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The Scriptorium

Be Specific!

It's the way to be done with sins. Psalm 119.29

Psalm 119.25-32 (4)

Pray Psalm 119.28, 29.

My soul melts from heaviness;
Strengthen me according to Your word.
Remove from me the way of lying,
And grant me Your law graciously.

Sing Psalm 119.25-27.
(Festal Song: Revive Thy Work, O Lord)
My soul weighs down with woe, I need Your strength, O Lord!
Remove from me all lying ways; grant me Your holy Word!

Read Psalm 119.25-32; meditate on verse 29.


1. What sin did the psalmist confess?

2. How did he describe coming back to God’s Law?

Suppose you asked your surgeon just what he would be doing in your upcoming surgery, and he said, “Oh, you know, we’ll just rummage around in there, make a few random cuts, stick in a stint or two, and sew it up.” Yeah. No.

But isn’t this the way we deal with sin in our lives? “Lord, forgive my sins, whatever they may be. Just, you know, rummage around in my soul and do whatever You think is necessary.”

Not our psalmist. He knew what was weighing him down. He saw where the dust had gathered in his soul. And he declared his ways specifically: “Remove from me the way of lying…” Wow! A psalmist! Lying!

But our psalmist shows us two important lessons here: First, the weight of guilt, shame, spiritual lethargy, and discontent that sin brings upon us is almost always the result of specific sin, or sins. Come before the Lord. Declare your ways. Be specific. Profess your confidence in His Word to cleanse and renew you. And stay there until the dawn of forgiveness and renewal begins to brighten (vv. 30, 31).

Second, remember that, while the way of sin is weighty, dust-filled, and depleting, the way of God’s Law is gracious. Get back into that path and plead with God to keep you there!

The heaviness that melts our soul is God’s refining love. Step into the heat and let Him do His gracious and renewing work.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Lying. The opposite of truth. And without truth, no relationship can flourish. Trust is abolished and security is expunged. You cannot put your full weight down on something that does not exist. Lies obliterate authenticity.

God spoke to the psalmist’s heart. He convicted him of this sin. And because his relationship with the Lord was good, he knew exactly what to do. He asked God to remove this terrible and destructive sin from his life.
He pled with the Lord’s gracious Spirit to put him back on the path of living in God’s perfect Law.

Agur the son of Jakeh wrote these words in Proverbs 30.7, 8. Perhaps he, too, was convicted of lying?
“Two things I request of You (deprive me not before I die): Remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches – feed me with the food allotted to me…”

Most folks who are wise with the wisdom of God know in their hearts how destructive lying is. “A righteous man hates lying, but a wicked man is loathsome and comes to shame. Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless, but wickedness overthrows the sinner” (Prov. 13.5, 6).

“Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom” (Ps. 51.6).

Truth is so important to God that He promised to send us His Spirit, the Spirit of truth to guide us into all truth. (Jn. 16.13) We have been given the power to live in the truth. “The Spirit is truth” (1 Jn. 5.7).

Telling the truth is important in all relationships. So, we must plead with God to remove the way of lying from us because our word must be believable. If others do not find us authentic, how will they believe the words of life that we speak to them about Jesus?

For reflection
1. Why is it not difficult to believe that the psalmist might have fallen into telling lies?

2. How did the psalmist feel about his lies? What did he want to see happen with his lies? What did he do to make that happen?

3. What can you do to guard against the tendency to play fast and loose with the truth?

The way of lying means all false ways by which men deceive themselves and others, or are deceived by Satan and his instruments. Those who know and love the law of the Lord, desire to know it more, and love it better. The way of serious godliness is the way of truth; the only true way to happiness: we must always have actual regard to it. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.25-32

Pray Psalm 119.30-32.
As you pray, take time to listen for the Spirit of God to search and convict you of any specific sins (cf. Ps. 139.23, 24). As He does, confess them specifically and repent of them particularly, that is, with a specific course of action for overcoming evil with good. Thank God for His truth to guide you this day.

Sing Psalm 119.30-32.
(Festal Song: Revive Thy Work, O Lord)
I choose the way of truth; Your judgments I proclaim.
Your testimonies I embrace, Lord put me not to shame

Command my course, O Lord; Your gracious truth impart.
I cling to You and know You will enlarge my seeking heart.

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website,, and clicking the Scriptorium tab for last Sunday. You can download any or all the studies in this series on Psalm 119 by clicking here.

What is the Law of God and how should we learn and obey it? Two books can help. The Law of God arranges the statutes and precepts of God’s Law under their appropriate number of the Ten Commandments. This book is an excellent tool for meditating on God’s Law and thinking about its application in our time. The Ground for Christian Ethics, on the other hand, explains why the Law matters and how we are to use it. You can order free copes of each of these here and here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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