Psalm 119 - Pe

Psalms  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  35:43
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Psalm 119:129-136
As we have looked at Psalm 119 verse by verse, we have seen the trials of this Psalmist’s life work in him.
Trials have a tendency to either make you better or make you bitter.
In this Psalmist case, it is making him better.
This is the seventeenth section of Psalm, denoted by the Hebrew letter Pe.
Every line in this section in the Hebrew begins with this letter.
As the Psalmist goes through the trial of his life, he does the right thing and turns to God’s Word, learns from it and loves it.
In this passage we see three areas that the Psalmist realizes are good as he grows closer to God through His Word.
The first area is:

I. The Goodness of His Word

129 PE. Thy testimonies are wonderful: Therefore doth my soul keep them.
130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; It giveth understanding unto the simple.
131 I opened my mouth, and panted: For I longed for thy commandments.
The Psalmist has the same reaction as we often have after we spend consistent time in God’s Word.
We begin to see the benefits, and are overwhelmed by the goodness of His Word.
He notes that ...

A. It is Wonderful

129 PE. Thy testimonies are wonderful: Therefore doth my soul keep them.
Is there anything more wonderful that the truth that God loves us so much that He gave us His Words, His instructions, His guidelines for us to live this life how we should?
Soren Kierkegaard - Danish Theologian said, “The Bible is a letter from God with our personal address on it.”
The Psalmist realizes how wonderful the Word of God is and determines to keep them.
I want to encourage you to keep up with your Bible reading!
I know it’s hard, and we all will fail sometimes, but just pick back up and go again.
Just start from now!
You too will see how wonderful God’s Word is!
As A W Tozer put it "Whatever keeps me from my Bible is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to me."
The Bible is wonderful, someone once said,
“To the weary pilgrim, The Bible is a good strong staff. To the one who sits in gloom, The Bible is a glorious light. To those who stoop beneath heavy burden, The Bible is sweet rest. To him who has lost his way, The Bible is a safe guide. To those who have been hurt by sin, The Bible is healing balm. To the discouraged, it whispers glad messages of hope. To those who are distressed by the storms of life, The Bible is an anchor. To those who suffer in lonely solitude, The Bible is a cool, soft hand resting on a fevered brow … to best defend it, just use it! If you have not yet discovered [and become lost in wonder, love and praise for] the Bible, it’s time you did.”

B. It Gives Wisdom

130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; It giveth understanding unto the simple.
The Bible is often described as giving light…and so it does.
As we read the Holy Spirit illuminates His Word to our lives.
It is a personal book, because we serve a personal God.
As we read, we receive what God wants us to hear fro the time of life we are in now.
Proverbs 2:6 KJV
6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: Out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
The very Words of God is the source of Wisdom!
We need to trust it with all of our hearts!
Trust it more than your own eyes,
prior to our eyes seeing the earth float on nothing God’s Word said, Job 26:7
Job 26:7 KJV
7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, And hangeth the earth upon nothing.
Before the invention of the electron microscope we could not see things on the atomic level, but God’s Word declared Heb 11:3
Hebrews 11:3 KJV
3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Years ago people were bled, and many died as a result, but God’s Word told us Lev 17:11
Leviticus 17:11 KJV
11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.
Leviticus 17:14 KJV
14 For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.
And there are many more discoveries written in God’s Word.
If we just trust God’s Word more than our eyes, more than our hearts
Jeremiah 17:9 KJV
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Trust God’s Word!
We need to trust God’s Word more than your own feelings
A pastor told the story of his Division Officer in the Navy who was also a Naval aviator. On his way home from a mission over Afghanistan he got vertigo (a dizzy confused state of mind caused by the inner ear). His senses were confused. The biggest was his sense of flight. Which can be deadly when landing on an aircraft carrier deck in the middle of the Persian Gulf. He though his plane was flying up right but when he looked at the instruments he was flying upside down. Everything he did was backward according to the instruments but in his mind they were correct.
He could follow what he though was right or he could depend on the instruments. According to him over riding what he felt was right was the hardest thing to do. The struggle that took place in his mind was over whamming to him. You can figure out what he depended on: his aircraft instruments because he lived to tell the story.
The Bible is our instrument panel - it will tell us where we are.
We can obey our ideas, or feelings, or we can obey what is absolute and true!

C. It is Awe Inspiring

131 I opened my mouth, and panted: For I longed for thy commandments.
This word panted can also be translated gasp.
The Word of God is so wonderful that he panted, or gasped at it.
It made his longing for God’s Word grow.
The more we read, the more we want to read.
Someone once said:
This Book contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s character. Here paradise is restored, Heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand object; our good is its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is given you in life and will be opened in the judgment and will be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.\
Oh the Goodness of His Word.
Read it, study it, consume it, meditate on it, memorize it!
You will not be sorry - it will never be wasted time.

II. The Goodness of His Ways

132 Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, As thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.
133 Order my steps in thy word: And let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
134 Deliver me from the oppression of man: So will I keep thy precepts.
135 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; And teach me thy statutes.
The psalmist then begins to talk about the Goodness of God’s Ways.
He speaks of four realizations that he had.
First he realizes that ...

A. He Sees Me

132 Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, As thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.
El Roi, the God who sees, used only once int he Bible at the lips of Hagar.
Genesis 16:13 KJV
13 And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?
Sarah had given Hagar to Abraham to have children.
This was according to custom in those days, but not according to God.
After Hagar bore Ishmael, Sarah treated her so harshly, Hagar ran away.
She fled into the wilderness.
Think with me about her situation:
She was removed from family.
She was removed from friends.
She was alone and away from shelter, food, water, help, sustenance, everything that she needed.
Then the Lord’s angel appeared to her, and rescued her.
She was not of Abraham’s real family, and yet God saw her.
The wonder of it struck Hagar.
There is a story of a family whose house caught fire. As each parent tried to grab a few belongings and a child’s hand to get out of the house as quickly as possible, the little daughter who was holding the father’s hand, broke free from his grip and ran upstairs to get her teddy bear. However, when trying to come down again, she found that she was trapped by the enveloping flames.
She therefore, ran to the upstairs window and shouted for her father’s help. The father shouted back ‘jump down, I will catch you’. Since she couldn’t see her father clearly through the smoke, the little girl cried, ‘I’m scared to jump daddy, I can’t see you’. Her father replied, ‘don’t worry honey, you just jump. I’m right under you and I will catch you. Although you can’t see me, I CAN SEE YOU’!
Hebrews 13:5 KJV
5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Let me tell you today that no matter who you are, or what you have done, or what you are going through…God sees you!

B. He Directs Me

133 Order my steps in thy word: And let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
God directs our steps when we yield to His Holy Spirit every day all day.
We have been talking on Sunday nights lately about not letting Sin have dominion over you.
The world around us does not and will not understand our ways.
They will not always do the right thing, but we just need to do right!
There were 128 runners in the field for the cross country race at the 1993 NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships. As they set out on the 6.2 mile run, they were following a course that had been marked for them by the race officials. Toward the end of the course, one of the runners in the middle of the group realized something was wrong. Mike Delcavo of Western State College in Colorado saw that the main pack had missed the turn. “I was waving for them to follow me and yelling ‘This is the right way,’” he told an interviewer after the race.
Delcavo was right—but only four other runners followed him. The rest continued on the shortcut, which allowed them to run a shorter distance and finish the race sooner. In a widely-criticized decision, race officials allowed the abbreviated route to stand as the “official course” and Delcavo officially finished 123rd.
The world does not always reward staying on track—literally or figuratively. But the path we follow is important to God. One day, those of us who have already trusted Christ for our salvation will appear before the Lord for an evaluation of our service. Our entrance to Heaven is sure—that was settled when we received Christ. But rewards—or the loss of them—for how we spent our lives are not so sure. When we stand before the Lord, no shortcuts will be recognized, and only those who have run the race by His guidebook will be honored.
It may not seem fair, as the Psalmist noted many times in this chapter.
But God is faithful! He sees! He will Reward!
Just let Him direct you

C. He Delivers Me

134 Deliver me from the oppression of man: So will I keep thy precepts.
Once again the psalmist asks God to deliver him from his situation.
There is nothing wrong with asking God for deliverance again!
As long as you are in the situation ask God for deliverance!
In this case it seems that the oppression is keeping him from following something the Lord wants him to do.
He asks God to deliver him from the oppression so that he can keep God’s precepts.
If this is the case, it is especially important that we pray for deliverance.
I knew a woman in my church whose husband adamantly refused to let her attend church. He was an overbearing man and made her life very difficult if she went against him. The pastor recommended that she yield to him, and pray fervently.
She began to fast and pray regularly for God to change his heart. She prayed for deliverance from the situation. She loved her husband and wanted to be the kind of wife that God wanted her to be, but most of all wanted to obey God.
In time the Lord soften the mans heart as he saw her kindness in face of anger, her loving submission in face of overbearing cruelness. God began to work on his heart. He eventually accepted Christ as his Savior, but not before he yielded and allowed her to start attending church.
There was no clearer example of the verse that speaks of, “the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife...”
Just keep praying, keep seeking the answer in His Word!
fourthly we see that...

D. He Teaches Me

135 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; And teach me thy statutes.
Warren Wiersbe said, “When God hides His face from His people, He is disciplining them, as in Psalm 13:1 “1 How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me?” but the shining of His face upon them is a sign of His blessing.
The Psalmist prayed that God would give him His blessings by teaching him His Word.
As we walk in His Word, God teaches us, then we receive His blessings as we make the decision to follow what he teaches us.
It’s not always easy, however…sometimes it is costly!
Jimmy is a professional fisherman. He makes his living fishing on the BASS (Bass Angler Sportsman Society) circuit. He is also a devout Christian and belongs to the FBC Keys, Oklahoma.
This year, BASS made a ruling that to be eligible for the fisherman of the year award ($100,000), you had to wear the patch and decal of a prominent sponsor--Busch Beer!
Jimmy Houston refused to do it, thereby forfeiting his chance at the $100,000. A fellow Christian fisherman on the circuit asked him, "Jimmy, have you prayed about that?" Jimmy replied, "I don’t have to pray about it. There is no decision for me to make. God has already made the decision in His Word when He said not to do anything that would damage our testimony as Christians."
He didn’t use these words, but Jimmy was saying to this fisherman, "This is not a part of God’s specific will, it’s a part of God’s general will. God’s Word clearly tells me what God’s will would be in this matter."
Once we understand that the majority of God’s will is revealed in the Word, and that the small part that is His specific will can only be discerned using principles taught in the Word, we can make a statement about knowing God’s will. The knowledge of God’s will and the knowledge of God’s Word are, for all practical purposes, one and the same! You cannot know God’s will without knowing His Word, and you cannot know God’s Word without discovering His will!
God will teach us in His Word if we will just follow Him!
The Psalmist saw the Goodness of His Word.
He saw the Goodness of His Ways
And then he saw evidence that...

III. God’s Word Is Working

136 Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, Because they keep not thy law.
Where his anger and desire for God to destroy his enemies was evident earlier in the chapter now we see...

A. His Anger Has Turned to Compassion

“Rivers of waters run down mine eyes,”
But it is not because he feels sorry for himself as we see the rest of the verse tell us.
God does a work in the situation, most often, by changing us!
We ask God to change their heart, but he fixes the situation by changing ours.
A dramatic example is the experience of a Hungarian refugee -- to protect his privacy we'll call him Joseph Kudar. Kudar was a successful young lawyer in Hungary before the uprisings in that country in 1956. A strong believer in freedom for his country, he fought Soviet tanks in the streets of Budapest with his friends. When the uprising failed, he was forced to flee the country.
When Kudar arrived in the U.S. he had no money, no job, no friends. He was, however, well educated; he spoke and wrote several languages, including English. For several months he tried to get a job in a law office, but because of his lack of familiarity with American law, he received only polite refusals.
Finally, it occurred to him that with his knowledge of language he might be able to get a job with an import-export company. He selected one such company and wrote a letter to the owner.
Two weeks later he received an answer, but was hardly prepared for the vindictiveness of the man's reply. Among other things, it said that even if they did need someone, they wouldn't hire him because he couldn't even write good English.
Crushed, Kudar's hurt quickly turned to anger. What right did this rude, arrogant man have to tell him he couldn't write the language! The man was obviously crude and uneducated -- his letter was chock-full of grammatical errors!
Kudar sat down and, in the white heat of anger, wrote a scathing reply, calculated to rip the man to shreds. When he'd finished, however, as he was reading it over, his anger began to drain away. Then he remembered the biblical admonition, "A soft answer turneth away wrath."
No, he wouldn't mail the letter. Maybe the man was right. English was not his native tongue. Maybe he did need further study in it. Possibly this man had done him a favor by making him realize he did need to work harder on perfecting his English.
Kudar tore up the letter and wrote another. This time he apologized for the previous letter, explained his situation, and thanked the man for pointing out his need for further study.
Two days later he received a phone call inviting him to New York for an interview. A week later he went to work for them as a correspondent. Later, Joseph Kudar became vice president and executive officer of the company, destined to succeed the man he had hated and sought revenge against for a fleeting moment -- and then resisted.
So God changed the Psalmist anger into compassion, and we also see that...

B. His Annoyance Has Turned to Concern

v. 136b
“because they keep not thy law.”
This Psalm is filled with the Psalmist previous attempts to ask God for vengeance against these men.
Just last week we saw him say, “Sick em God, Sick em!”
Psalm 119:126 KJV
126 It is time for thee, Lord, to work: For they have made void thy law.
Now is the time...
But it seems God has done a work on His heart!
Now He weeps for them because they do not keep the Law.
They do not follow God’s Word.
In high school I wasn’t what I would call popular, but I wasn’t an outcast either. Thanks to speech class, and drama my face was recognizable around the school. Most people seemed to like me just fine. I could talk to most anyone and carry on a friendly conversation. But there was one football player named Jason. I had gone to school with him since 7th grade, when I came to the public school from Christian School. Sometime during high school he took a dislike to me. I still am not sure why.
Although it didn’t really bother me terribly, his snide remarks, or rude comments to get out of his way, etc. It was an annoyance to my day. I would see him coming down the hall, and just feel that annoyance creep up. I didn’t answer him back, I didn’t fight him, he didn’t really do anything but act annoyed by me…so I was annoyed back.
It’s just like God…we were paired together to work on a project in Physical Science class. As we worked on the project we tolerated each other and made small talk. And we were both kind to one another while we worked through the problems.
We attended a very rich school. Somehow the layout of the community paired me (struggling middle class) with millionaires. Jason always hung around the other football players, especially one named Beau. He came from a very rich family, and because of a gift from his grandfather that was wisely invested he was a millionaire himself by the time he was 16 years old.
Jason was always at his house, they had a pool, tennis courts, full size basket ball court, and just everything you could dream. Jason seemed to fit in with the rest, so I assumed he was well off too…he dressed the part even.
That Saturday the youth group at my church went out soulwinning. We would be assigned a street, dropped off with a partner and go door to door and invite people to church, and if we had the opportunity we would witness to them.
That day I was in the poorer part of town, at some low income duplex’s and I just happened to knock on Jason’s door. He answered the door, recognized me and immediately looked embarrassed. He said, “What are you doing here?” Here I was facing one of the only kids in the school that gave me a hard time, and was mean to me. I had a choice, and I really considered it…I could continue with the invitation…or I could say sorry wrong house and turn around and walk away. My partner, my best friend, would have just followed along…I knew it.
But I saw his situation, I saw his embarrassment and I was filled with compassion at that moment. I didn’t let my face show pity, but I put a smile on my face and began to invite him to church. He kind of chuckled, but I continued. I then began to witness to him. He didn’t accept Jesus that day…or ever as far as I know. But we finished, and parted ways.
On Monday I fully expected to get it from Jason and all his friends. I steeled myself and walked into Science class and sat down. Jason looked over and smiled…I thought “here it comes.” But he just said, “Hey Jeremy” turned around and that was it! I saw Jason very different from that day forward. I never really had a chance again to invite him to church or witness to him, but I did pray for him…as I should have been doing all along.
He was kinder to me from that forward too. But it started with the change in my heart!
God often wants to help you with your situation, but we have to be willing to yield to His Word, to His Spirit and to His Ways!
He will most often start with us, then use that to deal with the situation around us.
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