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The Scriptorium

Full Circle

It's righteousness, beginning to end. Psalm 119.144

Psalm 119.137-144 (6)

Pray Psalm 119.144.
The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting;
Give me understanding, and I shall live.

Psalm 119.143, 144.
(Divinum Mysterium:
Of the Father’s Love Begotten)
All Your statutes, all Your judgments, Lord, have become my great delight,
and Your testimonies, ever sure, ever true, and ever right!
Help me understand that I may live, O Lord,
in Your strength and by Your sight,
for Your Word is my delight.

Read Psalm 119.137-144; meditate on verse 144.


1. What did the psalmist say was everlasting?

2. What did he seek that he might live?

We have come full circle back to where this stanza began, with the righteousness of God’s Law and the promise of life that comes through obedience.

The Law of God, Paul reminded us, is holy and righteous and good (Rom. 7.12). We are truly living as we enter more fully the abundant life God has for us in Jesus (Jn. 10.10). God has sent His Spirit into our heart, adopting us as His own children (Gal. 4.4). The Spirit’s work within us is to teach us the Law of God and to move and empower us to obey it (Ezek. 36.26, 27; Phil. 2.13). Because it is as we look into the Law of God and the glory God reveals there that the Spirit makes us more like Jesus, Who is holy and righteous and good (2 Cor. 3.12-18).

If we understand this, and if we apply ourselves diligently to understanding God’s Law – and all His Word – we will see Jesus with increasing clarity. The testimonies, statutes, precepts, judgments, and rules of God’s Law reveal the righteousness that Jesus perfectly fulfilled and which He calls us to seek (Matt. 5.17-19; 6.33). Look to God to help you understand His Word. Understanding His Word, delight in it. Delighting in it, obey it. And then you will know life as God intends it – the life of Jesus increasing in you and overflowing from you for the glory of God the Father.

And as you do, God will bring you full circle to increasing fullness of Himself (Eph. 3.14-19).

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Since acting in accord with divine or moral law and being free from guilt or sin is the definition of the word righteous, we can see that God obviously is righteous; and everything about Him is righteous. Jesus Christ is the perfect fulfillment of righteousness, and the Holy Spirit exudes righteousness into the world and into us.
Solomon expounded: “He who follows righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness, and honor (Prov. 21.21).

Salvation is all about the need for righteousness and our inability to produce it. But God stepped in and made life possible for us through His perfect Son Jesus. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3.16) “The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting” (Ps. 119.144). The Word of God is everlasting. And through Him we find life, righteousness, and honor.

To know this, we must ask God for understanding (Ps. 119.144). Only through faith will we be able to comprehend this gift. As Paul wrote: “…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height; to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3.17-19).

There is indeed “the promise of life that comes through obedience” to God’s Law. But obedience takes work on our part, and total dependence upon God’s gracious leading. In God’s Word we find the means to this end: “Teach me to do Your will,
for You are my God; Your Spirit is good.
Lead me in the land of uprightness.
Revive me, O LORD, for Your name’s sake!
For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble” (Ps. 143.10, 11).


For reflection
1. What is righteousness? Why does God insist on our being righteous?

2. How does God form us into the righteousness of Jesus? What is our part in this?

3. What can keep you from growing in righteousness?

This is life eternal, to know God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent, John 17:3. May we live the life of faith and grace here, and be removed to the life of glory hereafter. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.144

Pray Psalm 119.137, 138.
Praise the Lord for His righteousness. Call on Him to strengthen you for obedience today, that you might be transformed increasingly into the likeness of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3.12-18).

Psalm 119.137, 138.
(Divinum Mysterium:
Of the Father’s Love Begotten)
Righteous are You, O my Lord! Upright are Your judgments, too!
All the words You have commanded us we will surely keep and do!
For Your testimonies all are righteous, Lord;
all Your faithful Word is true:
We rejoice, O Lord, in You!

T. M. and Susie Moore

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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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