Psalm 119 - Caph

Psalms  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  30:59
0 ratings
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →
Psalm 119:81-88
We come to the next section of Psalm 119 - verse 81-88, designated with the label Caph.
When we go through trials we will often cry out, “Lord get me out of this.”, or “I’m not sure how much longer I can do this!”
The Psalmist is starting off this Psalm in a very similar way.
Three times in these eight verses he uses various forms of the same Hebrew root word, Kalah,
My soul faints v. 81
My eyes fail v. 82
They had almost consumed me upon earth v. 87
The psalmist is exhausted, and at his limits.
Kalah means worn out, completely consumed, about to perish - coming to an end.
The situtation has not just been emotionally draining, but physically.
At some point, or maybe even points, in your life you will suffer as a faithful servant of God.
Some fierce or terribly painful trial will lead you to feel you cannot go on.
The Holy Spirit of God inspired this passage for times such as this.
I want to look at three positions we can find ourself when we are at our whits end.

I. When I Am Failing

v. 81-83
Psalm 119:81–83 KJV
81 CAPH. My soul fainteth for thy salvation: But I hope in thy word. 82 Mine eyes fail for thy word, Saying, When wilt thou comfort me? 83 For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; Yet do I not forget thy statutes.
The psalmist is under heavy persecution.
He is failing - not that he is failing a test - but his stamina, his drive is failing.
We will sometimes find ourselves in similar situations.
We are at our end.
But when you do, the Psalmist gives us some things to do:

A. Hope

v. 81 he says, “But I hope in thy Word.”
When things get tough, turn to God’s Word - you will not be sorry!
When we hope in God’s Word, we will see that He will

A. Hope - Save

Psalm 91:14–16 KJV
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. 15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him, And shew him my salvation.
We have many examples in scripture, and even in our lives, where God has helped us before…He has not changed.
Now there are times when God wants to help us through the trial, rather than help us out of the trial.
But there are many times that He does save us from the trial.
And we must always remember the ultimate salvation as He makes all things good according to His purpose!
Secondly we see that when we are failing, we need to

B. Remember

The Psalmist says
82 Mine eyes fail for thy word, Saying, When wilt thou comfort me?
83 For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; Yet do I not forget thy statutes.
Evidently this man sought God’s Word so much that his eyes began to fail and strain.
He was seeking to find out when God would comfort him.
The Psalmist describes himself as a bottle in the smoke.
We need to be careful not to view this through Western eyes.
Wine skins were bottles made from animal hides stitched together with cords.
After they were filled, the weight of the liquid would gradually cause them to stretch.
This expansion would eventually allow the contents to leak through the enlarged openings formed by the stitching.
At that point, the wine would be transferred into new wineskins.
The used, stretched-out skins would be hung over a fire, where the heat and smoke would cause them to shrink and become firm again.
At some point, the bottles would become so stained by soot, so saturated with the taste of smoke, and so dried out that they were useless and therefore discarded.
This is the state where the psalmist finds himself.
He is stretched thin, then dried over the smoke and fire till he feels useless.
But the Psalmist says - “Yet do I not forget thy statutes.”
When we remember God’s Word, even when we are tired, weary, and feel abused....God will show himself faithful, and will...

B. Remember Comfort

Although the psalmist does not answer it here, we do see many promises in God’s Word that shows that He will comfort!
2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Psalm 23:4 KJV
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Colossians 1:11 KJV
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
Charles Spurgeon said, “Grace is a living power which survives that which would suffocate all other forms of existence. Fire cannot consume it, and smoke cannot smother it. A man may be reduced to skin and bone, and all his comfort may be dried out of him, and yet he may hold fast his integrity and glorify his God. It is, however, no marvel that in such a case the eyes which are tormented with the smoke cry out for the Lord’s delivering hand, and the heart heated and faint longs for the divine salvation.”
The second position we can find ourselves when we are at our whits end is...

II. When I Am Fearing

Vs. 84–85
84 How many are the days of thy servant? When wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?
85 The proud have digged pits for me, Which are not after thy law.
We often begin to have doubts when we become overwhelmed by trials.
He began to fear that this would never end.
The Psalmist is utterly exhausted and frustrated from his ordeal, and now the psalmist cries out to God for answers.
Translations vary on this first question, it is not completely clear what he was asking, but it is clarified by his followup question.
I don’t believe he is saying “How many days do I have left before I die?”
Rather he is saying, “How many days do I have to suffer?”
When was God going to bring judgment.
Many people assume it is a sin to question God, but Scripture does not say that.
James told us to ask God for wisdom
James 1:5 KJV
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
As believers, we apply this verse to many situations of life, but the context of James states that it is regarding trials.
However don’t loose faith!
Do not doubt God!
The very next verses tell us
James 1:6–8 KJV
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
So yes, we will have times of doubt - but pull out of that and choose to

A. Trust

John Philips, Bible teacher and commentator, says, “Apart from God’s Word, there is no answer to the seeming indifference of God to the sufferings of His saints. There is no answer to His mysterious silences. His people pour out their hearts in impassioned, [persistent] pleas, but God remains silent.”
and yet in this silence, we must not loose our trust!
Trusting is a choice!
Psalm 20:7 KJV
7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
When we Trust He will...

A. Trust Act

Just as Proverbs says
Proverbs 3:5–6 KJV
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; And lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he shall direct thy paths.
If we trust in Him we can have faith that He will direct our path, He will tells you where to go from here.
The truth is we may never see what happens to those who attack us.
I have seen some things, but I do not always see.
But what we do see is how God acts on us!
Isaiah 26:3 KJV
3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on thee: Because he trusteth in thee.
Isaiah 41:10 KJV
10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: Be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
God will act in us to Give us Peace, to give us strength, to give us the help to uphold us.
So in times of doubt - make the choice to Trust!
But Secondly -

B. Obey

We see this in the negative example is shown in the men who laid traps for the Psalmist.
Again referring to them again as proud, he says they dig the pits for him and he shows that their deeds are not after the Law.
Their actions were blatant violations of God’s law.
But no matter what others do, we need to obey!
And if we will obey, the Bible tells us we will be rewarded.

B. Obey Reward

Psalm 19:11 KJV
11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: And in keeping of them there is great reward.
In verse 7-10 David is talking about the Word of God.
He says it is perfect, and right, and clean and endures forever…then he states the servant is warned by them, and if he keeps them (if he obeys them) he will be rewarded.
Long life is given to them who keep God’s Word.
Proverbs 3:1–2 KJV
1 My son, forget not my law; But let thine heart keep my commandments: 2 For length of days, and long life, And peace, shall they add to thee.
We are rewarded by peace
Psalm 119:165 KJV
165 Great peace have they which love thy law: And nothing shall offend them.
We get our prayers answered.
1 John 3:22 KJV
22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
We will be shown the way of Christ - the way we ought to go.
John 14:21 KJV
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
This verse isn’t saying that God will love us if we obey…but rather if we obey, He will give His love to us. He will act out His love for us.
O the rewards of faithfulness!
We don’t often pay attention when we are hurting, but they are there!
Hindsight is 20/20 - we will see how God has rewarded us.
Then lastly tonight, I want us to see the third position we can find ourselves when we are at our whits end...

III. When I am Fading

vs. 86–88
86 All thy commandments are faithful: They persecute me wrongfully; help thou me.
87 They had almost consumed me upon earth; But I forsook not thy precepts.
88 Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; So shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.
The Word consumed means completely exhausted, at the end.
At times when going through a long trial, it can feel like you are withering away, completely fading to nothing.
The psalmist needed God to act!
But the Psalmist shows us the correct response when we are fading...

A. Cry

Now I’m not saying we need to have a good cry…although sometimes that will help, as long as we get back up and don’t wallow.
Rather He is crying out to the Lord!
Help thou me! He cried
When We cry - God remains faithful

A. Cry Faithful

The Psalmist says - Even if they attack - you are faithful!
Psalm 33:4 KJV
4 For the word of the Lord is right; And all his works are done in truth.
The word translated done in truth here is also translated Faithful elsewhere.
Secondly, when we are fading we ought to...

B. Follow

87 They had almost consumed me upon earth; But I forsook not thy precepts.
The psalmist said that even though he was almost consumed he did not forsake the Word of God.
He followed what He knew would bring deliverance and help.
He was trusting that God would answer exactly what he asked for in verse 86 - If we follow - God will help

B. Follow Help

Hebrews 4:16 KJV
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 13:6 KJV
6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
So when we cry God will be faithful
When we Follow Him He will Help us
and lastly When we are Fading, we need to...

C. Keep

88 Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; So shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.
That being closely linked to following God’s Word, also incorporates holding it close to us through meditation and memorization.
When during a trial we keep His testimonies (the things that He has revealed to us) close our hearts and minds we will have peace.
But not only that, but the Bible says here that if we Keep…He will Quicken

C. Keep Quicken

88 Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; So shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.
To quicken means to make a live again.
The withered wineskin hanging over the fire, blackened by smoke, is made a live again - useful once again to its maker.
Matthew Henry said, “The surest token of God’s good-will towards us is his good work in us.”
When we see the quickening work of God on our lives, we will know beyond a shadow of doubt that God love us!
We have a standing invitation to enter boldly before the throne of God to ask for His help.
How much more does He want us to come to Him when we ar hurting!
His lovingkindness - his mercy and his goodness calls out to us to call on Him!
Even in the darkest times He is still there to remind us of His presence.
Psalm 23:4 KJV
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
The rod was a picture of the Good Shepherds strength and protection.
a sturdy wooden stick used as a weapon to fight off the enemies.
The staff is a symbol of the Lord’s guidance and lovingkindness.
a long slender stick often with a hooked tip, used primarily to direct the flock.
Sheep are wanderers - Prone to wander Lord I feel it
The shepherd used his staff to keep his sheep out of danger and close to him.
God will deliver us!
If God so chooses to use his staff to deliver us from our suffering or persecution through death rather than from death, we can draw our final breath with absolute confidence that He will not fail us.
We will have the ultimate deliverance when he brings us to himself.
2 Corinthians 5:7–8 KJV
7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more