trusted online casino malaysia
Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

The Word Exalted

This way to the fear - and love - of God. Psalm 119.38

Psalm 119.33-40 (5)

Pray Psalm 119.38.
Establish Your word to Your servant,
Who is devoted to fearing You.

(New American Standard Bible)
Establish Your word to Your servant,
As that which produces reverence for You.

Sing Psalm 119.38.
(Regent Square: Angels from the Realms of Glory)
Set me firmly in Your statutes, for Your servant, Lord am I.

Fearing You in sweet devotion, let me live until I die.

Let no dread, let no reproach obscure Your judgments from my eye.

Read Psalm 119.33-40; meditate on verse 38.


1. What does the psalmist want?

2. From what and to what would this lead?

Every word of Scripture matters. Get one wrong in translation, and it can affect the meaning of a whole verse and the understanding of an entire doctrine. In today’s verse, the hinge word is the relative pronoun, אֲ֝שֶׁ֗ר, ah-SHARE). It can mean either “who” or “which”. In this instance, I think the New American Standard Bible translation is better than the New King James Version. So let’s treat it from that vantage point.

The psalmist wants God to “establish” His Word to him – literally, to lift it up, exalt it, raise it high before Him. Why? Because when the Word has that exalted position in our lives, it engenders the fear of the Lord (here, NKJV is better than NASB). In this case, “which” refers to the exalting of God’s Word. This is how we increase in the fear of the Lord, which leads to obedience and wisdom (Ps. 111.10), by putting His Word above everything else in our lives as the defining vantage point for all we do.

But that doesn’t mean we just wait around for Him to do that. No, we must by faith get at the Word daily, applying ourselves diligently by reading, meditation, study, conversation, and more of each, so that the Word gains the pre-eminence it deserves and we need. Faith that leads to obedience engages grace that leads to wisdom.

Our grandsons George and Ralph have a fun thing they like me to do. One at a time, they present themselves before me and say, “Grandad, lift me.” They know I can do it, and they are exhilarated to be all the way up to the ceiling. But they must take the first steps, clenching their fists, straightening their arms and locking them into place, and working hard to keep them there as I lift them high.

Because we fear God and love His Word, we take the steps needed to get into it daily. God then exalts His Word before us, leading to increase in joyous and obedient fear of our loving God. When this is the case, sin won’t lead us astray.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Fear is an awareness of danger, an anxious concern, or a profound reverence and awe especially toward God.
Reverence is honor or respect felt or shown, deference, or a profound adoring awed respect.

Words differently nuanced with similar meanings, yet both are required attitudes toward God. And God’s Word and Law must be firmly established in our heart, mind, soul, and spirit for us to exhibit either of these characteristics in proof of our devotion to Him.

“God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be held in reverence by all those around Him” (Ps. 89.7). Fear. Reverence.

“You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I AM the LORD” (Lev. 19.30). Obedience Reverence.

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Heb. 12.28). Service. Reverence. Fear.

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10.28). Fear. Wisdom.

“Fear God” (1 Pet. 2.17). Fear.

There is no way we can serve God correctly, nor be obedient to Him consistently, without a sincere fear and reverence for Him. In light of this truth, we plead with God to “Establish Your Word to Your servant.” (Ps. 119.38) Namely, me.

Two additional translations help us learn how to pray this correctly:
“Confirm to Your servant Your promise” (ESV).
“Reassure me of Your promise” (NLT).

The day we claimed Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord was the day we were established with Him. In the same way that some companies tell us in their logo when they began, or were established, we too know when our Christian status was established. Confirmed and reassured.

When we are devoted only to Him, to fear Him, and reverence Him, we can fully trust that as we are daily seeking Him in our mutual “establishment” He will meet with us, filling us with His Spirit and enabling us to walk in the way that is pleasing to Him. Fearfully. Reverently. Established.

For reflection
1. What is the fear of God? Why is it so important? How does exalting the Word of God help us in fearing Him?

2. Does the fear of God mean we don’t love Him? How do these two work together in the life of faith?

3. What is your responsibility in having God highly exalt His Word in your life?

And truly the best assurance which we can have of obtaining our requests is when these and God’s service harmonize, and our sole desire is that he may reign in and over us. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commenatry on Psalm 119.38

Pray Psalm 119.33-37.
Use the verbs in these verses to seek the Lord for better understanding of and greater delight in His Word. Be specific in committing your day – all its activities – to keeping and observing His Word and walking in His path.

Sing Psalm 119.33-37.
(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.

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!

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.

If you find Scriptorium helpful in your walk with the Lord, please seek the Lord, asking Him whether you should contribute to the support of this daily ministry with your financial gifts. As the Lord leads, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal or Anedot, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

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

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.