- Longest chapter in the Bible, 176 verses long
- Incredibly written poetry
- 22 stanzas, each stanza has 8 verses. Each stanza starts with the same letter, starting from the beginning of the alphabet to the end.
- 7 is the number of completion. These had 8 verses, God’s word is beyond perfection and completion
- Love poem about God’s perfect law
- Written about the Old Testament, but it still applies today because God’s word is the Old Testament and the New.
v.1 “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!”
- Blessed means happy, glad
- We all want to be happy!
- In fact, part of our purpose is to be glad in the Lord
- Our purpose: 1. To glorify God 2. Be glad in Him
- How do we do that then, be glad? By being blameless
- Blameless: without blame, essentially perfect
- To be blameless and perfect we must walk in the law of the Lord
- Law of the Lord refers to the Torah and the Old Testament, but means the whole Bible for us
v.2 “Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,”
- Again, happy, glad, blessed people are those who keep his testimonies and seek him with their whole heart
- Testimonies are the things God has revealed about himself, and where do we find those? In Scripture
- The word keep is important — guard, watch, protect
- Engagement Ring Illustration- I hiked South Sisters with my girlfriend with an engagement ring in my backpack. I would check on it to make sure it was safe. I would guard, watch, and protect it because it was precious to me. This is how we should be with God’s Word.
- So if we guard the things he has revealed about himself in his word, we will be happy, but it doesn’t end there.
- The more we know about God, the more we will want to seek him with our whole heart
- What does it mean to seek God with our whole heart?
- It means we set our hearts on the things of God, not on earthly things
- It is an active thing, a conscious decision me must make throughout our day to set our heart on the things above, not on earthly things
- This isn’t easy, but if we are keeping and guarding the things God has revealed about himself, then we will want to seek him more and more because we know he is worth it. The more God reveals to us about who He is, the more we fall in love with Him.
v.3 “who also do no wrong but walk in his ways!”
- again blameless, not doing any wrong, but walking in his ways
- Walking in God’s ways makes us happy, blessed, glad, so what does walking in our own ways make us?
- Bad trail illustration- Last spring I went on a hike and on the way back we couldn’t remember which way we came so I made a decision and we went the wrong way. Our socks were wet, we got cuts on our legs, and ended up far away from camp. This was because we were walking our own way.
- But if you walk in the ways of the Lord, and you will be blessed
v.4 “You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.”
- Here is the word keep again
- We are to guard, watch, and protects God’s precepts DILIGENTLY
- Have you ever done something diligently?
- It takes focus, determination, care, and perseverance until completion
- So guard God’s precepts with care, focus, determination and perseverance until completion
- What are God’s precepts?
- Precepts: the every day instructions of God
- The Bible not only gives us deep, profound insight into who God is, but it gives us daily, practical instruction for how to live Godly lives
- honor your mother and father, be generous, be kind, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you
- So we should guard these every day instructions diligently, because God has commanded it.
- The God of the Universe, our creator and sustainer, has commanded it, so it is a big deal
v.5 “Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!”
- This verse is the hinge point, the main idea of this passage that I want us to get
- The Psalmist is crying out “Oh that I may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!”
- He is saying “Oh how I wish I could be consistent and diligent in obeying God!”
- Meaning “I want to be blessed, I want to be happy.”
- This should be our cry, every day, every hour, that we may be steadfast, steady, in guarding and obeying the word of God
- Why? Because then we will not be put to shame (vs.6)
v.6 “Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.”
- shame in the Old Testament means abandonment
- Have you ever felt abandoned, like God isn’t there, or isn’t listening, or has left you all alone? I know I have
- We have the reason why we are feeling abandoned right here — because we aren’t steadfast in obeying God
- When we feel abandoned by God, our reaction should be to dive into his word, fix our eyes on his commandments just like the verse says, know more about him and about his law so that we may love and obey him more
- When we are in God’s word and striving to obey him out of love for him, it wont feel like God is abandoning us, but it will feel like he is right there with us
v.7 “I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.”
- Not only will we feel like God is right there with us, but we will praise him!
- This is the first part of our purpose, that we would glorify God
- When we learn God’s righteous rules and obey them, it will make us want to praise him
- Are you guys seeing the importance of God’s word, and how it speaks directly to our purpose as humans?
- The more we know God’s word, the more we will praise him with an upright heart and glorify him. Not only will we glorify him, but we will be blessed, glad in him!
- The more we know God’s word, the more glory he gets and the more glad we are.
v.8 “I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me!”
- So, knowing that obeying God’s word brings him glory and us gladness, the two things we were made for, this should be our promise to God
- Saying “I will keep your statutes!” Remember what keep means?
- I will guard and protect your statutes because they are precious
- But, can we actually do this? Can we keep all of God’s laws, and be perfect?
- I know I can’t
- But there is someone who did, who was he?
- Jesus obeyed every single law of God perfectly, he was blameless
- He should have been blessed, but what happened to him? He was killed on a cross.
- That doesn’t make sense though, because the punishment for NOT following God’s laws is death
- Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death, and sin is disobeying God’s law
- We have all done that, so we deserve death, we deserve the punishment
- We deserve it, but Jesus took it for us.
- And the last part of the verse, it says “do not utterly forsake me!”
- On the cross, Jesus cried out “My God My God, why have you forsaken me!”
- We deserve to be forsaken because of our sin and disobedience, but because Jesus took that punishment for us, HE was forsaken so we would never have to be, if we believe in him.
- Now, that doesn’t mean we get to sit back and enjoy the ride
- We are forgiven and set free from our sin, but our purpose still remains, to glorify God and be glad in him
- And how do we do that? By reading and knowing God’s word.
So, this year, lets all strive to know, love, and obey God’s word so we can fulfill our purpose by glorifying God and being glad in him