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In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Enjoying Walking with God (Psalm 119:129-136)

In this section, the psalmist expresses again his enthusiasm for God’s Word. Every true Christian has the same outlook. Like the psalmist they have discovered that God’s ‘testimonies are wonderful’ (v. 129) for many reasons, including what they reveal about Jesus. Yet its contents are not given merely for information; in addition there has to be implementation. So the psalmist will keep God’s requirements.

He summarises what God’s Word does: ‘The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple’ (v. 130). The simple are not people with low intelligence; rather they are those who realise they always need divine instruction and who have discovered that God’s Word provides it as they eagerly walk along the path of obedience (v. 131).

At the same time, they confess their ongoing need of divine grace. When they pray for divine help they expect to receive it because they know that is always God’s ‘way with those who love [his] name’ (v. 132). 

Walking along the path of obedience will be affected by temptations and by attempts to trip him up, therefore the psalmist asks God to ‘keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.’ The psalmist is concerned about his personal sins as well as the sinful actions of others: ‘Redeem me from man’s oppression, that I may keep your precepts’ (v. 134). The threat of sin should always be a concern for us.

In verse 135, he likens the Lord to the sun and prays for a warm experience of God’s presence as he experiences divine instruction. (I suppose we all can recall teachers whose presence unfortunately was intimidating.) Those around him are in spiritual darkness and he is moved to copious tears by their way of living (v. 136). Such should be the Christian experience – enjoying the gracious presence of God and genuine concern for those who don’t know him. They are usually found together in a healthy spiritual life.

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