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It's the most important thing. Psalm 119.111, 112

Psalm 119.105-112 (6)

Pray Psalm 119.111, 112.
Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever,
For they are the rejoicing of my heart.
I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes
Forever, to the very end.

Sing Psalm 119.111, 112.
(Slane: Be Thou My Vision)
I take Your Word as the joy of my heart,
my trust, my heritage, my special part.
I bend my heart to fulfill all Your Word,
always, forever, to serve You, O Lord.

Read Psalm 119.105-112; meditate on verses 111, 112.


1. How did the psalmist regard the testimonies of the Lord?

2. How did he express his love for and commitment to the Word of the Lord?

We’re all familiar with the term “mindset.” Mindset indicates a direction or shape or framework of thought. A mindset is developed over time, as we focus on some ideas and opinions and set others aside. Because all who believe in Jesus have the mind of Christ, we should be working daily to develop that mind as it is revealed to us in God’s Law and all His Word (1 Cor. 2.16; 2 Pet. 3.18).

But a Christian mindset is not enough. A Christian mindset won’t keep you on the Lord’s path when temptations arise that garner the attention of your heart. You need a solid heartset to go with that mindset, and the Spirit of God is working within you to accomplish both (Jer. 31.33; Ezek. 36.26, 27; Phil. 2.13).

But a heart set on God is more important than a mind filled with Biblical insights and theological convictions. The psalmist knew this, and so he wrote this very elaborate passage to emphasize that point. Notice the structure of this parallelism:

            A “testimonies”
                        B “taken as a heritage”
                                    C “forever”
                                                D “rejoicing of my heart”
                                                D “inclined my heart”
            A “statutes”
                        B “perform” or better “fulfill” or “accomplish”
                                    C “forever"
                                    C1 “to the very end” 

At the heart of this bit of poetic brilliance is the heart, rejoicing in and inclined toward God’s testimonies and statutes, to “take” them and “fulfill” them, and not just now, but “forever” and “forever, to the very end.” This is the Christian heartset. Keep working on developing the mind of Christ. But do not neglect your heart. Commit it and all your life to the Lord daily, until you love God’s Word like a glorious inheritance and bend your heart in rejoicing to it more and more each day.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162.).
“My heart is set on keeping Your decrees to the very end” (Ps. 119.112 NIV).

This verse is what drives me on in my quest to be more like Jesus. It is dear to my heart. And this is why: Years ago, we learned that a minister friend of ours had been unfaithful to his wife. He had two young children. He had a church full of people. We had four children who knew him. We knew him. He had a married brother. He had nephews. He had parents. He had a Savior and a jealous God. The overwhelming mayhem caused by one person’s act of infidelity was far-reaching and devastating.

At that time, I pled with God never to allow me to be that kind of a disappointment to Him, my family, or anyone else. To be a disgrace to my Savior. Please, no, Lord, never.

Not long after that, I read Psalm 119.112 and claimed it as a “light for my path” (Ps. 119.105).

It is heartbreaking, as a believer, to know that many people through the ages have “thrown the baby out with the bathwater.” All the people who have lost love for God, who have been disappointed, or have lost their faith because of another person’s bad behavior. All the wars that have been falsely waged for religious reasons. All the people who have turned away from the love of Jesus because somebody who bore the name of Christian was an absolute flop at righteous living. We are the light of the world (Matt. 5.14). We are the salt of the earth. And frankly, Jesus said, “…if the salt loses its flavor…it is good then for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (Matt. 5.13). Sin always affects others, and the effects are unalterable. It is like the ripples that are put in motion on the surface of water when a pebble is dropped in.

“But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared” (Ps. 130.4). Yes, praise God, there is always forgiveness offered for our many sins (1 Jn. 1.9), and forgiveness offered by gracious people. We are all in need of forgiveness from God and from others every day. Although my heart is set, it is easily jostled and needs to stay current, moment by moment with the Lord (Rom. 7.18-25).

Here is some encouragement for our souls: When the testimonies of God are “the rejoicing of [our] heart” (Ps. 119.111) then the possibility of us grossly disappointing God and others diminishes exponentially.

Now, the upside to all of this. We don’t have to be a disappointment. We can live a victoriously pleasing life. We have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2.16); we can dress daily for the battle (Eph. 6.10-18); we have been given a plan of action:
1. Fear the LORD your God.
2. Walk in all His ways.
3. Love Him.
4. Serve Him with all your heart and soul.
5. Keep His commandments and statutes.
6. Know that these rules are for your good and the good of others.
(Deuteronomy 10.12, 13)

If we set our heart on this “to the very end”; and “Let [our] light so shine before men, that they may see [our] good works and glorify [our] Father in heaven” (Matt. 5.16); then others will run toward Him, and not away. It can be their “heritage forever” too. (Ps. 119.111, 112).

For reflection
1. What do we mean by “mindset” and “heartset”? Why do we need both? What defines a proper heartset for a Christian?

2. What can you do, throughout the day, to help make sure you will not be a stumbling-block for someone else?

3. How can Christians encourage one another to a proper heartset? Whom will you encourage today?

Heavenly treasures are a heritage for ever; all the saints accept them as such, therefore they can be content with little of this world. We must look for comfort only in the way of duty, and that duty must be done. A good man, by the grace of God, brings his heart to his work, then it is done well. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.111, 112

Pray Psalm 119.105.
Pray these verses verbatim, making the psalmist’s words your words as you renew your vows with the Lord. Then wait in silence on the Lord with thanksgiving for whatever He brings to mind.

Sing Psalm 119.105-110.
(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!

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.

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.

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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.
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