All thy commandments are faithful:
They persecute me wrongfully; help thou me (Psa 119.86).
Heroism often appears in a crisis moment, but this is but its momentary manifestation. Its underpinnings are good character quietly growing largely unnoticed in spite of a thousand deterrents which effectively suppress the potential greatness of others. That daily, sustained, [...]
I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right,
And that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me (Psa 119.75).
Many unbelievers implicitly acknowledge God’s control over all things, including their personal catastrophes, and then hold a grudge against him. Perhaps when a loved one was dying of cancer, the person now spiritually-disgruntled had prayed [...]
It is good for me that I have been afflicted;
That I might learn thy statutes (Psa 119.71).
“All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” is the attention-grabbing title of a book by Robert Fulghum from the eighties. What did he have in mind? Simple duties like this: share everything, play [...]
The proud have forged a lie against me:
But I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart (Psa 119.69).
God’s kingdom triumphs on a battlefield of hostile forces. The ancient contest appears in each generation among men, and in each man’s soul. Not until the end of this age and the arrival of [...]
Before I was afflicted I went astray:
But now have I kept thy word (Psa 119.67).
Before God, the church, and the world, this is the psalmists’ testimony of his growth in grace and a painful means by which it came. He measured his spirituality by the rule of Scripture. “I had departed from [...]
Thy statutes have been my songs
In the house of my pilgrimage (Psa 119.54).
This psalm-writing saint, as one devoted to the true and living God, has written this verse as a testimony in prayer, addressed to Him. It is personal without being private, for the Psalms were given for all believers to sing, [...]
I remembered thy judgments of old, O Lord;
And have comforted myself (Psa 119.52).
The misery of suffering persecution is, of all spiritual trials, especially dangerous to the soul. It can tempt us to wonder whether God really loves us, or whether He even exists. It can eventually beat down our resolve to love [...]
So shall I keep thy law continually
For ever and ever (Psa 119.44).
The great-by-grace Jonathan Edwards believed in making and keeping resolutions. In 1722-23 before his twentieth birthday, he wrote his famous seventy, which include a promise of periodic self-examination in the light of these resolutions:
3. Resolved, If ever I shall fall [...]
And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth;
For I have hoped in thy judgments (Psa 119.43).
Discerning with certainty the exact sense in which these words were originally intended is difficult, if not impossible, yet we may glean some doctrine from it which is certain, being plainly stated and [...]
Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes;
And I shall keep it unto the end (Psa 119.33).
The well-known maxim, “all’s well that ends well,” has a counterpart in Scripture. “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof” (Eccl 7.8). This truism will be most wonderfully seen in the [...]