Psalm 119.153-160 (2)
Pray Psalm 119.155.
Salvation is far from the wicked,
For they do not seek Your statutes.
Sing Psalm 119.156, 157.
(Regent Square: Angels from the Realms of Glory)
They who do not seek Your statutes saving grace shall never know.
For Your tender mercy, Jesus, I will to Your judgments go.
O revive us! O revive us! Let Your grace and mercy flow!
Read Psalm 119.153-160; meditate on verse 155.
1. Who does not seek the Lord’s statutes?
2. What does that say about them?
Can we know whether we are saved? Is it possible to be assured of salvation? To be confident in the Lord that we are redeemed, forgiven, born again, and on the path of sanctification and glory?
Surely every believer will affirm that we may know we are saved. But how? Merely because we prayed some prayer or went forward in a meeting? Or go to church? Sing in the choir? Read our Bibles?
These, of course, may be important indicators of salvation. But look again at what our psalmist says: Salvation continues to elude those who do not seek the statutes – the Law, the Word – of God. The Hebrew verb דָּרַשׁ (darash) is rather more richly nuanced than what the translation “seek” implies. It means to “resort to”, “read repeatedly”, “search out”, “pursue”, and even “practice”. They know they are saved who diligently pursue greater depths of understanding and obedience, seeking the knowledge of the Lord and His will by resorting to all His Word, including His Law. They do not seek God’s Law in order to be saved but because they are saved and thus eagerly seek to know Him Who has saved them.
If we have no heart for God’s Law, little delight in His Word, and not much evidence of consistent good works (Heb. 6.9), then we have little to show as proof that we are saved. We may insist that we are saved and hope it is true, but here is the true measure of those in whom God has wrought a saving work: They seek Him in His Word. They want to know Jesus. They want to glorify the Father. They want to be filled with the Spirit. They want to live according to His statutes. So they pursue Him daily in His Word, delighting in all His revelation and being transformed increasingly into His likeness (2 Cor. 3.12-18).
Salvation is far from those who do not seek God’s Law. But it is the near, dear, and cherished possession of those who seek more of it in all His Word.
Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
If salvation is far from the wicked because they do not seek God’s Word, then it only makes sense that those who seek God’s Word because they love Him, are close to Him. As Psalm 119.41 says, “Let Your mercies come also to me, O LORD—Your salvation according to Your word.”
It is a bafflement that some Christians do not ravenously seek God’s Word. If we are honest with ourselves, we must acknowledge that the people we love we long to be with, and we strive to do so. The things we like to do, we do as much as we can. Even daily nourishment is sought because we hunger and thirst for it. Can you imagine not caring one way or the other about spending time with your beloved or with your children? Or your friends? In fact, you do not seek, resort to, search out, or pursue them at all. Or at best, your relationships with them are ho hum, oh well, or whatever. Where is the proof of our love?
A habit is formed by doing something repeatedly; and reading and meditating in God’s word will become a habit the more we do it. And the more we read, the more we want to meditate and pray; then we’re hooked. We are caught up in an eternal love relationship with the Creator of the world that we just cannot seem to get enough of. “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts” (Jer. 15.16). “Set your hearts on the words…all the words of this law. For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life…” (Deut. 32.46, 47).
“I love the LORD, because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live” (Ps. 116.1, 2).
“And this is eternal life [salvation], that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (Jn. 17.3).
“Salvation is far from those who do not seek God’s Law. But it is the near, dear, and cherished possession of those who seek more of it in all His Word.” There is the proof of our love.
1. How would you describe your own attitude toward the Word of God? Do you hunger for it? Delight in it? Cherish the time you have with it?
2. What are some things that can distract us from loving God and His Word? How can we tell when we are being distracted?
3. What can believers do to help one another love the Word of God more deeply?
The wicked not only do not God’s statutes, but they do not even seek them. They flatter themselves that they are going to heaven; but the longer they persist in sin, the further it is from them. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.155
Pray Psalm 119.159, 160.
Tell the Lord what you love about His Word. Be specific. Talk with Him about your favorite books of the Bible, favorite writers, cherished passages or truths, and precious promises. Rejoice before Him in His Word.
Sing Psalm 119.159, 160.
(Regent Square: Angels from the Realms of Glory)
Lord, consider how I love the precepts of Your holy Word!
All Your Word is truth forever, and your judgments, righteous Lord.
O revive us! O revive us by Your kindness, loving Lord!
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.
Would you like to learn more about tapping into the grace of God for all your daily needs? Our book, Grace for Your Time of Need, can help. Learn more and order your free copy by clicking 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.