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The Scriptorium

Old Time, All Time

The Word is reliable and sure. Psalm 119.152

Pray Psalm 119.152.
Concerning Your testimonies,
I have known of old that You have founded them forever.

Sing Psalm 119.152.
(Festal Song: Rise Up, O Men of God)
Your Word has been from old, established by decree.
More precious than the finest gold, Your Word gives life to me!

Read Psalm 119.145-152; meditate on verse 152.


1. What did the psalmist know about God’s testimonies?

2. How long did he know this?

The psalmist says that he knew “of old” that God’s Word has eternal foundations. What does he mean by that?

He may be saying merely that he had long familiarity with the testimonies (Word) of God, and that he found them to be always reliable. For many years he had read, studied, meditated on, and put into practice whatsoever God testified in His Word, and his experience was that the Scriptures were true and trustworthy.

He also could be saying that he had learned from the studies of others that he could count on God’s Law. That is, he perhaps included in his own study of Scripture reflection on the writings or testimonies of older teachers, or people from generations gone by, and that he learned from their testimony that the Word of God is reliable and sure. Thus, “from old” he found a continuing record of sound instruction and confidence in the Law and Word of God. This is one of the reasons we include a quote from those “of old” in our own reflections on Scripture, to demonstrate the ongoing reliability of Scripture’s teaching as discerned by our forebears in the faith.

The Word of God is founded in eternity. Its beginnings are eternal. Its continuing validity, durability, and reliability are sustained from the eternal Presence of God. And the Word will continue true and unchanging for all eternity to come.

All the more reason to read, study, learn, follow, and share this incredible gift from God.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
About Jesus, the promised One, the Ruler in Israel, we are told that His “goings forth are from of old, from everlasting” (Mic. 5.2). He is the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and Omega; He has always been and always will be (Jn. 1.1-5). We just describe it as of old.

Everything glorious and wonderful about God is surely of old. And although He is eternal, we are stuck in time for now, so this is how we contemplate His time. “Remember, O L
ORD, Your tender mercies and Your
lovingkindnesses, for they are from of old” (Ps. 25.6). 

We are called to join Him in His work of old and bring this Word forward into our Personal Mission Field. And more likely than not, someone in our past took this mandate seriously and spoke to us, years ago, about our glorious Savior, and God’s plan of redemption for us.

When Paul wrote to Timothy, he spoke of this transfer of the knowledge of God from one generation to the next. He said that he was filled with joy, “when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also” (2 Tim. 1.5). Lois to Eunice to Timothy. As Christian parents it is incumbent upon us to share the Law of God and the Good News of Jesus Christ with our children. As Moses said, “You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deut. 6.7). So they too can know of old about God’s testimonies.

Paul went on to instruct Timothy a step further. He was glad that Timothy knew the Word of old; now he instructed him to do the Word. “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3.14, 15). The salvation must come through his faith in Christ Jesus. Not his grandmother’s or mother’s faith.

This is the point where the responsibility falls directly upon each person—either to accept or reject all those wonderful truths that have been known of old. Head knowledge about the Scriptures is much needed; but unless that knowledge travels from our head to our heart and out into our life it is of little use. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” OK. But to what end? “…that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3.16, 17).

Regardless of how long “of old” is for us, we know Him now. And knowing Him now, He has a Word for us: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28.18-20).

“Old time, all time.”

For reflection
1. Why does it matter that the Word of God is grounded in eternity?

2. Is it important to be taught by previous generations of those who have known the Word of God? Explain.

3. What is your responsibility for passing on the ancient Word of God to the next generation of believers?

This indeed is the chief point of faith, That the word of God is not only distinguished for fidelity and steadfastness for a time, but that it continues unchangeable for ever. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Psalm 119.152

Pray Psalm 119.149-151.
Pray about the day ahead. Where will you especially need to be aware of the Lord’s Presence, and to seek His mercy and grace for your time of need? Prepare for those times now, as you are in prayer before the Lord.

Sing Psalm 119.149-151.
(Festal Song: Rise Up, O Men of God)
Lord, hear my plaintive voice, revive me by Your grace;
in justice let my soul rejoice before Your holy face.

Those who forsake Your Word draw near in wickedness;
yet You are near, O God my Lord! Your truth will save and bless!

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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