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The Scriptorium

Help and Salvation

God's greatest gift, right there in His Word. Psalm 119.173, 174

Psalm 119.169-176 (5)

Pray Psalm 119.173, 174.
Let Your hand become my help,
For I have chosen Your precepts.
I long for Your salvation, O LORD,
And Your law is my delight.

Sing Psalm 119.171-173.
(Regent Square: Angels from the Realms of Glory)
With our lips we praise You, Jesus, for You teach us, full and free.
Now Your Word will ever please us; Your commandments true shall be.
Let Your hand come forth to ease us; we Your Word choose gratefully!

Read Psalm 119.169-176; meditate on verses 173, 174.


1. What was the psalmist seeking from the Lord?

2. Where did he expect to find this?

The writer of Hebrews explains that we who believe in Jesus have received “so great a salvation” (Heb. 2.3). Salvation is a work of God’s grace by which He makes all things new in our life – how we think, what we desire, our priorities, conversation, work, relationships, cultural involvement – everything! We don’t experience all this right off the bat, of course; we must “work out” our salvation in fear and trembling, knowing that, as we do, God will be at work within us, making us willing and able to do that which meets with His pleasure (Phil. 2.12, 13). This is what the psalmist has in focus here.

He wants “help” for the day ahead while he continues to long for more of God’s salvation. And he knows where to find each of these: in the precepts and laws of God’s Word. We see a classic Hebrew parallelism here:

A “help”
B “precepts"
A1 “salvation”
B1 “law”

As is clear here, throughout Psalm 119, and in all the Scriptures, no contradiction or opposition exists between the salvation of God and His Law. To desire God’s salvation is to delight in His Law. All who are saved, therefore, will delight in God’s Law and look to His Word for help in all their daily needs. By daily obedience to the Law, we unpack the wonders and power of our great salvation in love for God and neighbors. Conversely, to neglect the Law is to reject God’s help and to despise His great salvation.

So as we pray and read God’s Word, let us eagerly seek mercy and grace for all our daily times of need and, at the same time, long for God to grant us even more of our great salvation.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor;
wherever he turns, he prospers” (Prov. 17.8).

What a gift! God’s loving hand reaches out to help us, and He offers us salvation. We are filled with delight when we receive and possess His precepts and laws (Ps. 119.173, 174).

Faced with the knowledge that the payment for our sins is death, we gladly receive this gift, this precious stone, from God which “is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. This salvation is by God’s grace through faith, and even that is not by or through us, it is the gift of God. (Eph. 2.8)

No matter how diligently we might shop the biggest store or the most complete catalog, we could never come up with a present so grand. Only God can supply something that gives eternal gratification and success.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is not variation or shadow of turning” (Jms. 1.17).

There is no other gift that we desire, so our response then is “I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart” (Ps. 40.8).

Cherishing this precious stone we dare never turn from its Giver, “once enlightened”, and having “tasted the heavenly gift” (Heb. 6.4). We must never find ourselves in the same situation King Saul did. God had sent him on a specific and detailed mission which Saul chose to do his own way, and not God’s way. And the question was put to him, “Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD?” (1 Sam. 15.19) Could the same question be put to us? Hopefully no, not if we are meditating in God’s law day and night (Ps. 1.2), learning to obey His voice.

Lord, hold my hand, lead me. I have chosen to follow You and all Your law. This is my greatest possession and delight. I love You and Your salvation. My life is wrapped up in You. Forever, to the very end
(Ps. 119.173, 174, 112).

For reflection

1. What is the appropriate response to the gift of such a great salvation?

2. Why do we need God’s Word to understand the whole scope of this great salvation?

3. Whom will you encourage today to seek more of our great salvation?

His own hands are not sufficient, nor can any creature lend him help; therefore he looks up to God, that the hand that had made him may help him. He had made religion his deliberate choice. There is an eternal salvation all the saints long for, and therefore they pray that God would help their way to it. Let thy judgments help me; let all ordinances and all providences, (both are God’s judgments,) further me in glorifying God; let them help me for that work. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.173, 174

Pray Psalm 119.174-176.
Pray that God will grant you a greater measure of His great salvation today, and that He will help you in all you do to glorify Him and bless others.

Sing Psalm 119.174-176.
(Regent Square:
Angels from the Realms of Glory)
For Your saving grace we plead, Lord, and Your Law is our delight.
We to live and praise You need, Lord, all Your help by day and night.
Straying sheep, we do not heed, Lord; come and seek us by Your might!

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.
Books by T. M. Moore

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