Psalm 119.73-80 (6)
Pray Psalm 119.80.
Let my heart be blameless regarding Your statutes,
That I may not be ashamed.
Sing Psalm 119.79, 80.
(Brother James’ Air: The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want)
Let those who fear You turn to me, all those who love Your Word.
Let my heart pure and blameless be before Your statutes, Lord!
That shame may not attach to me, I hold fast to Your Word!
Read Psalm 119.73-80; meditate on verse 80.
1. With respect to what did the psalmist want a blameless heart?
2. Why did he want that?
This is one of many psalms that reminds us that the heart is the heart of the matter when it comes to God and His Word. Consider a few: “My defense is of God, Who saves the upright in heart” (Ps. 7.10). “But I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation” (Ps. 13.5). “You have tested my heart…” (Ps. 17.3). “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and heart” (Ps. 26.2). “I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your Law is within my heart” (Ps. 40.8). “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps. 51.10). “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast” (Ps. 57.7). “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90.12).
And so on.
A “blameless” heart is really a “complete” heart (Hebrew, תָמִ֣ים, taMIM). It lacks nothing it requires to be complete before the Lord. Thus when such a heart is exposed to the Law of God, it is not ashamed. Imagine your heart standing for inspection by the Lord, like a Marine standing before His commanding officer. He’s looking at every crease and fold, pocket, collar, belt – the whole works. Everything is just what it’s supposed to be according to the manual. Complete.
Our psalmist knew what it was to stray from God, to give in to the temptation to covet and stretch the truth. But what he wanted, what he desired, what he truly and earnestly longed for was that none of that nor anything like it would find a home in his heart. He wanted God to give him a blameless and complete heart, all his desires and longings, his delights and joys, his motives and aspirations fixed on being complete before the Lord.
“For in [Jesus Christ] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, Who is the head of all principality and power” (Col. 1.9, 10). And He makes us complete in heart before the Law of God – no shame, no condemnation (Rom. 8.1).
Make sure your heart is set on Jesus. He’ll do the rest.
Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
God appreciates a person’s heart who is trying to please Him. It does not escape His perusal. Think of the occasion when Solomon could have asked for anything from God, and he asked for wisdom: “Then God said to Solomon: ‘Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life—but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king—wisdom and knowledge are granted to you…’” (2 Chron. 1.7-12).
We also have the example of King David, who longed to build a temple for the LORD but was denied the privilege. However, God knew his heart and said to him, “Whereas it was in your heart to build a temple for My name, you did well in that it was in your heart” (2 Chron. 6.7, 8).
We learn from Psalm 24.3, 4 about what kind of heart is pleasing to the LORD in worship: “Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”
When our heart is pleasing to God, because we are trusting and obeying Him, we have no reason to be ashamed. As David said, “To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; let me not be ashamed; let not my enemies triumph over me. Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause” (Ps. 25.1-3).
And what does our loving Savior Jesus Christ want for our hearts? He said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me” (Jn. 14.1).
He wants us to rest secure in His blameless life, and claim the forgiveness and wholeness that we find in Him to aid and assist us in keeping God’s Laws and to resist our enemy’s attempts to make us feel shame. When God looks into our heart, we want Him to see Jesus. First and foremost.
Jesus said to us, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11.28).
A blameless heart, in God’s Law, through Jesus Christ, and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
1. Why does the heart – the seat of all our affections – matter so much in the life of faith?
2. What kinds of things can distract our heart from loving God supremely?
3. How can believers encourage one another to be firm-hearted for God, so that they will not be ashamed to look into His Word at any point?
Soundness of heart signifies sincerity in dependence on God, and devotedness to him. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.80
Pray Psalm 119.75-78.
Ask the Lord to search your heart, and to give you mercy and grace to serve Him with a blameless heart this day.
Sing Psalm 119.75-78.
(Brother James’ Air: The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want)
Your judgments all are right, I know; You judge me faithfully.
Let kindness be my comfort so Your mercy I may see.
Your grace Your faithful servant show, as You have promised me.
Your tender mercies come to me that I may live in You.
Your Law I ponder joyfully, Your will to know and do.
Shame all who treat me wrongfully; Your precepts I pursue.
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.
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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.