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Yod, Kaph, Lamed....

Today we have our fourth message on Psalm 119,  for the stanzas Yod, Kaph and Lamed.

י Yod 

Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands. May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word.

I know, Lord, that your laws are righteous,  and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.

May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.

Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight.

May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause;  but I will meditate on your precepts.  May those who fear you turn to me,  those who understand your statutes.

May I wholeheartedly follow your decrees, that I may not be put to shame.

The theme in these verses remains  focused on this man’s pursuit of humility, verses shame other want to throw upon him; and delighting to study and obey God’s plans for his life, versus those that could care less what God has said.  He asks, “let me be God’s trophy! Let the way I live my life bring glory to you!  Is that how you pray each morning?

This chapter is over 3000 years old but the words are divinely for our benefit. Jesus quoted from and believed in the Psalms and all the Old Testament—-it was the Word of God to Him. And yet, some believers, and even pastors, have the effrontery to suggest that we  can gloss over the Old Testament, as if we have somehow grown beyond Jesus, in our understanding or morality, sexuality, and the way He wants us to live.  “Thy word have I hid in my heart….”  Are you hiding His word in your heart?

כ Kaph

“My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word.

My eyes fail, looking for your promise; I say, “When will you comfort me?”

Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget your decrees.

How long must your servant wait? When will you punish my persecutors?

The arrogant dig pits to trap me, contrary to your law.

All your commands are trustworthy; help me, for I am being persecuted without cause.

They almost wiped me from the earth, but I have not forsaken your precepts.

In your unfailing love preserve my life, that I may obey the statutes of your mouth.

Why does his soul faint?  He’s praying and praying and praying!  Most of us sprint through our prayers and expect instant gratification.  Friends, you can’t text God. He’s neither obligated or inclined to rush and do things as we dictate—even if what we pine for is selfless, righteous and divine.  God does things in His time—and praise God He does not impulsively answer us!

We forget that Jesus struggled  in prayer three times, for hours, one night—He prayed till He began to sweat drops of blood!  Daniel and other great people of faith and  prophets prayed and fasted for weeks for God’s protection and intervention.  Do we pray with childlike faith that God knows the urgency of the matters at hand, as the Psalmist did,  in our church, in our homes, on the Senate floor?  Are you certain, would you stake your life on the certainty that God hears your prayers and will answer at the appropriate time.  Keep praying….and in your heart know that He hears you and will answer. Remember that He desires to give you desires of your heart—but perhaps not just yet….

A true man or woman of God realizes how vulnerable, frail and unsafe they are in the world. Yes, if you love God with all your mind, heart, soul and strength, God is pleased——and you will have people who would love to see you fail and fall—and they’re ready to dig the pit for you—and all the  dipper the pit the closer you reflect Jesus Christ!  So what to do when there’s a target on your back or a demonic reward out for you?  Well, you’re going to worry, have many sleepless nights, find yourself seeing an demon behind every tree and in general become paranoid of all mankind…..unless you have confidently put your trust in the Sovereign, only One that cannot be defeated and Whose will and purpose is unstoppable.

Do you have sleepless nights?  Are you afraid of what someone is looking for you or that there are people in authority that might do against you?  Pray like the Psalmist did… “In your unfailing love preserve my life!”   No man, government or demon can stand against the risen Christ. You have nothing to fear if you are obediently following God.  But a warning,  just like the  crippled man that was made whole, recall what Jesus said, “Go and sin no more than nothing worse happens to you….”   You were not redeemed and made whole to continue in sin, but shine for Jesus and to become a stumbling blocks for those that deny the efficacy of the blood of Jesus.

ל Lamed

“Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.  Your faithfulness continues through all generations;  you established the earth, and it endures.  Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you.   If your law had not been my delight,  I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.   Save me, for I am yours;  I have sought out your precepts.   The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes.  To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless.” (Psalms 119:73-96, NIV)

As you choose to obey the law, let me suggest to you that it does not bring a sense of pride in what you have accomplished, but at least these things:

-A sense of peace, purpose and security in knowing that there is a way to know God’s plan, as well as a deep sense of needing to follow those precepts.  The Psalmist said that, “Your word, Lord, is eternal…”  Isn’t it nice to know that some things will never fade, decay, need to be reformed, re-stated, or replaced?  God’s word will never require an apology, a reparation, or an apology.  It’s perfect and holy. The second point is this:

-A realization that trying to perfectly obey God’s law is not enough. We’re just not able. Paul put it this way:  “.by works of the law no human being will be justified in His (“God’s”) sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20, NIV).  But something good—wonderful and essential follows:  He knows that we cannot perfectly execute His will—anymore than a father or mother trusts that their child will perfectly obey the laws of operating a car or truck. But whereas a dad is proud that his son is trying to drive properly, God is delighted that we’re trying to keep His precepts. He knows that we struggle—-and He is happy to lift us up when we try and try, but fail.  He knows the intentions of our hearts.,  And as we try and sometimes fail, we’re reminded that we must have divine assistance in our to live the way He wants. We have to cry out to Abba, our father, “Help me please to be the son or daughter that will make you proud!”

That process is called sanctification,  Psalm 119 is ever pointing to the sanctified life—-one that is seeking completeness with God. Some of you, reading this, I know are seeking the same—the holy and pure life, free from dishonesty, deceit, envy, anger, rage, revenge and so on.  I know this from what you have told me, what I have seen,  and what I have discerned. You know Him, love Him and desire to be with Him—you can’t hide the truth. I am happy for you. Others of you I just don’t know—but God knows you the truth.  And some of you I know and I love, but it’s obvious you are not serious about Him yet. God knows you and loves you—but you don’t have His peace yet. I don’t come to judge your heart, but just to tell you that for some,  “the fruit isn’t  there.…”I hope that this changes this hour. I hope that something happens today—-this week—even if it requires excruciating affliction—if it is required to give you subsequent peace with God.

There is no cost to us for salvation—Jesus did all the work, God paid the price for our sins and our salvation.  But sanctification, that is being made holy, has a cost. Are you ready for the cost of following Him….being sanctified….being made holy?

If you choose, today, to be made holy and to mediate upon God’s laws, you will soon find yourself seeing things from God’s point of view.   You will discover, and others will notice, that ever fibre of your life is focused upon going about God’s tasks and agendas—and you will become disgusting to all the forces of evil and hell itself.  Are your really prepared for God to perform in you everything for which He separated you?

And what’s the goal of Him sanctifying us and making us holy?  What’s the ultimate goal of coming here Sunday in and Sunday out, and also to Bible studies or watching “The Chosen” or praying and reading the Word daily?  That we might be separate to God just as Jesus was. The reason some of us have not entered into the experience of sanctification is that we have not realized the meaning of sanctification from God’s perspective.

Oswald Chambers said that, “Sanctification means being made one with Jesus so that the nature that controlled Jesus will control us.  Well, is it? And if it is not, are you prepared, this minute, for what that will cost you? Because it will cost absolutely everything in you which is not of God—and that’s why so many of us talk about being sanctified but do nothing about—-or attend worship week after week and notice no change in our hearts—or find ourselves jumping from church to church as soon as the pastor hits a nerve and makes us uncomfortable.

Are you ready, perhaps this morning to pray, “Lord, make me, a sinner saved by grace, as holy as You can”?  This is what Jesus prayed  for and hopes for us.  The resounding evidence of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life is the unmistakable likeness to Jesus Christ, and the freedom from everything which is not like Him. Are we prepared to set ourselves apart for the Holy Spirit’s work in us?  (Chambers)

The Psalmist said: “The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.  The Lord watches over all who love him,  but all the wicked he will destroy.”  Psalm 145:17-20, NIV)

Please believe and claim these words of truth in your heart this today!  The Savior is waiting—He hears you, loves you and wants to bless you.  You’re reading this devotion for a purpose today.  He is attentive to your prayer this very moment…. but you must make the next move.

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