"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?...Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly;" 2 Cor 9:24-26

Keeping His Precepts in the Face of Falsehoods

Posted by Emma on May 6, 2010 | Filed under: Bible,Christianity,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.” Psalm 119:69 (KJV)

“The insolent smear me with lies, but with my whole heart I keep thy precepts;” Psalm 119:69 (ESV)

When we are living God’s way, we should expect persecution and rejection. After all they rejected and persecuted the Master, should we expect any less? If we are following in His footsteps, we will be rejected and persecuted because we are not of this world. “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” John 17:14. We should not expect easy sailing, but when hard times come we must be faithful and keep doing what God has commanded.

The first word in this verse is טפלו (taphelu) a verb meaning smear or plaster. This is followed by עלי (alay) a preposition meaning, upon, on, or against. The word  שקר (sheker) means deception or falsehood. As it is used in this verse it is talking about an injurious falsehood, something that will injury the character of another. You can see this type of falsehood all over the world today. People often try to discredit the righteous and believers by spreading false rumors about them in hopes of injuring their character. If someone is spreading falsehoods about us, we must keep living faithfully.

The word זדים (zeedim) means, insolent, presumptions. It is often translated into English as haughty or proud. These are godless, rebellious people. An insolent person is someone who is haughty and contemptuous or brutal in behavior or language, they can be rude, disrespectful and domineering. These are character traits that should never be attached to Christians. We must live above reproach.

אני (ani) is the pronoun I. The Psalmist is now making a statement about what he indents to do in the face of these falsehoods and insolent men.

The word  בכל (becal) begins with a ב (beit) which means with. The main word means the whole, all. It is followed by the word לב (leev) which is the inner man, the comprehending mind, affections, and will. It is the soul of a person, who you are and what makes you be you.

אצר (etzor) is a verb meaning watch, guard, keep. It is to guard with fidelity, to keep and observe. We should be careful to faithfully be doing God’s commands and guarding them from harm or harmful labels being attached to them. People’s view of who God is will be affected by how will we do what God has commanded us to do.

The final word in this verse is פקודיך (phikydecha) which means thy precepts. These are the things God has given us to do. They are found in the Bible. We must be faithful to observe them.

The Lexcion in commenting on this verse says, “Insolent men have plastered falsehood over me, making his real character unrecognizable.” I liked the way that was put. People will try to plaster false information over our true character to make us appear as something we are not, especially if they hate how we appear. But plaster cannot hide things forever, eventually it crumples away revealing what is really underneath. We must live faithful lives and leave the time for our true character to be revealed in God’s hands. We must keep God’s precepts faithfully, people will notice. No matter how much trouble and opposition you face, keep God’s precepts. Even if everyone is attacking your character, keep God’s precepts. When all seems helplessly loss, keep God’s precepts. It will pay off in the end and you will be rewarded for your faithfulness. You may not get that reward until heaven, but God notices how you live and is a rewarder of those who are diligently seeking Him and living as He has command. Do not let what men say get to you. Keep your eyes on the Master and obey Him. That is all that counts in life.

What Wonderful Words!

Posted by Emma on May 5, 2010 | Filed under: Bible,Christianity,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.” Psalm 119:68

A realization of who God truly is will lead to a desire to know Him more. One of the ways we can know Him is by learning about what He wants us to do. His statutes tell us about His character.

The first word of this verse is טוב (tov), which means good. It is followed by the pronoun אתה (ata), which means thou or you. God is truly good. In fact, He is the only one who is good. “And Jesus said unto him, ‘Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God.'” Mark 10:18

The word ומטיב (vumetiv) begins with a ו (vav) which means and. The main word is a verb meaning do good, do well. Not only is God good, He also does good to us. In fact we know from Romans 8:28, “That all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” God works things out for good for us. That is a wonderful truth to cling to and remember.

למדני (lamedeeni) is a verb meaning teach someone something. The final word in this verse is  חקיך (chukacha) which means thy statutes. The Psalmist ask God, the master teacher, to teach His statutes to him. We should want to learn God’s statutes. They tell us about who God is and what He wants us to do. When we do them, we please God.

As we come to realize what the first part of this verse really means, we will want to ask the second part. If God is really good and does good, why would we not want to do what He has said? If God is good and does good, which He is, His statues will also be good, and they are. Living in the center of God’s will, doing what what He has commanded, is the best place to live. God will work things out for good in your life, if you are doing what God has commanded you to do. It is a great comfort to know that fact, to be able to say when things are going rough, God is good and does good. Ask God to teach you His statutes so that you know what to do. Let God run your life and watch the good that He does. Learn how good He really is and comfort yourself with the knowledge that God is good and does good.

Results of Affliction

Posted by Emma on May 4, 2010 | Filed under: Bible,Christianity,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” Psalm 119:67

God uses afflictions in our lives to bring us closer to Him and weed out impurities. When hard times come our way, we should use them to draw closer to God and learn what He wants to teach us.

The first word in this verse is טרם (terem) which is an adverb meaning before. The next word is אענה (e’eneh), a verb meaning be afflicted. Affliction is never fun and can come in many forms. It can be a physical injury that hurts us or causes us trouble. It can be words some says to us, someone who is continually teasing us. It can be a hard circumstance we are going through. Affliction comes in many forms but we can choose how we will react to it. If we react rightly, it will draw us closer to God and act as a refining fire. If we react wrongly, we will just have trouble and nothing good to show for it.

The word אני (ani) is a pronoun meaning I. שגג (shogeeg) means go astray, commit sin or error. It seems to talk more of committing sin ignorantly or unintentionally than intentional sin. It is easy to go astray and start sinning without really realizing it. God often uses affliction to refine us and bring us back to Him and rid us of those sins.

ועתה (ve’atah) starts with a ו (vav) meaning and. The main part of the word means now. It is talking of the time right now, this present moment. אמרתך (imeratecha) means thy utterance, speech or word. This is especially talking about sayings and words of command and promise. These are God’s words found in the Bible. The last word is שמרתי (shamareti) which means keep, watch, preserve. The Psalmist is keeping God’s words. He is doing them and preserving them for the next generation to do. We do not learn God’s words just to benefit us. When we learn them others will see them in us and we can teach them to others benefitting those who will follow us.

It is easy to fall into unintentional sin and go astray from God’s way. The Psalmist, who clearly loves God a lot, went astray. But God is gracious. He will bring us back to Him. In Revelations 3:19 it says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” It is nice that God will bring us back to Him. Sometimes He uses affliction to do that. When we are afflicted, we should look at it as a trial from God to refine us as pure gold and consider what wrong attitudes, actions, or thoughts need removed from our lives. Use times of affliction to draw closer to the Master so that like the Psalmist you can say, now I keep God’s words. Keeping God’s word in our hearts and always doing it is the surest way to stay right with God. Let me encourage you to know the Bible and when afflictions come use it as a time to draw closer to God and become more like Christ. May you be able to say, “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now I have kept thy word.” Keep God’s word every moment of your life!

Ask the Greatest Teacher to Teach You

Posted by Emma on May 3, 2010 | Filed under: Bible,Christianity,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“Teach me good judgement and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.” Psalm 119:66

The Psalmist truly desires God to teach him. This is not the first time in Psalm 119 where we find a request for God to be doing the teaching. God is the greatest teacher out there, we should all want Him to instruct us.

The first word in this verse is טוב (tuv) which means good or goodness. Here it seems to be talking about the goodness of discernment. The word following it is טעם (ta’am) which means judgement, discretion, discernment. Discernment is a very good thing to have but can be a challenge to get. Being able to discern good and bad, the intentions of people, truth, and many other things is very helpful and nice, especially if you are a leader. We should all want good judgement and discernment, the judgement and discernment of the Lord. That is the only true goodness.

The next word is ודעת (vada’at). The ו (vav) at the beginning of the word means and. The main word means knowledge. Particularly, the knowledge possessed by God that He teaches to us. To learn His knowledge we must spend time with Him and in His word. We should ask God to teach us His knowledge, it is wonderful.

למדני (lamedini) is a verb meaning teach someone something. The Psalmist wants God to be the teacher and he will be the student. We should all want to be the students of God, but being in the class of God is not always easy. It is however worth it. Life is a classroom and God will teach us as we live with Him. How well we learn is up to us. Let God teach you and be a quick learner.

The word כי (ci) is a conjunction meaning that or for. It denotes a reason that the next part is coming. This is why the Psalmist wants God to teach him good discernment and knowledge.

במצותיך (bemitzvotecha) has a ב (beit) at the beginning meaning in. The main word means thy commandments. These are the commands of God found in the Bible. The final word of this verse is  האמנתי (he’emaneti), a verb meaning trust or believe. The Psalmist believes in God’s commands and that is why he wants God teaching Him.

If we believe in the Son of God, we should want God to teach us. God is the possessor of true knowledge and good discernment and judgement. We should want to learn from the best and the only true source of that learning. Ask God to teach you, then have your ears and eyes open as a willing learner. Do not ask God if you do not mean it, but if you mean it, ask and expect to receive God’s instructions. Learn from the greatest teacher of all, the Lord, and you will not regret that you learned.

The Lord has Dealt Well with Me!

Posted by Emma on May 2, 2010 | Filed under: Bible,Christianity,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O Lord, according unto thy word.” Psalm 119:65 (KJV)

“Good Thou didst with Thy servant, O Jehovah, according to Thy word.” Psalm 119:65 (YLT)

This verse begins the ninth section of this Psalm. These verses begin with the letter ט (teit). When any Christian takes a good honest look at their life they should be able to say this verse. God has dealt well with us. That is why the hymn writer could write, “It is well with my soul”. That famous hymn was written after he had lost his children and a lot of what he owned. Even in the hard times we can say God has dealt well with us.

The first word in this verse is  טוב (tov) which means good. The next word is עשית (ashita) which means do, make, deal with. God does good for us and He deals well with us. עם (im) is a preposition meaning with. עבדך (avedecha) means slave or servant. We should all see ourselves as the servants of the Lord. We are, after all, purchased with his blood.

יהוה (yud-hey-vav-hey) is the proper name of the God of Israel. As I have previously noted, this is a very holy name, so holy that it was only said in the Temple and thus we have lost the correct pronunciation of it. The final word in this verse is כדברך (cidevarecha). There is a כ (caph) at the beginning of this word which means according, as. The main word means thy words. These are the things God has told us. His holy communication to us found in the Bible. It is a great gift we have been given.

God has dealt well with us. His blessings and gifts are innumerable. If for no other reason than we have salvation, the Holy Spirit, and the word of God, we should be able to say, “Thou has dealt well with thy servant, O Lord.” What God promises in His word, He will do. He has done for us that which is written in His word, and in doing so He has done good for us. In all areas of life, if you really look, you can see the goodness of God. So say with the hymn writer, “It is well with my soul”, and proclaim with the Psalmist, “Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word.” What wonderful words to declare and praise the Lord with!

“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.”

Horatio Spafford

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