A Warning and a Charge

Posted by Emma on February 1, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Filed under:Christianity,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.” Psalm 119:78

This verse starts out with the word יבשו (yevoshu) which is a verb meaning be ashamed. The next word is זדים  (zeedim) which means insolent, haughty. In the King James Version it is translated as proud. The Psalmist wants these people to be ashamed. But who are these זדים  (zeedim), insolent ones? This word has appeared three times before in this Psalm. In verse 21 the write says that they are cursed and have erred from God’s commandments. In verse 51 we are informed that they had the Psalmist in great derision, and in verse 61 we are told that they have forged a lie against the Psalmist. These proud, haughty, insolent people are not afraid of God. They are not afraid to live in direct disobedience to God and to attack those who follow God. These are ungodly people to be avoided.

The next word in this verse is a conjunction, כי (ci), which means that or for. The Psalmist is about to give the reason that these insolent people should be ashamed. The word שקר (seker) means deception or falsehood. Here it seems to mean deceit, fraud, wrong. They have deceived the Psalmist and acted wrongly towards him.

The word עותוני (yutuny) is a verb meaning be bent, crooked. It is to deprive of justice, falsify, make crooked. These insolent ones have acted falsely and crookedly toward the Psalmist.

The word אני (ani) is a pronoun meaning I. The Psalmist is about to make a statement regarding himself, his intentions. The word אשיח (ashicha) is a verb meaning muse, meditate upon, study. What is the Psalmist going to mediate on? בפקודיך (bephikudecha) means thy precepts. These are God’s precepts. The Psalmist states that he will meditate on God’s precepts.

In a lot of ways this verse is very similar to verse 69, “The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.” The proud, haughty, insolent people are creating falsehood against the psalmist but the psalmist is keeping and meditating on God’s precepts. This verse goes farther than the other one and states a consequence to come upon these insolent ones. The psalmist says, let them be ashamed. Shame is not something any human wants to experience. When someone is ashamed they are often humiliated or at least knocked down a few pegs in the perspective of others. It is not something that we want to have happen to us.

This verse carries a warning for us and a charge. The warning is to not be like the insolent ones who will be ashamed, but rather to trust and follow the Lord. We should not deceive others or wrong them with falsehoods. We should be known for the truth. To be known as a person of truth, you have to stay far away from lies or anything that is not true. Often falsehood sneaks in on us under the disguise of fun, teasing, sarcasm, and joking, but it is still lies and untruths and should be avoid. Be known as a person of truth and avoid insolent, untruthful folks.

The charge is to meditate on God’s precepts. When you fill your mind with the words and commands of God it is a lot easier to stay clear of falsehood and live a life to a higher purpose. We should follow God and fill our minds with His word, meditating and musing on it always. It will help us, save us, and protect us. Determine as the psalmist did to meditate on God’s precepts!

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