PART 2, STUDY OF PASSION, 04.02.20
INTRO TO PSALM 119, STUDY OF PASSION, 04.02.20
If we followed in the example of the Psalmist, we would ultimately be following Jesus/Yeshua. So much of the Psalms (and especially Psalm 119) parallel, or encompass the book of John (especially chapters 13-17), paralleling Jesus/Yeshua’s relationship with the Father. These provide meaningful examples of relationship and intimacy with the Father, with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ/Yeshua Ha-Mashiach. There is something so warm, and special about how the Psalmist relates to the Father that is truly enviable, and similar to Jesus/Yeshua’s relationship with the Father, it should incite the desire to emulate such intimacy. The Psalmist and Jesus/Yeshua shared a passion to walk in the Father’s will, delighting in, and pleasing Him. The difference between them, however, was that the Psalmist was a sinner while Jesus/Yeshua, was sinless.
The Psalmist moves from requirements and expectations to the receipt of blessings, to acknowledgment, and a pledge to follow His ways more diligently. It expresses the desire of a heart that is totally surrendered to the Lord, the perfect heart of David who longed to serve and please the Lord with ALL his heart, of whom God said, “The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart” (I Sam.13:14), and thereby sent His prophet Samuel to anoint him for Kingship. David was not perfect; but his heart intention towards the Lord was perfect.
Yeshua was perfect, and lived His life on earth to demonstrate that passion to fulfill the mission for which He had come. It is the desire of the heart that is important to God. The heart filled with passion is the one that says: “With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!” (Ps.119:10), for it acknowledges the weakness of the self that knows it cannot be trusted to perfectly follow and not wander, but the desire is to do so. It is the desire of that surrendered heart that God will reward: those who seek, walk, keep, with the whole heart, all of His statutes, precepts, and testimonies.
The Psalmist, an example of the perfect heart, longs to do things God’s way: “Oh, that my ways were directed To keep Your statutes! Then I would not be ashamed, When I look into all Your commandments” (Ps.119:5,6). Similarly, Paul longed to do right before God, but knew he fell short, also: “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on. . . . . do not count myself to have apprehended”(Phil. 3:12,13); but his heart’s desire was to “know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil.3:10,11). The perfect heart desires that intimate relationship and therefore pledges to “praise You with uprightness of heart. . . learn Your righteous judgments. … keep Your statutes” (Ps.119:7,8), and pleads “do not forsake me utterly!” (v.8). A true heart of passion desires/seeks to follow Him with a whole heart in every way, at every turn, while a lukewarm heart looks for a way out, seeking to rationalize and justify disobedience, always seeking a way to stretch the limits, just like a rebellious child.
“Teach me Your statutes” (V.12) demonstrates that true heart of desire to follow God’s ways. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You” (Ps.119:11), an indication of true desire to be obedient and faithful, fully committed to God’s ways/laws. This passage also indicates that putting God’s Word into our hearts is the antidote to sin. Find the parallel in the “New Testament” when Yeshua/Jesus says: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4; Deut.8:3), and “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7). Once again, the validation of wholeheartedly seeking and walking; blessings flow out of that walk naturally.
Just as the Psalmist, we should make this pledge: “I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word” (Ps.119:15,16). And Jesus/Yeshua, likewise, stated, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me” (John 14:21). Love for Him is validated by walking in His Ways wholeheartedly, demonstrating a heart of passion for Him.
© 2020 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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