me see iniquity,
            and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
            strife and contention arise.
So the law is paralyzed,
            and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
            so justice goes forth perverted.

2. David’s prayer in Psalm 94:3-7 also provides clarity (ESV).

O LORD, how long shall the wicked,
            how long shall the wicked exult?
They pour out their arrogant words;
            all the evildoers boast.
They crush your people, O LORD,
            and afflict your heritage.
They kill the widow and the sojourner,
            and murder the fatherless;
and they say, “The LORD does not see;
            the God of Jacob does not perceive.

3. Paul’s warning to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-4 is very current (ESV).

a. But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

4. Solomon’s observation is also applicable (Ecclesiastes 8:11 – ESV)

a. Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.

C. There are basic biblical symptoms of times of evil power.

1. Leadership is in opposition to holiness.

2. Many actively pursue solicitation to defraud others.

3. Many arrogantly display an evil lifestyle and disdain righteousness.

4. Self-aggrandizement and self-pleasure dominates behavior.

5. Law and Judges are slow to punish evil doers.

6. God’s people are burdened and oppressed.

D. The Twice-Born are exhorted to “remember” God’s sovereign plan.

1. Habakkuk was told that God would act

a. Habakkuk 1:5
Look among the nations, and see;
        wonder and be astounded.
For I am doing a work in your days
        that you would not believe if told. (ESV)

2. David was told that God has a different perspective

a. Psalm 94:8-11
Understand, O dullest of the people!
            Fools, when will you be wise?
He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
            He who formed the eye, does he not see?
He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke?
            He who teaches man knowledge—
the LORD—knows the thoughts of man,
            that they are but a breath. (ESV)

3. Timothy was told success of evil is only temporary

a. 2 Timothy 3:6-9 -- For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. (ESV)

III. This stanza gives the model for our prayers in times of evil dominance.

A. We are to pray for God’s mercy and God’s “solutions” (Psalm 119:124)

1. Psalm 25:4-5 -- Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.  Remember, O LORD, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, for they are from of old. (NJKV)

2. Psalm 27:11-13 -- Teach me Your way, O LORD, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.  Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and such as breathe out violence.  I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. (NKJV)

B. We are to pray for “understanding” of God’s “witness”

1. Psalm 119:125 -- I am Your servant; Give me understanding, That I may know Your testimonies. (NKJV)

2. Daniel 9:21-22 -- Yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering.  And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, "O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand.” (NKJV)

C. We are to pray for God to “work” because the evil doers have broken the Law of God (Psalm 119:126)

1. Matthew 6:9-10 -- After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

2. 2 Chronicles 14:11 -- And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee.

3. Psalm 9:19 -- Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight.

IV. This stanza provides our required focus during times of evil dominance.

A. We are to love the commandments of God (Psalm 119:127)

1. Deuteronomy 6:5-9 -- And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart (memorize) and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up (lifestyle). And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.  And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates (public display).

2. Matthew 22:38 -- This is the first and great commandment.

B. We are to “hate every false way” (Psalm 119:128)

1. Psalm 97:10-12 -- Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

2. Psalm 101:3 -- I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

3. Psalm 139:21-24 -- Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 37:5-9

Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

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