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The Scriptorium

Ransom Me

It's all grace. Psalm 119.134

Psalm 119.129-136 (5)

Pray Psalm 119.134.
Redeem me from the oppression of man,
That I may keep Your precepts.

Sing Psalm 119.134, 135.
No Other Plea: My Faith Has Found a Resting Place)
Redeem me from oppression, Lord, from those who hate Your way,
that I may keep Your holy Word and serve You day by day.
Shine on me with Your glorious face; Your servant, Lord, am I.
So teach me by Your holy Word; Your grace to me supply.

Read Psalm 119.129-136; meditate on verse 134.


1. What did the psalmist want God to do for him?

2. Why?

The word “redeem” or “ransom” seems strange here. Did God have to pay a ransom to free the psalmist from the oppression of the wicked?

The psalmist is identifying with Israel’s experience here. By the grace of God, a price was paid so that Israel could go free from oppression. That price was paid both at the expense of Israel’s enemies and through the death of innocent lambs. The ransom thus accomplished, God led Israel out into the wilderness and gave them His Law. He redeemed them to make them His own people. As His redeemed people, they were to keep His commandments.

In a larger sense, Israel’s redemption, and that ransom which the psalmist sought here, point forward to the work of Jesus. God redeemed all His chosen people by ransoming them from the oppression of sin, again, in two ways: at the expense of the enemy of our soul, who was bound with all his minions and is destined to eternal condemnation; and at the price of God’s own Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. By binding the devil and taking our sins on Himself, Jesus redeemed us from sin’s oppression and set us free to live according to the Law of liberty and love.

We will live either under the oppression of men and sin or in the freedom of Christ and God’s Law. Only the grace of God can get us from oppression to freedom. Thus, like the psalmist, let us seek it day by day, setting all our sins aside and hastening, through our Lord Jesus Christ, to the precepts and statutes of God.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“…that I may keep Your precepts” (Ps. 119.134).

“By binding the devil and taking our sins on Himself, Jesus redeemed us from sin’s oppression and set us free to live according to the Law of liberty and love.” There appears to be only one reason that we have been saved besides, of course, God’s glorious grace, love, and mercy in doing so. And that reason is: We are to keep His Law and do His commandments and accomplish the good works that He has “prepared beforehand that we should” do (Eph. 2.10).

“Your hands have made me and fashioned me; give me understanding.” Why?
“That I may learn Your commandments” (Ps. 119.73). Created to do His will.

Upon the birth of John the Baptist, his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he prophesied about Jesus and His work, and about the work that all believers had been, and will be, called to do. He said, “…that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us…to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life” (Lk. 1.71, 74, 75). And that Jesus would: “…give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Lk. 1.79).

Although Jesus promised us peace (Jn. 14.27), our salvation is not about our happiness level. It has nothing to do with how wealthy or healthy we are or are not. But, it has everything to do with our response to God’s gracious Gift, Jesus.

Solomon wrote: “Let us hear the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
for this is man’s all.
For God will bring every work into judgment,
including every secret thing,
whether good or evil” (Eccl. 12.13, 14).

Yes, ransom me, Lord; and I will set my heart on following You forever, to the very end (Ps. 119.112; Lk. 9.23).

For reflection

1. How would you explain the role of good works in salvation to a new believer?

2. How does the Law of God help us in doing good works?

3. Why is keeping God’s Law a most appropriate “response to God’s gracious Gift, Jesus”?

He delivers us for no other end, but that the fruits of our deliverance may be manifested in our life; and we are too perverse if that experience is not sufficient to convince us, that all who persevere in the unfeigned fear of God, will always abide in safety by his aid, although the whole world may be against them. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Psalm 119.134

Pray Psalm 119.129-131.
Seek the Lord for light and understanding for the day ahead, so that you may know how to escape the traps and snares of sin and live according to God’s Word in all things.

Sing Psalm 119.129-131.
No Other Plea: My Faith Has Found a Resting Place)
Your testimonies, Lord are sweet; I hide them in my soul.
Your words give light unto my feet, and make my thinking whole.
I open wide my mouth to You: Lord, feed me with Your Word!
I vow that all You say I’ll do: I love Your precepts, Lord.

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.

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.


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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