TSADDE—Righteous are You, O Lord, and upright is Your judgments. Your testimonies, which You have commanded, are righteous and very faithful. My zeal has consumed me because my enemies have forgotten Your words. Your word is very pure; therefore Your servant loves it. I am small and despised, yet I do not forget Your precepts —Psalm 119:137-141
Notice how our psalmist opens this portion of his writing: he declares the righteousness of the Lord, followed by acknowledging the purity of His Word, identifying God’s Word as truth and His testimonies as everlasting. We’re reminded of many out there, even among “ministers,” who believe that the Bible “contains” the words of God but is not entirely divinely inspired. Well, there’s a problem there. Who gets to decide which portions are inspired and which parts are human insertions? Surely many, even among themselves, would have strong disagreements, no matter how many degrees they have or how spiritually they may speak. Should we each try to decide for ourselves as we read the Bible? Spurgeon wrote: “As God is love, so His law is truth, the very essence of truth . . . applied to ethics . . . in action . . . upon the judgment seat. We hear great disputes about, ‘What is truth?’ The Holy Scriptures are the only answer. . Note, that they are not only true but the truth itself. We may not say of them that they contain the truth, but that they are the truth: ‘thy law is the truth. . . .’ Those who act contrary thereto are walking in a vain show.”
Our psalmist also reminds us that God’s enemies (our enemies are God’s enemies) forget His Word. To forget means to mislay, to misapply, to be oblivious to, or to ignore. Is our country paying the penalty today for having forgotten or ignored God’s Word? How important is His Word? The psalmist wrote, “Your word is lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (v. 105). You’ll recall that “lamps” and “light” are used metaphorically for truth, and “darkness” represents wrong or evil. So if God’s Word is ignored or misapplied, then one can’t walk in truth or on the lighted path but can only walk in darkness, i.e., evil. We also read today that God’s testimonies (commandments) are ignored by His enemies. There’s a heavy price to pay for despising His Word: “He who is often rebuked and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan” (Prv 29:1-2).We need “a day that changed the world,” but we must face the reality that the cause of our affliction is that we as a people don’t revere the Word of God. When His Word is revered, people and nations are awakened and revived. No one will experience revival if they despise the truth that the Bible is God’s inspired Word and is truth. We need two things more than anything else: we need a great awakening and revival. Paul wrote: “You he made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to . . . this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Eph 2:1-5). That is a great awakening: dead sinners being made alive in Christ through the mercy and great love of God, even when we were still dead in our trespasses! And that is something we must never allow ourselves to forget.
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