THE PROMISES OF GOD
I feel constrained in the Spirit to turn to Psalm 119 for a while and to look at the promises laid up for the obedient Christian.
We thought in the last study about the wisdom, knowledge and understanding that the four characters in Daniel enjoyed because of the time they spent alone with God.
Well we can do no better than to look at the life of David and the succeeding generations who followed the same pathway seeking the Lord first in everything.
David had come into relationship with the Living God as a boy but he recognised that he needed instruction from the Lord all along the path of life.As a boy, as a young man but hen at the end of his life he was still seeking to know the mind and will of God for his life, it is so easy for us to rest on our achievements.
David longed to build the Temple but that was not Gods desire, it was for Solomon to build it so as to bring him closer to the Lord him self, father could not do it for him.
The opening thought of v 1 is 'the way' the all important path that we should be walking along because it brings us to the Living God continually.
Our life is a journey and we are travellers making progress towards our eternal home, we are here for a short while on earth before we move on into eternity.
The Christian life is a course of action, the procedure adopted that will transform our life on earth and our eternal destiny.
We are not migrants in search of a better life but we are pilgrims walking in the right direction towards the Promised land of heaven.
Now having been born again of the Spirit of God, having been forgiven of our sin and been turned around to follow in Gods direction we are being changed all the time.
Conversion is only the beginning of the new life in Christ, we have the rest of our days to prepare ourselves for the presence of the Living God.
Our conversion in Christ is the opening up or the restoring of communications with the Creator God who delights to commune with His children.
The thought in v 1 of 'the way' is the behaviour and pattern of living for those seeking to walk after Gods pattern or ideal of living.
The 'law of the Lord' is set out as the pattern that we need to follow if we are going to bring honour, praise and glory to our heavenly Father.
The enemy will dry us up spiritually by distracting us with all manners of things that fill our time and dissipate our energy so as to slow us down in seeking the Lord through His word.
It is a battle royal between the flesh and the Spirit and so often we pander to the flesh and given in to the carnal nature instead of standing on the promises of God.
To gain mastery over the flesh we need to come to v 2 'to seek with our whole heart' now that means the putting of the old desires, habits and pleasures so as to put on the new life in Christ that brings us fresh goals, aims and ambitions.
The old desires are to satisfy the flesh whilst the new goals are to have a life that mirrors Christ's image in us.
The old habits are carnal practises that we find very hard to give up because they are our life but the new aims are to bring us into 'Gods ways of thinking and being.
The old pleasures are nothing more than trying to satisfy our earthly nature that is going to return to dust when we pass from this scene into eternity.
Where as the new nature has ambitions or strong desires to become a godly person that will bring pleasure to the heart of God through our obedience to His word.
Now to help us on our way along that right pathway called the path of righteousness we find that our education is progressive, we are ever learning and our Father has put these promises in His word to encourage us to seek Him daily v 5.
There is a difference between a 'command' and a 'promise' that are worth pondering on because they are vital thoughts for each of us to get hold of.
A 'command' v 4 is the established and appointed pattern of living, these are the set down rules that require our inner commitment and obedience to if we are going to meet Gods requirements.
His 'promises' are His announcements or proclamations that will be fulfilled in us as long as we fulfil the conditions laid out in them.
Every promise has conditions that we should apply to our life so that we can receive the gracious gift given as a promise in scripture.
In the opening eight verses we find three important facts about the conditions that are necessary for us to obtain the promises of God.
First there is the direction that we are walking in, we cannot expect the holy God to pour out His promises on unholy people.
We can be born again but not necessarily walking along the right path, we are so prone to get into cul de sac going round in circles until we drop.
Still seeking to satisfy the flesh when we should be seeking to have a restored soul and spirit in the Lord Jesus Christ.
To walk in the path of righteousness demands obedience to Gods word and that means walking in the right direction that is laid out in His word.
Secondly there is 'seeking the Lord' with our whole heart, there are three types of heart in scripture there is a cold heart of Revelation 3 v 15 along with the warm heart.
These are the two clear cut ways of living the cold is a life without God in it whilst the other has God at the centre of it.
The third heart is the 'luke warm' heart Revelation 3 v 16 that has no conviction about the way it is wandering around on earth, it wants the benefits of grace but refuses to live under the demands of God.
The Lord Jesus has some very clear words to say about these lukewarm Christians 'He will spew them out of His mouth', figuratively speaking He will vomit because of their abhorrent or repugnant behaviour.
There are many in Christendom that are walking in such a life style today half hearted in their commitment and they wonder why things are not going as they thought they should being Christians.
The third word is 'not be ashamed' v 6 the word ashamed means disappointed, or confounded by the situations that we find ourselves in.
The trials and troubles that we face are the God given opportunities that will bring us closer to the pattern that our Father has set out in His word that we should become.
There is a shame that is external where we let our guard down and revert to the old nature and others feel the affect of our discretions.
There is a shame that is internal and the soul seeking to walk on the right path knows this full well, the lost opportunity to witness for the Lord, that laxity of tongue that brings discredit on the Lord.
Shame caused by our displaying characteristics of the old life, gossip, rumours, back biting
when these should have died when we were crucified with Christ.
Now the observant soul will seek to keep themselves pure by keeping the communications sweet with the Lord and upright in our walk in the Church.
The promise of God is that such a person who ever they are will be truly 'blessed' they will walk in a straight line, they will rejoice as they go and they will be satisfied with their lot.
The second stanza vs.9 – 16 brings us to a treasure store that is brimming with good things for the diligent and observant Christian.
One of the major issues that we consistently come to in these studies is the need for 'change' in us the changing over of the old nature to live in the new nature of righteous living.
This is an area that I do feel very strongly over as I listen and talk with Christians still living in the cloak of the old human nature never coming into the light of casting them off.
That casting off is the theme of this second stanza of Psalm 119, if we were left to our own devices we are left desperately struggling as many of us realise.
That is where the promises of God come in for us to apply the Holy Spirit has been given to not only convict us but to cleanse us as well.
'Wherewithal shall a young man change his ways' v 1 comes as a challenge not as an unsolvable issue, our God is willing to forgive, to cleanse and to strengthen and His word is full of promises to this effect.
The operative word here is 'cleanse' it has two basic meanings first the cleansing that brings us into a close relationship with the Creator God as our sin is confessed and forgiven.
The second and equally important meaning is about righteous living, the pursuit of holiness that draws us closer to and that will bring us into Christ likeness.
Now the former meaning is the cleansing that we receive as a result of Cavalry's sacrifice and our repentance of sin it restores the broken relationship with the Living God.
The second is to do with our daily living that as a result of the restored relationship I now want to live according to Gods word and the Holy Spirit resides in us to bring us into closer fellowship with the Creator God.
The scriptures are full of the truth that our God is absolutely holy and that He will not be contaminated with sin at all, cannot let alone will not.
The sacrifice of the Lord Jesus deals with the broken relationship and on confession of sin He removes the offending sin and brings us into His holiness relationship.
The battle then commences and unless we are observant and obedient to Gods word we are quickly found doubting and distrusting the work that has taken place in us.
We are like the disciples before Pentecost believing but struggling and the Acts of Apostles is all about the transformation that takes place when the Holy Spirit is given the reins of the heart and mind.
It is a challenge for us today to examine our life in the light of scripture, are we a closer reflection of the Lord Jesus today that this time last year?
Are we taking heed that is paying attention to the scriptures or are we leaving that to those who do the preaching and speaking in church?
In the stanza before us David is facing up to the truth that we cannot be half hearted towards God it is as case of all or nothing.
We need this jolt in the 'spirit' to bring us to our senses the Christian life is a complete one that affects every part of us body, soul and mind.
In v 11 the word 'hid' points to hiding the word in our heart so as not to contaminate it or have it spoiled by fleshly instincts.
It is not hiding it to conceal the truth but putting in a place that will constantly remind us of what we are and whose we are, as Gods children.
The word is there for us to not only read when we feel like it but it is there waiting to be studied and applied so as to bring out righteous living in an unrighteous world.
David had problems such as we face, he knew the battle that goes on in the mind for truth and righteousness, he knew the times of despair, he knew the reality of defeat.
David shares with us here in these verses the mastery that he knew when he applied the word of God to his life.
He shares with us the dignity he experienced as he drew close to God it affected his conversations with folk, his attitudes towards people of all walks of life and changed him into a godly man.
There are no short cuts and there are no bargain basements to meander in but there are promises on the lower shelves that are seldom reached because of our self centredness.
Then we come in v 12 to a massive problem that of our being taught by God and to the resistance that human nature puts up against it.
We are living in a time that I call 'the unteachable generation that knows it all', we seem to know everything about the scriptures and we are content with the bit that we know.
In fact we are thread bare spiritually with practises in the church that should not be named amongst us let alone allowed as normal.
Sinful tendencies are allowed to keep up the numbers and to bring in the finances to keep us going but holiness is excluded in conversations and in the preaching.
We need to be toughened up by the Spirit of God to be brought into His refining workshop so that we become a closer reflection of what we ought to be.
The word 'teach' means to be instructed so that we become aware of our responsibility as Gods servants in the age in which we live.
To 'teach' points to being trained as disciples to walk in the path of righteous living, living the life that is pleasing to God that will bring honour, praise and glory to Him.
The word 'teaching' implies two facets, the first is that of educating affecting us morally, intellectually and socially as the early disciples received from the mouth of the Master.
The second thought is that of 'instructing' on a daily basis that brings out the practise of the theory, training by practical experience, this brings us into a life of mastery and victory over temptation.
We come into the walk of godly life and not just a good talk that many of us are bogged down in, the practise of what we read is of more importance than what we try to memorise.
We are in the midst of a tremendous spiritual battle that is going to increase if we are serious in our quest for the Lord.
The path of righteousness is a difficult one to walk along because we are constantly confronted with issues that the majority of folk do not want to face because they love sin to much.
The thought of rejoicing v 14 comes in the middle of such conflicts but it is a source of mastery over temptation as we rejoice in the God of our salvation.
The salvation that we receive is of greater value than any thing else whether gold, silver or any material gain, the benefits of a committed life to Christ has eternal value beyond compare.
When we see our precious Saviour face to face these battles will be over forever, we will see Him and be like Him then but let us use this in between times seeking to grow more like Him.
In v 15 we get a glimpse of this 'I will meditate in Thy precepts' the personal aspect is brought out here, no matter what the world thinks or the church pew thinks I will seek the Lord as often as I can.
There is the practical aspect of the faith here as well, 'I will meditate' that is going to study as it means to muse, ponder or be absorbed in thought with the Lord and His word.
He has so much to share with me, so many things to reveal to me and He has so many promises to bring into reality in me that my life is taken up with Him.
As a result of communing with the Lord each day we begin to delight ourselves in the wonderful truths that He opens up for us.
First of all it brings out 'respect' in me for the Lord and the mighty privilege that He gives to me to learn first hand from His gracious teaching to me.
'Respect' v 15 points to my regards to Him, it helps me to appreciate and consider His word in a different light as I am the pupil and Her is the Tutor.
All His words are teaching is going to bring me into a closer circle at His footstool and bring out the truths in practical ways in our daily living.
So to the word 'delight' v 16 it also appears in vs.24, 35, 47,70, 92,143 and 174 and each time the delight is in the word of God and it brings out a deep sense of rejoicing.
What a terrific challenge I find this to be to study the word and to come away from it with a sense of gratitude and thanksgiving that the Lord should open my eyes to such wondrous things.
There is eternal pleasure to be found in Gods word and the application of it will produce eternal fruit for our benefit and for Gods glory.
So we come confidently to the Lord and acknowledge Him to be our Tutor and seek to learn from His word the things that will draw me closer to Him and equally importantly help me to grow more Christ like.
The third stanza lies before us today vs.17 – 24 and a store of blessing are to be found in these verses to enlighten and bless us in the hours ahead of us.
It opens up with a cry of need 'deal bountifully with thy servant' we come to the footstool of the Living God in simplicity and humility recognising the privilege given to us to ascend up Gods holy hill.
'Deal bountifully' points to the limited knowledge that we have of the Lord whose supply is always super abundant, overwhelming and above all that we ask or even think.
He always deals graciously and in tender loving care with those will walk uprightly, it is not the supply that is the problem but our small receptacle.
If we remain in the state we are in we bring a cup or basin, if we change and draw closer we can bring a bath but our God wants us to plunge right into the fullness of the Spirit without limitations.
To understand 'bountifully' we look at our natural growth and then to our spiritual growth, a baby grows to be a child, grows to become a youth, grows to become an adult who grows into old age.
Spiritually we grow in the Spirit in the same way the tragedy is most of us are content to stay static believing that we have all there is for us.
When in old age there are issues still to learn that we could not take in other stages of life.
We should be learning all the time as the saints in the Old Testament did, it is a good study to see the lessons learned by Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Isaiah and Jeremiah in old age.
We tend to forget about age in the New Testament but Paul was not a teenager in the Acts of Apostles neither was Peter and John whose Revelation was as an older person.
These men learned the secret of bathing in the fullness of the Spirit as they obeyed Gods word and made the necessary adjustment as revealed in Gods word.
David was not a youth any more but he still longed to be taught by the Lord in the secret place as Psalm 119 reveals to us.
So to v 18 and the heart cry today of many a soul, 'open thou mine eyes to behold wondrous things in thy law' the truth is we need the Holy Spirit to bring light on to the sacred page all the time.
The old body grows weary as time goes by and our faculties tire leaving us with deficiencies both mentally and physically but spiritually we can be quickened every day.
This is the longing of the obedient child of God that the word will become alive in them as well as to them, so that in some measure their life will be come more Christ like.
The word 'open' literally means to 'reveal' or to uncover, take away the periphery and bring me to the heart of the word.
Remove any overhanging locks to make bare the naked truth to my heart, soul and mind
so that I can receive those words spoken in secret to your disciples.
It is true to say that there are truths in the bible that are only known by the diligent disciple because they spend time alone with the Lord to allow Him to reveal them.
Those secrets are called 'wondrous things' here, the extraordinary works of God become a living reality to the observant soul, our heavenly Father is still working miracles today.
Realising these truths experimentally will bring forth rejoicing and praise in the heart of the believer and will exalt the name of our God as a result.
'The question is asked 'is there anything to hard for the Lord' Genesis 18 v 14 and though Sara laughed as the vast majority of Christians do at such as suggestion but 21 v 5 Isaac is born.
There are many times when such enormous challenges are laid at our door but we lose out because we do not really believe that God will do it for us.
Scripture has many a simple child of God coming to the Lord expecting a little thing will happen to them when our God has wonderful things to perform through them.
Today He is looking for servants who will believe in the impossible because He is going to perform the impossible through them for His glory.
Now that brings us to v 19 and the light begins to dawn on us that our God can do wondrous works today and is doing them elsewhere.
We look at ourselves and become 'strangers' the word means 'pilgrim' or 'sojourner' that is one who is passing through without taking up residence in that country.
The thought brings us to look at the way we are living, are we so wrapped up with earthly things that we are losing out on the spiritual blessings that God longs to pour out on His children?
We can be church minded living according to the rule book of the fellowship or we can be living according to the word of God as David desired to.
He may have been a terrific king of Israel and Judah but he recognised that he was only a servant of the Living God and longed for a closer relationship with Him.
He had the weight of the nations problems on his shoulders but he had learned to put those pressures where they belonged at the Ling Gods feet.
He had all the material things he wanted but above all of these he longed for the Holy Spirit to open the word of God to him daily.
David knew his weaknesses and strengths but he also knew the hunger and thirst after righteousness and that was not confined to certain people who fulfilled their tasks in the Tabernacle and area surrounding it.
No David saw the greatest need was spiritual and wanted to be the man that God intended him to become whatever the cost and he comes here to present himself for spiritual duty as the servant of the Living God..
David was a single minded man who learned from his mistakes, he knew failure through his flippancy towards God and in turning his eyes of God to wander on to people.
Now he wants to be more diligent and observant and dedicates time to be alone with God and if those times are interrupted it broke his heart v 20.
In the Psalm David is willing for God to remove those obstacles in his life that cause
breaks in relationship v 22 and we can identify with the two words today.
'Reproach' and 'contempt' two words that are major problems to the soul desiring to get closer to the Lord and become a diligent disciple.
'Reproach' the root is pointing the finger at others when we are responsible for our own actions and activities, we blame others for our own faults.
I wonder if there are issues in life where we blame other people for the wrongs that we have committed the disciple of Christ stands being corrected by the Lord and to the changes that are made as a result.
'Contempt' on the other hand points to the open mockery of Gods word through unbelief, do we realise that all unbelief is mockery to Gods word look up Romans 3 v 3 and Hebrews 3 v 12.
David came to the point where he despised such unbelief as he drew on the promises of Gods word and this soon brought his own unbelief to the surface to be dealt with openly.
The 'testimonies' of God are revealed so as to strengthen our faith in Him, they are given to draw us closer to Him and they are seen in the scriptures as testimonies for us to apply.
Not just to memorise or even to glamorise through talking about them but they are here for us to meditate on so as to live by them.
We should be searching out the promises so that we live by them and so our lives will become a closer replica of the scriptures as we pass through this short earthly scene.
Life on earth is very short even if we grow to be a hundred years old, this is a changing scene that is preparing us for eternity where perfection is the rule to live by.
We spend little time thinking about eternity but come the time when we do these spiritual truths will become of paramount importance to us.
The word of God will become more precious than anything else we possess, the promises will become more valuable than gold or silver and the quiet hour alone with God will come indispensable.
So make up your mind today to become a disciple of the Living God and begin to apply the scriptures to your life and to see the wondrous things contained in Gods word that you never knew were there.
All the promises of Gods word are at our disposal and David is an example to us because he fits our shoes so easily as we read the word of God.
In this stanza\today we listen to David going through terrific pressure and the sense of loneliness comes through.
He is in a situation where he does not know where to turn but his faith is anchored in God and so he looks to the Lord to lead and direct him.
For many a Christian sadly the last thing we do is to look up to the Lord when in fact it should be the first place that we come to.
We run around talking to those near to us about our lot and at times they seem to be helpful but when we are near collapse we turn to the Lord.
So the first promise that we can look at today is the one David desired in v 25 'Lord quicken me' and what a promise this is to know experimentally.
The presence of the Lord 'quickening' the beleaguered soul, many an Old Testament character will testify to claiming this promise and all of them in the New Testament who came into the knowledge of salvation.
To 'quicken' can mean to restore to full health either physically or spiritually after a period of being aloof from the Living God, a time of self domination and not being Godly directed.
A time when we take our Father for granted with no real dedication to Him and treating Him as if he was a convenience to be used when needed.
The word 'quicken' can also mean to live in a new closer relationship, where the thought is of our coming into the light in increasing measure and the longing for renewal as a result.
The idea of being brought into a deeper commitment to the Lord as a result of recognising His gracious dealings with us in these past days..
Now there is a third meaning to 'quicken' and that is the one used here by David where He longs for a closer relationship with the Lord, to be refreshed, brought out of apathy and lethargy to walk in reality with the Lord.
We can look back to times when the Lord and His word was real and our faith was bright but things change and we grow cold towards spiritual things.
What is needed is for us to be quickened by the Holy Spirit and brought back so as to walk on the light of the path of righteousness.
The word of God becomes alive to us and in us as well suddenly we find that we long to spend time alone with the Lord and long to see the 'wondrous works again in our life.
It is very easy to become spiritually dry and lethargic, spiritually sluggish and we wander around as if God has let us down or increasingly the thoughts of Him not loving us.
The flesh life is the hindrance, we are easily led to go to the world for pleasures that have no eternal value and the pursuit of these makes us spiritually apathetic having no concern for spiritual things.
The heart is stirred by the Lord and the cry goes out 'Lord quicken me' and almost instantly we find ourselves delighting ourselves in spiritual matters that draw us closer to God.
In v 26 we return to the central feature of this long Psalm that of being taught by the Lord
it is a theme that runs through the Psalms and makes a good study on its own.
Here the thought of being taught by the Lord invokes a promise that the Lord will give light and understanding on His word to the diligent soul
The scripture reveal in Ezekiel 47 the picture of the river of life and three positions are seen first ankle deep water v 3, then knee deep v 4 and thirdly swimming deep v 5 and the depth is opened up to us.
Far to many come to the water of life the Lord Jesus Christ and enjoy the salvation that He gives to them but do not get really involved in the promises of God they become satisfied with paddling in the water.
Then there are those who enjoy the relationship opened up to them and they desire a deeper commitment to the Lord and these are found walking into the deeper water.
They enjoy the spiritual food provided through Gods servants and enjoy doing the rounds of the convention ministry but they never quite come to studying on a deeper level themselves.
The third group is the one that the Lord Jesus intends us all to become part of those who plunge out into the water of life to swim freely in the faith to prove the wondrous works of the Lord for themselves.
That is the great benefit of the third group the are living in close communion with the Lord looking forward to the next visit to the Throne of Grace to see what wondrous things the Lord will reveal to them.
They are not only ransomed, not only restored but they are quickened by the Holy Spirit to come into the fullness of the waters of life.
There is a wonderful thought in Ezekiel 47 vs.1 – 8 and that is of 'restoration' another word for being 'quickened' because the waters provide healing v 9 for the depressed soul.
It does not take long for us to recognise which of the three groups we belong to, when we take the Lord at His word we soon want to experience the quickening that releases us to become members of swimmers group.
To become a member of the swimming group we need to come into 'understanding' v 27
the word means not only to observe but to obey the word that is revealed to us.
Now we should let go the petty ideas that we have about the scriptures and launch out boldly before the Lord and expect Him to make the word clear to us so that we will obey it.
Changes have to be made and confession of hidden sin to be made but these lead us out of the shallow spiritual living into the deeper waters of faith.
Our faith is going to be tested so as to prove that is genuine and real and so the storms of life come and we find that our faith is anchored on a solid foundation and we do not get blown around as in former days.
Now we need the Holy Spirit to teach us so that we can trust the written word of God ans apply it to our life bringing us into much deeper water than we could ever imagined.
The thought of v 28 frightens us at first but as we begin to apply the word we soon realise that we are no where near the person that we thought we were.
The hidden sin that no one knew about is brought to the fore by the Holy Spirit and through the wondrous work of Christ Jesus we are cleansed and made whole.
Released from the guilt as well as the power of sin we can begin to rejoice in God our Saviour on a much deeper level than we knew before.
Now we should say that moving from one level to the next in the water of life scriptures bring us to recognise that we all need teaching and being brought into fresh understanding.
We should be enjoying our walk with the Lord but the deeper we go the greater the trials to prove that we are genuine in the faith.
The greater the trials the sharper our faith will become and our heavenly Father will only allow or permit what He knows we can take.
The frailty of human nature is that we like to dictate what trials we go through and when they should stop but the Spirit of the Lord will strengthen us to get through the most cruel of situations.
The early Church was made up of martyrs and the Church today has many martyrs in it because the standard has not changed and those swimming in the waters of life do not yield to the old fleshly nature.
We do need to come to terms with this area of thinking as those in the scriptures did and their witness was acknowledged by the Lord as being acceptable to Him.
The thought in v 29 is not removing the trials but of removing the sin that lies within us and none more so than through the 'lying tongue'.
The 'lying tongue' v 29 and in v 163 is literally the untruths that come from our mouth in regular conversation: the fraudulent words that are only vanity when expressed.
The conversation about others can be littered with lies and deception as we vent our thoughts about them in an unsavoury light.
It also brings out the thought of so called spiritual conversations when wee make statement about light received from God that has not come directly to us from our Father, often times coming third hand to us.
We end on a bright note and one of rejoicing because our conversation is centred on the Lord and we delight to share with others what the Lord has given to us.
Calvary love is manifested in v 47 we are the recipients of Gods love just as David did and as there is no greater love than this we should be releasing this love where ever we go.
That love should be shown in our actions at large but in the light of the context here we should be showing Gods Calvary love through our conversations, how much the world needs to see this love manifested through us.
Today the fifth stanza opens with the clear cut decision 'Lord teach me' the long days of the passed life are over the chasing around is finished.
The desire of the heart is to know the Lord and to walk with Him through the rest of my life on earth, by His grace I am His disciple.
This being the case we can look up to the Lord and daily expect something to come through the word that will build us up into an established disciple.
'Teach me' though a slow learner and one not used to discipline, may the Holy Spirit work on me so as to produce Christ likeness in me.
'Teach' here has the most common meaning to be trained in godly living, to apply my life to righteousness and holiness as the scriptures demand.
The truth is we were called originally as Christians to live this way it is only the lax living in the church that allowed us to get away with sub standard living.
The moment we begin to search after the Lord we realise that there is no little sin and big sin but rather the Lord is offended by all sin.
We need the Holy Spirit to root out the offending sin and to show us how repugnant sin is in the sight of God so that we follow righteousness carefully.
Our enemy is seeking any way he can to disturb our relationship with the Living God, he broke his in eternity and wants us to break ours on earth.
We need to be vigilant in our reading and studying of Gods word because that is the first step that Satan will take to break us down.
He will fight all along the way seeking to stop us having the spiritual food that we know that we need but that we struggle to take in.
So settle it once and for all the paramount importance of my life is to commune and walk with the Lord because I am one of His disciple.
This discipline is tough because the flesh is in opposition to it, the turn around from our lethargic way of living in the past is stark and demanding.
Others can do what we cannot do, others can go where we cannot go and others can waste time when we are brought to value time.
Discipline is vital if we are to grow in the Christian life and to come to spiritual maturity, the chastening experiences are as vital as the challenging excitement involved in climbing Gods holy hill.
The next heart desire is in v 34 'give me understanding' that is godly instruction, revealing the manner of life that we should be living.
That is far removed from the one that most of us are living at the moment, the Church is like the children of Israel of old waiting for judgement and destruction to take place.
We like to think that there is no further judgement place upon us but the scriptures are clear that the Christian will be judged on how they have lived since their conversion.
The 'understanding' that God gives is to bring us to walk on the path of righteousness
willingly and prosperously because it reveals the characteristics of Christ in us.
Now that involves taking great care over what I do, it makes me observant in what I do and it makes me watch what I say with greater urgency for godliness to come through.
We note the word 'make me' that sounds like forcing something the Lord does not do to us, the truth is we need gently persuading to go on the right route at times.
We still find it easy to look around when we should be looking up, we will always find someone to agree with us if it means slow down or come aside to rest.
The Holy Spirit will help us make the right decisions fulfilling the promises of the word, 'this is the way walk in it' we can come to the place where He will stop us turning to the right or left or even dare I say it going back.
When once we have found the delight and pleasure of communing with the Lord on the issues of life we can truly say 'how ever did I manage before'.
Now we come to the promises that affect our adjustments as we seek to walk on the right path and in the deeper things of God.
'Incline' v 36 points to us being made willing or favourable to accept the word of God especially where we are finding it hard to understand.
This is where the promises stand out because they are never hurtful or grievous but they are given to us for our benefit through application.
The promises are for all of Gods children but only those who receive them find the true benefit of them, all would like them but few spend time searching them out.
The word 'incline' has a much deeper thought though that we need to bring out here, it points to stretching forward for something or for expansion of understanding that brings us closer to the object.
The promise 'I will be with you' is only found by those following in the Masters footsteps, it is in the going that we find that He has gone before us.
The promise 'I will strengthen you' is found by observant Christians who in their weakness stretch forward to take hold of Gods strength and apply it to themselves.
The promise 'I will help you' is found to be true by those obedient souls who ask the Holy Spirit to take control of our life and create a clean heart within us.
Blessings abound when we let go and let God have His way in us and none of us are excluded from all the benefits but the ones who receive them are the obedient ones.
'Incline' then points to our stretching forth towards the goal set before us and through the mercy, love and grace of God our hearts are expanded to receive what otherwise would haver been missing.
Now we need to dwell on these issues because they bring the scriptures alive to us and bring us into a dimension of spiritual living we thought impossible to us.
Using the picture of the last study we move gently along by faith out of the ankle deep Christian life through the thigh deep waters and are launching out into the unknown with the Lord.
Now we are moving into uncharted territory spiritually speaking and the lessons received and the experience gained draw us closer to our precious Saviour.
He promised 'the things that I do you shall do also' John 12 so that Paul could say 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me' Philippians 4 v 13.
Now the promise given to the early disciples is also given to us so that we should be seeing miracles today at the hand of our Lord Jesus reaching out through us.
Then the promise given to the disciples by the Lord Jesus in Luke 10 v 19 'I give to you power to tread down serpents and scorpions' should be applied by us today to stand steadfast against the evil powers that attack us victoriously.
That word 'incline' brings us on to a higher platform of living than we could ever imagine yet it is one that we should be walking on as Christ's disciples.
The 'established word' v 38 is the established walk along the established way and we need to keep moving along the road that leads us to our heavenly Fathers presence.
We can expect great things from God because He is greater in all things than we can imagine or dream up, 'there is nothing to hard for God' so let us never forget it.
We need the upward look to become our natural view so that our communications are with the Lord and not an intermediary.
The mighty Holy Spirit will give the mastery over temptation and turn us away from those distracting side roads that become snares to the diligent Christian disciple.
We can say 'I have longed' v 40 but our Father can tell us that He has been longing to find us obedient to His word longer than we have been concerned.
He does quicken the obedient child v 40 and the Holy Spirit was given for that specific task of strengthening the weak, giving boldness to the bowed down and courage to the timid.
Claim the promises by the committing today and every day to the Lord so that you can become a diligent disciple for Gods glory.
The promise of salvation comes to the fore today and what a salvation we have come into by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the Old Testament 'salvation' was promised through obedience in sacrifice of a lamb, at first for the family 'a lamb' Exodus 12 v 3 as the institution of the Passover.
Then it became sacrificial 'the Lamb' that covered the sin of the nation in Leviticus when atonement was made to cover national sin before God.
In the New Testament there is only 'One Lamb' and He is the Lord Jesus Christ who came to deal with the sin of the world John 3 v 16.
David knew the pattern of sin being dealt with through the animal sacrifice of the 'lamb' that brought Gods forgiveness for sin committed.
The problem David knew was that the sacrifice did not help him stop sinning, he returned back to his old ways very quickly but here he longs for the breaking of sins yoke on him.
He was looking forward to Messiah coming when sin would be deal with in a positive practical manner once and for all.
We are living in the 'days of Grace' that period of time that David and the Old Testament folk were looking forward to but did not see but they prayed and God received them through sacrifice.
Now we are living under Gods grace and favour, we know the Lord Jesus has come to break the power of sin when we come in repentance of it before the Living God.
We have come to claim forgiveness of sin and through our beloved Saviour He has paid the penalty that sets us free to 'go and sin no more'.
The truth is that we are still capable of sinning and sadly do because of the flesh life that seeks to still govern us but the Holy Spirit has come to take up residence in us to enable us to overcome sin.
The promise of salvation is guaranteed in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Acts 4 v 12 and Romans 10 v 10, the gospel then is alive Ephesians 1 v 13 with the Holy Spirit of promise given to those who believe.
David looked forward to this period and longed for it to come in his own days on earth now we look back to Calvary and rejoice in the Lord Jesus Christ our salvation.
The word of God from Genesis to Revelation is a living word that we can all rely on, that is the meaning of the word 'trust' to confide in and have complete confidence in.
The Old Testament characters trusted God's word implicitly and knew the dangers of abandoning it from practical experience.
The New Testament characters knew the reality of the word of God on a deeper level because the saw the Old Testament fulfilled by the New Testament.
The depth of obedience to the word is mirrored in how they lived as a result of the salvation given to them and that is where we come into the picture today.
If 'obedience' to Gods word is mirrored in the depth of our commitment to Christ as a result of the sacrifice He offers to us how real is it shown to the world?
Are we still grovelling around as paupers on the earth oblivious to the promises available to us: when we should be living as princes and princesses before the Lord and the world at large?
This comes as a deliberate challenge in this age of spiritual declension on a large scale, the church has become a club or institution as against the Living Body of Gods people that we were called into.
Salvation is followed by 'liberty' or release from sin's enslavement, we no longer have to give into its whims and fancies, we have the Holy Spirit within us to gives us victory over temptation.
No that is a fact but equally the fact s we are still prone to answer to the calls of the flesh than to walk in the Spirit of truth.
This is where Christian discipline comes in and the teaching of Christ takes hold in our life
so that sin does not have dominion over us because there is freedom in Christ Jesus to enable us to conquer.
This is where the promises of God become vital in our life, they lead us to mastery over temptation and sin but they come with conditions to be applied.
Conditions that lead us away from the wrong pathway, they guide us into the right way and they will cause us to want to go on the right way.
'I will walk' v 45 points to progress being made as we tread the heavenly pathway that brings us nearer to the Lord and produces Christ likeness in us.
'I will walk' also reveals dedication to keep on the path of holy living, the application of the word to our life will produce a life that brings pleasure to the Lord.
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His word we can expect the unexpected to happen and there is a delight in receiving those unexpected blessings that come our way.
'Delights' that are only known by those who launch out into the deep things of God, those not satisfied with the status quo but willing to go where our Father leads.
The closing thought for today reaches out those around us asking their questions, we find that the word of God provides the answers, whether they accept the answer is their problem.
It is easy to recall that the Lord Jesus answered Satan's questions in the wilderness with the use of scripture as He did: the reason that we do not is because we do not have the insight or knowledge that we should have.
David prays in v 44 that the power to always testify to the Living God truthfulness and faithfulness will never be taken from him.
So there is the challenge for today, gaining the knowledge of scripture that will enable us to overcome ourselves and to have the answers for those who come inquiring to us.
The seventh stanza vs.49 – 56 lie before us today and may the Holy Spirit breath life into the word today that they may become a living word to us.
David seeks the same knowledge in v 50 he longs for open communications between himself and the Living God, he cannot live without them and neither can we, Lord.
'Remember' v 49 is reminding the Lord as if He needed it, that His word is vital for His servant to survive in the battle of life.
It is Gods word that has brought him 'hope' and that provides a tasty spiritual meal for the observant servant of the Lord.
'Hope thou in God' Psalm 45 vs.5 and 11 to 'hope' here means to wait expectantly for the Lord to fulfil His word in as well as to us.
To wait for the appointed time for the word to be taught and obeyed, we remind ourselves our Father is never in a hurry and He is never late in fulfilling His plans and purposes.
We are told to 'rejoice in hope' Romans 12 v 12 so whilst we are being taught we rejoice in the fulfilling of the promises that God gives us in His word.
The anticipation of the promise knowing that it will come fills us with delight so that we come closer to the Lord and prolong the time we spend with Him.
The object of our rejoicing is not the receiving of the promise but to the One who is giving it, we rejoice in the God of our salvation who continually meets our needs.
Now that brings us to the 'hope of our salvation' in 1 Thessalonians 5 v 8 this brings us confidently to the foundation of our faith and our trust in God.
We know that 'He cannot lie' Titus 1 v 2 and Numbers 23 v 19, now the Titus reference points to our eternal salvation it is anchored securely in the Living God to promised it to us before the world began.
What a terrific 'hope' we have that the rescuing act of the Lord Jesus will stand the test of Gods judgement on the world and that He will receive us into the heavenly place forever.
So we can look at the 'hope of our calling' Ephesians 1 v 18 and here to the many promises that are stored up for is to enjoy through our inheritance in Christ Jesus.
The 'inheritance' points to the possessions a believer receives as they live under the new order of living set out in Gods word.
The conditions are laid out in the scriptures for us to search out and claim in Christ Jesus
expecting Him to fulfil His word in doing so.
The hope we have as we look at the promises of God are fulfilled in us as we come as little children expecting our heavenly Father to work them out in us so that we grow spiritually.
To lose our child like simplicity usually means we take our eyes of the Lord and return to our own trying to meet our needs, note we say 'child like faith' not 'childish faith' because the former enables us to grow in the faith the latter leaves us meandering around getting nowhere.
There is one more 'hope' that we need to ponder over and maybe delight in today in doing so and that is the 'hope that is an anchor' Hebrews 6 v 19.
There we look at the two pillars that give us both 'anchor' and 'hope' in our faith, in v 18 'two immutable things' the word 'immutable' means unchanging and unchangeable facts: the first is the 'promise' the second the 'oath'.
The 'promise' points to an undertaking and proclamation to do or give something with the guarantee that it will be performed.
In 2 Corinthians 1 v 20 we are guaranteed the promises of God because the guarantor is our Lord Jesus Christ v 19 everything is anchored in who He is.
The 'oath' points us to is the established and eternal word of God, He has made the oath to His children and confirmed it in His Son who has officially performed His duties for us in the presence of the Father.
He has confirmed His duties in bringing us back to God through His sacrifice on Calvary and the fact that He has risen and ascended back to the heavenly place from where He came to earth.
We cannot have a greater hope than this, the same Lord Jesus is coming again to take us His whole ransomed people to be with Him in the heavenly place for eternity, what an anchor to have.
Well may David tell us that it brings comfort to him as he passes through afflictions that overwhelm him and many a saint will testify to this over the centuries.
Our hope then is based on the promises given to us in Gods word and it is for us dig them out and believe the content of them bring them into reality into our life.
Do you notice how often in the Psalm David refers to the non believers that surround him, the proud here that are living with human directions and having no spiritual guidance
It may be a source of encouragement to us today who are surrounded continually with folk who have no need of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Only yesterday I listened to a well known radio presenter telling her companion not to bother with salvation as he had no need of it.
The media in Britain is monopolized by such arrogant people who vent their feelings against the Christian Gospel regularly making fun out of believers with their sarcastic comments.
The truth is they will soon be brought face to face with the Lord Jesus who to them is not alive right now but then it will be a different story as they fall at His feet for judgement.
The 'proud' are referred to six times in the Psalm 119 pointing to folk being arrogant, bold and filled with self exaltation they are the complete opposite of the humble that Almighty God receives.
The world is full of self important people who are filled with exaggerated self importance, they know everything and yet they no nothing about eternal issues brushing them off as irrelevant.
The 'derision' v 51 brings out the mocking threats of such folk who do not realise the empty threats are recorded and will be held against them on the Judgement Day.
They sound clever but when faced with truth they shy away because they love their sin to much to want to deal with it.
Now the disciple of the Living God draw consolation from the very word that is despised by the proud, to the believer they cannot live without it, as it is so precious to them.
'I remember' v 52 the promises of God bring constant solace to the soul being battered by the folk around them, the comfort received lifts the spirit and strengthens them for the next bout of conflict.
'Remember' brings out the thought of reflecting on the past victories gained by obeying the word of God rather than listening to rebellious people.
The word also points us to reflect upon it now in the conflict because it reveals not only the nature of the conflict but it gives us the conclusion of it in glorious victory.
There is then a third meaning of the word 'remember' attributed to its use here and that is to remind ourselves to use the word of God and to stand on the promises that it reveals.
Yes many a saint has felt the impact of the violent nature of human beings when seeking to share the good news of Jesus Christ with them and it has made them timid until they remembered the word of the Lord.
The word 'horror' comes three times in scripture and refers to white hot heat that boils over and folk do things they wish they had never done afterwards.
The storm brews in the hours or days before and suddenly the rage is vented in uncontrollable force not only verbally but with violent reactions as well.
David knew this in his long battle with Saul and the old king looked with horror on his younger pretender literally used his large army to track him down, seeking to kill him.
The truth lies in the sacred pages of scripture David rested his cause in the word of God he trusted the word rather than rest in the knowledge gained through human wisdom.
There can be nothing worse for an angry person to be faced with a singing opposition and Satan is no less angry when he hears the sounds of melodious music rising from the Lords people.
David wrote many a Psalm recorded in scripture, during the heat of the battles with Saul
and what delightful songs they are filling our worship today.
Let us note that David did not stop singing when the battles with Saul ended and he became King of Israel oh no he sang songs of praise over the whole of his earthly pilgrimage.
Have you ever sang songs of praise in the night when you could not sleep or were awakened from your sleep, no, then try it?
We note the third use of 'remembered' in v 55, here we are to gaze on the Lord Himself, to remember Him, the idea is captured in 1 Corinthians 11 regarding the Lords Supper.
We are told to 'remember Me' by the Lord Jesus, remember what I did on Calvary, then remember where I am now and what I am doing for you.
The remember what I am going to do shortly, coming to take you home for eternity.
We are making progress through the Psalm 119 and as we turn to vs. 57 – 64 the thought strikes me that David is going through the battle looking for respite than for the Lord in it.
Here is a situation similar to today where folk are looking for the benefits of grace with out changing their own life style or pattern of living.
They are wanting everything on a plate just as the children of Israel did when they entered the Promise Land under Joshua, the battle is the Lords but we are the troops in His army.
They were looking to the Lord to fight the battle for them without them driving the enemy out of the land, the truth and fact is God did His part and they did not and look at the mess they are in even today as a result.
The closing two chapters of Joshua give us a clear picture of this and the two sides of the same coin are seen, God did bot fail once but they soon slipped into failure leaving themselves open to constant attack.
If further proof were needed the book of Judges follows Joshua both in sequence and literally and we glean the massive problems they faced because they did not do their part of the covenant.
Now before we go any further we should look at the state of the Church today, a sad indictment on the glorious Church Christ is preparing for eternity.
All divided into little man made groups or tribes, all mixed up with human effort and attainment the mark of its growth and spiritually lethargic with no vision.
Human nature is dominating the affairs and the Holy Spirit left to work on those few section individuals who like David are ploughing on in the School of Faith.
This may seem tough and judgemental but it is the truth the Church Universal has become a church localised to our little group, without vision of the lost or sanctification a priority.
David encourages us to press onwards towards the Lord and to rejoice in the many promises laid out for us in our inheritance.
We begin here with the thought that the battle is raging around us and the truth of Gods presence is with us no matter how difficult the problems are that surround us.
The promise is clear 'I will never leave you or forsake you' so we look up into the face of our Commanding Officer this morning to gain comfort from this fact.
'Thou art my portion' pointing to God being our fixed task and that brings us into our inheritance, we are only claiming what He has promised to give to us.
We need to bask in the love, joy, peace' hope and salvation today because these are priceless gifts that He has poured upon us as His children.
The truth is that many of us have lost our first love the first desires for the Lord have been superseded by other things and the Christian pathway is strewn with boulders that look insurmountable.
The Christian discipline is biting hard and our time is getting limited by the strain of life and the study of Gods word is being pushed out to the end of the day.
Now we stop to take a look at ourselves today and we begin by renewing our love to the Lord 'Thou art my portion O Lord' He is not only our goal but the pathway there.
We are seeking to be drawn closer to our beloved Lord and one major part of it is to commune daily with Him so that He becomes our all in all.
'I entreat Thy favour' v 58 two words here the first is 'entreat' the idea is of coming into league with the Lord, to fall upon the Lord and enjoy His company continually.
The other word is 'favour' its meaning to look up into the Lords face and to see that He is kindly affectionate towards us, He is showing His tender mercy towards us.
Every child of God who walks along the pathway of righteousness and holiness will face loneliness because there are only a few that really desire to walk that way through life.
The fact is 'churches' are a cul de sac where folk meet to exchange views before returning back to their own haunts and pleasures.
The highway of holiness is the true road for us to walk on as v 59 reveals and Satan will battle long and hard to distract us of that road.
As we travel on the road or path of righteousness we are going to find changes that need to be made and as we read and study Gods word these will become apparent to us.
Soon we will recognise that the scriptures are being dropped by many a saint around us who want to stay in the valley rather than reach out for the peaks with the Lord.
David enjoyed walking on the Royal Route of holiness even though it means being on your own, but then the promise comes to us 'I will be with you wherever you go'.
We are never alone because our Saviour is right along side and other people get in the way so often that indiscipline He removes them from our situation so that we can enjoy His company.
Now discipline involves practical effort, 'I thought' v 59 and goes on with 'I turned my feet' the first is the teaching that is given cases us to ponder it through.
The other words point to the application of the word and these involve the promises that are revealed being worked out in us.
None of us 'that seek the Lord with all of our heart will be disappointed' or let down by Him and the more observant we become the more readily we will be ready for the changes that draw us closer to Him.
This also brings out the thought of v 60 'I make haste' we do not linger on the fringes of the spiritual life becoming neither hot or cold but we quickly move into the deeper things of God.
'I made haste' and only a fool would draw back from plunging into the waters of life at Gods command, it is there that we find the wonders of grace and love in immeasurable depths.
Ah few there are that take the plunge today rather sitting in the valley enjoying the views
not willing to get out and get walking on the narrow way that leads us to life eternal.
No they sit in their arm chair criticising the climbers telling them about their mistakes and failures and not realising they are robbing others at the same time.
The Christian can rob another of their inheritance by distracting them and drawing them away from the need of the quiet time that they do not want themselves.
The word 'bands' literally means 'company' and how often are we distracted from the Lord by the company that we keep in the day.
We cannot run away from the truth being revealed here, the company we keep will show where we are spiritually in our walk heavenwards.
If we keep the company of folk in the valley we will never know the wonders of the vision higher up on the slopes or stand on the mountain top ourself.
There is energy involved and many of us give in far to quickly because we have never learned the lesson of drawing from the divine supply of strength that is promised to the obedient believer.
'My strength is sufficient for thee' 2 Corinthians 12 v 9 says the Lord Jesus Himself and then 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me' Philippians 4 v 13.
What weighty promises these are for us to grasp hold of and then to apply to our lives, precious promises to claim in the battle when things are rally tough.
Yes that includes the 'mid night' hours when we are bereft of sleep, comfort and rest we can turn our hearts and minds to the Lord and commune with the lover of our soul'.
Today we too are 'companions' with a large group of like minded folk who are longing for the Lord to do a new work amongst us that will release the many fellow Christians hung up on self motivation rather than letting go so that God can do in and through us what He wants to do.
A 'companion' is a fellow climber an associate who is longing for the same goal, climbing along the same route as we are with heaven our destination, we are connected through the Lord Jesus Christ.
We can gaze together at the Creator Lord and hold communion together with Him and those companions in His death and resurrection.
Together we can share the thins that the Lord has given to us from His word and the mighty promises that He wants us to lay hold of as we journey together on the path of righteousness.
Now we come to a wonderful truth that many find very hard to understand, the 'afflictions' that we face today as Christian disciples.
'Afflictions' are given to bring us to heel, to bring us to the feet of the Lord and not to drive us away from Him or indeed to make obstacles between us.
There is a distinct difference between the enemy and our afflictions, the enemy involves the world, the flesh and the devil clear cut opposition to the Living God and righteous living.
The 'afflictions' are the incidents that cause us grief and anguish and lead us to grieve in painful sorrow as a result of there presence with us.
The flesh life dies hard in Christian discipleship and it feels the effect of being squeezed out of our deliberations on the spiritual front.
We still hold on like grim death to those petty earthly things like material pleasures as much as physical pleasure rather than let them go so as to gain the promises of our spiritual inheritance.
The knife has to be put in so that these earthly ambitions and pleasures are cut of enabling us to become partakers of the inheritance in Christ.
We need to learn and learn quickly that we 'cannot serve God and Mammon' Matthew 6 v 24, we will 'love the one but hate the other' says the Lord Jesus to us.
Now fellow disciples where do we stand on this issue, are we desiring the flesh life or the spiritual life, are we willing to sacrifice the old nature so as to gain the fullness of the new one?
Our heavenly Father allows 'afflictions' to bring out the faith that is in us, to prove that we are genuine in our reaching out to Him.
Our 'afflictions' can be in the nature of our being tormented by folk especially regarding our holy walk, we can know physical and mental suffering from the way people mis treat us.
'Afflictions' can come through hardship due to the pressure of circumstances, folk will turn away from us not wanting to contact us or wanting undue time in our company.
'Afflictions' can come through ill treatment of the believer, where pressure is put on them to do tasks that no one else will do or undertake.
David had 'afflictions' but he learned the lesson of life that the Lord will uphold all going through afflictions in a precious loving way.
His word brings light into the suffering, we can expect afflictions just as the Lord Jesus did so that He understands the sorrows caused by our afflictions.
'He was afflicted, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, He bore our sorrows in His death on Calvary and He came through triumphantly so that we can conquer also.
We also note that David was prone to stray from the right road, going into cul de sac's of his own ways until the Lord graciously brought him back.
What a heavenly Father we have, He sees and knows the dilemma we get into so often and rather than cut us off He gently and tenderly deals with us through His word.
The fact that it is always practical speaks loudly of His compassion on folk like us who are so prone to wander rather than to look carefully where we are going.
What an understatement we find in v 68 'Thou art good' as it brings out all the benevolent characteristics that only our Father displays.
The fact that it is used here points to the practical range of goodness physically, materially and spiritually, in other words His goodness effects every part of our being.
His 'goodness' is sent to bring cheer, comfort and consolation to those going through hardships and affliction of any kind.
Right at the heart of our trials and tragedies we find the goodness of God operating bring relief to the beleaguered spirit, soul and mind
It is in the heart of the storm that we find the eye, the centre where perfect rest is found even though it is chaotic all around us.
There is a deep joy to be found in the storm, there is a deep contentment to be found resting in the Lord and there is valuable lessons to be learnt in the storms of life that we could not find anywhere else.
Then in v 66 we find two more pieces of treasure 'judgement' and 'knowledge' that are found in the afflictions that we are called to go through, they ate not negative but positive.
'Judgement' literally means discernment to do good and right rather than take the inferior and wrong way in life: judgement brings us to the right conclusion.
Human nature has limits in its perception of things but the person yielded to God has the added spiritual dimension to see things from Gods view point.
The teaching of our Father helps us to understand the reason why the afflictions are allowed but how to deal with them as well for our own benefit.
'Knowledge' then is the receiving of Gods word so as to bring us into the deeper understanding of the issues that surround us and then to lead us out of them.
'Knowledge' is insight and intelligence gained through the senses but it reveals the deeper wisdom of God through them so that we are walking with spiritual knowledge and not merely with human knowledge.
Oh the wonder of all of these thoughts, that little you and me, poor in spirit, troubled by oppressions, suffering through afflictions can know the deep things of the Living God who sustains us through them all.
The enemy is battling away seeking to throw us in any way that they can, even inventing lies and malpractices v 69 they do their hardest only for us to find that it brings out the best of our heavenly Father.
The lies and inventions are only found in time but the reward is eternal, the perpetrators will get their reward on the Judgement Day and the gates of hell are opened for them to go through.
The soul of the saints will pass through into the eternal presence of our Heavenly Father and there to enjoy all the benefits of our inheritance in Christ Jesus.
In this life the oppressor of the Christian believer seems to get away with so much sinful practices but that is the human view, the soul learning from their divine Tutor learns the truth.
Every word and statement is brought to the fore for every other person that walked the earth to see the truth that was committed by them and their reward is earned by their actions.
In that moment of judgement we will look up to our beloved Lord Jesus to praise and magnify His name because He has brought us through those trials and tribulations with glorious victory.
He turned the earthly trials into gems, those desperate tragedies into beautiful garments, He took the effort to lift us up when we were bowed down and there we stand as victors in eternity.
Listen to a victor viewing the battle ground scene but from a victors point of view v 71 'it was good for me that I have been afflicted' what a difference from vs.28 and 51 and 61.
The transformation comes through resting on the promises of Gods word and that is the key for us going through similar circumstances to follow for victory.
The way to triumph is through trials, we tend to shy away from facing difficult problems that have been allowed to come our way to prove the genuineness of our faith.
These problems and pressures take various forms but ultimately they are brought to bear upon us to see what we do with them.
The vast majority of us wrestle with them and come to breaking point under them when we could and should be sharing them with our Lord Jesus.
He waits to come to our aid and to help us over the obstacles of life with the sole intention of drawing us closer to Him, it is not that He is aloof from us rather we are standing away from Him.
David could say 'it was good' because it brought him into closer relationship to the Living God who provided the way out by producing the remedy as David sought it out from Him.
'That I might learn' said David and what a pregnant thought that is, we should be ever willing to learn and take every opportunity to seek the Lord for our education.
The truth is, the knowledge gained by waiting upon the Lord for our education is of greater value than much silver and gold and certainly of eternal value as we shall find out when we see Him.
The promise is that the Lord will open our eyes to behold the wondrous things contained in His word v 18 and there are many folk who testify to this truth because they claimed the promise themselves.
Those great and precious promises have brought thousands of folk out of their difficult human poverty into spiritual prosperity as they came into that deeper relationship with the Lord as a result of their afflictions.
We continue where we left of in the last study, with spiritual poverty being turned into spiritual prosperity because of studying Gods word.
The weight and darkness was lifted when they began to apply the word to their lives, the dull book became a living word as if God was speaking personally to them.
We look at v 73 and start by recognising who it is that is our Tutor, the Living God, 'He made' literally created or constructed us personally, He has now acquired us for His companionship on earth.
We have become a 'new creation' as Ephesians 2 v 10 and 'created to righteousness and holiness' 4 v 24, the complete opposite way of living from our natural birth.
'Fashioned' points to being established, settled and steadfast in the faith, David anticipated the coming of Messiah and lived waiting for Him now we are looking for His return a second time to receive us all into glory.
The Lord Jesus has established our going, He has settled the account once and for all and the debt we could not pay He has paid for us.
He has made us steadfast in the faith through the trials we are called to go through and like the Oak tree standing firm on the hill side blown about by tempest and storms we can stand fast in Christ Jesus.
Now these thoughts come from spending time with the Lord as our Teacher, reading and pondering His word and seeking the help of the Holy Spirit to apply the lessons taught v 73.
Ah David has grasped the key to being obedient to the Lord, v 74 when we see Him we shall rejoice with exceeding great joy, the battle will be over when we see the King of Glory face to face.
The fact that David rejoiced in the knowledge that he gleaned from God is real encouragement to us today to seek the Lord continually over all the issues of life that confront us.
'When we see Him' is a marvellous promise that He has given to us so that we can go through life in eager anticipation that we are going to see Him very soon and then to be with Him for eternity John 14 vs.1- 4.
What a mighty thought to fill our soul and mind as the storms of life seemingly overwhelm us, we look up through the cloud in glad anticipation that the Lord may come to deliver us from all our foes.
We begin to put things in there proper place now, we look at things through a different perspective when we put our situation in its context.
Yes He knows the troubles we are going through and He encourages us to trust in Him the harder as the day is beginning to dawn when the 'sun' will set no more.
We shall not only see Him but 'we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is' the old earthly shell will be gone forever, we shall have an eternal body able to comprehend the King in His glory.
Our 'living hope' will be realised, our faith will give way to sight, our trust will become our triumph and our delight to obey the King will be mirrored in our trusting His word before hand.
The 'I know' of David in v 75 is echoed in John's First Letter, 2 vs.3, 18, 21 and 29 then 3 vs.2, 5,15, 19 and 24 then 4 vs.2, 6, 7,13, 16 and 5 v 2, 13, 15, 18, 19, and 20.
Well 'what do we know' everything that we need to know is outlined in the scriptures for us to 'know', that is the knowledge gained by experimentally working it out in our life.
Head knowledge is good and we need to remember the scriptures but it is in the practise of them that we gain greater knowledge and wisdom from the Lord.
I have learned that the person with the experimental knowledge is never at the mercy of a person with an argument about the scriptures.
There is one facet of knowledge that David has come to receive practically in v 75 and this Gods judgements are always absolutely right.
He judges righteously in the light of His 'judgements' or pronouncements that are always in given in righteousness, He cannot proclaim anything else being a righteous and considerate Judge.
In the light of this statement when we look at His corrections and adjustments that He demands in us, we are receiving it from a compassionate as well as considerate Judge.
Those adjustments that bring us into line with His will, plans and purposes and to bring us into holy and righteous living that reveals a Christ like character.
Now what comfort this is to us today, to enjoy the comfort of Gods abiding presence with us just as David enjoyed in v 76, 'comfort' the word means sympathy and consolation.
In the midst of all the turmoil with Saul the young king in waiting knew the very real and conscious comfort of Gods presence with him, this brought deep consolation to his tortured mind and spirit.
In doing so David delighted in truth and longed to gain more experience of it in his life spending hours quietly alone with the Lord seeking to learn the higher standard of living.
It is so easy to settle for a lower way of life than to search out the higher one that brings us into real contact with our Heavenly Father.
Even as Christians we find that the lower life in the valley is more acceptable than climbing with effort on to the higher reaches of the spiritual life.
We spend far to much time conversing with each other rather than spending time studying the word and waiting on the Lord to bring it alive to us.
David found his comfort in those meetings with his Lord and so will we when we take the word seriously, seeing it in the light of the situations that arise around us.
We like king David can enjoy the loving kindness of the Lord in our daily life, not just on Sunday but every day of our life.
We lack because we do not come to our spiritual lessons, it is not that they are too hard or difficult to understand but it is because we do not hunger and thirst after righteousness.
The 'tender mercies' v 77 of the Lord are new every morning, it should be our delight as it was David's to wake up seeking the Lords presence to go with us through the day.
When we do so we find that even His corrections come with tender loving care for us, He does not shout His orders out but graciously seeks to correct us to bring us more like His blueprint for us.
Those corrections can ultimately be received with delight seeing that they bring us higher up Gods holy hill and into deeper communion with Him.
When the Lord Jesus took Peter, James and John up the Transfiguration Mount Matthew 17, it was for them to see His glory and their future hope, but He brought correction with it.
He was going to suffer v 12 Himself on the Cross at Calvary and then they could reveal to the world what they saw on the mount v 9 after His resurrection.
There is revelation on the hill tops of Gods mountain that only those willing to climb find, it takes effort and discipline but it is worth it just to get a glimpse of Gods glory.
'Meditation' has gone out of the Christian curriculum in most places, we have become afraid of silence and quietness, we no longer enjoy pondering Gods word.
The enemy of our soul is having fun and games in the church at our expense, we have lost the at of communicating with the Lord, it has become a one way passage with us praying to God.
We seldom sit down and quietly muse on a verse of scripture for a while so that the Holy Spirit can bring it alive to us and that we can grow spiritually by doing so.
We want action and noise when our Father is seeking to quietly converse with us, the 'still small voice' of 1 Kings 19 v 12 is still operating today if only we would quieten our heart and mind to listen.
It is in these quiet times that we learn more about the spiritual life than in all the meetings put together, to listen to the inner prompting of the Holy Spirit on the sacred page of Gods word.
There the word becomes alive and we can rejoice in the practical nature of it by putting it to practise in our experiences of the day, it is truly amazing how often the quiet time in the morning becomes the prelude for the days experience.
May this be such a day for us.
We are looking at the promises of God that He has given to us His children in His word and today we look at vs.81- 88 and can begin to meditate on the fact that we are 'kept by the power of God' Revelation 3 v 10.
David lived a long time before the truth was revealed to the saints in Philadelphia but he had already proven it in his day.
The patient keeping of Gods word in ones life will bring out our Father's keeping power in the hour of our temptation or affliction.
There are several words here that we should look at to gain spiritual insight to the outworking of Gods power in us.
The word 'kept' from our point of view means to remain steadfast under duress, it points to us not shrinking back from obeying the truth and to holding fast to our position when under severe attack.
The word 'kept' from Gods point of view points to His preserving though living in hostile situations, He is aware of the battle and constantly comfort us in the middle of it.
Our Father is diligently keeping watch over His children all the time and steps in at will on occasions to bring relief to the beleaguered soul.
The word 'power' is important because it brings us the mighty strength that is available to us in the Holy Spirit, there is no greater power than the Holy Spirit who has come to reside in us.
We have all the strength and authority to conquer in the trials and tribulations that we are called to go through, we can either use it powerfully or abuse it foolishly.
David reveals to us the value of using it wisely, he tells us that he would have 'fainted' that is been completely finished had it not been for the power of Gods word alive in his life.
He would have been consumed by Goliath in 1 Samuel 17, by Saul 1 Samuel 24, by the Philistines 1 Samuel 29 and the Amalekites 1 Samuel 30 then by Absalom 2 Samuel 15 – 18.
It was a life of affliction for David who testifies here to the fact that had it not been for the experimental knowledge gained through Gods word he could never have done or accomplished what He did.
The sooner we come to the end of our meagre resources and begin to 'patiently' trust Gods word the better it will be for us, the Lord, the Church and the world.
'Patience' is the third word that we must ponder over, this is the fourth time it has appeared in these studies already, it points to the long wait of a sentry on duty during the dark hours.
To remain on guard in anticipation of a sudden attack, it can occur at any moment so he must remain vigilant on duty.
David knew this literally during his skirmishes with King Saul, he could never relax for a moment as the wily king tracked down the king in waiting.
The fact was he could never relax until the enemy was slain or dead, it was a constant battle running for his life but the Lord was His protector.
It is this patience that is needed if we are going to conquer in the last day, to quietly but persistently study Gods word applying it to our situation and then standing firm that He will honour on the Great Day of Judgement.
Our Father honours faithfulness and none more so than in the trusting and obeying of His word, so do not the enemy rob us of our final reward by his deception.
David learned the secrets as a boy out with the sheep in hostile conditions, he took on the lion and the bear in the strength of the Lord and as an older man he took on powers and authorities the same way.
I am so glad that we can read these experiences of godly men and women not as eulogy to the great achievements or as tributes to some exploits that they had performed.
No they come to us as living testimonies to the saving and keeping power of the Living God who changes not, that means He is still doing such strengthening work in His people today.
Many a saint over the years has witnessed to the mighty strengthening of the Lord in adverse situations when the body and mind have cried out to the Lord for help and He came to them in power and overcoming strength.
These folk have come to v 83 a graphic picture that we do not know to much about today but it is the scene in an eastern tent where wine skins were hung up to dry.
The skins were left to hang growing black and sooty in the heat but they became wrinkled and worn in the smoke filled room.
David saw the image of the lined furrowed face caused by the sorrow and oppression that he faced, he was crying out under severe pressure for God to come and comfort him.
His mind is parched by the heat of the battle, his body is tired of running around, his mental suffering through slander and deception had brought him to a collapsed state.
His tormented mind thought of people looking on him as an old worn out wine skin good for nothing and having no useful purpose in life.
Well he looks at himself and then in his weakness He looks to the Lord, we are never to old to learn new secrets from the Lord, whether worn out in the fray or lying on a bed in pain or suffering in silence on the battle field of life.
Our Father comes through His word to us and reveals some wonderful truths to us and wee become refreshed, renewed and revived for the next phase of life.
Now let us pause for a moment or two because there could well be folk looking at this and thinking it was alright for David and the great men and women who have come through life in ye light of Gods word.
I am not in their category just a simple disciple of Jesus seeking to gain mastery in life over temptation and victory through the trials we are called to go through
Well you happen to be the kind of person that the Lord is looking carefully over today and He wants you to go on diligently studying and applying His word so that His strength will be poured through you to overcome.
We all need His strength as we all need to apply His word, our heavenly Father is not looking for complicated situations to arise to prove His power but He is longing for simple trust and faith to be demonstrated by His children.
In an age of 'youth promoting' and older people being like the blackened wine skins seen as being of no use our Father is lifting up the battered, wrinkled diligent men and women
and using them for His glory.
We do not know how long we have to live on earth v 84 but we can learn how to live one day at a time, to make the maximum use of the hours of today bringing us to the source of our reviving strength, the Living God.
The world may persecute us but the Lord promises strength for the day and all along the way so that we become overcomer's through the strength of the Lord.
The persecutors dig the holes for us to fall into but the Lord gives us discernment to see them in advance v 85 and that maddens the persecutors but gladdens the heart of the diligent.
We can look at the pits as warning signs so that we can keep clear of them, they can become beacons to the faithful that mark out the path to heaven.
Of course if we are not diligent we find that we fall into those holes at regular intervals it is not the Lords fault that we fell but our own, because we are relying on our own strength.
'Persecution' v 86 comes in varied forms some come in violent forms with beatings and killings from vicious evil minds seeking to show that might is right.
Some times it is through intellectual scheming and plotting seeking to pull down the church by argument and some times it is politically formed seeking to overthrow the church.
Persecution can be personal and bitter seeking to overthrow Gods standard but it can be collective, pursued by malicious minds with hot tempers to destroy the church.
Persecution is allowed to draw us all closer together and closer to the Lord, God was as close to David in the cave of Adullam as He we as in the worship times before the Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle.
Persecution seems to get its way many times but we need ever to remind ourselves that the persecutors will face the wrath of Gods judgement on the Great Day of Judgement.
The amazing truth hit me many years ago that the greatest persecutors of their day lived as if there was no God but in a flash they were confronted with Him when death took them into eternity.
The Christian believer has no fear of death it is the entrance into the heavenlies, there they will enjoy the constant present of the Lord for eternity but their detractors only face a lost eternity in hell.
Now in the midst of great persecution we look up to the Lord and He 'quickens' us that is revives and restores, the word comes nine times in the Psalm and it is operating today.
We open our thoughts today with the terrific assurance that should rejoice our hearts and our minds should be excited and our tongues praising the Lord at the open word 'forever' v 89.
'Forever' it literally means eternity, endlessness, no beginning and no ending as our earthly time has, we operate with a clock and diary mentality we cannot understand endlessness.
The truth is Gods word was given in eternity before ever it was written for earthlings to understand, the bible is for human beings to understand and apply.
The word 'forever' is the root word for eternity, everlasting, eternal, antiquity, time past and the distant future, all mind blowing thoughts but all inside the grasp of the Living God and His Risen Son.
The Lord Jesus came out of eternity to be born of woman so as to be able to identify Him self with us human beings.
He never lost His Kingship when He came to earth as the Son of God, He did not give up His throne of authority when He became the Son of Man, He came out of eternity to rescue people on earth from a lost eternity.
He did not lose His position in heaven when He died on the Cross at Calvary, He did not forfeit His rights as the Son of God when His body was taken from the cross dead.
His word did not lose an atom of power when He lay silent in the tomb waiting the Resurrection morning, emphatically no never because His word came out of eternity and reigns now in eternity as it always will.
The 'beginning of the world' Isaiah 64 v 4 is pointing to the beginning of time, the word of God Genesis 1 is clear cut, God spoke and it was done, completed.
The word of God was clearly arranged in the heavenly place before time was He reigned supreme in eternity and His word is absolute there is no room for discussion, what the Creator God has stated that He will perform.
We can totally rely upon His word, it is 'settled' that is established so that it cannot be moved, men have burnt it, blasted it, berated it, banished it, branded it but they have never got rid of it.
Empire tyrants tried to get rid of it, communism dictators tried to destroy it, intellectual scholars have tried to minimise its effect but whatever has come and gone the word of the Lord endureth forever.
The truth is the Christian disciple is resting their case on the immutable fact that the word of God is not changing like the whims and fancies of men but is for all times and for all people.
Now what assurance this gives to the soul that is living under hardship of any kind today, the word of the Lord stands supreme over all literature of any kind in any generation.
We play with it at our peril, we change it at our peril and we ignore it at our peril, Gods word does not need our interfering with or mighty explanations.
Any child of God in simple faith can bring the word into their life with mighty power that baffles those onlooking for failure
All e need is an open diligent heart and mind that see the word for what it is and then applying it to their lives can expect a spiritual harvest ultimately.
My beloved friends the 'word of God is settled' the purposes of God are established and revealed through the word and we can trust it.
'The word of God' contains promises in it that are being fulfilled in the lives of fellow believers every day all over the earth who are applying them.
'The word of God' reveals provisions that are eternal, the Christian is a sojourner on earth and their provisions are fully met in Gods word as they make their progress homeward up Gods holy hill.
Oh the wonder of Gods word and yet the wonder is so few Christians are studying and applying it to their lives, being robbed by Satan's deception.
In v 90 our Father reveals through His servant David that 'all generations' the word means without exception are brought under the influence of Gods word.
It is through the 'faithfulness' of God, that is the firm supporting faithfulness of His promises
worked out from the beginning of time in human beings that brings us to this moment of time.
It was the Living God who 'established the earth' in whole universe, He placed it where it is so that the amazing truths revealed by modern knowledge makes it a wonder to behold.
We are not here because of some mighty explosion but we are in the precise place in the universe where the Creator wanted us to be v 91.
The Creation was no haphazard event but it was a detailed event that brought all the creative works of God into being and that is summed up in the holy scriptures.
Equally we humans living on the planet earth are here exactly where the Creator wants us to be so that He is willing to communicate with us.
'Established' points to the fact that the Creator has firmly fixed the boundary and limits on earth so that we can rest assured that He will complete what He has started to do.
These truths are the base for us to build our faith upon, because as He is working out His purposes with the earth and universe so He is working out His plans for the Christian for eternity.
We are not here on earth to try to bargain with God, we are not arguing with Him when we vent our feelings but He is willing to receive the repentant soul no matter who they are through the completed work of His Son.
These words are 'established' deeply rooted in Gods word and the Creator delighted in detail is delighted in the out working of the details across the universe.
How much more delight it brings to Him when a minute piece of His creation comes humbly to His footstool to seek the application of one of His promises.
This is an issue that sets Christianity apart from religion, the changed life brings them into living direct communication with their Creator through the Lord Jesus Christ.
We look at the ultimate here, the final acts on earth, the Creator outlines His plan of salvation in His word, we can either accept is or we can reject it and the end product of our life will be our destination at death.
If we reject the word of God try as hard as we may with our own mental understanding and knowledge gained we will perish into an eternity separated from God is our destiny.
On the other hand if we accept Gods word and apply it to our life then the promise of eternal life in the heavenly place is guaranteed by the Lord Jesus.
The words of v 94 are solid foundation for the Christian believer to build on, we are saved for time and eternity when once we have put our trust and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that means walking according to Gods word.
Christianity is not an insurance policy for heaven but it is the way of life that the Lord Jesus wants us to be living whilst we spend the rest of our days on earth.
The word of God is a complete blue print for the Christian to live by, not by struggling to keep it but through obedience to the Creator God we come through triumphantly as David did in the Old Covenant.
Now those obedient souls can expect a lot of trouble from those rejecting the word v 95 they are waiting to pounce on any wrong doer whatever their status in life.
It is a battle royal in the media today where defects are soon brought into the open by evil minds intent on destruction but they are only deceiving themselves.
'Destroy' v 95 means a variety of things from desolation of a land to destruction of property and to failure of individuals, a favourite use of the word in scripture is to cause folk to wander around aimlessly.
This latter one is used for the Christian who has been defeated and stays in a morose way as a result, the Living God wants us not only to repent of the sin but then to rise up renewed in the Spirit to walk on the life of righteousness.
So do not sit moaning about your lot there is forgiveness with the Lord and then refreshing as well so that we can still climb up Gods holy hill.
What an exceedingly broad word v 96 we have to build our lives upon, get climbing on the promises and stop just sitting on the premises of the local church.
The contrast between being a defeated person and a delighted one is brought out in v 97 with real power and authority today.
'O how I love Thy law' comes from a victorious life that has been rooted on Gods word that has brought him into living dynamic contact with the Creator God.
The trials and troubles have been multiplied but so has the promises of grace to him and so the do to all who seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
The desire of the heart becomes the delight of the soul and that brings us to the determination to yield more and more to Gods word.
The desire to come to the Lord early in the day reveals the depth of love that we have with our Lord Jesus, do we come with eager anticipation of meeting with the Lord?
The delight is manifested amongst the saints as they share notes on what has been revealed to them in the quiet place by the Holy Spirit, do you share your delights?
The determination to follow the path of righteousness comes as we apply the word and ass we see it working out in the varied circumstances that we face day by day.
Ah the delight of sharing the word and receiving it first hand for application is never at the mercy of inquisitive arguers.
'I love the Lord' Psalm 116 v 1 'because He has heard my voice' He came to my distress and met my need, He flew to my relief when I was afflicted and comforted me.
He opens up the word to me and has bountifully blessed me as I read, study and meditate on it, truly 'Thy faithfulness is on all generations' v 90.
What a mighty God He is there is none like Him, majestic in holiness and yet condescends to stoop down to lift folk like me up and to cause us to walk in righteousness.
He who has established the earth comes to establish the Christian disciple causing it to stand firm in the midst of all their troubles.
What a tremendous thought comes through here, that the Creator is in control of the whole universe naming each star, planet and constellation and He stoops down in particular to planet earth.
On that little planet are multitudes of folk who are known specially by name by the same Creator as forgiven sinners who are washed in the blood of the Lamb.
He has brought them into a special relationship and is building them up into One Body that He will delight in on earth as He will in eternity.
The body of people has been growing ever since the The Lord Jesus died on Calvary and rose from the dead in Resurrection power, our heavenly Father is watching over them all.
We note the word 'continually' there is never a day, hour or even a second when He is not conscious of them all v 91.
Now we look up to our precious Saviour and to our Glorious Father to magnify and exalt them for who they are and then for what they have done for us personally.
The Creator has done what no one else could do for us He has recreated us in Christ Jesus His beloved Son who is our Saviour, made us anew, brought us back to live in holiness on the path of righteousness..
We turn out attention to a precious thought in v 92 the laws that the Creator is working with
these laws are divine and the construction of the Universe is divinely planned.
These laws operate without any human intervention or construction, the universe revolves around these fixed laws and we cannot change, alter or touch them.
The truth is we are living inside the boundary of those laws, we are very limited in what we can do and where we can go.
Our knowledge has expanded over the past decade of time beyond our understanding and reveals how little we really know about the vast creation that we are a minute part of.
Now the Creator has laid down laws by which we must accept if we are going to commune ans communicate with Him, 'be ye holy for I am holy' is number one.
Very quickly we realise what unholy people we really are, we are self sufficient in many ways but correcting ourselves from the unholy mess we get into is beyond us.
Then the Creator opens up His thoughts to us in the Holy Bible and as we cannot help ourselves He came down to help us to become holy people.
The Law of God negates self effort to live holy lives but it is positive in revealing the way out of our dilemma by showing us the higher way of living is possible when sin is repented of and forgiven.
We then move on from mere human thinking to live in Gods way and thinking, holiness is an obligation and not an option to those who would walk according to Gods law.
There is an amazing transformation taking place, where once the bible was dead to us it is now our delight, we enjoy communing with God through His word.
It is hard and tough in places but it is there that we see the hand of the Lord operating bringing us into the light and understanding of His ways.
We must make sure that it is not human wisdom that keeps us away from studying the word, we are such fickle creatures even when we have the Holy Spirit to aid us.
We should also make sure that it is not the enemy of our souls that is keeping us from receiving the benefits and blessings of Gods word.
He to is subtle in his operations and will do anything and everything possible to keep us from Gods word and applying it to our lives.
That word 'delight' comes nine times in the Psalm and five of them point us to the pleasure that the scriptures bring to us and to the rejoicing that is motivated through studying them.
The sheer joy of application and the guaranteed satisfaction as we practice them in daily operation fills the soul with delight and the mind with praise.
There was a hymn that we used to sing 'Oh the pure delight of a single hour when before the Throne we spend' that sentiment has gone out of our thinking today.
We do not like to bow before the Throne of Grace because we are taken up with singing and dancing on our feet, if it is not lively we get bored.
Satan is robbing the saints of their inheritance, he is filling the days and hours with activities that wear us out and giving us little opportunity to truly worship the Living God.
We note the 'perish' v 92 because it is very pertinent today, it means ready to pass away, it points to a flower or plant starved of water drooping before dying.
Many a Christian is seen in that perilous state running all over the place, worn out as a result having little or no time for the Lord and they are spiritually dying on their feet.
The obedient soul is like the tree planted by the water that will not wither but in the fullness of time will bring forth its bud then its leaf and finally its fruit, all quickened by the Spirit of God.
In the midst of winter the tree is established in the ground by storm, winds, snow and ice but come the spring and the plant begins to show life and growth, come the Autumn and it is abounding with fruit.
The picture is opened up to us to reveal the nature of spiritual growth, the trials and troubles we face are the winds and storms that make us strong in the faith.
The cold isolation felt amongst the worldlings and the frozen conversations in our midst are but the stuff that strengthens the resolute soul in their quest to become godly people.
Come the passing from the earthly scene and our entrance into eternity we will produce the fruit for our Fathers glory, that will bring honour, praise and glory to His name.
We return back to the picture of the 'fruit tree' and to the constant threat that the wicked have on us v 95 they are waiting all the day long hoping that we will fall.
Never forget this because the enemy of our souls is relishing the fall of any single Christian and will practically participate in their down fall when he is given an opportunity to do so.
They 'waited' the word can be used at harvest when the bundles of hay are twisted together so that the bundle may stand upright to dry completely.
The harvester ties the bundles with a piece of chord and that is a similar situation every day that Satan is seeking to tie us up so that we become ineffective for Christ.
The truth is the enemy is eagerly looking and waiting for the right moment to catch us of guard and then to tie us in knots with doubt and failure.
The way to counter these wiles of the enemy is to keep the lovers tryst with the Lord through His word, here is safety as well as succulent food for the observant disciple.
In v 96 we look at the word 'perfection' or completion, David is looking at the broad canvas here, he reminds him self of the limitations of human nature, we are very finite but God is Infinite.
David looks at the conquest over the enemy, Goliath the strongest, Asahel the swiftest, Ahithophel the wisest and Absalom the fairest but they do not come near the perfection that Gods word reveals.
David is going all out to become the best that He can for the Lord seeing that the Lord has certainly been the best for David.
'I love the law but also the promises that it contains, the word of God is practical in all situations of life and those who have proved it experimentally will stand testimony to the truth.
Far to many Christians are bogged down in the law and legalism that they are not open to receive the promises that God has given to them.
Here is a situation where as we saw in the last study the enemy has tied us in knots so that we cannot produce the fruit that we should be through applying the promises of God.
If we look at the amount of time we spend meditating on the word of God to see how much we love Him, how much time do you spend with Him?
This is an easy question that will receive a simple answer but it is highly likely it will be an embarrassing one for most of us.
David delighted himself in the Lord and spent hours daily in His conscious presence that brought not only the promises out but the blessings as well.
His delight was to be alone with the Lord and the older he got the wiser he got as he recognised the need to be alone with God as against the hustle and bustle of life.
We have already mentioned it but it is well worth pondering over that the devil makes sure we are kept active and busy so that we do not have the time to be alone with our Father.
The worn out Christians litter the churches on Sunday and many use Sunday as fun-day because they have more need time to relax and enjoy recreation than for the Lord.
There is no need to explain your situation or indeed to justify your state 'where your heart is there is your treasure' Matthew 6 v 21.
If we do not put the Lord first then we are in trouble to start with, it is our commitment to the Lord that should governs our life and not the physical activities.
We note here that David reveals to us that wisdom that id gained in the quiet time alone with the Lord affects your life in every part.
He has become wiser than most people because he receives wisdom from the Creator that is beyond the knowledge of mere human nature.
Meditating on Gods word will bring out divine wisdom as we seek to apply it, there is deeper knowledge in the scriptures than mere glance reading reveals.
The problems of life as revealed in the Proverbs are solved by applying the pearls of wisdom from the Bible to our life.
'Wiser' points not to head knowledge here but to the practical out working of the word that brings solutions to the problems that we face.
Not just to moral affairs but to secular problems as well, physical issues as well as spiritual situations because the study of the word brings us into a deeper relationship with the Living God.
If I set my target to attain the highest possible standard of living then I need the higher wisdom from God to reveal the standard to me and to empower me to achieve it.
Getting such wisdom comes from habitually seeking to receive it from the Lord as Proverbs 9 vs.9 – 10, this is where we get spiritual insight into situations from.
Many are the Old Testament characters who enjoyed being endowed with Gods wisdom, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Daniel all spring to mind as receiving divine wisdom to help them in their dilemmas.
The spent time with the Lord until they found out the answers to the situations that faced them and they learned the truth that God is never in a hurry.
He delights to spend time with us, He created us for such a lovely relationship but sin has marred it and the rushing round saints need to take heed of the word to slow down and find the reality of true wisdom in God.
When I look at the New Testament characters like Peter and James it was a revolution of love that slowed them down to listen to the Master speaking to them.
John, Luke and Paul all enjoyed diviner wisdom because they learned to come aside to commune with the Lord, the prison cell became their Sanctuary as they worshipped and meditated on the Lord.
None of them had an easy passage as they sojourned on earth they knew the rigours and hardships of life but they also knew wisdom that came from above as a result.
All of these characters were able to testify to Kings, princes and the public that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father, they received wisdom that was beyond the knowledge of the best of men.
There is no reason why anyone of us should not acquire the divine wisdom that is needed to see us through life in the same magnitude, then how much do you love the Lord?
We can get wisdom that is beyond our spiritual teachers by seeking to get spiritual wisdom first hand from the Lord v 99 the teachers in the church need to be taught consistently as do the pupils.
It is easy to drop into a rut and think that we know all there is too know from the scriptures
when in truth we only know what we retain in our head having little experience of the reality of it in life.
The soul trusting the Lord to fulfil His word in them has the enormous advantage over the human understanding of things when the rials, troubles and tribulations hit the Church.
They know the way ahead is to trust and lean hard on the Lord and not to shy away from the circumstances that they find themselves in.
One is so conscious of the church living on the lower spiritual level of living that spiritual understanding is seen in the new things that the church devises to keep going.
True biblical understanding has been tempered by folk in leadership who accept their own understanding of scripture in the light of the circle of similar minded people they meet with.
We find only a few folk who really wake up in the morning with the thought of the privilege
of meeting with the Lord as soon as possible.
To gain 'understanding' as David refers to means to gain spiritual wisdom that is only gained by having regular communion with the Lord.
'Understanding' in v 99 is to act prudently, to be able to balance things out in the mind from Gods view point as well as our own.
It means to weigh things up and to come to the right or correct understanding of the issues involved, to come to the right judgement for the benefit of all concerned.
'Understanding in v 100 means to distinguish between right and wrong, to discern the truth of the matter and not giving up until the Lord has made known the truth to them.
The thought behind the word is the God given insight that enables us to live in harmony with our Father and with each other.
This understanding does not approach issues with a bias but because of the living relationship with the Lord we can face the issues in the confidence that He will make it clear and plain to us intelligently.
There is depth of meaning in this word that can only be known by those keeping close to the Lord not just as protector but as the teacher instructor on all the issues of life.
To gain such understanding David points out that he has 'refrained' from following certain actions that would have led him to make false judgements v 101.
To 'refrain' literally means to 'keep shut or closed' or to with hold ones self from going along a particular pathway that leads to thinking or doing evil.
We start by refusing to think in a way that puts distance between us and our Father, we refrain from following any course of action that breaks relations with our Father.
We continue following His word that refreshes us and brings us to the right conclusion for those issues that confront us daily.
We should be constantly looking for ways that draw close to the Lord and not for ways to distance ourselves from Him.
It only takes a small piece of grit to damage the eye, a very small crack spoils the lens of a telescope and distorts the picture and it only needs human thinking on issues to destroy spiritual harmony and unity.
The thought that comes in v 103 is only appreciated by those whose aim and goal in life is to become the person that our Father wants them to become.
The humanly harsh treatment in spiritual correction is soon forgotten when the benefits flow from the promises that are believed, received and acted upon.
We seek to follow on from the last study here, the as the succulent word of v 103 that is sweet to taste becomes the shining word that reveals the way ahead in v 105.
The pleasant to taste word of God has become the precious light for my sight so that I can walk in the right path for my benefit but for the glory of my Lord as well.
The word for 'lamp' is not a floodlight to give light all around but it a candle that gives just enough light for the few step ahead.
One great human problem is that it wants to see into the future to see what lies ahead of it weeks and months in front, but the Lord works on today and gives enough light for us to walk safely through today.
The 'lamp' is a candle and the 'light' is the illumination that enables to see where we are going, in a spiritual sense it points to the truth that we are sojourners on earth walking towards our eternal home.
This truth is opened up for us in 1 John 1 where in v 3 tells us that light has brought us into fellowship with the Father and the Son and as a result we fellowship one with another.
That light is practical v 7 because as long as we walk in the light we can commune with God and each other because we have been cleansed through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now what we know experimentally in our life now David enjoyed in equal measure as he looked forward to Messiahs coming to fulfil the blood sacrifices of the Old Testament.
The whole emphasis of 1 John 1 is to walk in the light, to apply the word to our life, to enjoy the promises of the word in our daily lives and that will bring us into harmony with the Father's will of loving one another.
The Bible is the lamp and the scriptures the light that beams forth for us to walk in safely through this spiritual mine field that we walk through during our life on earth.
The ray of light is enough to see us through the day and will guide us safely through the temptations that are strewn across our way by our enemy.
We need to keep walking in the light so that we can see the way ahead and by the Holy Spirit guiding and guiding we will keep away from the traps and snares set to cause us to fall.
The traps are seen here as the multiplicity of 'afflictions' v 107 brought into being by our enemy but these have proven to be blessings in disguise as they have brought us closer to our Lord and Saviour.
The light not only reveals the way ahead but it 'quickens' one of the eleven times the word is used in the Psalm, pointing to being kept alive in adverse circumstances.
When everything else around us seems hopeless we can come back to the word and find solace and consolation in it and by applying it to our situation we can come through those dark periods with joy in our hearts.
David then brings us to the thought of praising the Lord for all of His many blessings that He pours out on His children day by day, even in the hardest of times we should praise and
The Lord honours such praise in adverse conditions, He knows where we are and what we are going through and delights to hear the song of praise coming from pure heart and lips.
'Accept' means to take delight in the prayers and offerings that we bring to the Lord, 'I beseech Thee' literally means 'I pray' in a humble modest way as the servant to their superior.
The 'freewill offerings' brings out the thought of spontaneous worship, the worship that is voluntary and done with a fervent spirit.
Such worship opens one up to be taught of the Lord because the heart and spirit is right with the Lord and open to listen carefully to the Spirit of God.
The word 'teach' here in v 107 brings out the thought of practical experience because the yielded spirit is willing to receive correction and comfort from their Tutor.
They are open to receive the correct teaching on issues of life and willing to put them into practise as a result of this divine communion.
Job knew the truth of v 109 'my soul is continually in my hand' Job 13 v 14 the picture of desperation when the soul has been obedient and put their life in danger as a result.
Not knowing the full picture they seem to have put themselves in great danger but the greater picture reveals they have put themselves into the safer hand of God.
This is a thought that we can take with us today and every day, when we reach out and put ourselves in the hand of God we are completely safe even though it is perilous in our eyes.
Our beloved Saviour put His life into the hand of God on Calvary as Luke 23 v 46 recalls but death was not the end it was the entrance to the Resurrection.
Many the time Paul came to this conclusion that his life was in his hands but he knew that his life was in the safe keeping of His precious Saviour all the time.
Whether in a riot as at Ephesus, in the earthquake in Philippi or sailing on the treacherous seas towards Rome, 'I believe God' cries the old faithful warrior.
This is the situation that the Living God puts obedient children through to prove that their faith is not just words from the mouth but from their yielded heart and will.
Very few of us are called to go through such extremities because our Father knows that we have not got such faith but He does still stretch us to prove that our faith us genuinely real.
Peter was the one who got out of the boat on Galilee we do not hear that any of the others wanted to join him, had they done so they could have triumphed with him.
It is easy for us to talk and even write about our faith in Christ but God tries our faith as a goldsmith tries the gold for impurities and that involves putting us through the refining fire.
The promise is that when new go through the fire He is with us and when we come from walking through the flames we shall come forth with joy as 1 Peter 1 vs.6 – 7 reveals.
Most of us want salvation but we do not want the refining that goes with it, we do not like to think or acknowledge that there are areas of our life that need dealing with and that rapidly.
The fact that we have the desire to seek after God and His righteousness is a mighty thing but to take the step of faith and seek His refining brings us on to a different level of Christian discipleship.
If we are really going to live by faith then our faith will be tested beyond our capability to take it but then that is 'putting our life into His hands' and not leaving them in our own.
Then there is the coming to terms with the enemy who becomes real when we really seek is overtly concerned with those willing to comply with Gods word.
What a battle takes place and continues to take place between truth and half truth, between the issues of right and wrong thinking and actions.
The battle of the flesh and the spirit brings us to our knees especially when other Christians seem to have little or no desire to seek after the Lord.
Then the 'wicked' those folk living as if God did not exist how they rear their head continually seeking to put us down and to knock us out if they could v 110.
Have noticed the number of 'experts' arising with their knowledge denouncing the scriptures as being accurate and authentic, shouting out through the media that the bible cannot be trusted.
A picture of the last day 'scoffers' but the damage they are doing because they speak on television or write their non sense in the media.
The onslaught is on preparing the way for the Lord Jesus to return in His power and glory but today is a day of preparation for those waiting for His coming, a day of refinement.
The wicked have laid the snare or trap for us but the Lord will bring us safe through, He will enable us to stand unharmed on the 'dragon, scorpion and adder' Psalm 91 v 13 and that is a promise v 14.
The truth is revealed in v 15 'he shall call upon Me' and 'I will answer him' what a thought to go through the day with, whenever we call to our Father He is alongside us to answer.
The word of the Living God is our 'heritage' v 111 and this demands thought for a while, 'heritage' is a possession to seize hold of, to own for oneself.
The scriptures are part of our permanent inheritance note 'forever' without ending, the word came from eternity and will remain intact throughout eternity.
When we pass through the trials and troubles of life the word of God brings comfort but it also brings understanding of the problems and wisdom on how to deal with them.
So the promises of God are for all of us to possess or own to ourselves and they are to be used correctly in the trials of life so that we possess our possessions practically.
The word 'perform' v 112 the word is an important one pointing to it being kept, to being laboured in so as to prove its worth and produce praise as a result.
The word 'perform' v 106 means to stand firm on but in v 112 it brings out the thought of executing it with a plan of action bringing out the depth of the word in daily living.
May we stand firm on the word by applying its promises to our life each day.
The opening v 113 ties in with the thoughts of the last study, 'I hate vain thoughts' this points us to the many ideas mainly human that seek to belittle the word of God.
There are many Christians who do not see the promises of God in the word and who are content to remain that way but speak out against those who seek to apply it..
Their words are 'vain' that is empty or fleshly that have no eternal value at all, they come from a head and heart that does not want 'teaching' from the Lord.
The original word for 'vain' here means to be divided in thought or to become sceptical and full of doubts, David met many such religious folk as well as those not interested in spiritual issues.
The half hearted way of life is nothing new but it sadly effects the local church producing many weeds when there should be an abundant harvest in view.
What a contrast is seen when the word of God is believed and practised in a community the affects are obvious amongst the young through Sunday School, the youth through Bible class and the adults in their prayer and bible study.
These areas of Christian living that has gradually become defunct through apathy and doubts amongst Gods people.
The double minded person is a half hearted person as 1 Kings 18 and 21 reveal graphically Hezekiah was a King after David's heart 18 v 3 whilst Manasseh was the compete opposite 21 v 2.
Manasseh pulled down not just the fabric buildings but the foundation of society v 3 as he went about his evil ways, it is far easier to pull down than to build up as Manasseh found out to his cost.
David had laid the foundation for society that was wholesome and true to Gods word and Hezekiah continued to build upon it for the nations good but Mannaseh sought to destroy it because his heart was evil.
There are major lessons to learn here in an age when the motto in many churches is 'we've moved on' and I am not sure where they have moved on too.
One thing for sure holiness and righteousness is not seen or found in many places and fewer preachers of righteousness are being heard amongst the noise from the pulpits.
We should hear a clarion sound of truth from the pulpit but alas 'vain' thoughts and empty rhetoric are regularly heard sadly pulling down rather than building on the solid foundation.
The truth is for many saints they go to their 'hiding place' found at the feet of the Master
daily, sitting quietly meditating on Gods word the Author being the Tutor..
The hiding place is covered with promises for which they are truly grateful, what comfort in the promises 'I am with you' surrounding us with the knowledge that our heavenly Father will never leave us no matter the conditions.
Then the 'hiding place' produces the promise of confidence 'as thy days so shall thy strength be' we bow t the footstool of Grace and draw from the divine supply of strength and power enough for today.
The 'hiding place' reveals the consolation that is being prepared for us when we pass from this journey on earth into the King of Kings presence for eternity.
Three delightful promises that bring confidence to us as we wait in our Father's presence seeking instructions for the tasks of today.
We note the phrase 'my shield' David knew the value of the small shield that fitted on the arm that stones and small arrows could be deflected by.
As a shepherd and as a King he knew the tracking enemy would fire to hurt, maim or even kill him but the shield was constantly available for use.
He would not carry an ornate gold with jewelled covering shield but a simple metal one that was far more effective and he reminds us as he did himself that the Lord is our shield on the battlefield of life.
Today we rarely talk about the 'shield of faith' just occasionally we hear a message on the Whole Armour but without pointing to the fact that we need to wear it every day along the way..
Paul is not suggesting that we wear it in Ephesians 6 but the Lord is commanding that we wear it if we are going to be a good soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ.
What man will go to war without being fully covered for warfare, then even more so for the Christian disciple engaged in an endless war on earth with the evil enemy.
David wanted to be the best man he could be for the Living God and certainly did not want to be ashamed at the end of his life for his actions committed during his life.
It is an interesting thought that David enjoyed the same 'hope' that we do, the definite hope of dwelling in the presence of the Almighty God for eternity.
He may have lived in a palace on earth but he desired the presence of God with much greater longing, to dwell with God in the heavenly place, that was his real home.
The 'hope' in v 116 is the guaranteed promise of the Living God that where He is we will be also, there is nothing or no one who can stop the Christian disciple from knowing the reality of this promised 'hope'.
Neither can anyone rob us of the promised 'strength' that our heavenly Father gives to the obedient saint that enables them to triumph openly over the enemy v 117.
We maybe tremble v 120 on the Rock but the Rock will never tremble underneath us, 'Thou art my hiding place' what security this gives to us.
Equally 'thou hast trodden down the enemy of Thy word' v 118, this is one very good reason why we need to keep close to the Lord because we are completely safe walking alongside Him.
'Trodden down' literally means to be rendered null and void, of no use or value, the New Testament picture is of the Roman Legion Commander returning from a war conquest leading the fettered captives along the Arch de Triumph in Rome and putting his foot on the neck of their leader.
Our Lord Jesus has conquered Satan and stands in the heavenly place as the Conqueror before His Father of all our enemies and should triumph with Him.
We look at the enemy and look at naked self deception, their uniform is 'falsehood' and that infers hypocrisy but it also points to the fact that they are speaking lies when the make their claims to us.
They say they will kill us in fact they only assist us to make the simple journey to the heavenly place as Stephen found out in Acts 7.
The promise stands firm in all situations, being 'absent from the body means being present with the Lord' instantly we leave the earthly shell we go to be with our Lord and Saviour.
Psalm 119 vs.121 – 128 come before our gaze today and what a feast we have laid before us to enjoy and to appreciate on our journey today.
We start with a longing for a quieter life that we have had in recent days, the battle has been hard and long as we are confronted by the enemy continually.
We have 'stood firm' against the onslaught of the enemy v 121 but they still linger in the shadows making their presence known.
The plea 'leave me not' is a desperate sigh from a beleaguered soul longing for respite in their battle, maybe they have not been quite as diligent in their walk with the Lord in the past few days basking in the glory of the latest battle won.
The study time has lessoned or the prayer time has not been as vigilant for a few weeks and the sense of Gods close presence has disappeared.
The experience is known by all who seek to walk on the path of righteousness, we can easily take God for granted at our peril.
He brings us to heel and correction just as He did His servant Job, in Job 17 v 3 the weary soul battered by experiences beyond his control has lost touch with base and feels desperately lonely.
The longing for Gods literal presence in eternity fills his soul and mind as his body rots away with the crippling disease that covers him.
Little did the old spiritual warrior know what lay ahead of him in a very short space of time but there were lessons to be learned, we are never to old to learn as Job was to find out in the immediate future.
We can take an immediate lesson from Job in the fact that as long as we look at ourselves we look at problems but when we look up to our Lord and Saviour we can see things in a different light
Eternity becomes real and our hope is quickened by looking up for the solutions of life's problems on earth, our eternal home is waiting for us when our journey on earth is completed.
The word 'surety' v 122 is bound up in the promises of God being the guarantee that what He has promised that He will perform in His appointed time.
So the anchor is the Lord and not our situations, the word 'fail' is to do with our earthly shell wanting something that is in front of us but not yet revealed fully to us.
How easy it is for human nature to want the beautiful future to be realised in the here and now when the battle is at its hottest, to escape the pressures and to be with the Lord is a natural tendency.
The truth v 124 is real, the Living God only deals in 'mercy' with the whole human race and He is continually showing His mercy to His erring children, His mercy like His word endureth forever.
Now we are linking 'mercy' with 'teaching' here and we should ask ourselves the question
'have I been missing lessons recently', that is the base line to start from.
If we are missing the quiet time lessons and communion with our Father and Saviour then we can expect them to bring situations into being that will bring us back to their footstool.
It is in the mercy of the Living god that we can approach the Throne of Grace through the Lord Jesus Christ, He has opened up the way for us to come to seek after the Lord.
In His mercy He accepts repentant sinners to wash them clean through the blood of the Lamb.
Instantly there is true confession there is immediate forgiveness, then there should be total commitment so that we walk in the mercy of God on the right pathway that leads us to the Throne continually.
The right pathway involves spending time alone with God each day seeking to gain knowledge that builds us up spiritually into the person with a Christ like character.
We can overcome the temptations that surround us, we can gain mastery over the world, flesh and devil by keeping that close communion with the Lord.
David recognised this truth and cried out to the Lord to help him understand the words that were given to him and to give the necessary aid to help him live it out.
There is nothing easy about the righteous path that God has laid out in His word, it is tough to stand firm when the flesh is enjoying the pleasures of the world that are a trap set be the enemy.
Satan does not mind us playing around after meetings with banter, jokes and gossip as long as it detracts you from taking in the word that has been given.
Satan is happy for you to read the bible occasionally as long as you do not start to practise it in your daily life so that you become a godly minded person.
Satan does not mind you wearing yourself out chasing around the meeting circuit and the fellowship sessions just as long as he can keep you active and busy tiring yourself out and unable to find time for communion with God.
We are servants of the Living God and as such we are called to be obedient to His word
v 125, to listen and to learn by regular teaching by the Lord to us personally.
It soon becomes apparent to the diligent disciple of Jesus Christ that the church is being led by worn out people who need to stand back and let the Lord do His word His way.
Time for us to show our love to Him, love that has its grounding in Gods love that was demonstrated on Calvary for the world to see and know about.
Gods love that knows no limits but is poured out on His people so that they can reveal it practically to the world and to the fellow saints, love that heals, binds and builds up in Jesus name.
As we open up our study today the thought comes to me 'when was the last time you told the Lord that His word is wonderful and that it was a privilege to receive it?
How often to you thank the Lord with a grateful heart that you can own and study the word in your own language without fear or favour?
It is an amazing fact that simple folk can gain knowledge and understanding from Gods word that leaves the intellectuals baffled and frustrated as they listen to the ministry gained at Gods footstool.
John Bunyan was a tinker by trade and thrown into prison because of his preaching but that did not cut him off from the Living God it gave him more time to commune with Him.
The Pilgrims Progress that he wrote in the years he was imprisoned is a brilliant classic read by millions of people with great delight, it was written from a grateful receptive heart in regular communion with God.
Education is a great thing especially when the Tutor is the Creator God, He speaks to us personally at out level of intake, He speaks to us in ways that we can apply to daily experience.
The longer I live the more grateful I am to Him for opening up the word to me and for speaking in ways that are simple and yet deeply profound.
Folk talk about the language of the bible with the 'thee' and 'Thou' given as examples, I cannot understand it, it does not occur to folk that Satan has blinded the eyes of Christians so that they cannot or do not want to study the word of God.
When we seek the Lord with all of our heart and mind we will find Him that is the promise of Gods word Deuteronomy 4 v 29 and Isaiah 55 v 6.
It is not the bible that is the problem but the half hearted heart that wants things without concentrating and consecrating themselves to receive it.
We look at v 130 to see this in scripture, the 'entrance' or doorway to truth is in Gods word, the scriptures in front of us open up the pathway that we should be walking along.
In Acts 17 v 3 Paul brings out of the scriptures the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ to people who were longing for Messiah to come to release them.
They had the scriptures and read them daily but did not understand them because they approached them with pre conceived ideas of what they meant.
The Apostle opened up the word of God in simple language revealing the person and work of the Lord Jesus fulfilling the prophetic word given to the Jews centuries before.
Paul opened up those precious scrolls with light and understanding leaving his hearers amazed through the simplicity of presentation.
Light dawned that day on dull minds that were full of human knowledge and understanding but many of them believed the word because it became alive to them as they listened.
In Luke 24 we find a similar experience on the days following the resurrection that when folk listened to the word it became alive to them because they wanted to know the truth from Gods word.
The 'simple' are those with little academic attainment, or with no achievement through human education, simple folk are not childish folk but people who seek after the Lord in repentance.
It was these folk that Master spent much time teaching them through parables and in picture language, speaking in a language they understood.
David did not mind aligning himself with such folk because spiritually speaking simplicity speaks much louder than a tirade of words hard to understand.
David wrote Psalms or spiritual songs in similar fashion touching the heart and minds of the hearer, in v 131 he looks at the parched animal sniffing for water after a desperate chase.
He likens his own experience to such an animal by pointing to himself hungering and thirsting for God in a desperate way and finding Him to bring solace to his heart and mind.
Have you ever felt this way for God, where you feel desperate to know His presence and no sacrifice is enough for you to give to find Him?
To seek the Lord and to receive the light that brightens up the darkness is a wonderful thing that still holds firm today, 'the entrance of Gods word giveth light'.
The Living God delights to bring light into our darkness, He longs to bring understanding on the issues that confound us and He is willing to do so to the seeking heart v 132.
We notice though that the light comes to those who will put it into practice v 133, 'order my steps' we are brought close to the Lord so that we can become the person that He wants us to become.
Here we look at the discipline that is involved in studying the word of God, it is not a casual glance or a quick reading of scripture but with concentrated effort and diligent study that the word becomes alive to us.
Gods gift of love is not to be spent on ourselves but on going out to share it with those around us who are struggling in the darkness.
In v 24 the word is 'our counsellor' here it is to put us in 'order' the outworking of what we receive is revealed in the transformed life that we demonstrate in the world.
We need to be not only aware of the traps but to be delivered from them v 134 else the taps become snares that hold us back from becoming the person that our Father wants us to be.
Gods love melts our heart and causes us to sorrow over the sin in us and the sin in the world v 136 and this should drive us closer to the Lord to sorrow for sinners.
To see sin from our Fathers point of view will horrify us and convict us about our current state, we will be drawn to Calvary and weep at our condition.
Then we will begin to look up and search out the teaching of the Lord and to present the promises of Gods word as a cheque to be cashed in His name.
Today we look up by faith to the Creator God whom we call 'Father' so often glibly without realising what we are saying, 'Father' points to the One who is Creator and controller of all.
He is provider and protector of His children born again of the Holy Spirit of God and through the sacrifice of His beloved Son but He is also the possessor of His children.
As possessor it gives Him the right to do with us what He desires and that is always for our benefit, holiness is a requirement not a request, it is a demand not only a desire, it is an obligation and not an option that Christians must live by.
Our God us holy and righteous v 137 and commands holy living because of His nature and being, the Lord Jesus makes us holy and the Holy Spirit enables us to live holy lives.
The word of God is holy and brings us into true conformity to righteous living that is why it is imperative for us to seek to live holy lives.
Not as monastic people tucked away but we are folk involved in the world living on the higher standard of living than the worldly one that we were used too before conversion.
We are aiming to become the person that our Righteous Father would have us become a holy and righteous people like Him.
Herein lies the battle that so many of us will not face, we are saved and right with God in the legal sense through the work of Christ but come the out working of salvation and the refining work of Christ and we back off.
We do not like to think about the areas of our life that we are holding on to with grim determination as if this is all there is to the Christian life.
The Holy Spirit is allowed to operate in us and through us as long as we are still in control, to be sanctified and live with Him in control becomes a battle ground.
There are whole areas of life that need sanctifying but we make excuses so that we continue defeated in thought, word and deed by the enemy of our souls and we could not care less about the outcome.
Look at v 139 'forgotten Thy word' the average Christian does not have any zeal for the word of God and resents the preacher who continually talks about 'the word of God being forsaken'.
David was very conscious of the 'religious' folk around him who go with their sacrifice to the Altar but when completed they returned home and back to their own ways.
David had great concern for them because whilst they had the word of God in their possession it remained on the scroll and not in their heart.
The Hebrews had great contempt for the word of God and that has been passed on to the church by people who are satisfied with the little they understand in their mind.
The fact that faith in the word of God to apply the word it to ones life, is a doctrine to argue over and not a living reality to experience.
The truth is the word of God should constrain us to live holy lives, to desire the changes and adjustments that are necessary to make us holy.
The promises of God lie hidden in the pages of scripture unless some catastrophe or disaster hits us and then in the mercy of God a verse of scripture comes out of the page for us to apply.
The thought of v 140 becomes real 'Thy word is pure' it is as gold and silver tried in the fire of adversity, the word of God stands firm over the centuries.
I has been burned and rejected by most, blasted by scholars, banished by dictators but it has come through unscathed and applicable today as it has ever been.
So we look at the folk who dare to stand firm on the word through adversity and the following verses open up the truth of the situation to us today.
The godly righteous person will be despised by the world, the flesh and the devil but they remain dedicated to the Lord as David did.
The book of Hebrews chapter 11 is called the Hall of Faith revealing the acts of faith demonstrated by the saints of the Old Testament who conquered through the word of God.
Men and women who stood firm against all manners of afflictions and trials that surrounded them, these were people who believed God and trusted in His word.
The truth is they were people who stood against the crowd who were willing to live on a lower standard of living rather than to walk up Gods holy hill to live on the higher holy standard.
Now how often do we wrestle with trials and troubles without seeking to draw the Lord into the situation, we do not draw on the promises of God contained in His word.
We soon grumble and cry out 'why me Lord' as if such things should not happen to us, but rarely crying 'what are you trying to say to me Lord' in this situation.
The poor me syndrome cries louder than the praises of God ringing out by a defended people rising in triumph over their enemy.
The second thought is that these folk faced the difficulties of life trusting in the Living God to see them through their difficulties as He spoke through His word.
They faced their difficulties but were defended by the Lord as they did so, the word was the preparation for battle and victory, they believed God.
There is a third thought that rises from the word here and that is the discouragement brought out by those refusing to receive the word is met by the delight of the saints being tried as they prove the word of God themselves.
Some of the saddest people on earth are seen leaving the church on Sunday, people with all the weight of their situations on their shoulders who are refusing to apply the word to their life.
They have come with the difficulties and they are leaving with them, they came to the Altar and then got up still carrying them leaving the promises of God behind them.
Instead of seeking to apply the word to their life they leave abandoning it until next time they enter the sanctuary for so called worship.
David faced these three issues and came through triumphantly because He believed and applied the word of God to his situations but will we be included in the Hall of Faith at the end of our life because we too trusted God word to be true?
David had the habit of reading and spending time studying the word of God v 145 it became part and parcel of his life like eating and drinking.
He knew that what God had stated that He would perform in the obedient soul, the people who walk in righteousness will know the promises are given for us to enjoy during our pilgrimage on earth.
The promises of God are not special treats being good but they are blessings for us to enjoy as we seek to walk in harmony to Gods will.
Three facts are sought after by David 'hear me', 'save me' and then 'keep me' that we too know all about because we have cried to God the same prayer many times.
We cried it as repentant sinners when we first sought after the Lord quickly finding out that He was seeking us before ever we sought Him.
He was waiting for us to return in repentance of sin so that He was waiting to forgive and to cleanse us from our sin through the sacrifice of his beloved Son.
Our heavenly Father had prepared the ground for us to come back to Him so that we could walk on His holy pathway as we prepare for eternity during our time on earth.
'Save me' is a continuous cry because we are so conscious that we are not walking on the right pathway all the time we are still prone to sinful acts and activity.
The old flesh life still wants to have it way even though the word of God is crystal clear that the Holy Spirit now residing in our life seeks to make and keep us holy.
Many the time the Lord is waiting to lift us out of the water to place our feet on the solid Rock all because of our fragile nature in responding to His word.
Let us state the facts that the closer we draw to the Lord the swifter the conviction by the Holy Spirit will be on the thoughts, words and deeds that we should not be engaged in.
The cry 'Lord, save me' here is from such a heart, engaged in earthly affairs that involve folk who are far away from God and not desiring to know Gods way.
Their acts and speech betray their life style and David having conversed with them was drawn at times to ponder and accept their standard of living.
So the prayer 'keep me' what a mighty promise we have in scripture revealed many times indifferent ways that the soul of the repentant sinners is 'kept by the power of God'
We are 'kept' here comes twelve times in the Psalm pointing to God protecting His children guarding and guiding them along the right route.
The word in the New Testament is equally clear, meaning to watch carefully over, to preserve as well as to protect, the Lord Jesus as the Good Shepherd portrays this beautifully.
David had to learn the secret of relying on the Lord to fulfil His word in him and through him but then so do we because we are not as conscious of His presence as we could or should be.
We are prone to walk as if we know the way without seeking the Lord to guide us in the way day by day, there are days when we do not give much thought to the dangers around us.
Hence the cry 'Lord keep me' it comes from the pliable heart that longs to walk in harmony with the Lord but still has the ability to do their own thing when faced with difficulties.
When we recognise the traps it is often to late, the conversation is down the line and we are criticizing or blaming others for the mistakes we have made.
We must keep short accounts with our Father learning to rest our case in His hands so that we can commune with Him in all the affairs of life and not just on Sunday.
The thoughts of v 147 are well documented in most of our lives, the lack of sleep because of some sin that has been enacted during the day that the Holy Spirit convicts us of because there has been no repentance as yet.
We cannot hide sin from God as we do from other people, the sin grates on the heart of God and a gap is formed in the relationship until it is dealt with openly.
I want to come to look at vs.149 and 150 because they contain truths that we need ever to keep in our heart and mind.
The enemy draws near in combat but the Lord is always nearer, the enemy sneaks up on us but the Lord comes to us openly and consciously to the soul that is seeking peace.
We need to constantly remind ourselves that our Heavenly Father and His beloved Son are always aware of the strategy that the enemy takes and of the peril that we are faced with.
If we keep close to them we are promised that they will keep closer to us and in the final analysis they will bring us safely through the struggle into victory.
It is not an issue of their participation in the conflict but of our position walking in Gods word if we trust Him then we will conquer but if we are half hearted then we are weakened.
The words 'quicken' and 'hear' come from the hearts of folk in danger those looking around at the enemy when they could be looking up to God as their protector.
The enemy attacks us by attacking Gods word, human nature looks at it from an unbelieving view point and looks for discrepancies and additions by men thinking it is their strength.
We can pick this up by revealing what it actually says and the observant soul can soon find the flaws in their arguments and can nullify it with the use of scripture.
We need to make sure that they are quoting scripture that is there and not what they think is written there, half truths are not full truths.
There are so many 'experts' around today seeking to make themselves house hold names by their clever explanations of scripture pulling the word of God to pieces.
They seek to deceive the public being deluded themselves and the truth is they love sin to much to turn from it and would rather have public applause than accept the truth of scripture.
Now the Christian disciple is established on the truth and has nothing to fear enjoying the reality of Gods word being out worked in their life day by day.
We are fast coming to the end of this terrific Psalm and today we look at vs.153 – 160 and we are to look at the promises of God that can be worked out in greater depth by all of us.
Here the writer is looking at the really deep water that he is going through, things seem to get harder the closer we draw to the Lord.
He does not remove the obstacles in front of us but rather is watching us carefully to see what lessons we have learned already looking to see how we over come them.
The great lesson that every child of God must face as they walk by faith and not by sight is to bring everything to God in prayer all the time.
It is easy for us to think that we can cope with the situations that confront us without first seeking the Lord's help.
We are prone to move into the day without spending time with the Lord and then start complaining that we are 'in a mess Lord, so why don't you help me'.
'Consider' v 153 points us to us seeking to know why the Lord seems to have forgotten us when we in fact we are taking Him for granted.
'Consider' in human terms means look at my plight or situation, view it quickly and come to my aid, 'deliver' is not rescue as a drowning man but extricate me, remove the constraints.
He is wanting a life of freedom from problem and difficulty and not a life of constant battle with total reliance upon the Lord.
He is a man reading the word regularly and applying it to his life but is still prone to look around instead of communing constantly with the Lord.
A few studies ago we looked sat the ankle deep water, knee deep and then the really deep water, in Ezekiel, David had swum in that deep water but occasionally returned to the paddling water for pleasure.
There is a place of no return in the Christian life where our commitment to the Lord is fully extended sadly few ever get there.
The majority of saints are content to paddle in the water splashing around with joy in the services and meetings in the church.
They are constantly running to the church for help without realising that the Lord is the one we should be running too.
Most of our problems and defeats come as a result of us not waiting upon the Lord seeking to know His presence and company along the way.
David acknowledges that he has skipped some lessons and is trying to catch up, the Tutor is letting him know that the all the lessons are important for spiritual growth.
There are no short cuts in the spiritual life and every moment is important as is every lesson if we are to grow to spiritual maturity.
We look at v 154 and to that important word 'plead' instantly we look up to the Throne of Grace and see our precious Lord Jesus standing pleading for us.
There is a man in the glory pleading for us, He is our Great High Priest, He meets the demands of the Father and can meet those demands for us.
We can approach the Throne with confidence because the Lord Jesus is interceding for us continually it matters not where we are or what time it is He is pleading for us.
The thought of coming to deliver us is human because spiritually He is right along side us all the time seeing the Holy Spirit resides in us.
The fact is that we are not conscious of His presence because we treat Him as a friend who is there to help us when things go wrong and not the friend that is closer than any earthly friend could be.
He sees, knows and understands us in ways that no earthly person could do no matter how close they are to us but sadly we abuse this privilege so often.
It is we who need the quickening and not our Saviour, it is we that need constant reminders from Gods word that He is missing our attention and company.
The promises of Gods word are here for us to dwell on and to apply to our life, 'I will never leave you or forsake you' comes from the Lord Jesus.
Our heavenly Father tells us that 'though a mother may forsake her child He will never abandon us' and in Isaiah 66 v 13 'as one whom his mother comforteth, so I will comfort you'.
What a beautiful tender picture is displayed by our Father who is reaching out continually to draw us away from the traps and snares laid out to catch His erring children unawares.
His heart is always set on His children they are never out of His sight or reach the moment we cry out His hand is there to steer us clear or to lift us up after falling.
There comes the thought to me here in v 155 that salvation is far from the wicked man but it is close at hand for the diligent saint.
'Salvation belongs to our God' Psalm 3 v 8, Isaiah 43 v 11, Jeremiah 3 v 23 and Proverbs 21 v 31 and this comes as a promise to the believing soul Isaiah 45 vs.17 – 19.
'Salvation' here means to help, to give aid and to bring welfare to the child of God in their distress, now that is a mouth watering study in itself.
God shows help to those seeking to walk uprightly according to His word giving them the strength they need to overcome.
Our heavenly Father gives us aid as we walk on the path of righteousness enabling us to fulfil our daily duties in life giving us mastery over the world, flesh and devil.
It is the Living God who designs our welfare meeting the physical and spiritual needs that occur in our daily round and common tasks of life.
What a mighty salvation there is for us to enjoy and the tragedy that the wicked have little or no knowledge of what they are missing in rejecting His mighty salvation in Jesus Christ.
The word 'beginning' is an interesting word it means the 'sum total' in the Proverbs, the 'beginning of wisdom' is found with God, it is complete knowledge that needs no adding too what has been revealed.
The word 'princes' points us to the nation of Israel the holy nation that had forgotten the Living God and wandered away to worship idols.
The argumentative people were constantly seeking to defend their actions and activities, there is a real echo here today in the minds of many religious folk who are not wanting the righteous pathways.
Such folk can turn against the truth at a whim and fancy defending their cause to the hurt of others seeking to remain faithful to the word of God.
We should keep in mind that the Lord is very conscious of such people and of the damage being done to His people as a result.
To stand on the word of God and to claim the promises of His word bring obedient Christians into ridicule in many a church.
The truth is that those who live in the light of the word of God 'rejoice' continually because the word is alive, fresh every morning and enlightening throughout the day.
There came to attention of the country a little while ago this story of two men one a farmer the other a treasure trove hunter.
The treasure trove man walked across the farmers fields with his machine often times with the farmer only glancing at him from another part of the farm.
After years of speculation the dawn came when a massive hoard of gold was found, only then did the arguments start who did it belong to, the farmer or the treasure hunter or to the state?
For centuries the treasure had lay under the top soil of the farmers field, suddenly the priceless hoard was the talk of the nation and now on show for the world to view.
I thought a good deal about that treasure trove and thought of the treasure contained in Gods word that is going missed by a people content to wander the highways and byways of life oblivious to the treasure available to them.
There are many bankrupt souls in the church today living as spiritual paupers when they could be rejoicing as the Children of God.
There is a wealth of treasure contained in the sixty six books of the Bible that needs unearthing by diligent souls in touch with the Living God.
There are many miserable saints around whose life would be transformed as the Holy Spirit is given room in their heart and mind to open up the word to them.
Our God is not looking for clever people but He is vitally involved in people whose clear object in life is to magnify His name in their life.
David knew the reality of this during his days on earth as he stood in 'awe of God and His word', the idea is of the heart palpitating with joy at the finding of treasure.
There is a link here between worship and the word of God, the deeper we descend in the waters of life the greater the reverence there is for the Living God.
As the promises are claimed and out worked in ones life, so the heart and mind reaches out in true adoration and exaltation to worship the Living God, to worship Him alone.
We look at v 164 and find David echoing this thought with continuous worship, that is what 'seven times' means, the perfect worship that when experienced one does not want it to cease.
Was this what Enoch experienced and enjoyed in Genesis 5 vs.21 – 24, spending time alone with God on His holy hill Enoch longed for the presence of God.
I can imagine Enoch like David rejoicing in their daily tryst with the Lord proving the promises that had been revealed to them longing for eternity to break and heaven to come.
Then for Enoch walking with God in the light of His word the Living God said to His servant 'do not go back into the valley today but come home with Me'.
Oh the delight of a single hour alone with God but oh the wonder of spending more and more time alone with Him so that He can open up His eternal treasure trove to us.
Those folk in 'love' with the Lord delight to read His word v 163 as a love letter, scanning the pages to see what delights are in store for us today.
How much do you love the Lord especially if your love is mirrored by the love you have for His word?
The promises of God bring us 'great peace' v 165 David enjoyed this and passed on the knowledge to his son Solomon so that eventually Solomon could write Proverbs 3 vs,1 – 10.
Now what a treasure store there is in those verses that we could spend a week pondering them with great joy and satisfaction, receiving deep peace as we apply them.
The thought of 'peace' here brings us to rest in the Lord and to enjoy the fruit of tranquillity and security that it produces.
This 'abundant peace' comes from the heart of the Living God and we see it manifested fully in the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is the Lord Jesus who reveals the promise to us 'My peace I give unto you' John 14 v 27 a nugget of treasure that is priceless to the believer who receives it.
The word 'peace' here points us to an undisturbed and untroubled state in the here and now life on earth as it certainly will be in eternity.
If you are not enjoying such 'peace' with and from God then you need to take time out to be alone with God to make the adjustments necessary for you to know and receive it now.
We may know His 'salvation' v 166 without coming into the promised 'peace', we can acknowledge Him as Saviour and Lord but never come into the fullness of His peace.
Maybe this is some unearthed treasure that you can claim today by yielding practically to the Lord and coming into the closer love tie with Him.
We cannot help but recognise the third time 'love' is mentioned here v 167 and with the yielding comes the out pouring of love towards God and then towards the world art large.
Love is poured out in worship before the Throne of the Living God and then is poured out in the work that we accomplish day by day.
So to the final stanza of Psalm 119 vs.169 – 176 and the treasure store is opened up for us to not only view but to experimentally know as our own possession.
'Let my cry come near to Thee' v 169 opens up the stanza to us and it is a resounding call not from a guest but a resident of the House hold of faith.
It is the call of one drawing near to the Throne of Grace with the expectancy of being received, there is a loving intimacy in the thought.
Close enough to hear but coming closer into sight, the soul has not been as conscious of the Lord for a little time but now the home coming is precious.
What a mighty privilege it is for us to be able to ascend on the holy hill of God so that we can commune with Him at ease away from the rushing around that has been experienced.
There is a clear reason given for the intimacy of approach, it is to gain understanding from the Lord in His word so that we are drawn closer to Him as a result.
Give me 'understanding' is repeated in vs.34, 73, 144 and now 169 so let us ponder the thoughts behind the phrase as it is so important for us to grasp it.
In v 34 the desire is to know the word of God because it will bring us into a close relationship with Him, it is not observing only but obediently accepting the word that is important.
Then in v 73 the word brings us to know not only the Creator God but to begin to understand His will and purpose for us so that it brings me closer to Him.
In v 144 'understanding' points to the life of righteousness that we are called to live, not as a suggestion but as a saintly life to be enjoyed and out worked.
We are to grow more Christ like day by day, here is an area of teaching that few of us really know to much about seeing it is forgotten jewel today.
Holiness and righteousness are present possessions and not only garments to be worn in eternity, the closer wee draw to the Lord the greater our understanding will be of His holiness and righteousness.
So to v 169 and 'understanding' and the desire here is to know the privilege it is to be able to draw near to the Living God.
The wonder is that He receives repentant sinners daily into His presence and the enemy seeks to stop us enjoying such fellowship with our Father and beloved Lord Jesus.
There are several thoughts than come through this jewel to me here in the word 'understanding' first the idea of the cause of praise coming as we bow at Gods foot stool.
As we come before the Lord in the quietness we are conscious of the privilege that we have ans soon as we gaze upon our Lord and Saviour our hearts spring forth with praise to Him.
He is the 'cause' or spring of action that wells up within us to sing and speak forth our praise and adoration of the True and Living God.
Then the thought that we need to be taught how to praise, enlightenment through Gods word will reveal to us the praising heart that will bring pleasure to the heart of God.
Thankfulness and gratitude are two delightful aspects of life that we can easily employ in worship and exaltation of the Living God.
Then the third thought is the coming aside so as to pause to praise, it takes time to stop the run of the mill of life to stop for a few minutes to praise the Lord for all the blessings that He is pouring out on us day by day.
What a sound of praise ascends to the Throne from Gods people each day and to think that our contribution gladdens the heart of God, so I will praise my Maker as long as He lends me breath v 171.
Not only by singing but by talking as well v 172 what a different world we would live in if the saints in light were to talk more about their Lord and Saviour than to gossip with the rest of the word about trivia.
We can all witness to the love, mercy and grace of God and we can all look forward with great anticipation to the soon return of the Lord Jesus.
So why do we meander around in the valley when there are wonderful things to be revealed to us on the upper slopes of Gods holy Hill?
We note here that every part of the body is unfolding before us in our praise and worship of the Living God, a heart that is right with God v 169, a mind that is filled with praise to God v 171.
Then a mouth that is wanting to speak about the things of God v 172 so that our hands will labour willingly to bring His will to pass v 173
What a transformed life we are looking at right now and this should be the thinking of every Christian to become Christ like in thought, word and deed.
So we draw to an end by looking at the promises of God that are fulfilled by those who 'look for God' v 173, 'long for God' v 174 and 'live for God' v 175.
The promise of God for those 'looking' or seeking Him is found in Deuteronomy 4 v 29 and Isaiah 55 v 6, as starters and then Colossians 3 vs.1 – 4 my what promises to enjoy.
Then we should be 'longing for God' in Psalm 63 v 1 we find the thought of desolation bringing us into intimate fellowship with God, 'to see Him in His Sanctuary' that is where the promise is that we will find Him.
Then in finding Him we will not want to let Him go or for us to go from His conscious presence, 'He is altogether lovely' as the Song of Solomon 5 v 1 reveals Him.
Finally to 'live with Him' and the promise of the Lord Jesus revealed as the jewel in John 14 vs.1 – 3 and what comfort that brings to the obedient soul battered in the conflict.
'My heart and my flesh cries out for the Living God' Psalm 84 v 2 to know the promises for ourselves irrespective of what others do and say about us as we seek to climb towards the summit of Gods holy hill.