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The Scriptorium

Constant Companion

For true meaning and delight. Psalm 119.17-24

Psalm 119.17-24

Pray Psalm 119.17-19.
Deal bountifully with Your servant,
That I may live and keep Your word.
Open my eyes, that I may see
Wondrous things from Your law.
I am a stranger in the earth;
Do not hide Your commandments from me.

Sing Psalm 119.17-19.
(Open My Eyes: Open My Eyes, That I May See)
Open my eyes, Lord, let me see wonderful truths to transform me.
I am a stranger here in the earth; hide not from me Your glorious worth.
Deal with your servant graciously that I may live obediently.
Open my eyes, Lord, let me see glory divine!

Read Psalm 119.17-24; meditate on verses 19, 20, 24

1. How did the psalmist feel, being a stranger in the earth?

2. Where did he turn for joy?

It’s amazing to know that we can have happiness in a world where we are strangers walking a path that goes against the world’s grain.

But we know that path to be the way to fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore, because it leads in the Lord to the Lord, day by day (Ps. 16.11). The psalmist is not naïve about the cost of following God’s Word. He knows there will be opposition. He knows he’s going against the world’s grain by devoting himself to the commandments and statutes of God.

But this is where he finds true and lasting delight (v. 24). No amount of difficulty, opposition, or oppression can rob him of the joy he has in knowing the Lord. The Word of God is his constant companion, whatever his circumstances may be, and it speaks continuously to him of bounty, wondrous things, sound counsel, and sure judgment (vv. 17, 18, 24, 20).

The Holy Spirit of God is writing His Law on the hearts of all those who believe in Jesus (Ezek. 36.26, 27; cf. Ps. 119.9-11), thus making God’s Word our constant companion as well. But even more, Jesus, the Word of God, has promised to be with us always and never to fail nor forsake us (Matt. 28.20; Heb. 13.5). He is our constant Companion, by His Word and Spirit speaking continuously to us throughout the day to counsel and guide us, give us sound judgment, delight us with wondrous things, and fortify us with hope and joy.

Our happiness depends on this alone: Immanuel!

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“My soul breaks with longing for Your judgments at all times” (Ps. 119.20).

This verse strikes a chord in most people’s hearts as each of us, no doubt, has at one time or another been the recipient of injustice. It makes our heart break. It fills us with sadness and anger. We long to cry out to God, “It is time for You to act, O LORD, for they have regarded Your law as void.”! (Ps. 119.126) “You are my King, O God; command victories…” (Ps. 44.4) And, “This You have seen, O LORD; do not keep silence. O Lord, do not be far from me. Stir up Yourself, and awake to my vindication, to my cause, my God and My Lord. Vindicate me, O LORD my God, according to Your righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me” (Ps. 35.22-24).

We rejoice to know that God knows all. He sees all. And He will one day right every wrong. But while we wait, it is best for us to look unto Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Heb. 12.2, 3).

And as we look to Jesus, we must listen to God’s words to us: “But [you] let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream” (Amos 5.24). And we know that He requires from us: “…to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with [our] God” (Mic. 6.8).

Jesus took the injustice. We are to gladly do the same. Paul, who took injustice as a steady diet, wrote: “…I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake” (2 Cor. 12.10).

We don’t like injustice. So, we are to be careful never to commit an act of injustice toward anyone else. “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 7.12) Our Personal Mission Field swirls with injustice, and opportunities for justice, mercy, and love.
“Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5.12, 16).

This, dear Christian, is His counsel and our delight! (Ps. 119.24) For “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up [our] wounds” (Ps. 147.3). Let His Word be your constant Companion so you’ll always know how to respond to injustice.

For reflection
1. Why should we expect to know injustice in the world?

2. How can we prepare for injustice, so that we respond as we should?

3. How can you encourage or otherwise help your fellow Christians to respond justly to injustice?

We ought to spend our lives in his service; we shall find true life in keeping his word. Those that would see the wondrous things of God’s law and gospel, must beg him to give them understanding, by the light of his Spirit. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.17-24

Pray Psalm 119.20-24.
Give thanks to God for His Word and salvation. Pray that you will know His Word present with you throughout the day, and that you may delight in and obey it.

Sing Psalm 119.20-24.

(Open My Eyes: Open My Eyes, That I May See)
My soul with longing breaks for You; all of Your judgments I would do.
For You rebuke the proud and the cursed, who from Your Law have strayed, and worse.
Take from me all contempt, O Lord,  for I have kept Your holy Word.
Lift all reproach from me, O Lord – my soul renew!

Princes oppose me day by day, for I continue in Your way.
I will Your statutes hold in my mind. What great delight in them I find!

Lord, let Your testimonies be light on my path to counsel me.
Lord, what delight You bring to me out of Your Word.

T. M. and Susie Moore

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 copes 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.


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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