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Ps. 119:73-80.
We are now in the tenth section of Palm 119, designated with the Hebrew letter Jod (Yod).
When I read this section I think of that comforting hymn...
“I must tell Jesus all of my trials, I cannot bear these burdens alone.
In my distress He kindly will help me, He ever loves and cares for His own.”
They also express our hearts when we are crushed by heavy trials.
The psalmist’s faithfulness to God’s Word had provoked the ungodly people of the land to persecute him.
In this section of eight verses, he notes that they were slandering and falsely accusing him (v 78).
Their accusations had reached the attention of government officials, and they too were against him (v 23).
Unable to bear this heavy burden alone, the psalmist turned to the Lord for help.
We see first of all...
I. Four Confessions to God
In the heat of his suffering, God’s servant evaluated his situation.
He considered all that God had already done through it as well as what further good God might accomplish.
As a result, he made a fourfold confession to God:
A. He Is Your Creator
v 73a
The psalmist confessed, first, that the Lord was his Creator.
He was the work of God’s careful, loving hands.
As his Creator, God had not only made him but also fashioned or formed him individually—all according to His purpose for the psalmist’s life (Ps.
139:14–16; Je. 1:5).
The Psalmist understood that because God created him, He knew him better than the psalmist did.
So if he had any hope of understanding it would have to come from God, so he confessed...
B. You Need Help to Understand
(v 73b)
Because God had crafted him with such thoughtful detail, God knew exactly what His servant needed in order to grasp His life-giving Word.
With this in mind, the psalmist confessed his need of God’s help to learn the Scripture, both to understand it and to apply it to his life so that he could follow it.
C. Your Testimony Depends on God
(v 74)
The psalmist was going through a terrible ordeal, that of public persecution and scorn.
He realized that God’s people were watching him as he suffered, and he longed to be a shining example to them of the Lord’s sufficient grace.
Along with this, he wanted other believers to see the transformation God had accomplished in his life through his suffering (Psalm 119:67, 71).
He confessed that he needed God’s help to make him a strong testimony so that others might be blessed through him.
And as they witnessed his confidence in God’s Word, they would be encouraged by seeing its sustaining power for life’s fiercest trials.
C. His Discipline Is Right
(v 75)
While God did not cause the psalmist’s persecutors to abuse him, He did use His servant’s suffering to produce holiness in his life.
The painful situation had stirred the psalmist to deal with a lingering sin in his heart: the sin of covetousness (Psalm 119: 36–37).
From the psalmist’s perspective, God was disciplining him through his ordeal.
Having seen God’s purpose accomplished through his trial, he confessed a critical truth: that God was right and just in allowing him to be afflicted.
Additionally, he understood that God disciplines us, His children, in faithfulness to us.
He corrects us because He loves us and wants us to live free from the crippling consequences of sin (He.
12:6, 10).
The faithful psalmist’s fourfold confession should guide us when we face persecution or severe trials.
First, we need to remember that God made us and lovingly formed us.
He cares deeply for us and, as our Creator, He knows exactly what we need:
Second, we need God’s help to understand His Word and to follow it faithfully.
God has given us His Word to strengthen and guide us.
But we cannot grasp the great truths of Scripture on our own, through natural understanding.
We need the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit to understand spiritual truth:
Third, we need God’s help to stay faithful so that we can be a strong testimony and blessing to others.
Fourth, we need to remember that everything God does is right.
He is always faithful to us, without fail.
Even when He allows us to suffer, He is working for us, not against us.
So the Psalmist gives these four confessions to God, then he turns and makes...
Five Requests of God
Apparently, the psalmist’s suffering was far from over, and he needed God’s help to continue enduring it.
To that end, he made five thoughtful requests of God:
A. Let Mercy Comfort You
(v 76).
First, the psalmist prayed that God’s merciful kindness (chesed), His unfailing, covenant love, would continue to comfort him.
God’s servant had previously asked the Lord to demonstrate His faithful love to him in his hour of need.
Now, he asked God to continue consoling and encouraging him through His lovingkindness, just as He had promised (De.
7:9; 1 S. 12:22).
B. Let Mercy Protect You
Because His Word is your delight
(v 77)
Second, the psalmist asked the Lord to shower His tender mercies on him.
Tender mercies (rachamim) comes from the Hebrew word for womb, signifying the deep, gentle love and protection a mother has for her helpless newborn baby.
It is deep compassion, intensely emotional pity and affection felt from the most inward parts of one’s being.
This touching word describes what our Heavenly Father feels for His dear sons and daughters.
The psalmist prayed that this divine compassion would surround and protect him throughout his trial.
His delight in God’s Word gave him a strong desire to live so that he could continue to serve and obey the Lord.
C. Let the Arrogant Be Shamed
(v 78)
Throughout Psalm 119, the author describes his persecutors as proud or arrogant (zed).
Their contempt for him showed a deep, deep contempt for God and His Word.
Out of their defiance to God’s laws, they had wronged the psalmist grievously.
They had accused him falsely and were punishing him without cause.
Therefore, he boldly called on God to deal justly with them and to shame them by His judgment.
The dedicated psalmist refused to let their unjust treatment move or change him.
His oppressors were persecuting him because of his faithfulness to God’s laws, and he would not give in to their demands to compromise.
He responded to their abuse by staying focused on God’s Word.
D. Let Your Experience Encourage Others
(v 79)
The psalmist’s fourth request concerned God’s people: he prayed that those who truly knew and understood God’s Word would turn to him.
Exactly what he meant by this request is unclear.
He may have been praying that they would turn to him for inspiration to be faithful to the Lord, that his experience would be an encouragement to them when they faced severe trials.
Having seen what the psalmist had been forced to endure probably intimidated some of God’s people, causing them to compromise their faithfulness to the Lord.
He may have been asking that they would be encouraged to stand fast because of his example.
On the other hand, he may have been praying that those dedicated to obeying God’s Word would support him and stand behind him in his ordeal.
It is reasonable to assume that the lies of the ungodly had influenced some of God’s people against the psalmist.
Perhaps his request was for these fellow-believers to see the truth, stand with him, and fight for him.
E. Let Me Never Be Ashamed
because I followed Your Word
(v 80)
Finally, God’s devoted servant requested strength to remain steadfast in his daily walk.
He prayed that his heart—not just his actions—would be sound or blameless (tamim), that he would obey God’s Word without fail both inwardly and outwardly.
Following God’s Word faithfully would ensure that he would never be shamed by sinful behavior.
Furthermore, adhering to Scripture would keep him steadfast and loyal:
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