INTRO TO PSALM 119, PART 1, STUDY OF PASSION, 03.02.20
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in all of Psalms, and although we will only be able to focus on a select few passages for the purposes of this STUDY, there is a common thread of principles and promises throughout, connecting to New Testament teachings. Referred to as “the treasury of David,” rich with guidelines for living, and for relationship with the Father, paralleling the model of both Jesus/Yeshua and Paul regarding a walk of passion for/obedience to, and intimacy with the Lord, they provide a useful body of text both for study and for prayer.
Throughout Psalm 119, the emphasis is on the whole heart, which speaks of passion. It is important to embrace our relationship, our walk of obedience, not half-heartedly, but with ALL of the heart: “With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You” (Ps.119:10,11). Notice how this parallels: “you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Rev. 3:15,16), indicating God’s desire for our passion towards Him.
The Father desires for us to embrace our relationship with the Father/Son/Holy Spirit/His Word with ALL of our hearts, not partially, not half-heartedly. He wants willing hearts filled with passion for Him. And the relationship illustrated by the Psalmist parallels the relationship illustrated by Jesus/Yeshua, when He says: “I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him” (John 8:28,29).
Paul, also, demonstrated that heart of passion in all He did, putting God’s call before his own well-being or personal desires, reflected effectively in the statements: “I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:22-24), and “I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus”(Acts 21:13). Just as the Psalmist wanted only to please God, likewise, both Jesus/Yeshua and Paul lived only to do the Father’s will, and to do it wholeheartedly. In fact, one never sees Paul indicating any desire other than to follow God’s direction in all he did.
There are promises of blessings for those who “are (the) undefiled in the way, walk in the law of the Lord! who keep His testimonies, seek Him with the whole heart! do no iniquity; walk in His ways, keep His precepts diligently”(Ps.119:1-4). And Jesus/Yeshua promised that “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23). Observe the total congruence between old and new covenant, demonstrated in the parallel between the Psalmist’s and the Saviour’s Words.
“Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You”(Ps.119:11). It is through internalizing God’s Word that we will actualize the freedom to live a sinless life. The Psalmist gives us the key to living a life of righteousness: “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word” (Ps.119:9). The Word is the key, once again, as in everything. If we would just walk Wholeheartedly in all of God’s Word, we would be walking in the footsteps of Jesus/Yeshua. We are repeatedly led back to this reality: if we walk like Jesus/ Yeshua walked, we would be walking wholeheartedly, as well as walking according to Torah, for that is how Jesus/Yeshua walked,
The intimacy the Psalmist has with the Lord is so apparent in Psalm 119. It serves as a model for all believers to follow. What it tells us is that there are certain principles that, when followed, result in blessings. There are promises for God’s people who follow His precepts and laws. It is not necessary to employ the “bless me, bless me, Lord” school of thought; those blessings will naturally evolve when His Word is in our hearts and thereby walked in/out.
© 2020 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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