Receiving From the Word

I. This stanza (Psalm 119:65-72) acknowledges “good” received from God.

A. “According to thy Word” is the strong qualifier.

1. This phrase is used eight (8) times in Psalm 119; three times elsewhere in the Old Testament, and only two times in the New Testament.

2. The clear emphasis is that nothing eternally valuable happens unless it is “according to” God’s word.

B. God has “dealt well” with the Psalmist – according to God’s word.

1. The examples throughout Scripture focus on obedience.

2. The Midwives of Egypt were blessed after they obeyed.

a. Exodus 1:8 – the King in power who resisted God
b. Exodus 1:15 – the King told the midwives to kill the babies
c. Exodus 1:17 – the midwives feared God rather than the King
d. Exodus 1:20-21 – “Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.”

3. Abigail took action at great risk to prevent the sin of another

a. 1 Samuel 25:1-11 – David asked Nabal for food and was refused
b. 1 Samuel 25:12-13 – David vowed to kill everyone involved
c. 1 Samuel 25:14-22 – Abigail made preparations to intercede
d. 1 Samuel 25:23-31 – Abigail confronts David and prevents the slaughter
e. 1 Samuel 25:32-42 – David repents and Abigail is rewarded

4. Ruth embraces an unknown life to follow God

a. Ruth 1:16-18 – Ruth forsakes her family to be faithful
b. Ruth 2:1-12 – Ruth’s obedience to Naomi is known by Boaz
c. Ruth 2:13-23 – Ruth is faithful at work in the field through harvest
d. Ruth 3:1-18 – Ruth follows the law of the Kinsman-Redeemer
e. Ruth 4:1-22 – Ruth marries Boaz and becomes the Great Grand Mother to David

II. The Psalmist contrasts his desire to be taught with those who afflict him.

A. He again requests to be taught (119:66, 68, and 71).

1. He seeks “good judgment” (119:66)

a. The words could be translated “good taste”
b. Proverbs 11:22 -- As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.

2. He seeks good “knowledge” (119:66)

a. Proverbs 1:7 -- The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
b. Proverbs 1:29 -- For that they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
c. Proverbs 2:5 -- Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

3. He knows that God is good and asks to be taught the statutes (119:68).

a. Psalm 25:4-5 -- Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
b. Psalm 25:9 -- The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way He is awakened at midnight in thanksgiving for God’s work.

4. He understands that learning is a process.

a. Isaiah 28:9-10 -- Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
b. Philippians 1:9-11 -- And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ
c. Hebrews 5:12-14 -- For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

B. He knows that “affliction” is sometimes necessary (119:67, 71)

1. God uses “trials” to teach us.

a. 1 Peter 4:12-14 -- Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
b. 1 Peter 5:10 -- But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you

2. God expects us to “do good” even when no one knows.

a. Matthew 5:11-12 -- Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
b. Matthew 5: 44 -- But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
c. Matthew 6:1-4 -- Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven….But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:  That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
d. Matthew 6:5-6 -- And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are:…But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
e. Matthew 6:16-18 -- Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

III. The Psalmist is aware of the opposition (119:69-72).

A. The “proud” fabricate lies to harm or annul the “good”

a. Psalm 86:14-17 -- O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them….Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.

b. Psalm 73:2-9 -- But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.

B. The “proud” are NOT getting away with their wickedness.

1. Psalm 73:10-20 -- When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.  Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.

2. Psalm 37:7-10 -- 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. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

C. The “good” of the LORD is given to those who seek righteousness.

1. Psalm 119:66 – I have believed thy commandments.

2. Psalm 119:67 – I have kept thy word

3. Psalm 119:69 – I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart

4. Psalm 119:70 – I delight in thy lay

5. Psalm 119:72 – The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and sliver.

Psalm 19:7-14

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul;

the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;

the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;

the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;

the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;

the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;

sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.

Moreover, by them is your servant warned;

in keeping them there is great reward.

Who can discern his errors?

Declare me innocent from hidden faults.

Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;

let them not have dominion over me!

Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

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