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, [...]
The proud have digged pits for me,
Which are not after thy law (Psa 119.85).
We may pronounce everyone healthy but that doesn’t make them better or stop them from dying. Likewise the modern impulse to euphemize the ethical landscape is not only ineffective, but by masking the real problem, it keeps people from [...]
How many are the days of thy servant?
When wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?
Saul the Pharisee was a persecutor of the early Christians until he met the risen Lord on the road to Damascus. Describing himself since that day of his conversion, Paul wrote to Timothy:
But thou hast [...]
Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause:
But I will meditate in thy precepts (Psa 119.78).
“The test of character is what it takes to stop you” (Bob Jones). Anyone can join the popular consensus, but standing alone for truth is a mark of real faith. Leadership [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings,
And will not be ashamed (Psa 119.46).
The Christian life is a pursuit of thinking and acting in accordance with reality, the way things really are, as revealed and interpreted by Scripture. This is walking by faith, not by sight, because the reality often differs [...]
So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me:
For I trust in thy word (Psa 119.42).
The statement, “I don’t care what people think about me,” may reflect an unholy attitude. A man might say this because he has no concern about others, or because he is given to some life-dominating [...]
Thy testimonies also are my delight And my counsellors (Psa 119.24).
The psalmist has just testified of the dire circumstances he faced. “Princes” or rulers, people with power over him, humanly speaking, “did sit and speak against” him (119.23), bringing him to “reproach and contempt” (119.22). Hostile words, especially from our functional superiors (whether civil [...]
Princes also did sit and speak against me: But thy servant did meditate in thy statutes (Psa 119.23).
Most of us are easily hurt if anyone criticizes us, but how much greater a trial would it be if those with authority over us were to exercise their official power in condemning us! While rare for [...]