Psalm 119.33-40 (4)
Pray Psalm 119.36, 37.
Incline my heart to Your testimonies,
And not to covetousness.
Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way.
Sing Psalm 119.36. 37.
(Regent Square: Angels from the Realms of Glory)
To Your holy testimonies, turn my heart, O gracious Lord.
Let me covet nothing worthless; my delight is in Your Word.
O revive me! O revive me, in Your way, most holy Lord!
Read Psalm 119.33-40; meditate on verses 36, 37.
1. How did the psalmist plan to resist the sin of covetousness?
2. What would he have to do to make sure he didn’t covet?
The alternative to delighting in, longing for, and walking in God’s testimonies – His Word – is covetousness (v. 36). Covetousness is inordinate or excessive desire and diverts us from the Lord’s path. Desiring God and His Word is a work of the Spirit to which we submit and which we pursue by coming to the Word every day, reading and meditating and listening to the Lord, looking to Him to guide our steps for the day ahead. As we do this every day, our joy in the Lord increases, our sense of the value and importance of the Word becomes stronger, our walk with Him is more consistent, and our work for Him bears more fruit.
So guard against covetousness by desiring the Lord and His Word. Look to His way and not the way of self, sin, and the world. Covetousness is especially problematic in that it is a gateway to all sin. When we covet, we turn from looking to the Lord to lust for things or experiences or status. These become our god, if only for a season, and the more we look at them, the more they lead us into all kinds of self-indulgence and straying from the Lord’s path. Thus we break the first, second, and third commandments. Those broken, all the rest will fall in time.
Things are not all worthless. They are worthless to the extent that they engender covetousness, lust, inordinate desire, and forsaking the Lord and His ways (v. 37). Therefore pray daily for the Lord to revive you, and put you in the stream of His blessing, where the Spirit flows with the Word of God to refresh and shape your soul for obedience.
So look where you’re going – in the Lord’s path for His glory, and not in the paths of self and sin.
Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
There are three actions that we are requesting of God that He do for us (Ps. 119.36, 37):
1. Incline, lean, move, push my heart to Your testimonies.
2. Turn my eyes away from looking at anything that has no value toward my growth in You.
3. Revive me in the only way possible – through Your way and through Your Word.
And why are we asking Him to do these three things?
1. So that we can be pleasing to Him.
2. So that we are focused on Him.
3. So that we grow in Him.
So that we, and those in our Personal Mission Field, may have Christ dwelling in our hearts through faith;
that we, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge;
that we may be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3.17-19).
God has a word of encouragement for us when we seek these actions from Him:
“Stand in the ways and see, and
ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and
walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls” (Jer. 6.16).
And then our loving Savior adds this: “Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt. 11.28-30).
Incline. Turn. Revive.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
1. What is covetousness? Why is it especially important that we guard against this?
2. What is your role in turning your eyes away from worthless things? Is it reasonable to expect God’s help in this if you’re unwilling to look away and look to Him? Explain.
3. What does it mean for the Lord to revive you? How will you know when you are being revived? How can you seek revival daily?
It remains, therefore, that our hearts are full of sinful thoughts, and wholly rebellious, until God by his grace change them. This confession on the part of the prophet must not be overlooked, That the natural corruption of man is so great, that he seeks for any thing rather than what is right, until he be turned by the power of God to new obedience, and thus begin to be inclined to that which is good. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Psalm 119.36
Pray Psalm 119.33-35.
Spread your day out before the Lord in prayer – every activity, meeting, task, etc. Seek Him for guidance in how you should serve Him in each situation. Pray for ongoing understanding of His Word so you might walk the path of His commandments, delighting in Him as you are going (Matt. 28.18-20).
Sing Psalm 119.33-35.
(Regent Square: Angels from the Realms of Glory)
Teach me, Lord, and help me follow in Your perfect, righteous way!
From my heart I will observe and all Your holy Law obey.
Give me understanding, Jesus: I will keep Your Law always!
Make me walk in Your commandments, let me keep Your holy part.
I will keep Your Law unfailing; from it let me ne’er depart.
For Your Word is my delight, Lord; help me keep it from the heart.
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.