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The Scriptorium

The Comfort of Remembering

God does, and so must we. Psalm 119.49-56

Psalm 119.49-56

Pray Psalm 119.49, 50.
Remember the word to Your servant,
Upon which You have caused me to hope.
This is my comfort in my affliction,
For Your word has given me life.

Sing Psalm 119.49, 50.
(Wycliff: All for Jesus)
Lord, remember all the good Word You have spoken unto me!
For I ever hope in You, Lord as I serve You joyfully.

This my comfort in affliction, this my comfort in all strife:
that Your Word is my redemption, giving me eternal life!

Read Psalm 119.49-56; meditate on verses 119.49, 50, 52.

1. What brought the psalmist comfort in affliction?

2. On what did he hope?

This passage points to one of God’s great promises: Rest (comfort, salvation) is found in work. Not by work, but in work. Put in New Testament terms, salvation comes by the work of God, but the blessings of it come as we work at it day by day.

Both God and the psalmist are referred to as “remembering” the Word of God. As we have seen, this means continuous attention to details and diligent work of fulfilling – on God’s part – and of obeying – on ours. God has work to do in remembering His Word, and His work of remembering is designed for our rest and comfort. We comfort ourselves and experience God’s rest as we do the work of remembering His Law in all its aspects. The more we work at learning and obeying God’s Law, the more we realize that God is at work fulfilling His promise to bless us with rest; and thus, the more we are comforted and find the rest God promises to all who have entered His covenant (Heb. 4.1-9).

“This has become mine,” the psalmist wrote (v. 56), referring to his delight in God’s statutes. That delight – that rest – came to him throughout his daily journey as he remembered God’s Name and kept His Law (v. 55). Rest and work. Rest in the work of Jesus; work for the greater rest of His great salvation (Phil. 2.13). The harder we work at our salvation, the more of His rest we will know.

God is remembering to comfort us. We must remember as well, and thus we shall know His rest.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
We all like to remember love shown to us from others. These are memories we cherish, and then can bring up and think about any time we choose. They are there as keepsakes in our mind to ponder at will.

God has shown His love by saving us, keeping us, singing with us, and remembering all His promises to us. He is faithful and trustworthy and good. And He has logged all His love in a book for us to read and cherish and consume. “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).

I like the way Mary did this. She listened, she watched, and she remembered. “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” “…but Mary His mother kept all these things in her heart” (Lk. 2.19, 51). We are free to do that as well. Ponder every Word about Jesus. Keep Him in our heart.

The Bible has much to say about how and why we should remember our God:
“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but
we will remember the name of the LORD our God” (Ps. 20.7). For comfort.

“When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.

Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice” (Ps. 63.6, 7). For comfort.

“Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead…” (2 Tim. 2.8). For comfort and salvation.

The prophet Jeremiah pleads with God to remember him, and then he does some remembering of his own:
“Remember my affliction and roaming, the wormwood and the gall.
My soul still remembers and sinks within me.
This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.

Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lam. 3.19-23).

Blessed. But there is a catch. “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse; the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today; to go after other gods which you have not known” (Deut. 11.26-28).

Then this very good news: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love…” (Eph. 1.3, 4).

This is a lot to ponder. But truly, there is comfort in remembering.

For reflection
1. What does it mean to “remember” God and His Word?

2. Why is remembering like this such a source of comfort and rest?

3. What can you do to help your fellow believers remember the Lord more frequently and consistently?

He that by his Spirit works faith in us, will work for us. The word of God speaks comfort in affliction. If, through grace, it makes us holy, there is enough in it to make us easy, in all conditions. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.49-56

Pray Psalm 119.51-56
Rest in the Lord’s remembering grace today. Know the comfort of His Presence and love. Meditate on His Word, judgments, precepts, and Law. Give Him abundant thanks and praise.

Sing Psalm 119.51-56.
(Wycliff: All for Jesus)
Though the proud deride and taunt me, I will trust Your faithful Word.
Let Your judgments from of old be all my comfort, holy Lord.

Indignation grips me, Savior, for those who forsake Your Word.
All Your statutes, all Your favor, I will sing with joy, O Lord!

In the night Your Name attends me, and I keep Your holy Word;
let Your precepts all befriend me, as I keep them, glorious Lord.

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 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.


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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