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Bible: What Does Psalms 118-119 Teach Us About Trusting God/The Word of the LORD (Part One)?

Updated on September 8, 2016

Trusting God

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The Rejected Stone


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Psalms 118-119: Trust God/The Message of the LORD (Part One)

After exhorting his audience to give thanks to God for His goodness and everlasting mercy (v. 1; cf. Pss.106-7), the psalmist commands three familiar groups (“Israel,” “the house of Aaron,” and “those who fear the LORD”) to recite a statement of faith: "His mercy endures forever" (vv. 2-4; cf. 115: 9-11).

He shares a personal instance when God saved him from peril through his prayer (v. 5); with this memory he assures himself that the LORD's advocacy (“The LORD is on my side”; “The LORD is for me”) and protection will both keep him safe and ensure the punishment of the wicked (vv. 6-7; cf. Rom. 8:31).

[The “bottom line” at this midpoint in the Scriptures argues that trusting God is better than trusting human beings/princes (the nobility) [vv. 8-9].

Verses 10-12 emphasize (with repetitive statements) the fact that the writer trusted the LORD to defeat his enemies.

Through His help he did not fall; in fact, the LORD saved him from death (vv. 13-14).

God's “right hand”—the instrument of victory over enemies—causes the righteous to rejoice in their salvation (vv. 15-16).

The psalmist, though divinely disciplined, will yet testify to the works of God (vv. 17-18).

As he enters the "gate of righteousness," he will praise the LORD for his salvation (vv. 19-21).

[Note that the psalmist speaks of both “the gates of righteousness” and “the gate of the LORD”].

The psalmist considers himself rejected by his compatriots, yet regards this persecution as part of God’s marvelous plan (vv. 22-23).

In a later day Jesus, seeing Himself also as a stone rejected by the house of Israel, yet forming the foundation of a new house, applied these verses to Himself.

To those who believe in Christ, this fact is a wonderful example of how God works, and it causes great joy (v. 24; see 1 Peter 2:4; Luke 20:17-19).

The writer desires greatly the salvation of Israel by the Man who comes in the name of the LORD (vv. 25-26; cf. Matt. 21:9), and he promises to praise his God (vv. 27-28).

The psalm concludes with a repetition of the opening refrain (v. 29).

[God saves all believers throughout life as we trust in Him.

One day He who "comes in the name of the LORD" will save all who belong to Him, especially Israel].

The Word of God

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The Message of the LORD

Psalm 119

As the longest psalm, the one hundred nineteenth appears in twenty-two sections of eight verses each, according to the order of the Hebrew consonantal alphabet.

Throughout this work, one may consider the message of the LORD as follows:

law (vv. 1, 18, 29, 34, 44, 51, 53, 55, 61, 70, 72, 77, 85, 92, 97, 109, 113, 126, 136, 142, 150, 153, 163, 165, 174);

testimonies (vv. 2, 14, 22, 24, 31, 36, 46, 59, 79, 95, 99, 111, 119, 125, 129, 138, 144, 146, 152, 157, 167, 168);

precepts (vv. 4, 15, 27, 40, 45, 56, 63, 69, 78, 87, 93, 94, 100, 104, 110, 128, 134, 141, 159, 168, 173);

statutes (vv. 5, 8, 12, 16, 23, 26, 33, 48, 54, 64, 68, 71, 80, 83, 112, 117, 118, 124, 135, 145, 155, 171);

commandments (vv. 6, 10, 19, 21, 32, 35, 47-48, 60, 66, 73, 86, 98, 115, 127, 131, 143, 151, 166, 172, 176);

judgments (vv. 7, 13, 20, 30, 39, 52, 62, 75, 102, 106, 108, 120, 137, 156, 160, 164, 175);

way(s) (vv. 3, 15, 37);

word (vv. 9, 11, 16, 17, 25, 28, 38, 41, 42, 49, 50, 58, 65, 67, 74, 76, 81, 82, 89, 101, 105, 107, 114, 116, 123, 133, 140, 147, 148, 154, 158, 160-62, 169, 170, 172);

ordinances (vv. 43, 91);

words (vv. 57, 103, 130, 139);

judgment (v. 84);

testimony (v. 88);

and commandment (v. 96).

Joy and Glory: Living According to God's Word

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The first section, designated Aleph, emphasizes the benefits which one can enjoy by living according to the word of God: happiness (vv. 1-2), uprightness (v. 3), absence of shame (v. 6), and joyful praise (v. 7).

Though he acknowledges his sinful weakness, the psalmist also confesses his desire to live God’s way (vv. 5, 8).

In Beth he expresses a similar personal weakness (v. 10b), but combats it with the disciplines of "Bible memorization" (v. 11) and meditation (v. 15).

The writer manifests a real hunger to know, to teach, and to obey what he learns from God (vv. 12-16).

Gimel finds the psalmist yearning for illumination (v. 18) amid persecution (vv. 22-23).

Outward pressures do not prevent him from poring over Scripture and receiving counsel and wisdom from it (vv. 23-24).

Daleth still indicates his need for revival (v. 25); he asks the LORD to teach him how to live rightly (vv. 26-27).

“Life” causes him great depression, so he prays that the truth might strengthen him (vv. 28-29).

Because he is a diligent student and observer of God's commandments, the psalmist expects the LORD to prevent shame from overcoming him (vv. 30-31).

In He, the psalmist promises whole-hearted obedience to the Law, provided that the LORD teaches him and gives him understanding (vv. 33-34).

Yet the writer also recognizes that if he is going to realize this obedience in his life, he will need revival: positive inclination toward doing good and revulsion toward viewing worthless things (vv. 35-37).

He desires intervention; therefore, he relies on God's justice and faithfulness (vv. 38-40).

The principle of using God's word as a defense against the reproach of an opponent surfaces in Waw.

The psalmist experiences a merciful salvation as God makes His word effective (vv. 41-43).

His continual expression of love for the commandments results in a bold witness for Yahweh (vv. 44-48).

Zayin records how the psalmist experiences great comfort, especially during times of affliction, as he trusts in the word of the LORD (vv. 49-52).

Songs composed from statutes and nightly meditations upon God keep the psalmist emotionally stable (vv. 53-55).

© 2013 glynch1

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      glynch1 4 years ago

      Thank you for your support.