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Make sure you're clinging where you should. Psalm 119.25-32

Psalm 119.25-32

Pray Psalm 119.25, 26, 31.
My soul clings to the dust;
Revive me according to Your word.
I have declared my ways, and You answered me;
Teach me Your statutes...
I cling to Your testimonies;
O LORD, do not put me to shame!

Sing Psalm 119.25, 26, 31.
(Festal Song: Revive Thy Work, O Lord)
My soul clings to the dust; revive me by Your Word!
My ways I have declared to You; teach me Your statutes, Lord!

Command my course, O Lord; Your gracious truth impart.
I cling to You and know You will enlarge my seeking heart.

Read Psalm 119.25-32; meditate on verses 25, 26, 31

1. How does the psalmist change over the course of this stanza?

2. To what does he cling in the end?

Stanzas 1-3 of Psalm 119 are bright, hopeful, and filled with the joy of knowing God in His Word. Words like “praise” and “delight” and “longing” make us understand that the fullness of life is found in clinging to God and His Word.

But the potential for wandering (v. 10) and straying (v. 21) from God’s way is always present. Hints of darkness intrude in the light, warning us against falling through temptation into sin, where we cling to the dust rather than to our gracious God.

Stanza 4 sets forth the reality of life in a fallen world, where we all must learn to deal with the darkness of sin if we’re going to enjoy the light of life. We need to understand the lesson of these verses. Recognizing our sin (v. 25), confessing it to God (v. 26), calling on Him to revive and renew us (v. 27) and to lift the burden of guilt and shame (vv. 28, 29) – these are disciplines we must have at the ready. For only by mastering these disciplines will we find grace to choose God’s Word (v. 30) and begin clinging again to Him and His Law as our proper course in life (vv. 31, 32).

The rest of Psalm 119 will review and reinforce what these first four stanzas have taught: We’re all clingers. We will either cling to the dust of sin or the Law of life. Clinging is a daily choice and a moment-by-moment decision. Cling well.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
And the only way to cling well is to cling continuously to God and His Law (Ps. 119.31).

If we need revival (Ps. 119.25) it is because there has been a near death experience. As Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mk. 2.17). We agree with Him that our heart, when found in sin and clinging to the dust, needs repair. We are, as it were, in desperate need of resuscitation.

But the heart that needs refreshment, needs to be renewed in Jesus, and not in ourselves. Paul spelled out the healing remedy mindset: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2.20).

Jesus. Clinging to Him. That is how we cling well. He is our lifeboat, our lifeline, our floatation device, our fire-ladder, our helping hand, our beloved Savior. It is He Who enlarges our heart so that we run well the course set out for us in our Personal Mission Field. Only He makes it possible.

And after we have clung well, all the days of our life, we can say with Paul: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4.7).

To Whom and to what we cling makes all the difference!

“Cling well.”

For reflection
1. How would you explain the idea of “clinging well” to a new believer?

2. Why is it so important that we deal with sin immediately?

3. What can you do to improve your ability to cling consistently to God and His Word?

While the souls of the children of this world cleave to the earth as their portion, the children of light are greatly burdened, because of the remains of carnal affection in their hearts. It is unspeakable comfort to a gracious soul, to think with what tenderness all its complaints are received by a gracious God. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.25-32

Pray Psalm 119.27-31.
Pray for understanding of God’s Word. Call on Him to strengthen your soul – heart, mind, and conscience – and to guide you always by His Law and all His Word.

Sing Psalm 119.27-31.

(Festal Song: Revive Thy Work, O Lord)
Make me to understand your precepts and your ways,
as on Your works I meditate with wonder and with praise!

My soul weighs down with woe, I need Your strength, O Lord!
Remove from me all lying ways; grant me Your holy Word!

I choose the way of truth; Your judgments I proclaim.
Your testimonies I embrace, Lord put me not to shame!

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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