INTRO: In the course of my study of the prayers found in this great Psalm I came to this section and found that virtually the entire section is in the form of a prayer to God. And as I read it I realized that here the psalmist is making some great acknowledgments ... acknowledgments to God which he makes in prayer. Such acknowledgments as these are absolutely essential in ones life if he is to be governed by God! Such acknowledgments as these make all the difference in the way we view Gods government, His authority over us. In v. 139 the psalmist expresses anguish, indignation because so many have simply forgotten Gods word. As we look at the acknowledgments here, it is easy to understand why his zeal had consumed him.
1. The Lord is righteous - v. 137a
a. the first acknowledgment tells us about the source of the word
b. the Lord is the embodiment of righteousness - righteous art thou
c. Deut 32:1-4 - ...a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he
d. everything about God is right - ...his work is perfect...
e. think about this: if the source of the word, the law is not totally and completely right, one could not expect, then, His law to be right!
f. this first acknowledgment becomes the basis for all of the others he makes
2. The judgments of the Lord are right - v. 137b
a. Ps 19:9 - ...true and righteous altogether
b. there are those who would question the judgments of God
c. there are those who read the Bible only to conclude that God is cruel and unreasonable
d. the psalmist has had his own experiences with Gods judgments!
e. I think of the death of the baby born of his adultery with Bathsheba - he could have exclaimed of the inequity, unfairness of God - but did not
f. in life we must understand that we simply cannot know the incredible workings of God - Rom 11:33,34
3. The commandments of the Lord are right - v. 138a
a. here is another area of experience in which people have questions
b. surely God did not really mean for us to have to do that!
c. I just cannot believe that if I dont do that Ill be lost!
d. well, if God is just and right, we are confronting a real problem - how can He be just and right and really not intend for us to follow the commandments He has revealed?
e. 1 Thes 2:3,4 - since it is He Who has commanded, we have no options!
f. can we come to the point acknowledging this in our lives?
4. The commandments of the Lord are faithful - v. 138b
a. the commandments of God can be trusted for their blessings
b. one has observed that He is scrupulously faithful to and in every detail
c. the commandments of the Lord often have promises, blessings attached
d. we can absolutely depend on His keeping that promise if we obey the commandment
e. the marvelous thing for us is that we have historys lessons to confirm it
f. Heb 10:23 - for he is faithful that promised
5. The word of God is pure - v. 140
a. pure suggests to me integrity - no mixture of impurity
b. gold, etc. need to be refined to bring to purity (Ps 12:6)
c. the word of God needs no such refining - is pure because He is pure!
d. I think of the contrast with the creeds and writings of men - yes, among them one might find references to scripture ... but mixed with those are the thoughts, the impressions, the decisions of human beings
e. too often one finds these human words in conflict with Gods words
f. those conflicts are impurities which are spiritually harmful if ingested!
6. The righteousness of God is everlasting - v. 142a
a. time is filled with swift transition...hold to Gods unchanging hand
b. Mal 3:6 - For I am the Lord, I change not...
c. our time is so accustomed to change ... rapid change
d. it is, I suppose, difficult for us to conceive of One Who is the same yesterday, today and forever - Heb 13:8
e. but God is always righteous - what a great source of comfort and joy!
f. my hope is in holding to the unchanging hand of God!
7. The law of God is truth - v. 142b
a. the modern idea? everything is relative
b. my truth - your truth - their truth - todays idea may be Judg 21:25
c. what God reveals is the truth - is from Him Who is Truth (Deut 32:4)
d. the world is awash in opinions and truths - we are fortunate, indeed, to have the truth ... the word of God
CLOSE: So, the psalmist can say, Thy commandments are my delights. Are we as consumed by this devotion to the word as was he?
Cecil A. Hutson
April 24, 2005
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)