Brad Libolt speaking on Psalm 119:57-64. He talks about the importance of praising God and focusing our mind on him. When doing this we are able to fix our eyes on Christ and see his steadfast love and know that he is working.
v. 57 “The LORD is my portion; I promise to keep your words.”
In this case, a portion is an allotment or inheritance given to people. Their portion was a big deal, it was enough for them.
When God is our portion, when he is enough, then it is easy to obey him. When God is enough, it is easier to obey his every word. When other things start becoming our portion, we do things to please them.
If being cool or liked or accepted becomes enough for us, then we will do whatever we can to achieve that regardless if what we are doing is pleasing to God.
We need to see God as enough, as everything we need, then it will be so much easier to obey him.
v. 58 “I entreat your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.”
The NIV translation says, “I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.”
The face of God is glorious. Seeking his face means we are seeking his glory. We should seek God’s glory with our entire hearts, because that is our purpose; it is why we were created.
Deuteronomy says when we seek God with all our heart, we will find him. But we don’t always do that. That is why his grace is so important.
Every single one of God’s promises are dependent upon grace. God promised his people that a Messiah would come and save the entire world once and for all, but we don’t deserve that, so he had to show us grace.
v. 59 “When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies;”
The psalmist is recounting a decision he has made, and continues to make. It is a decision we all must make as well. He is saying that his way of doing things isn’t going to work. He has tried it, and his own ways lead to his own destruction.
Upon that realization, he turns to the way of God, and finds life. Those who are Christians and follow Jesus have made that decision- we realize our own ways aren’t the right way, so we turn to the way God has for us.
That decision secured eternity for us, but we must continue to make that decision daily. We must decide that our way doesn’t work, and trust that God’s way is the only way.
v. 60 “I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments.”
And when we realize we are trying to do things on our own and need to turn back to God’s way, we should do it immediately! When we see we have wandered off the path, we must turn back quickly.
When we commit a small sin like a small lie, we may not think much about it. Then in order to cover up that lie, we have to lie again, and again, and again. When we have been lying for so long, it becomes easier to cheat. These sins create a snowball effect that can end in a lot of hurt. What would have stopped that from snowballing into a big mess?
Confessing and repenting of the first little lie. As soon as we recognize we have trusted our own way instead of God’s we should confess, repent, and get back to his way.
v. 61 “Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me, I do not forget your law.”
The NIV says, “Though the wicked bind me with ropes, I will not forget your law.” Often times, we will be held back by non-believers.
On Thursday night someone asked if they should confront a friend who is making fun of God. Situations like this happen all the time, and this verse says that even though we get held back by non-believers, we should not forget God’s law.
What does Jesus say the greatest commandment is? Love the Lord your God. And the second is Love your neighbor as yourself. So, even when we are persecuted for our faith, we must always remember to love God and love others.
v. 62 “ At midnight I rise to praise you, because of your righteous rules.”
Even in the middle of the night, the psalmist is praising God. This is showing us that we should be praising God at all times. No one sees what you do in the middle of the night, but we should still be praising God even when people can’t see us.
We worship on Sunday and on Thursdays, but are we worshipping God the rest of the week? This doesn’t necessarily mean singing worship songs while walking down the halls at school, though it might. More likely it is just a constant realization and recognition of who God is and what he has done for us. Praising God should always be on our mind.
v. 63 “I am a companion of all who fear you, of those who keep your precepts.”
We should be friends with all believers. But all too often we don’t get along with people in our small group or here on a Sunday or Thursday night. We need to realize that we are all on the same team.
We should encourage, support, and lift others up, even if they might not be like us or have different interests than us. We need to love, encourage, and support our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of our differences.
v. 64 “The earth, O LORD, is full of your steadfast love; teach me your statutes!”
There is always messed up stuff in the world because of sin. Sometimes it is hard to see how God can be involved in certain situations. We know, however, that the earth is full of God’s steadfast love. Despite how evil and dark the world seems, God’s steadfast love is everywhere. God is in control of everything, and even in the midst of dark times, he gets the glory.
His love is everywhere and even thought it might be hard to see sometimes, we should look for it. God hasn’t abandoned us. He has loved us unconditionally over and over again, so much so that we get to spend eternity with him. That love is everywhere, all over the world, and we have to believe that that love is working in the hearts of the people around us.