Psalm 119 - Koph

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READ - Psalm 119:145-152
We are getting close to the end of Psalm 119, just a few more weeks.
Of course that is delayed a little because next week is our Annual Business Meeting and the next after I will be flying home from California.
But as we continue on to this next section, the nineteenth section, Kōph.
I see three things in this section that we can do when trials continue:

I. Cry to God

145 I cried with my whole heart; Hear me, O Lord: I will keep thy statutes.
146 I cried unto thee; save me, And I shall keep thy testimonies.
147 I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word.
Three times in three verses the Psalmist cries out to God, but we also see that he also did something else:

A. Cry Out - But Keep Doing Right

145 I cried with my whole heart; Hear me, O Lord: I will keep thy statutes.
146 I cried unto thee; save me, And I shall keep thy testimonies.
The Psalmist cries out twice, but he also confirms twice that he will keep God’s Word.
As we have seen before, the use of repetition in Hebrew is used to emphasize a point.
He was emphasizing that even though he is going through this major trial...
even though others are attacking...
even though God hasn’t answered his cry yet...
He will keep God’s Statutes - Laws, ordinance, decrees
and He will keep God’s testimonies - witness, testimony.
the two keeps in these two verses are different Hebrew words.
the first Nasar - A verb meaning to guard, to keep, to observe, to preserve, to hide. The word refers to people’s maintaining things entrusted to them, especially to keeping the truths of God in both actions and mind.
He is committing to guard God’s Word in his heart.
The second verses’ keep is the word samar - A verb meaning to watch, to keep, to preserve, to guard, to be careful, to watch over, to watch carefully over, to be on one’s guard.
with connection to God’s testimonies or witness, I get the sense that he is concerned about being a good testimony for the Lord also.
Cry out to the Lord…but do right, and watch your testimony
Have you ever said something in the heat of the moment or in a defensive attitude that you soon realize damaged yours and God’s testimony?
Reacting wrongly to Mrs. Landers in front of choir.
A. So cry out to the Lord, but do right

B. Cry Out - But Keep Your Hope

147 I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word.
to prevent the dawning of the morning is a poetic way of saying he was either wasn’t going to sleep or else woke up early and the morning couldn’t get there fast enough.
He was struggling in this trial enough that it was messing with his sleep.
But he cried out to God for help.
But even in the midst of this, he didn’t lose his hope.
Hope is a very powerful thing!
In 1982, as Vice President, George Bush represented the U.S. at the funeral of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Bush was deeply moved by a silent protest carried out by Brezhnev's widow. She stood motionless by the coffin until seconds before it was closed. Then, just as the soldiers touched the lid, Brezhnev's wife performed an act of great courage and hope, a gesture that must surely rank as one of the most profound acts of civil disobedience ever committed: She reached down and made the sign of the cross on her husband's chest.
There in the citadel of secular, atheistic power, the wife of the man who had run it all hoped that her husband was wrong. She hoped that there was another life, and that that life was best represented by Jesus who died on the cross, and that the same Jesus might yet have mercy on her husband.
Whether he privately believed sometime before his death is between him and God.
But his wife held hope for herself and her husband.
Hope is powerful!
So Cry out to God,but do right and keep your hope!

II. Run to God

148 Mine eyes prevent the night watches, That I might meditate in thy word.
149 Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: O Lord, quicken me according to thy judgment.
In the midst of it all not only did he cry to God, but he ran to Him.
It’s easy to run to other things...
quick money schemes
something dull the anxiety/pain
But we must purposefully run to God…no one ...and no other place can help.
The psalmist gives us here two things we can do in order to run to God in times of trial:

A. Meditate on God’s Word

148 Mine eyes prevent the night watches, That I might meditate in thy word.
Again he says he can’t sleep, but this time he adds that when he can’t sleep he meditates on God’s Word.
Again, to meditate means to take a passage or verse and think about it over and over, running it through your mind in every which way to let the Holy Spirit speak to you through it.
sometimes when I can’t sleep, if I’m not careful, I will begin to think about things like…in a perfect world my life would look like this...
If this were different, then I could....
If I had this, I could....
In reality it is just a fantasy.
The problem with a fantasy of any kind is that it promotes ungratefulness, covetousness, and a lack of satisfaction and contentment.
It doesn’t help anything…so we need to be purposeful in meditating on God’s Word to prevent us from just trying to make ourselves feel better by running to something else.
I heard someone say once, “There is nothing wrong with fantasizing. It doesn’t hurt anyone.” They happened to be talking about something entirely different, but the same principles apply. Covetousness, ingratitude, but added to it lust. Even if no one else ever knew…you will still suffer, because...
James 1:15 KJV
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Purposefully meditate on God’s Word...

B. Pray to God

149 Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: O Lord, quicken me according to thy judgment.
Of course this is what he has been doing this whole time…but his cry for God to hear his voice reminds us don’t forget to pray!
Prayer is asking.
Whether we are asking for ourself, others, or for God (to be praised, glorified, etc.) prayer is asking.
So don’t stop asking God for what you want - in this case to hear his voice.
He asks this in connection to the realization that God is merciful.
This word, hesed, translated lovingkindness here is a multifaceted word.
It means all of this: kindness, lovingkindness, mercy, goodness, faithfulness, love, acts of kindness
All together in one word.
The psalmist knew that God was merciful, and good, and faithful and kind, and loving…so he knew that he would hear…and then quicken him.
Quicken me according to thy judgment - He knew that the judgment from the judge in favor of the psalmist, and against the wicked would revive him.
So When you can’t sleep - Meditate on God’s Word, and keep on praying.

III. Look to God

150 They draw nigh that follow after mischief: They are far from thy law.
151 Thou art near, O Lord; And all thy commandments are truth.
152 Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old That thou hast founded them for ever.
The enemy was getting closer…they are approaching him…he knew that they are far from being just, and obedient to God’s law.
So the Psalmist came to the conclusion that he needed to

A. Stop Looking at the Enemy

He saw their drawing nigh,
He saw they were far from righteous
He saw that they scoffed at God’s Word and said it was not true...
but the Psalmist stops focusing on the enemy.
There are far too many people and things living rent free in our brains and hearts!
We need to evict them.
There is not enough room for them and God!
Deuteronomy 6:5 KJV
5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
ALL thine hear and soul and might!
It all is God’s territory!
Many times in the last few months I have laid sleepless in bed thinking over our situation…maybe we can…and so forth. And many times God once again, patiently and loving me comes and says, “Ahem…what you looking at?”
Where we went to Christian summer camp growing up there was a giant hill, at the top was the chapel, and half way up was the basketball courts.
In the distance, from the basketball courts was the girls swimming pool. Modesty was big at this summer camp, so the girls and boys swam separately. But some of the boys realized you could barely see the pool if you stood on the edge of the basketball court.
I heard later that my youth pastor was on his way up to the chapel when he saw a group of teenage boys craning their necks to see the pool. They were concentrating so hard, that never even heard him come up behind them. He just said, in a loud voice, “What are you looking at?”
He said half the boys screamed like little girls, and got bright red. He then chased them off.
So when you get your eyes on something other than what you are looking at, God may come up and say...”What are you looking at?”
So we need to decide to evict anything and anyone that steals your attention from God and … stop looking at the enemy, then ...

B. See That God is Near

151 Thou art near, O Lord; And all thy commandments are truth.
Notice what the psalmist connects to God being near…His Word.
If you don’t feel God is near…get closer to His Word.
When I was a kid, I was embarrassed that I had a cavity. The dentist, one where my grandmother was the dental hygienist, told me, “You need to brush your teeth more.”
I was embarrassed so I said, “I do brush my teeth.”
It wasn’t a lie, but I certainly didn’t brush them like I should have been doing.
But his response was, “I think you need to step a little closer to the toothbrush then.”
If you aren’t feeling the peace, if you aren’t feeling the joy, if you are feeling fear, if your focus is on the enemy… you need to step a little closer to the toothbrush…God’s Word.
It is our Rock, because it’s author is our Rock!
Psalm 18:2 KJV
2 The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
As a child I memorized this and claimed it as a life verse.
I felt safe in this verse. I felt like I was crawling behind the Rock, climbing into the fortress, watching my God deliver me, Seeing his strong arms able to fight for me…so I could trust Him! I could hide behind him like a shield.
Because He is our Rock, we can trust His Word too!
As a child, I too could say, like this psalmist...
152 Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old That thou hast founded them for ever.
If you have grown up in church, or spent any significant amount of time in church…you have no right, you have no reason to trust anything other than God and His Word!
You have known of old!
They are founded, fixed, firm, established - part of the foundation that we stand on!
It’s not going anywhere!
So stop looking at the enemy and get your eyes on Jesus!
Do what you already know you are supposed to do!
Meditate on God’s Word
Keep asking…keep praying
Get your eyes off the enemy/situation
See for yourself that God is near!
But you are going to have to step a little closer to the toothbrush!
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