Psalm 119:41-48 – God Equips Us Because He Loves Us

Psalm 119:41-48 (NIV)

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41 May your unfailing love come to me, Lord,
 your salvation, according to your promise;
42 then I can answer anyone who taunts me,
 for I trust in your word.
43 Never take your word of truth from my mouth,
 for I have put my hope in your laws.
44 I will always obey your law,
 for ever and ever.
45 I will walk about in freedom,
 for I have sought out your precepts.
46 I will speak of your statutes before kings
 and will not be put to shame,
47 for I delight in your commands
 because I love them.
48 I reach out for your commands, which I love,
 that I may meditate on your decrees.

Lessons

I’m finding a strong theme from the Psalmist in Psalm 119. Because we are a fallen people, we are completely inadequate to seek — and find — God on our own. This acknowledgment leads us to full dependence on God. In Psalm 119:41-48, we see how God does not promise to save us from eternal judgment, yet leave us to fend for ourselves here on earth. Indeed, quite the opposite. God gives us salvation and therefore, He equips us in every way to grow and prosper in Christ — providing for our every need even now.

41. God equips us because He loves us. He gives us salvation from His own holy judgement because He promises to do so when we turn our hearts and lives to Him.

42. When I think of “taunting”, I think of someone in my face — trying to get me to react badly to something. It’s a temptation to get mad or to react in a way that would cause a scene. Ultimately, it’s a person, attitude, action, or circumstance that tempts us to sin.  But the Psalmist says that when we put our trust in God’s Word, He will gives us an answer for those who taunt us — for those who would encourage us to sin.  God equips us with strength against temptation when we put our trust in His Word.

43. It has been said that Secret Service Agents who are trained to spot counterfeit money do not learn their skill from studying the fake stuff. To learn the intricacies and minutiae of every form of counterfeit money to that level of expertise would be nearly impossible.  Instead, they hone their craft by studying the one true currency.  Similarly, this sinful world offers us many counterfeits. “Just be a good and kind person, and you will earn your way to heaven.” “It doesn’t matter what God you believe in, as long as you are trying to be a good person.” “There are many ways to heaven.”  If we put our time and energy and saving hope into these counterfeits we would quickly find ourselves lost in this world.  Instead of putting our saving hope in what the world says God is, we ought to put our hope in what God says He isthis is the truth.  God equips us with truth when we put our hope in His Word.

44. I had to sit and think on this verse for a few minutes to hear God’s lesson for me in it.  It seemed to follow a different pattern than the others. At first, it seemed a simple declaration: “I will obey your law, for ever and ever.” And then it occurred to me: when the Psalmist says “I will obey”, he is declaring his will to obey — his desire to obey.  Sometimes, an attitude begets itself.  The more you do it, the more you want to do it. (This can definitely work in the negative too!)  In this case, I believe obeying God’s Word — and seeing the fruit that grows in our lives as we do so — leads us to an even greater desire to obey God’s Word — no matter what circumstances may come. I believe this Spirit-given desire to obey is what enabled great martyrs of the Christian faith to withstand such tragic and desperate persecution.  God equips us with the desire to obey His Word when we obey His Word.

45. In spite of God’s promises, we often still find ourselves trying to earn our approval from God by our “right-ness” in our words, actions, and attitudes. But God has made it clear that even our best efforts are inadequate to save us from our sin and make ourselves right before Him. Only a heart and life changed by faith in Jesus can save us. Such a saving faith brings spiritual freedom — freedom from the weight of trying to save ourselves with our inherently inadequate efforts. But the Psalm says we must seek Him. We must be intentional and deliberately point our life’s direction toward Him. God equips us with freedom when we seek Him through His Word. 

46-47. Speaking boldly for Christ can be intimidating. It can be scary when others mock us with a harsh word … or even a raised eyebrow of skeptical amusement. But God promises to help us to speak boldly — without shame — for Him when we seek our approval (our “delight”) in Him, instead of the approval of man.  God equips us to speak boldly when we love His Word. 

48. Have you ever gone into Sunday worship and just felt “blah”?  Like your worship was just lifeless, or you were having to make an effort to go through the motions?  We are even inadequate to worship God from our own nature. We must first receive from God in order to give back to God. And we receive from Him when we focus our hearts to read, learn, and apply Scripture daily. God equips us for worship when we meditate on His Word. 

Applications

41. A gift is only a gift once received. Have I received the gift of God’s unfailing love for me — His salvation according to His promise?

42. When I face temptation, do I look to myself for strength to resist, or do I receive strength by trust in Scripture?

43. When I am trying to discern truth from the many voices in this world, where do I look? Am I putting my hope in what the world says … or in what God’s Word says?

44. When I am lacking desire to obey Scripture, do I obey anyway? How have I seen obedience give me new desire to obey Him even in the midst of difficult circumstances?

45. When I am feeling spiritually weighed down, do I seek God’s Word to be reminded that Christ accomplished all I need for me on the cross?

46-47. When I am feeling shy or intimidated to share Scripture with another person or to speak about my faith, do I go back to Scripture with love and affection for The Word?

48. How has my dependence for and love for God’s Word transformed my worship?

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank you for not leaving us alone to find our way through this world. Thank you for equipping us with:

  • strength
  • truth
  • a desire to obey
  • spiritual freedom
  • boldness
  • worship

…all because of your unfailing love for us. Thank you that you promise to save us from your eternal judgment — and to equip us for today — if we put our

  • trust
  • hope
  • obedience
  • direction
  • love
  • focus

…in You alone. Please help us to receive this gift from you fully, each day.

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