Psalms for Messiah

Psalm 2 – I Have Installed My King on Zion | C-Am-F-G | 1 Why do the nations rage, and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings and the rulers of the earth take their stand against the Lord and against His anointed. Selah 3 “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and cast away their cords.” 4 The…

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You Are My Portion O Lord – Psalm 119h – Heth

You are my portion O LORD is perhaps the central and most important theme of Psalm 119. Without the indwelling Spirit of the living God, the declarations, sentiments and prayers of Psalm 119 are unutterable by any mortal man. I don’t think it an accident that this same promise was given to Abraham, the father of faith, when God told him, “I am your exceeding great reward.” Additionally, when Israel was moving into the promised land and it was being divided among the twelve tribes, the tribe of Levi was not given a specific portion. Rather, it was said,

That is why the Levites have no share or inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance… Deut 10:9

I have promised to obey Your words… This promise is only worth its salt because of the statement that preceded it. Unless the Lord is our portion… unless the Lord Himself indwells us and makes that commitment through us then the promise is empty and vain. Israel made this same promise after hearing the Law at Mount Sinai for the first time:

The people all responded together, “We will do everything the LORD has said.” Exodus 19:8

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Your Decrees Are The Theme of My Song – Psalm 119 – Zayin

Remember Your Word to Your servant. – Is it ever necessary to bring God into remembrance of something He has spoken? As another section of this Psalm starts out, “Your Word O Lord is eternal.” The heavens and the earth might pass away but God’s Word will never pass away. So how is it that this prayer is legitimate? Are there cases where it seems that God has forgotten His Word?

The most striking example of this must be Jesus when He entered into the last days of His earthly ministry: the garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal and desertion of His disciples, the mocking and the merciless beatings and scourgings, and of course the final hours hanging on a cross. Here was the man (the only man) who has truly meditated perfectly on the Word of God day and night and he is suffering as only a pure and innocent man can suffer in the presence of evil

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May Your Unfailing Love Come To Me – Psalm 119 – Vav

I find the first line of this section compelling. Why is it that we must ask for the unfailing love of God to come to us? Immediately the words of Jesus come to mind: “Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find…” There is the treasure of God’s love that is always available to any of us, no matter what our circumstances, but we must still ask. “Give us this day our daily bread…” Like the manna of old, we may not gather up extra “unfailing love” for tomorrow lest it rot.

I think this is because we are so prone to forget about our Heavenly Father when we feel His favor and find success in anything. God has established a mechanism in each day that is a safeguard to us falling into the temptation of the devil (which is to exalt ourselves above the Most High). It is he (the devil) who taunts us with accusations that we are not worthy to receive the love and salvation of God. Of course this is true and we must quickly agree with our adversary, but our worthiness is not at all a factor in whether or not the unfailing love and salvation of our God come to us. HE has guaranteed its availability in the person and work of His Son Jesus (specifically His death on the Cross). As we become more convinced and more trusting in the surety of this kind of salvation that has nothing to do with our own merits and everything to do with the merits of God’s Holy One Jesus, THEN we will answer the one who taunts us.

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Turn My Eyes Away From Worthless Things – Psalm 119e – Heh

This portion of Psalm 119 is one long cry for help:

Teach me to follow…
Give me understanding…
Direct me in the path…
Turn my heart toward…
Turn my eyes away…
Fulfill Your promise…
Take away the disgrace…
Preserve my life…

And yet there is a quality about the asking that we often lack in our own prayers to God. I am reminded of Solomon’s prayer for wisdom.

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I Am Laid Low In The Dust – Psalm 119 – Daleth

“I am laid low in the dust…” could be the statement of rebellious man reaping the consequences of the tragic decision to doubt the character and integrity of God. However, here we have one who boldly asks God to preserve His life. On top of that, the reason he gives God to consider the request is so that God might be faithful to His own Word. That is remarkable considering that it is God’s Word that declares:

Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this Law by carrying them out. Deuteronomy 27:26

These words actually explain why the unrighteous AND the righteous must suffer. It was for the sins of Israel that the lives of innocent lambs were required in sacrifice day after day, year after year. Those holy prophets of God, whose purity allowed them to see into the purposes and character of God, suffered great persecution from the very people they were sent to warn.

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I Am A Stranger On Earth – Psalm 119c – Gimel

“Do good to Your servant and I will live.” The implication of this statement is that if the Lord does NOT do good, we will NOT live. We are utterly dependent upon His goodness, His mercy, His unmerited favor for any life that we have. You might even say that without the intervention of God’s goodness we would remain in a state of death like those in Ezekiel’s Valley of Dry Bones.

“Open my eyes that I might see wonderful things in Your Law.” Wonderful things in the Law? Is there something besides stuffy legalism to be found there? We Christians have almost made the word “Law” into a dirty word, but seen in the right light, interpreted by the Holy Spirit of the God who inspired it, the Law contains mysteries of the Lord’s character and person. Wonderful mysteries. Precious eternal truths that we will be living by throughout the ages. But approach the Law with the attitude that it is something that can be fulfilled by natural human effort and it becomes a curse.

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How Can a Young Man Keep His Way Pure? – Psalm 119b – Beth

Who has kept Himself pure and undefiled but the Lord Himself? I can almost see Jesus as a young man, or perhaps even a boy, sifting through the Scriptures, meditating on them so that He might discover His identity there and find God’s purpose for His life. According to our view, the Scriptures are written about Jesus and by Him, through Moses and the Prophets. The Gospels clarify that Jesus IS, in fact, the Word made flesh. Would it be a stretch to add that the Scriptures were also in place FOR Him, so that He might have a witness in the earth to the Spirit of the Father in Him?

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Blessed Are They Whose Ways Are Blameless – Psalm 119a – Aleph

“Blessed are they”… In many of the Psalms you will run into phrases like, “Blessed is the one who fears the Lord,” or “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly.” When I encounter that kind of speech, I immediately think of that one with a capital “O” and that man a capital “M” – Blessed is the One…” and “Blessed is the Man…” for in another Psalm it is said, “There is none righteous, no, not one.” So that righteous man must in fact BE the Lord.

But here in Psalm 119, it starts out immediately with a declaration of a company of the righteous. “Blessed are THEY, whose ways are BLAMELESS…”

How can both of these statements be true:

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