Shielded by the Word

I. The Word of God impacts our attitude toward God.

A. The “half-hearted” are despised (Psalm 119:113)

1. The Hebrew word is unique.

a. CE‘EPH means “ambivalence” or “divided” or “half-hearted”
b. CA‘APH, the root, means “to lop (cut) off”
c. Both words are only used once in the Old Testament

2. The Old Testament does have several examples.

a. 1 Kings 18:21 -- And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
b. 2 Kings 17:41 -- So these nations feared the LORD, and served their graven images, both their children, and their children’s children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day.
c. Zephaniah 1:5 -- And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham.

3. The New Testament amplifies the condition.

a. James 1:5-8 -- If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God...But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering....For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
b. James 4:8-10 -- Draw nigh to God....Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.  Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep....Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
c. Note:  The context and parallel references all seem to emphasize “Christians” who are not living in accord with their profession.  Note the last verse of this stanza of Psalm 119: “My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.”

4. The “hatred” of the Psalmist is toward the double-minded.

a. Psalm 101:3 -- I hate the work of them that turn aside (fall away)
b. Luke 8:13 -- They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
c. Luke 16:13 -- No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.
d. Hebrews 6:4-6 – It is impossible for those...once enlightened ...tasted of the heavenly gift...made partakers of the Holy Ghost...tasted the good word of God...If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance

B. The “hiding place” and the “shield” of God are expected (Psalm 119:114)

1. The “secret” and “secure” place of God’s protection is anticipated.

a. Psalm 91:1-2 -- He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
b. Psalm 27:5 -- the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
c. Psalm 64:1-3 -- ...preserve my life from fear of the enemy. Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity: Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:

2. The “shield” emphasizes God’s protective promises.

a. Psalm 3:3 -- But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
b. Genesis 15:1 -- Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
c. 2 Samuel 22:3 -- The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
d. Psalm 84:11 -- For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly

C. The boldness produced rejects “evil doers” (Psalm 119:115)

1. Proverbs 16:17 -- The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.

2. Proverbs 16:6 -- By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.

3. Psalm 34:12-16 -- What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

II. The Word of God stimulates our expectation from God.

A. We are to anticipate God’s “support” (Psalm 119:116)

1. The Hebrew, CAMAK, means to “prop up” to “brace.”

2. Psalm 37:23-24 -- The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

3. Psalm 145:14 -- The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.

4. Isaiah 26:3 -- Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

B. We are to anticipate God’s “comfort” (Psalm 119:117).

1. The Hebrew, CA‘AD, implies “satisfaction” as needs are met.

a. Isaiah 9:7 -- ...his government and order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.
b. Genesis 18:4-5 -- Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts

2. The “hope” is the result of understanding Who God is.

a. Psalm 146:5-6 -- Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever
b. Hebrews 6:11, 18-19 -- And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end....That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast

C. We are to anticipate God’s rejection of the unrighteous (Psalm 119:118).

1. God “tosses aside” those who “go astray” from His statutes.

2. Lamentations 1:15 -- The Lord hath trodden under foot all my mighty men in the midst of me: he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men [Emphasis is on the “worthless” value of “insignificant”]

3. Proverbs 28:10 -- Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession. [Emphasis on the “value” of righteous]

4. Ezekiel 34:6 -- My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth

D. We are to anticipate God to “put away” the wicked like “dross” (Psalm 119:119)

1. The word choices are unusual in this verse.

a. “Put away” is a form of SABBATH – “to cease to work – to rest”
b. “Dross” means “to turn back – away.”

2. Ezekiel 22:18 -- Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver.

3. Isaiah 1:24-25 -- Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel.... I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin

4. Zephaniah 1:4-5 -- I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah....them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops....them that are turned back from the LORD; and those that have not sought the LORD, nor enquired for him.

III. The Word of God evokes reactions and promises.

A. “Thy law do I love” (Psalm 119:113).

1. Psalm 119:163 -- I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.

2. Psalm 119:165 -- Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

B. “I hope in thy word” (Psalm 119:114).

1. Psalm 119:49 -- Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.

2. Psalm 119:81 -- My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.

C. “I will keep the commandments of my God” (Psalm 119:115).

1. Psalm 119:60 -- I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.

2. Psalm 119:145 -- I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD: I will keep thy statutes.

D. “Let me not be ashamed of my hope” (Psalm 119:116).

1. Psalm 119:6 -- Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.

2. Psalm 119:80 -- Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.

E. “I will have respect unto thy statutes continually” (Psalm 119:117)

1. Psalm 119:15 -- I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

2. Psalm 119:18 -- Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

 F. “I love thy testimonies” (Psalm 119:119)

1. Psalm 119:167 -- My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly

2. Psalm 119:24 -- Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors

G. “My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments” (Psalm 119:120).

Hebrews 10:26-31

For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

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