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Psalm 1:1-6
Psalm 2:1-12
Psalm 3-4
Psalms 5-7
Psalms 8-9-10
Psalms 11-14
Psalms 15-16-17
Psalm 18:1-50
Psalm 19:1-14
Psalms 20-21
Psalm 22:1-31
Psalm 23:1-6
Psalm 24: 1-10
Psalm 25-26
Psalm 27:1-14
Psalm 28-30
Psalm 31-32
Psalm 33-34
Psalm 35-36
Psalm 37-38
Psalm 39-40
Psalm 41-43
Psalm 44-45
Psalm 46-47
Psalm 48-50
Psalm 52-55
Psalm 56-58
Psalm 59-61
Psalm 62-65
Psalm 66-68
Psalms 69-72
Psalm73-1-28
Psalms 74-77
Psalm78-1-72
Psalms 79-81
Psalms 82-83
Psalm84-1-12
Psalms 85-87
Psalms 88-89
Psalm 90:1-17
Psalm 91:1-16 Psalms 92-93 Psalms 94-95 Psalms 96-99 Psalms 100-102
Psalm 103:1-22 Psalm 104:1-35 Psalm 105:1-45 Psalm 106:1-48 Psalm 107:1-43
Psalms 108-110 Psalms 111-113 Psalm114-116 Psalm117-118 Psalm 119: 1-16
Psalm 119: 17-40 Psalm 119: 41-64 Psalm 119: 65-88 Psalm 119: 89-112 Psalm 119: 113-136
Psalm 119: 137-160 Psalm 119: 161-170 Psalms 120-125 Psalms 126-128 Psalms 129-132
Psalms 133-135 Psalms 136-138 Psalm 139 Psalms 140-144 Psalms 145-146
Psalms 147-150        
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Psalm 119:137-144

 

TZADDI

 

“Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments.  The testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.  My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.  Thy word is very pure:  therefore thy servant loveth it.  I am small and despised:  yet do I not forget thy precepts.  Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.  Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me:  yet thy commandments are my delights.  The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting:  give me understanding, and I shall live.”

 

Introduction

 

“Psalm 119, if you will turn there. We are getting to the end, but not tonight, but we are getting there.  It’s been a long journey, this Song.  Ah, interesting as we undertook this study, the Psalmist at the beginning said, “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.”  I felt kind of disqualified right there.  “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, that seek him with a whole heart, they also do no iniquity, they walk in his ways.  Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.” (verses 1-4) and then kind of the prayer begins, this whole Psalm has been a prayer, 173 out of 176 verses mentioning God’s Word is certainly the theme, and 176 out of 176 mention God in one way or another.  “O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!” (verse 5)  He ends in the last verse saying “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.” (verse 176)  So there is a measure of grace through this entire Psalm, as the Psalmist is pouring out his heart to the LORD.  We hear those machinations of his heart as he’s pouring himself out to the LORD, and hopefully you can hear, you know, there should be a resonance in you, as this goes on, there should be something that resonates in your own life with this.  Even something that maybe can’t be articulated in human language, but you should know in your heart ‘I feel those things, I sense those things in my own life, yes LORD, I also, I go through those things.’  [man is that resonating with me as I type this] 

 

“My Zeal Hath Consumed Me, Because Mine Enemies Have Forgotten Thy Words

 

We’ve come as far as verse 137, which says, “Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments.”  That’s kind of the theme of this next section down to verse 144, that God is righteous, and his judgments are upright, they are altogether right.  Satan will challenge that, every day of our lives, he will mock at it, as the Scripture tells us what’s right, what’s wrong, tells us what’s happening in this world, what’s going to happen in this world, tells us about heaven and hell and about forgiveness and sin, the enemy will constantly judge this.  “Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments.  Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.”  ‘Your Word, Lord, is completely upright,’ and he says this,  My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.”  ‘LORD, I’m eaten up inside, my zeal has consumed me,’  the reason is, ‘because there’s so much going on around me that’s wrong, there’s so much corruption, there’s so many things that are going on, even in the nation, as we do, that’s forgotten the Word of the LORD, forgotten what God said.’  Look, our nation was founded on a Judeo-Christian ethic, not a Judeo-Christian doctrine, our nation was founded so anybody should be able to worship here, whatever their faith is, but there was a Judeo-Christian ethic, that’s found in many other religions, but there was a Judeo-Christian ethic, because there were believers, there was a standard that should be there.  And many of us now, and through the history of the nation, at times, there have been abuses, things wrong.  The Christian can be grieved, the Christian can be broken-hearted, looking around saying ‘Nobody cares., nobody cares, it’s insanity, look what’s going on out there, look what’s happening.’  And he says here “My zeal hath consumed me,” ‘it’s eaten me up because of what’s going on,’ and it can get under our skin, look, anger is not wrong, it’s necessary, there are times when anger is a proper moral response.  We hear in the news about whole villages being taken over, I just got an email today from people working in northern Iraq, and they said in this war, a village was overtaken, and the children, all the children, were systematically beheaded.  [A close co-worker of mine who was retired Army wanted to re-up and go over to Iraq upon learning about some of these atrocities, his anger was aroused, and properly so.]  They go to the little children, ‘Forsake Christ and Christianity or you’re dead,’ and little kids refusing to deny Christ, being martyred, systematically.  And we look and think ‘Something is terribly wrong in this world, something is really wrong,’ and I mean, it takes all different shapes and sizes, and you look at what’s going on, and it kind of eats you up.  I mean, Jesus himself comes into the Temple and he makes a whip and drives out the money-changers, the religious corruption, drives them out, the Jews, drives them out of the Temple with cords.  And it says the disciples saw what he did and they remembered this is written “The zeal of thy house hath eaten me up.” you know, ‘It’s driven me.’  And here the Psalmist says, “My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.” (verse 139) 

 

Your Word Is Very Pure

 

“Thy word is very pure:  therefore thy servant loveth it.” (verse 140)  He doesn’t say ‘Your Word,’ it’s not something, the idea here, it’s refined, but it isn’t ‘Your Word is refined or tried, then it proves itself to be worth something.’  He’s saying ‘That’s the state that your Word is in.’  “Thy word is that’s in italics, implied in the language, ‘LORD, your Word is, it’s something that is very refined, very tried, it’s pure, it goes through the fire, there is no dross that comes off of it, it is pure, it is refined,’ “Thy word is very pure:  therefore thy servant loveth it.” (verse 140)  ‘Of all of the things in the world I can’t trust, I hear all of the things that are said that never pan out, I believe one thing, believe another thing, it turns out not to be true, there’s one thing I found, your Word, it stands refined, you can put it in the fire a thousand times and there’s no impurity that’s burnt off, there’s no dross, your Word is very pure,’ “therefore thy servant loveth it.” 

 

The Stuff Of Eternity Is Right Here In Print

 

“I am small and despised:  yet do not I forget thy precepts.” (verse 141)  He’s not vertically challenged, that’s not the idea.  He’s not short.  ‘I’m nothing, LORD,’ we should resonate with that, here ‘Out of 7 billion people on the planet LORD, I’m nothing,’ yetand it’s implied in the grammar, it’s in italics, but it gives us the sense, yet do not I forget thy precepts.”  ‘I’m small stuff here LORD, I’m not a big-shot, I’m a small part of everything, and yet LORD, I don’t forget your precepts, LORD, your Word.’  “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.” (verse 142)  Now there’s something interesting here, we see in verse 142, it uses the word “everlasting.”  Look at verse 144, you have “everlasting,” look down in verse 152, you have there “for ever”, you look down in verse 160 it says “for ever.”  All of those Hebrew phrases are exactly the same, and they all literally are “unto eternity.”  The idea is, in verse 142, “Thy righteousness is an unto eternity righteousness, and thy law is truth.”  Verse 144, the idea is “The righteousness of thy testimonies is unto eternity:  give me understanding, and I shall live.”  Down in verse 152, “Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them unto eternity.”  Verse 160, “Thy word is true from the beginning:  and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth unto eternity.”  It’s telling us the stuff of eternity is right here in print.  The stuff of eternity is right here.  As he says ‘Your Word, it’s pure, it stands,’ there’s nothing of human history and human time that can bring any dross out of it, it is refined, it is pure, it stands.  And four times he’s going to tell us, it’s something eternal, what we’re holding here.  You study the idea of inerrancy, you understand, it wasn’t just the writer that was inspired, he certainly was, but what the writer was putting to the page is the Word of God.  When the writer put the quill down, he’s no longer inspired.  It is this [holding up his Bible] that is eternal, and it is the Word of God.  It is from eternity unto eternity.  And this guy said ‘I’m just small stuff, I’m just here temporarily, I’m one of a big crowd, but LORD your precepts, I hold onto them.  I don’t forget them, that’s the thing I hold onto, because your righteousness is unto eternity,’ “and thy law is the truth.”

 

We Must Live With Our Adversity & Bondage When It Comes—It’s Temporary

 

“Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me:  yet thy commandments are my delights.” (verse 143)  here’s another “yet.  It’s literally “Adversity and bondage have found me” the sense of it, it’s almost like ‘Adversity and bondage were looking for me, and they found me.’  the psalmist dealing with something personal that we’re not filled in on, but ‘Adversity and bondage have taken hold on me, they’ve found me, come into my life,’yet thy commandments are my delight.”  He’s not turning away, by saying, ‘So this is what I get, God, I believed in you, adversity and bondage are coming into my life, forget it, I’m going to go, get a load on, I’m going to the bar.  This is what I get, I try to serve you, this is what comes, adversity and bondage comes into my life, I’m outa here, why shouldn’t I sleep with my girlfriend, or why shouldn’t I go smoke a duby, why shouldn’t I move to a state where there’s recreational marijuana?  Why shouldn’t I do this, why shouldn’t I do that?  It says, look, ‘Adversity and bondage, they found me alright, they’ve got ahold of me, yet thy commandments are my delight.’  (i.e. he’s not giving up, throwing in the towel.)  And he says here, why?  because “The righteousness of thy testimonies is unto eternity” (verse 144a) that’s what he’s thinking, this is temporary, bondage, adversity, what I’m going through now, it may blind me presently, it may discourage me, I feel like throwing up my hands, I might lose perspective, sometime in the pain, I get lost.  But LORD I remember your Word, because this is an eternal journey, and the Word that you’ve allowed me to take hold of is unto eternity.  So give me understanding, and I will live, with my bondage, with my adversity—give me understanding, I will live.’ (verses 143-144) 

 

Psalm 119:145-152

 

KOPH

 

“I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD:  I will keep thy statutes.  I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.  I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried:  I hoped in thy word.  Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.  Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness:  O LORD, quicken me according to thy judgment.  They draw nigh that follow after mischief:  they are far from thy law.  Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth.  Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever, unto eternity. 

 

Introduction

 

He says this, let’s read down to verse 152, well, you’re going to see this if you look, he’s going to say “hear me,” “hear my voice,” “I cried unto you,” “I cried unto you,” look at verse 149, here he’s going to say “quicken me”, and the phrase literally is “revive me according to thy judgment” ‘according to your justice, LORD, do it according to what you know is right.’  Then if you look down in verse 154, it says, “Plead my cause, and deliver me:  quicken revive me according to thy word.”  Look down in verse 156, it says “Quicken me” again, same exact phrase, “Revive me” again, ‘according to your justice, LORD.’  And down in verse 159 again, Revive me, quicken me, O LORD,” “according to your haseed, lovingkindness, your grace.’  So, very interesting set of verses now.  “I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD:  I will keep thy statutes.  I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.  I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried:  I hoped in thy word.  Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.  Hear my voice” he’s saying “I’ve cried several times,” “according unto thy lovingkindness:  O LORD, quicken me”—revive me—“according to thy judgment.  They draw nigh that follow after mischief:  they are far from thy law.  Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth.  Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that though hast founded them for ever [Hebrew: “unto eternity”]. (verses 145-152)  What an interesting set of verses.  He says ‘LORD, I have cried to you with my whole heart,’ it says, ‘with all the heart, nothing left out.’  You have those days?  You know, because look, sometimes we think ‘Hey, we’re pretty good Christians, we go to church on Sunday morning.’  Some of us think, ‘I’m a radical Christian, I go Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night.’  ‘We’re not evangelizing the rest of the week or telling this lost world about it, but I go to church three times a week.’  Well that’s good, I think we should do that, by the way.  But the longer you live, the more life beats you up [ain’t that the truth].  And the more friends and family you loose in the process of time, and the temporariness and the pain and the frailty of human existence, it rings true and it comes to us.  And there are times when we cry unto the LORD with our whole heart, with all that we have within us.  There are times, ‘Hey, praise the Lord,’ and you come in and you just argued with your wife, something on the way to church, someone says “how you doing?’ you say ‘Great1  Praise the Lord!’ you’re lying.  But there are times when your whole heart is moving in one direction because of brokenness, because of difficulty. 

 

When God Hears, He Hears Unto Action—‘Deliver Me And I’ll Keep Your Testimonies’

 

He says here, ‘Bondage and adversity have gotten ahold of me,’ and he said ‘I cried with my whole heart.’  hear me, O LORD:  I will keep thy statutes.” (verse 145) interesting there, the Hebrew is, “answer me O LORD.”  He considers God’s hearing the same as God answering.  God would hear, the idea is, there’s an attitude in God’s heart when he hears.  It isn’t just ‘Oh I hear a voice somewhere.’  No, no, when he hears, he hears unto action.  So it’s ‘answer me, O LORD.’  Look, today, that’s quite a tall order.  ‘I cried unto the LORD with my whole heart,’ and the plea we’re pleading ‘LORD, answer me.’  Well there’s 7 billion people on the planet, and you’re saying ‘Hear my voice, out of the morass of and the soup of human existence, and people crying and all kinds of things going on all over the planet, and a lot of people going through deeper water than I’m in, and going through stuff that’s way worse than what I’m going through, and I’m a rookie and I’m a sissy in some ways, but in my own situation that’s relative to me, LORD, I need you to hear my voice,’ and the Psalmist assured that the God he knows and the God he serves, for 7 billion people on the planet, and he’s not afraid to ask God, ‘I’m crying to you with my whole heart, LORD, answer me, answer me LORD, and I will keep your statutes.’  Prepare your heart when you sit at home with him alone tonight before you go to sleep, and say ‘LORD, do you really hear me?  Do I have to cry for you to hear me?’  no, I think he hears better when our heart cries.  He doesn’t need you to scream, he’s not hard of hearing.  Elijah said he heard a still small voice, and God spoke to him.  He’s within our hearing, because he says ‘My people, if they will humble themselves and pray, I would hear from heaven.’  He reaffirms all of this.  Again in verse 146, he does it again, “I cried unto thee;” this time, “save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.”  The idea here is, ‘deliver me,’ when we look at it of course, we think of salvation, but the idea is ‘deliver,’ adversity has gotten ahold of him, all of these things are going on, ‘I cried unto you LORD, save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.’ 

 

Pray Early, Start The Day In Prayer

 

And then he says “I prevented the dawning of the morning,” and again, “and cried:  I hoped in thy word.” (verse 147)  Now, he didn’t prevent the morning from coming, that’s not the idea.  The idea is, we would translate it today “I preceded the dawning of the morning,” the Hebrew is beautiful, it is kind of like, “I went out to meet the dawning,” the idea is before the sun came up, I went out to wait for it, LORD, I sat there, to meet the dawning, and I cried, and I hoped in your word.’  [I do this all the time, start my morning going outside before dawn to say a quick prayer, just to kick things off.]  Pray early.  ‘I never have time to pray, Pastor Joe.’  Well does your alarm clock have a 5 on it?  Set it back and hour and you have an hour to pray.  And people say ‘I need to find time to pray,’ you know where it all ends, 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, and 365 days in a year, you’re not going to find any time that’s not accounted for.  So you don’t need to find time, you need to make time.  But if you’re anything like me, you know, I’m light sensitive, Cathy sometimes, she rips open all the shades.  I read somewhere in an article, the darker room is, the better when you sleep.  Me, when I hit the bed, the lights can be on, I’m gone, I’m gonna sleep.  But I like it in the morning, because if I wake up and the sun’s shining, I’m up!, I’m light sensitive, ‘OK, sunshine, I’ve got a cup of coffee, in the yard, I’m good.’  But in the winter, if I wake up early, it’s dark, and it’s cold, covers are warm, and the bed is soft, I feel the Lord saying ‘Come on, I’m waiting for you,’ I’m saying ‘Can’t we talk right here? [loud laughter], hear my heart.’  Allen Redpath, he used to say he needed blanket victory, you know.  When adversities got hold of us, and we’re bound, and his zeal is eating us up, we’re troubled, somehow we get up.  And the Psalmist is saying here, ‘You know what, I went out to meet the dawning of the morning, LORD.’  When we seek him with all our hearts, we find ‘Those who seek me early, will find me.’  There are some great things, you know, if you get up early to seek the Lord, some of the good things are, the phone’s not going to ring.  So if you pray at 9 O’Clock, the phone’s going to ring 5 times.  If you get up 5 O’Clock in the morning, usually the kids are not going to get up, it’s going to be quiet.  Unless you have one of those kids, they hear something in the kitchen rattle, they think food snap! and they’re there right away.  You may have one of those.  The idea is, in the morning, if you make things right with God, seems to me if I do that in the morning, I’ve got less to talk to him about before I go to bed at night.  If I don’t meet with him in the morning, before I’m going to bed I’m saying ‘I’m sorry about this too Lord, Lord, I should have…’  The morning is the time, the day begins, it’s his, to meet with him.  And you know, we come to church, Bible studies, and we should do this, all the things attached to our Christianity.  But there’s no more profound theology than our personal relationship with the Living Saviour.  And to get up in the morning, to hear his voice, come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses…he walks with me, and he talks with me, and he tells me that I am his own, the joy we share as I tarry there…he speaks, the sound of his voice is so sweet, the birds.  You know, there isn’t anything so wonderful, and when you experience his presence, what do you do?  ‘I am so dumb, why don’t I do this every day!?’  That’s just me, I’m just ranting. 

 

He Stays Up Late So He Might Meditate On God’s Word

 

Verse 148 says, “Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.”  Little bit of a different word here, “prevent” “Mine eyes go ahead to the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.”  So it’s ‘very early, study late’ here.  Ah, he rises early because he has hope in God’s Word, a new day is coming.  He stays up late into the night watches so that he might meditate on the Word.  Now some people are more night people than morning people, I understand that, some of you have a gift, you can sleep till 11 O’Clock in the morning, but you can be up till 3 O’Clock in the morning, studying, I understand that.  There are night people, there are morning people.  In the morning they are creepers and leapers, we have raised some of those.  This Psalmist is saying it’s that season in life where you get up early, and at night I find myself, I’m not going right to bed, ‘I’m meditating, Lord, in your Word, I’m trying to take hold of these things.’  

 

Revive Me!  Give Me Life LORD, According To Your Justice, Mercy

 

Again, verse 149, “Hear my voice” and do it “according unto thy lovingkindness:  O LORD, quicken me according to thy judgment.” Here he asks, ‘Revive me!  Give me life, LORD, make me alive again, according to your judgment” i.e. “justice  He doesn’t know it the way you and I do, and I mean, look, God revives us according to his justice.  That works this way, there was an innocent substitute that died in our place 2,000 years ago, and the justice and wrath of Almighty God was meted out on his Son as he bore the sin of the world, the propitiation took place, and we can ask God, ‘LORD, deal with me according to thy justice,’ because within that there’s substitutionary atonement.  (i.e. God’s justice through Christ’s sacrifice turns into mercy for us.)  I don’t know if the Psalmist thinks of the alter and the sacrifice in the Temple, I’m not sure what he’s speaking of.  But he has a great sense, ‘Deal with me according to what’s right,’ he says ‘LORD, quicken me, make me alive again,’ and I do know this, when Revival comes, what revives in the middle of it, is the blood of Jesus Christ, whether it was in Wales, or it was the prayer-meetings of the Fulton Street Revival, or here in Philadelphia in 1858, or the JESUS MOVEMENT of the late 1960s [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/history/smith.htm], is somehow the Church coming back to the cross, coming back to the atonement.  There’s a 2,000 year-old doctrine, and Jesus said ‘If I be lifted up I’ll draw all men to me,’ that becomes sweet and becomes alive and it becomes powerful again.  And Paul says ‘It’s the power of God unto salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.’  And there’s something of that here, he’s saying ‘Revive me, LORD, and do it according to your judgment, justice.’ 

 

The Wicked Draw Near, But L0RD You’re The Near One

 

Why?  Because he says in verse 150, because “They draw nigh that follow after mischief:  they are far from thy law.”  ‘They’re far from your law,’ “Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth.” (verses 150-151)  Very interesting what he does here.  He asks God to hear him, he asks God, ‘I’m seeking you early LORD, I’m studying your Word, I find hope there, I’m crying to you with all of my heart.  LORD, I need you to revive me, I need you to do it, I know that you’re a just God, I need you to do this LORD, because’ “They draw nigh that follow after mischief:” ‘Mischief the wrong thing, we’re being surrounded by those, all they care about is sin.  LORD, they’re drawing in on us.’  And maybe has a sense like Isaiah, when wickedness comes in like a flood, that the LORD will lift up a standard.  He says “They draw nigh that follow after mischief:” it’s interesting, that’s a verb form there, “to draw nigh.”  ‘This is their activity, LORD, this is what they’re doing, they draw nigh after mischief, they’re far from your law,’ But in contrast to that, he says “Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth.” art is inserted there, it’s in italics, you can see that.  And the Hebrew is a personal pronoun and an adjective, it just says “Thou near,” or “Near.”  The idea is, ‘They draw near, but you’re the near One.’  ‘They draw near, LORD, they’re getting there, but you’re the ever-present One.’  ‘They draw near, LORD, but you’re always with us, even to the end of the age,’ he says, ‘I will be with you,’ Matthew 28:20,’ always, even to the end of the age.’  He says, ‘LORD, I  see all this going on, I need you to revive me, because I feel them coming in LORD, like a flood, adversity, all of these things, they’ve turned away from your Word, LORD, but I cried out with my whole heart, I’m seeking you, I’m up early LORD, I’m up late, I need you, LORD, to revive, because I sense this wickedness tightening in on the world that I live in, but LORD, you’re the ever-present One, LORD, you’re the near One.  Sin is moving, but you don’t need to move, because you are ever-present, LORD.’  “Thou near” beautifully it says, “O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth.  Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them unto eternity.” (verses 151-152)  ‘LORD, your Word’s never going to change, what you said is never going to change, the things you’ve handed to us in your Word are unto eternity.’  You know, one of the sweet ladies in our church went home to be with the Lord the other day, we had the funeral here today, those are sweet words on the border of eternity, you know, when you can come to the end and say ‘Lord, your Word is true, your Word is not going to change, I can trust in it now, this is where the rubber meets the road.  All of my faith has brought me to this, and I’m going to take my last breath, and I’ll let myself fall into your hands.  And I know Lord, I’m a sinner, but I know I’m saved by grace, but I know your words, your promises are unto eternity, Lord, with your sweet things on the edge of eternity.’  It’s wonderful, and that’s what she said, ‘I know I’m going see you all again, kids, grandkids, go to church, behave, I’ll be waiting for you, we’re going to see each other in heaven.’  His Word is eternal, trustworthy. 

 

Psalm 119:153-160

 

RESH

 

“Consider mine affliction, and deliver me:  for I do not forget thy law.  Plead my cause, and deliver me:  quicken me according to thy word.  Salvation is far from the wicked:  for they seek not thy statutes.  Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD:  quicken me according to thy judgments.  Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.  I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.  Consider how I love thy precepts:  quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness.  Thy word is true from the beginning:  and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth unto eternity.”

 

Introduction

 

“Now we sing these words, verse 153, this is one of the songs that we sing here.  He’s going to say “Consider mine affliction, and deliver me:  for I do not forget thy law.  Plead my cause, and deliver me:  quicken me according to thy word.  Salvation is far from the wicked:  for they seek not thy statutes.  Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD:” Revive me,’ “quicken me according to thy judgments.  Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.  I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.” He’s mentioned that before, “Consider how I love thy precepts:  Revive me’ “quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness.  Thy word is true from the beginning:  and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” 

 

“Plead My Cause, Deliver Me”—Be My Wonderful Lawyer Jesus

 

Again, wonderful.  ‘Consider mine affliction LORD, think about this, LORD, in the context of your being, LORD,’ “Consider mine affliction, and deliver me:  for I do not forget thy law.”  ‘Here I am in the middle of all this,’ and he says this, “Plead my cause, and deliver me:  quicken me according to thy word.” that’s right away again, and then he says ‘Revive me, and do that according to thy Word.’ (verse 154)  ah, ‘Plead my cause’ is a term from the court of the day, for the judges, to plead the cause of someone in the courtroom.  He’s saying ‘Plead my cause, LORD, do this for me LORD.’   Isaiah, it’s interesting, tells us that ‘his name shall be Wonderful, Counselor, Everlasting God, the Prince of Peace.’  But it isn’t a counselor the way we think of counselors, ‘Oh I need to go see a professional counselor.’  No, no, you need to see the Wonderful Counselor.  But understand the word “counselor” there is “lawyer.”  But because we don’t normally think in our culture of putting those words together, “Wonderful, Lawyer,” that is, unless he’s made the settlement and paid you off and it’s turned out well, ah, Wonderful Lawyer.  John tells us, in his first Epistle, “My little children, these things I write unto you, that you sin not.  And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation, the complete satisfaction for our sins, and not ours only but for the sins of the whole world.”  We have an advocate with the Father.  You’re in the courtroom, you’re accused, because Satan accuses us before the throne of God day and night, 24/7.  And it doesn’t say that what he says isn’t true.  ‘God, you see Pastor Joe down there?  You see the way he acts in traffic [laughter]?’  It doesn’t say that’s not true, ‘You see Pastor Joe, you see when he has a lustful thought.  You see when he gets angry.  You see when he thinks the wrong things, and he thinks about breaking someone’s teeth.  He calls himself a pastor.’  It doesn’t say those accusations ain’t true.  It says that I overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of his testimony.  And it says when I make a mistake, and I did in 1980, that I have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous, you take me to the courtroom, and you can bring every accusation there is against me, and my Lawyer steps up to the bar, and looks at the Judge, and says ‘Dad,’ and the Judge says ‘Yes Son,’  and he says ‘This one’s blood-bought,’  ‘Ka-Boom!!!  ‘Case dismissed!’ [loud applause]  It says “That he ever-liveth and maketh intercession for the saints.”  He’s at the right hand of the Father right now with our name upon his lips.  And somehow the Psalmist, doesn’t have as clear a picture as we do, not as much light as we do, but the Holy Spirit moving through the man, and the quill to the page, says “Plead my cause, and deliver me:” ‘Be my Lawyer.’  And remarkably, we even have something internally, we don’t know how to pray as we ought, but the Holy Spirit himself maketh intercessions with groanings, literally “with groaning unutterable,” you know.  We come to the place where tears flow, our heart rises to God, and you can’t even put into human language the things you want to say.  So we are both covered outwardly and inwardly.  What a wonderful, wonderful process, and you know, God’s grace.  ‘Plead my cause, in the courtroom,’ these are legal terms, ‘Do this for me, deliver me, LORD.’  And he has done that for all of us. 

 

Revive Us LORD!  We Need Revival In The Church

 

quicken me according to thy word.” (verse 154b)  And then the continued prayer, ‘Revive me,’ that’s my prayer now, I don’t know about you guys.  I don’t know about you guys, it should be for our church, different churches across our country, it should be ‘Revive us, LORD!’  We need a Revival, the Church [greater body of Christ] is asleep…the Church has turned away from his Word, it’s turned away from the power of the Holy Spirit, it’s become comfortable, politically correct, without effect.  There should, Redpath used to say, “There should be tang in our message.”  Is there a tang to it?  I remember when I first got saved, I didn’t know the Bible.  I’m glad I do now, it’s set me free, I know the Truth, the Truth will set you free.  My theology’s good, I’m covered with the blood, going to heaven [to the Wedding Feast cf. Rev 19:7-21] because of what he did, my theology is good.  But when I first got saved, in my naivety, like a little kid, I needed my diapers changed, you know, just sincere milk of the Word, I didn’t really know the difference between Galatians or Ephesians or an Epistle or an Apostle.  I was learning all of that stuff.  But I’ll tell you what I did, I said ‘Lord, what time do you want me to wake up?  Lord, what time do you want me to go to bed?  Lord, do you want me to eat a steak sandwich or a hoagie?’  I did that.  ‘Lord, do you want me to hitchhike or take the bus?’  I mean, I had this running dialogue, there’s a level of naivety there, that I think the Lord loves.  To continue that can become very legalistic in the wrong context.  Early on, I had my antenna up, my uplink was there.  I didn’t know everything I know now.  You know, some people, they become so right they become dead right.  I was alive, I couldn’t believe he loved me, I couldn’t believe I was forgiven, I just walked away from drugs, I was emancipated, I couldn’t believe it.  And I talked to him, and I asked him ‘You want me to do this?  You want me to do that?’ [I should do that more often, get in less trouble in my relationships]  You walk in a crowd, you look at 15 people, you say ‘Alright Lord, which one do you want me to witness to?’  You know, I drove my relatives crazy, tracts and songs, and hiding tracts in their house while I was there.  The guys I worked with, putting them in their lunch boxes, I mean, that was my mission somehow, I knew that, I didn’t know what I was doing.  We need that, we need to be revived, that means to be our first love, it means to come back to life in all of our lives again [applause].  We need Revival, [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophets/Zephaniah/REVIVAL.html] we need Revival.  He says ‘LORD, be my Lawyer, plead my cause LORD, deliver me.  And revive me LORD, according to your Word, I see it in there, your Word speaks of it LORD, I’m hoping in it.’ (verse 154)  He said earlier ‘LORD, I meditate in your Word,’ or ‘I find my hope in your Word.’  Now he says ‘Revive me according to your Word.’ 

 

“Salvation Is Far From The Wicked”—Why?

 

And he says this, “Salvation is far from the wicked:  for they seek not thy statutes.” (verse 155)  Look what it says, here’s the reason, “for thy seek not thy statutes.”  ‘LORD, salvation is far from the wicked, because of their own refusal,’ it isn’t because God wants it that way, ‘salvation is far from the wicked because they refuse the Word of God.’  The Word of God, you and I, we’re born-again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible seed, which is the Word of God.  Somehow, somewhere we heard a testimony, we heard a witness, there was something of God’s Word, it sliced us and diced us, and was planted in us, and brought forth life.  The wicked are in the position they’re in by their own choosing [and also Satan’s deception, cf. Revelation 12:9, who deceiveth the whole world.]  They refuse it, they don’t want to hear it.  Understand, the Bible is clear, Ezekiel, God’s getting ready to judge the nation, he says to the wicked ‘Why won’t you turn?  Turn to me.  Why would you die?’  God is pleading, ‘Turn,’ he says he doesn’t want to see any perish [cf. 2nd Peter 2:9].  In the Book of Revelation he sends an angel around the whole planet preaching the everlasting Gospel in every language, whatever that may be, but men are raising their fists in the sky and cursing the God of heaven, refusing.  Anybody who goes to eternal fire, the lake of fire and outer darkness that burns forever and ever, anybody who goes there, goes their against the will of Almighty God.  That place was designed for Satan and his fallen angels and for demons, not for human beings.  And you have to be determined, not you guys, I feel like I’m preaching to the choir, but maybe you snuck in here tonight ‘Oh ut-oh, what did I get into?’  Well you need to listen.  [Different parts of the Body of Christ have differing takes on what hell is, which you may find quite interesting. see http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm]  Because if you end up in hell, it won’t be because of God, it will be because you refused his love and you refused his forgiveness, you refused his Word.  It’s a lamp unto our feet, a light unto our path, it gives light, it illuminates, it’s something from another world, from eternity.  It isn’t human by design, it’s not natural, it’s supernatural, and it does something that nothing else in this world can do.  It divides down into our being, all the way down it says, to between our spirit and our soul, between what’s carnal and spiritual, it divides all the way down into us, and says ‘This is soulish and this is spiritual, this is temporary, this is eternal.’  There isn’t anything like it.  And it does the same thing in sinners.  It says here, it says “Salvation is far from the wicked:  for thy seek not thy statutes.”  ‘LORD, it is their decision, it is not yours.’  Here’s the context, “Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD:  quicken me according to thy judgments.” (verse 156)  You and I can say that, because here we are.  Right?  I’m getting in, I don’t deserve to get in.  I’m not getting in because I’m worthy, I’m not getting in because I earned it, and I can’t begrudge anybody else getting in, because I’m getting in.  “Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD:  quicken me”--‘Revive me’—“according to your judgments.”  “Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.” (verse 157)  Now look, you’re here this evening, you have an aunt, uncle, a brother, a son, a daughter, a father, a teacher, a professor that’s always hassling you because they know you’re a Christian.  You’re in good company, “Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.” (verse 157) ‘LORD, I still, I haven’t turned from away from your testimonies, I know what you did with Moses, I know what you did with Noah, I know what you did with Abraham, I know what you did with Isaac, I know what you did with Jeremiah, I know what you did with Peter, I know what you did with Paul, I’m not turning away from your testimonies.’

 

We Should Grieve For This Lost World

 

“I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.” (verse 158)  And again, he says it, because they kept not thy word.”  In verse 139, “My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.”  You hear that several times through here, he says “I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.”  The reason the world should grieve us is not because we’re not getting what we want, not because we’re not getting the raise we want, not because we’re not getting the second car that we want, not because we’re not getting the house on the shore, on the mountains—the reason the world should grieve us, it says right here, is “because they kept not thy word.”‘because they have no regard for the Word of Almighty God.’  That’s why the world should grieve us.  But people in church will come and say to me, ‘Pastor Joe, I went through this as a kid, I went through that,’ a lot of us have been through stuff.  Would you rather have been a Rockefeller, with a silver spoon in your mouth, and lived a life of wealth and indulgence, no restrictions, and then die and be lost forever?  Or would you rather have the snot beat out of you in life, which brought you to a place where somewhere you fell on your knees and you cried out to the Living God, and you’re sitting here this evening, washed in the blood of Jesus, headed for glory, sons and daughters of the Most High God?  [loud applause]  It’s just we are so hard-headed and so stubborn that’s the only way he could get some of us.  And we were pretty beat up when we got drugged in, weren’t we?  We look a lot better now, in a lot of ways, most of us.  He said “I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.” (verse 158)  Kids getting their heads cut off, where’s the Word of God?  Where’s the God of love there?  The things going on all around us, grate on us, you think of it, it’s because it’s not in line with the Word of God.  We have a great compass inside of us now, we know right and wrong.  they kept not thy word. 

 

‘Revive Me LORD, According To Thy Lovingkindness!’

 

Consider” again, he had said in verse 153 “Consider mine affliction,” now in verse 159 he says “Consider how I love thy precepts:  quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness.”  ‘Revive me, O LORD.’  And now finally he says, ‘Do it according to your lovingkindness.’  ‘Revive me LORD,’ all the other reasons for revival have stepped aside, now he says do it “according to thy lovingkindness.”  Part of the word is “haseed” his stedfast love, his grace, his covenant love, ‘LORD, revive me according to thy stedfast love,’ that’s my prayer, revive me, I don’t deserve it.  I haven’t been fasting for the last 40 days, I usually fast for two or three hours, I’m stuffing something else down my throat.  I’m a selfish man.  I’m a sinner.  I know I need revival, Lord, do it, in my life according to your stedfast love, LORD.  Pour it out on me and have all of the glory for yourself, do it according to your stedfast love.  And every one of us can pray that.  Right?  Every one of us can pray that.  Anybody here deserve revival?  You do, ok.  We have a special class for you [laughter], it’s a pride-thing.  Anybody else here, deserve revival?  It’s ‘do it according to your stedfast love,’ I’m only teasing you, by the way.  do it according to your stedfast love, LORD.’  What a great prayer.  Should be a bumper sticker. 

 

The Sum Of Your Word Is True, It Is Eternal, Without Beginning, Without End, From One End To The Other

 

And then he finally says this,  Thy word is true from the beginning:  and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth unto eternity.” (verse 160)  What this really says, the summation is, the idea is ‘The sum of your Word is true,’ it’s not ‘Your Word is true,’ the idea is ‘from beginning to end,’ is the sense it’s bringing across, ‘from beginning unto eternity, LORD, it’s true throughout, from one end to the other, the sum of everything in your Word, LORD, is true, it is eternal, without beginning, without end, from one end to the other.’  He’s trying to say, words are inadequate, but that’s what’s being communicated, he finally looks and says ‘LORD, your Word, from beginning to end, the sum of it, the sum of your Word,’ he says ‘is true, from beginning, from one end to the other.’  That’s a great thing for us to hold onto tonight.  ‘Revive me, LORD, according to thy lovingkindness.’  That’s true, from beginning to end. 

 

In Closing

 

No flesh is going to glory in his presence, we’re going to stand there together, that’s true, from beginning to end.  He’s coming soon, like a thief in the night, that’s true.  ‘Well they’ve been saying that for thousands of years,’ ya, but, no generation ever been closer to that truth than we are this evening.  No generation of the Church has ever been closer to the return of Christ than you and I are.  Several things set us aside, one is, the rebirth of the nation of Israel.  I hear people say ‘Oh, it’s temporary, and aberration.’  I’ve been there over twenty times.  The Jews aren’t going anywhere unless the whole hemisphere goes with them, they are not going anywhere again, they are back.  How many people do you know going back over 2,000 years, come back into their own nation, speak their ancient language, and ask to be again members of the United Nations?  Again, imagine if the Seneca Indians came back to New York, said ‘Here’s the deeds, we want Manhattan back.’  That’s only been 300 years, ‘And we want to join the United Nations.’  Think, one thing that sets us aside from every generation, is the Scripture anticipates Israel, the prophecies being fulfilled.  And the other thing that sets us aside, is there has never been a generation, through nuclear proliferation, that has the potential to completely eradicate itself.  That’s never existed before.  The only real weapon of mass destruction has a mushroom plume attached to it.  And nations have 5-earth arsenals, 4-earth arsenals, no generation has ever stood where we stand.  We have the potential of total annihilation.  The nation of Israel is back in the land.  Everything around us says ‘Lift up your heads, for your redemption is drawing nigh.’  And it says here, ‘We can trust it, because his Word is true from one end to the other.’  Not in the book, eternity, ‘The sum of your Word is truth.’  You and I can build our lives on the Rock instead of on the sand, Jesus is coming.  ‘While we’re here, revive me LORD, according to your lovingkindness, not because I deserve it, because I’m a scoundrel, not because I’m smart, because I’m a knucklehead, not because I’m kind, I’m a smarty-pants, LORD, revive me, LORD, and do it according to your lovingkindness.’  Let’s stand.  Let’s worship.  Let’s pray.  If you’re here tonight and you don’t know Christ as your Saviour, I would encourage you, come up afterwards, we’d love to talk to you.  You can come up and argue, and say ‘I don’t believe all that,’ and we’d love to talk to your about that, while you’re wrong about all that [laughter]…[transcript of a connective expository sermon on Psalm 119:137-160, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

related links:    

 

The Church is asleep, it needs Revival!  See

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophets/Zephaniah/REVIVAL.html

 

Differing takes on what Hell is, see

http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm

 

 

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