Psalm 119.161-168 (5)
Pray Psalm 119.166.
LORD, I hope for Your salvation,
And I do Your commandments.
Sing Psalm 119.166-168.
(Hymn to Joy: Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee)
Lord, I hope for Your salvation and I keep Your holy Word.
All Your precepts and commandments I love as I love You, Lord.
All my ways are spread before You; my soul keeps Your holy Word!
More than life itself I love You and Your Word, O righteous Lord.
Read Psalm 119.161-168; meditate on verses 166.
1. For what did the psalmist hope?
2. What did he do?
From love for God and His Law the psalmist hoped to know more of God’s salvation; and he therefore did the commandments of God unto greater love for Him and His Word.
The great central message of all Scripture is the salvation God provides through our Lord Jesus Christ. The writer of Hebrews describes this as “so great a salvation” (Heb. 2.3), and the apostle Paul mentions it as having potential exceedingly abundantly beyond anything we have ever dared to ask or think (Eph. 3.20). More of God’s salvation awaits us day by day as we work out our salvation in fear and trembling to grow in grace and become more like Jesus Christ (Phil. 2.12; 2 Pet. 3.18; 2 Cor. 3.12-18).
But we’re not likely to do this unless we love the Word of God (v. 165) and hope earnestly for the salvation promised there. And even hoping is not enough. Hoping leads to doing – doing the commandments of God which we love. As we obey God’s Word, we realize how true and valuable it is, and we increase in the experience of salvation. The result of this is that we will love God’s Word even more (v. 167).
Love God’s Word so that you read about the salvation it promises. Hope to realize more of that salvation and obey whatever God teaches in His Word. Obey the Word of God and you will grow in His salvation and love Him even more. Love, read, hope, do, love, read… Think of it as an upward spiral into greater measures of grace and salvation. What a way to live!
Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
As believers, what other way would we want to live? Indeed, this is the only way. As Simon Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (Jn. 6.68).
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever” (Ps. 111.10).
‘But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them” (Ps. 103.17, 18).
“My soul faints for your salvation, but I hope in Your word” (Ps. 119.81).
We “rejoice in hope of the glory of God”… and… “hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom 5.2, 5).
If our goal is to become more like Jesus every day, and we are hoping for our daily and eternal salvation, and we are doing God’s commandments, then we are able to embrace these words from Paul: “To them” (that’s us) “God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery” (the hoping and the doing) “among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1.27).
It is a mystery why God would love us so much that He would give His only begotten Son to save us (Jn. 3.16). And it is a mystery that we cannot do anything good enough to earn this salvation gift. And it is also a mystery that our belief in the cleansing blood of Jesus is sufficient to save us, but that we must also work out this hoped-for salvation in fear and trembling. But even that is a mystery, because while we are working, it is really “God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2.12 13).
All these unfathomable mysteries are compounded by our inability to truly grasp the majesty of God’s lovingkindness, because if we could truly understand it, we wouldn’t need faith to believe it. And here is the good part: We know that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11.1), and that “without faith it is impossible to please” God (Heb. 11.6). So, the very fact that we know, and God knows, that we are made of dust is a super big plus for us! (Ps. 103.14)
And the cherry on top of that cake? We only need to faithfully hope for God’s salvation and do His commandments. (Ps. 119.166)
“What a way to live!”
1. What’s the difference between working for salvation and working out salvation?
2. What does it mean to hope for the salvation of the Lord?
3. Whom will you encourage today to hope for the Lord’s salvation?
From the order of the words we learn, that if a man would keep himself in the fear of God, and the love of the law, it is necessary for him, above all things, to seek for salvation in God. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Psalm 119.166
Pray Psalm 119.163-165.
Set some times today to draw aside from activity and give thanks and praise to the Lord. Call on Him to keep you in His pathway in all you do.
Sing Psalm 119.163-165.
(Hymn to Joy: Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee)
Lord, I hate all sin and lying but I love Your holy Law.
All throughout the day I praise You, thanking You in joy and awe.
For Your judgments all are righteous; all who love Your Law have peace.
We shall never stumble as our faith and love for You increase.
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. 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.