Pastor’s Devotional

Psalm 119:17-24



Are you having a hard time getting into the Word?  Take these one at a time and state them back to the Lord in prayer.


V.17     “Deal bountifully with Thy servant,
            That I may live and keep Thy word.

            “Deal bountifully” gawmal to treat a person (well or ill), i.e. benefit or requite; …to bestow on, deal bountifully, benefit, to do (good), recompense, requite, reward, ripen.” (Strongs). 

Pray, “Lord, give me the (bountiful) blessing of living and keeping your Word.”   

Obeying God’s Word brings blessing into my life.  I am going to live whether I live for the Lord or not …  I know His Word is what brings blessing in[to] my life and those around me.  Knowing this, why wouldn’t I?!  Learning what pleases Him and Learning from Him the fear of the Lord and wisdom – this is the abundant life.  Remind your children, “you’re going to school and you will spend 50 min. in class each day and 7 hours in school.  You can be there and do nothing and suffer for it, or you can be there and work hard and be blessed for it.  Either way, you’re going to be there.  You might as well work while you are there and be blessed!”  You and I will be here for our allotted portion.  We can have a miserable existence by neglecting the Word of God and reaping what we sow; or we can find out what pleases the Lord (Eph. 5:17b) and do it (Jas. 1:22-25).  Run the race – run your heart out (Heb. 12:1-2)!  We are going to sow, we might as well reap blessing.  Same principle can be applied to finances … you are going to use money … If you use it wisely, the blessings later can be phenomenal.  If you don’t the cursing can be terrible … thoughts translate into actions, actions into habits, habits, into character and a character into a destiny.  What destiny do you want?  It’s God’s universe.  He’s revealed His will to us in His Word.  Believer, know where your blessing comes from. 

“Lord, bless me.” or “Lord, bestow on me the blessing of living and keeping your Word.”  You won’t have to ask for His blessing – God blesses obedience to His Word. 


V.18     “Open my eyes, that I may behold
            Wonderful things from Thy law.

            “Open my eyes…” What’s this saying?  I am the ignorant one.  I am the one that needs instruction (II Tim. 3:16 – “teaching, reproof, correction and training”).  I am waiting, feed me … I am not here to find something that I want to confirm my own attitudes, justifications, thinking or behavior.  I am here to learn.  The psalmist is putting himself in a position of humility.  Dear God, there are so many things that cloud my thinking about you and about life etc.  Please clarify my thinking so that I may see wonderful things in Your Word.  Help me to focus.  Help me to listen.  I want a teachable heart.    

Also remember that the heart and the eyes and ears are linked (Isa. 6:9-10). 


V.19    “I am a stranger in the earth;
            Do not hide Thy commandments from me.

            I am a Sojourner, alien, pilgrim.  Another position of humility.  It’s actually a position of insecurity, instability, fragility, weakness, frailty.  Acknowledge before the Lord in prayer, there’s nothing on earth worthy of [my] heart’s allegiance except Him.  “Your Word is all I have that I can hold on to¼ do not hide it from me!”  Now it’s a desperate plea for God’s word.  This is the place of genuine humility; especially when stated by someone who has much from the world’s standards.  This attitude of humility is illustrated at the end of David’s reign when he provides all the materials for the temple that Solomon will build.  David is an incredibly powerful and rich man and his attitude is that of a sojourner that received everything he has from the Lord (I Chron. 29:10-18).



V.20    “My soul is crushed with longing
            After Thine ordinances at all times.

“Gaw-ras” to crush; also to dissolve:-break.  Owens (Analytical Key to the OT) and the RSV translates this “consumed.”  “My soul is consumed with longing for thy ordinances at all times.”  (Cf. 63:1; 119:131).  I don’t know where to get this longing apart from spending time with the Lord.  If you don’t have a longing, pray for it.  This is so related to the Ephesian church in Rev. 2:4 leaving their first love.  Ask the Lord to you what David asked after his sin with Bathsheba – it’s essentially asking God to renew the “first-love.”   Psalm 51:10, 12 says, 10Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me….  12Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, And sustain me with a willing spirit.”  Remember that the Word (and time spent with the Lord in prayer) is opposite of food.  The more we have the more we want.  The less we have the less we want.


V.21    “Thou dost rebuke the arrogant, the cursed,
            Who wander from Thy commandments

            Note the relationship between arrogance (self-reliance, self-centeredness, self-trust etc.) and wandering.  There is a direct curse for wandering from the Word of God.  Drifting (Heb. 2:1; Deut. 30:15ff).  When we’re desperate (or consumed, broken, crushed), we cling.  Desperation (for God) is the optimal position in the Christian life.  Is it any wonder why we are often in a position of weakness or want?  Do you really want God to answer all the prayers on the prayer sheet?  What if all your prayers were answered – meaning those prayers to take away the suffering or the loss or the pain?  What would happen to our desperation factor?  Of course, a healthy, wealthy and happy man/woman can certainly be desperate for God, but I’m thinking it’s not as easy to be desperate and healthy, wealthy whole.  That can be a recipe for wandering.  It was for Israel (Deut. 8:10-14).


V.22    “Take away reproach and contempt from me,
            For I observe Thy testimonies.

Roll them all away – the reproach and the scorn, because Your testimonies, I have kept. Believer, you can pray this prayer. Walk in obedience to His Word and you will be walking in the shield and the protection of God. In this condition, in your integrity you can ask God to roll away reproach and contempt from your life. A disobedient believer cannot pray this or claim this. “He is a shield to those who walk in integrity” (Prov. 2:7b)

V.23    “Even though princes sit and talk against me,
            Thy servant meditates on Thy statutes.

            Man is not God.  I serve God.  No man can steal this confidence that I have in God and His Word.  No man can shake the stability that I have (See Isa. 36-39 and see the confidence that Hezekiah has when Sennacherib, king of Assyria plots against Him).  II Kings 18:5-6 “He trusted in the LORD¼ he clung to the LORD.”   Cf. 119:161


V.24    “Thy testimonies also are my delight;
            They are my counselors.

            They are my delight and my counselors.


Psalm 119 – Part 1

This is the first in a series of 15 devotionals from Psalm 119, the longest single chapter, and arguably the longest prayer, in the Bible. We will update the content near the first of each month for you to study at your own pace. Each devotional will contain an eight-verse section of the chapter. Although each verse is not technically a prayer to God, taken as a whole Psalm 119 is a prayer concerning God’s Word.  If you’re ever confused about what you think about the Word of God, you can pray this prayer back to the Lord… He will dispel all confusion. Your soul will be edified and built up like never before. 

Read more…

Psalm 119:33-40: Know And Experience God’s Transforming Power Through His Word    

We can speed up the process of our spiritual growth to maturity if, in prayer, we would be less occupied with circumstantial bliss and self-preservation and humbly cry to the Father to make us into the image of His Son.  We would turbo-charge the process if we added… obedience to His Word in all things.


V.33    “Teach me, O LORD, the way of Thy statutes, And I shall observe it to the end.
           “Teach me”.  This is a statement (and a position) of humility.  Are you on a humble learning curve with God, or do you have the Christian life all figured out?  If you’ve got God’s ways all figured out and in a neat little system, then you’ve got God in a box (your box) and His Spirit, who wants to sanctify you is probably quenched.  God’s ways are not our own and He will do things that we don’t expect in ways that we don’t expect.  Our mission needs to be to learn of His ways and commit to walking in them “to the end.”  If you have a hard time thinking of the “ways” of the Lord, just read the proverbs.  Do you have a question (about anything or any circumstance) or an issue that you are experiencing frustration about?   Pray this simple prayer asking God to teach you about that from His Word (assuming you are willing to read and study it).  And then tell Him, “God if you will teach me, I will obey what I learn.”  Watch God work powerfully in your life turning that area of frustration into blessing!

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Psalm 119:41-43

While the theme of the “ה” (pronounced “hey”) strophe emphasized the work of God in the life of the Believer through His Word; the theme of the “ו” (ponounced “vau” or “waw”) strophe emphasizes the work of the believer in response to the Word of God.

One very important point is that the “work” of God is prompted out of His lovingkindness toward us.  So also, the work of the believer in response to the Word of God is also prompted out of our love for God and His Word (Vv. 47-48).  God’s Work for us in salvation and in sanctification is a “grace” (gift) towards us.  Our work for God is a “grace” (thanksgiving) back toward Him (I Jn. 4:19; 5:3).

V.41    “May Your lovingkindnesses also come to me…according to Your word” The chief vessel of God’s grace (Lovingkindness and salvation) is His Word.  The world we live in is under enemy control; its cosmic system appeals totally to the senses (or our fleshly nature).  Deliverance comes when we walk by faith, trusting the Word of God.  Here, in submission to God by faith in His Word, we circumvent the ways and means of the enemy.  When we’re filled with the Holy Spirit (walking by faith and not by sight), we are continually supplied with His: protection, provision, comfort, guidance, wisdom, equipping for battle etc.  God’s Word is the one power source for the believer that Satan cannot corrupt or influence.  God has preserved it and provided it for us; and when we hide it in our hearts we are under its continual blessing no matter what spiritual battles we may face.

Run hard, He’s worth the effort

Before you engage this devotion, pause for a moment in humility; pray and ask the Lord to open your heart to His Word.

The next strophe or (stanza) in our study of Psalm 119 is the daleth (Heb. ד), strophe.  Daleth is the fourth letter in Hebrew alphabet and each of the next eight lines of this strophe begin with the letter Daleth (Vv. 25-32).  The theme is the way of God vs. the way of man.  The Psalm begs the question… are we going to walk in God’s way or ours?  If we cleave to His way through His Word, we’ll experience the divine joy and strength that this world could never bring.  If we cling to our ways, we will experience depression, weakness, failure and sorrow – guaranteed. We cannot sow to the flesh and reap God’s blessing (Gal. 6:7-8).

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