Psalm 119.25-32 (5)
Pray Psalm 119.30-32.
I have chosen the way of truth;
Your judgments I have laid before me.
I cling to Your testimonies;
O LORD, do not put me to shame!
I will run the course of Your commandments,
For You shall enlarge my heart.
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.
Read Psalm 119.25-32; meditate on verse 30.
1. What choice did the psalmist make?
2. How did he follow-up that choice?
The psalmist demonstrates the importance of deciding and doing as part of the process of being freed from the soul-melting burden of sin. The old Celtic monks had a saying that reflects what we’re seeing here: “Contraries are by contraries improved.” That is, if you discover something in your soul that is contrary to what is good and true – like lying – the way to “improve” that is to set a course of action that will help you always to tell the truth. The “contrary” behavior of lying is “improved” by a course of action “contrary” to the way of sin which is found in God’s Law.
So, having confessed his sin in specific terms, the psalmist here resolved to follow the way of truth. He would tell the truth and only the truth. He would not allow his words to be used in lying ways. He had made a choice, a decision, and now he would get about the business of doing what he had decided. Decide, do. And don’t go back behind that decision.
So he sought guidance from the judgments – the Law and Word – of the Lord. Just as we must do: How can I guard my tongue against lying? Ah, Ephesians 4.29, Colossians 4.6. How can I make sure that wholesome words are the only ones I speak? Oh, I see: Philippians 4.8; Romans 12.9-13. And always keep Psalm 33.13-15 in mind. Got it. Now, out into my Personal Mission Field as an agent of truth.
And that’s how it works. By the way, can you feel the brightness returning here? The segue from the minor to the major key? The lifting of the darkness? Yeah. What a great feeling to be right with God and walking in His path!
Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
I have decided to follow the way of truth. And here is why. First, the Law is specific about it: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Ex. 20.16). And second, Jesus is the truth personified. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn. 14.6); and then He added that if we love Him, we should “keep His commandments” (Jn. 14.15). It is a good decision, our decision to be truthful.
But how will we do this? How will we bring these “contraries” to fruition in our lives?
We will only manage this through careful and continuous study of the judgments of God. King Hezekiah set a good example of how to do this prayerfully before the Lord. He had received a troubling letter about his enemies destroying him and his people through war. So, what did he do? When Hezekiah “received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it…[he] went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. Then Hezekiah prayed before the LORD …” (2 Kgs. 19.14, 15).
We have received the bad news about sin’s destruction in our lives. Specifically, how lying destroys our witness. “A true witness delivers souls, but a deceitful witness speaks lies” (Prov. 14.25). But we know what to do. We spread out the Law of God before the LORD and we read it. With Him. Together. And we see ourselves, repent in dust and ashes, and then we see Jesus. We claim the forgiveness to be found in Him, and out of love for Him, we seek to do His will – to be truthful and to keep His commandments.
Does anything feel more refreshing than a good shower when we are dirty? We step in filthy and emerge a cleansed person. Forgiveness offers the same refreshment.
It is when we are studying the judgments of God, spread before us, with Him, and accepting the “contraries” that will keep us on the way of truth, that we hear these words of guidance: “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1.6, 7).
The people in our Personal Mission Field need to hear the truth. Let’s choose to be truthful (Ps. 119.30), diligently spread the Word of God before us each day, and lay the words so carefully in our pathway, that we never wander from His commandments (Ps. 119.10). And perhaps through us, many others will choose the way of Jesus too.
“The law of truth was in his mouth, and injustice was not found on his lips.
He walked with Me in peace and equity, and turned many away from iniquity” (Mal. 2.6).
1. What does it mean for you to spread the Word of God before you each day?
2. Why is forgiveness so refreshing? Why do you think we don’t seek it any more than we do?
3. What new insights to God’s Law and all His Word are you gaining from this study of Psalm 119?
The old adage, that man's life is as it were at the point where two ways meet, refers not simply to the general tenor of human life, but to every particular action of it. For no sooner do we undertake any thing, no matter how small, than we are grievously perplexed, and as if hurried off by a tempest, are confounded by conflicting counsels. Hence the prophet declares, that in order constantly to pursue the right path, he had resolved and fully determined not to relinquish the truth. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Psalm 119.30
Pray Psalm 119.25-29..
Call on the Lord to remove any sins, doubts, fears, or discouragement from your soul, and to shine the light of His Word into your innermost being for peace and joy.
Sing Psalm 119.25-29.
(Festal Song: Revive Thy Work, O Lord)
My soul clings to the dust; revive me by Your Word!
My ways I have declared to You; teach me Your statutes, Lord!
Make me to understand your precepts and your ways,
as on Your works I meditate with wonder and with praise!
My soul weighs down with woe, I need Your strength, O Lord!
Remove from me all lying ways; grant me Your holy Word!
T. M. and Susie Moore
You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website, www.ailbe.org, 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.