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The Scriptorium

Safety in the Name

It's the place to be. Psalm 119.55, 56

Psalm 119.49-56 (6)

Pray Psalm 119.55, 56.
I remember Your name in the night, O LORD,
And I keep Your law.
This has become mine,
Because I kept Your precepts.

Sing Psalm 119.55, 56.
(Wycliff: All for Jesus)
In the night Your Name attends me, and I keep Your holy Word;
let Your precepts all befriend me, as I keep them, glorious Lord.

Read Psalm 119.49-56; meditate on verses 55, 56


Preparation

1. When did the psalmist remember God’s Name?

2. To what did that lead?

Meditation
I recall our daughter Kristy once lamenting sadly to me that she often found that, during her nighttime prayers, she fell asleep praying. She felt bad about this, but, as her father, I assured her that, if she were resting in my arms, talking to me about her day, offering words of appreciation and love, and fell asleep doing so, I would be thrilled.

So is our heavenly Father. I find nighttime, when the day is through and I lie down to sleep, an excellent time for remembering the Lord and His many benefits, beginning with the day just completed. I will sometimes run through a litany of His names: Creator, Almighty, King of kings, Lord of lords, and so forth, pausing on each to let the particular name suggest as much as possible and praising Him accordingly. This is also a good time for breathing prayers, where you say one phrase as you breathe in – “This has become mine” – all the blessings you’ve mentioned thus far – and the second phrase as you breathe out – “because I have kept your precepts” (v. 56), always concluding the last phrase with “Thank You, Father!” (2 Cor. 4.15).

And I will often fall asleep during one or another of those prayers.

This stanza has been about the comfort the psalmist knew from keeping the Law of God (cf. vv. 50, 52, 54). Surely this is one of the great comforts of knowing God and living within His Law: “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; /For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety” (Ps. 4.8).

Fall asleep each night recalling God’s blessings, meditating on His great Name, and rejoicing in all that has become yours because of His Word, and our Father won’t mind if you drift off into sleep in His arms.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
And all this comfort and sweetness has come to us transactionally: “This has become mine, because I kept Your precepts” (Ps. 119.56).

God shows us love, and we show love back to God by keeping His commands (Jn. 14.15). In Ezekiel 18 culminating a litany of situations demonstrating obedience to God, verse 9 says: “If he has walked in My statutes and kept My judgments faithfully—he is just; he shall surely live!”

For believers, the sweetness of God’s care for us on earth is just a foretaste of our relationship with Him in the new heavens and the new earth. Our faith is “here and now” and “there and then.”

“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing” (1 Thess. 5.9-11).

“You, O LORD, are our Father; our Redeemer from everlasting is Your name” (Is. 63.16).

Comfort, sweetness, and safety. All found in that Name.

For reflection
1. What other words or ideas come to mind when you think of “comfort”?

2. “Remembering” the Name of the LORD can help us in keeping His Law. How should you remember His Name?

3. Keeping His Law (precepts, v. 56) enables us to remember the Name of the LORD. Do you see a circuit or a reinforcing loop here? Explain.

In the season of affliction, and in the silent hours of the night, he remembers the name of the Lord, and is stirred up to keep the law. All who have made religion the first thing, will own that they have been unspeakable gainers by it. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.49-56

Pray Psalm 119.49-54.
Spend some time in silent meditation, thinking of ways God has remembered His Word to you, and ways you have remembered His Word in serving Him. Give Him thanks and praise.

Sing Psalm 119.49-54.
(Wycliff: All for Jesus)
Lord, remember all the good Word You have spoken unto me!
For I ever hope in You, Lord as I serve You joyfully.

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.

Indignation grips me, Savior, for those who forsake Your Word.
All Your statutes, all Your favor, I will sing with joy, O 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.

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 copies 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

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