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The Scriptorium

The Law of Comfort

Always has been, always will be. Psalm 119.52

Psalm 119.49-56 (3)

Pray Psalm 119.52.
I remembered Your judgments of old, O LORD,
And have comforted myself.

Sing Psalm 119.52.
(Wycliff: All for Jesus)
Though the proud deride and taunt me, I will trust Your faithful Word.
Let Your judgments from of old be all my comfort, holy Lord.

Read Psalm 119.49-56; meditate on verses 52.

Preparation
1. What did the psalmist remember?

2. How did that help him?

Meditation
The context for verse 52 is verses 50 and 51, the affliction that the psalmist experienced from the derision heaped on him by the proud. Such affliction can be discomforting, but the psalmist knew how to restore his peace.

He “remembered” God’s judgments, which are from “of old” – that is, from eternity. We can assume that the sense of “remember” here is the same as verse 49, an active and detailed attending to all the Law, to saturate the soul and shape the life. God remembers His Law, but we must remember it as well if we would know the happiness that comes from it.

The psalmist says he comforted himself by remembering the eternal judgments of God. That’s a bit like saying you refreshed yourself on a hot day with a glass of lemonade. The lemonade does the refreshing, but you must make or fetch it, then drink it down.

So it is with the Law of God, which abounds with refreshment for our soul and comfort in our times of trial. We must diligently apply ourselves to the Law so that the comfort it contains can permeate our soul with peace. Reading, meditating, memorizing, and obeying are the keys to unlocking the comfort God’s Law can bring. The “of old” Law reminds us that God is eternally unchanging, and that His Word will never fail. His Spirit is at work within us as we comfort and fortify ourselves by “remembering” the Law of God day by day (Ps. 1; Phil. 2.12, 13).

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
I remember His judgments of old, and when I do, I am comforted (Ps. 119.52). Because no matter what happens to us, the history of God and His plan for us through Jesus and the Holy Spirit will never change. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13.8).

And encompassed in His unchangeableness is God’s vision for humanity. Us.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love…” (Eph. 1.3, 4).
There it is in print. He chose us from eternity past. What a memory!

When we feel adrift and confused… “Such affliction can be discomforting, but the psalmist knew how to restore his peace.” And so do we. We can always think on the memories we have in our hearts and minds about the creative beginning of the world (Gen. 1.1), and the glorious Creator. Then we can think on an even greater remembrance of the appearance of our Savior, Jesus Christ (Jn. 1.1-4).

These memories restore our equilibrium no matter how shaky the ground feels under our feet.

We can then rummage through the memories we have of God’s faithfulness to Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Ruth, Samuel’s mother Hannah, Elijah, Elisha, Daniel and his three friends, Queen Esther, Job, and on and on. Person after person that experienced trials, heartaches, and healing comfort from God—enveloped in the Law of Comfort.

That God is our God.

“The LORD sat enthroned at the Flood, and
the LORD sits as King forever.
The LORD will give strength to His people;
the LORD will bless His people with peace” (Ps. 29.10, 11).

Think on these things, remember, and be comforted. (Phil. 4.8)

For reflection
1. What is one memory you have of how God has worked in or for you? Why is it important to remember such things?

2. Why is it important that we understand that God’s Word is unchanging?

3. Whom will you encourage today with the memory of what God has done to comfort and encourage you?

God’s judgments of old comfort and encourage us, for he is still the same. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.49-56

Pray Psalm 119.50, 51.
Thank the Lord for all the ways He has comforted, strengthened, encouraged, or otherwise worked in you for good. Go forth in the confidence of His Presence and comfort.

Sing Psalm 119.50, 51.
(Wycliff: All for Jesus)
This my comfort in affliction, this my comfort in all strife:
that Your Word is my redemption, giving me eternal life!

Though the proud deride and taunt me, I will trust Your faithful Word.
Let Your judgments from of old be all my comfort, holy Lord.

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.

The winds of false doctrine are exceedingly strong in our day. If we don’t recognize them, we may become swept up in them and blown off course in our walk with Lord. Our ReVision study on “Winds of Doctrine” can help you keep the sails of your soul in the wind of God’s Spirit. You can download all the studies in this series by clicking 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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