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The Scriptorium

Keeping Life in Hand

God's hand, that is. Psalm 119.109, 110

Psalm 119.105-112 (5)

Pray Psalm 119.109, 110.
My life is continually in my hand,
Yet I do not forget Your law.
The wicked have laid a snare for me,
Yet I have not strayed from Your precepts.

Sing Psalm 119.109, 110.
(Slane: Be Thou My Vision)
Daily I take up my life in my hand,
working to keep to Your gracious command.
Let not the wicked turn me from Your way;
I from Your precepts, O Lord, will not stray.

Read Psalm 119.105-112; meditate on verses 109, 110.

Preparation

1. What did the psalmist say about his life?

2. Did the snares of the wicked trip him up?

Meditation
My sense is that the psalmist means he was ever diligent in attending to the matters of his daily life. He took his life in hand each day, keeping an eye out for temptations and distractions, and walked the path of God’s precepts.

Like us, the psalmist doubtless had many responsibilities, tasks, obligations, and duties. It's not likely he had much of what we would call leisure time. He was busy and had always much on his mind. At the same time, enemies were trying to subvert, entrap, and destroy him. Nevertheless, he kept the Law of God in mind, to obey it in all his daily life and work.

This is the challenge we face as well, to be eager, diligent, and fruitful in all our daily duties, all the while keeping the Word of God in mind, so that we walk the path of righteousness and love in all we do. The enemy of our souls lays traps and snares in our path in the form of temptations, trials, troubles, and tumult. We need to be aware of his wiles and ways, and learn to recognize the snares he sets out for us each day. If we can see them, we’ll be better able to avoid them by God’s wisdom and grace (Prov. 1.17).

The ability to do this comes from consistent and continuous reading, reflecting on, and meditating in God's Word, as well as talking about it with others. And we must remember and renew our vows to keep God’s Word, relying on His promises and hewing to His commandments when trials and temptations arise.

Keep your hand in God’s hand, and you’ll keep your life in hand always.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
As I do my life with You,
I do not forget Your law.
As the wicked do their lives—busily setting traps for me,
I do not stray from Your precepts (Ps. 119.109, 110 my paraphrase).

We all go about our lives; but it’s Whom we go with and Whom we follow that matters. As Paul exhorted, “…walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory” (1 Thess. 2.12). And what we do is plain to all who observe us, for “Even a child is known by his deeds, whether what he does is pure and right” (Prov. 20.11). It is painfully obvious whether we are following God’s Laws.

Ezra exemplified what and how we are to go about taking our life in hand and living it wholeheartedly for God: “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ez. 7.10). Seek, do, teach. Before he opened his mouth to speak, he sought the LORD for himself, he himself obeyed the Law of God, then he was ready to teach it to others.

Now, about those snares or traps that the wicked set for us. We have God’s promise that He will deliver us from those when we are dwelling in Him—heart, soul, mind, and strength:
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.’
Surely He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence” (Ps. 91.1-3).

If we dwell in Him, He will deliver us from snares and traps set by the perilous pestilence of the wicked.
(Yes, it’s another one of those glorious times when we get to call names: Wicked perilous pests!)

Jesus said, “Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like:  He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock” (Lk. 6.47, 48). Founded on Jesus I will not forget Your law. I will not stray from Your precepts.

“Keep your hand in God’s hand, and you’ll keep your life in hand always.”

For reflection
1. What does it mean for you to have your life “in hand”?

2. How can you tell when the enemy of your soul is leading you into some kind of snare?

3. How can believers help one another to keep their hand in God’s hand?

To have our soul or life continually in our hands, implies constant danger of life; yet he did not forget God’s promises nor his precepts. Numberless are the snares laid by the wicked; and happy is that servant of God, whom they have not caused to err from his Master’s precepts. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.109, 110

Pray Psalm 119.97, 98, 105-108.
Renew your commitment to learn and keep God’s Law. Ask the Lord to keep you from falling through temptations into sin, and to give you grace to bear the burdens of this day.

Sing Psalm 119.105-108.
(Slane: Be Thou My Vision)
Your Word a lamp is to brighten my way.
Lord from Your pathway let me never stray!
I give my word now as I have before:
Your righteous Law I will keep ever more.

I am afflicted and sorely distressed;
O Lord, revive me that I may be blessed.
Teach me Your Word, Lord, my thanks I proclaim;
Off’rings of praise I declare to Your Name!

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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