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Exploring Psalm 119 from a scientist’s perspective: Gimel 

 Peter Gray-Read BSc MSc

PSALM 119 GIMEL 1In the first two stanzas Aleph and Beth we have looked at how a (young?) person can maintain a wholehearted walk in the word.  It takes application and effort but it is so much better than the deceitful ‘pleasures’ of sin.  We need to believe and experience the truth of the promise …the Lord rewards those who diligently seek him

 

Yes the law and our attention to its close observance does create a degree of inward looking and introspection, but we constantly see how the writer seeks Yahweh for teaching, for understanding and for his eyes to be opened v18 - to see that relationship that the law can lead to;  in particular through meditation on the ‘statutes’ which refer to the sacrificial system.  Paul said ‘the law is spiritual’ Rom 7:14 – it is ‘our school master to bring us to Christ’ – so shall I keep the law continually for ever and ever v.44

 

The law was also very much a cohesive factor in the community – or it should have been – helping to ensure that everyone had access to at least the means to survive and the land to be continually fruitful

 

The ‘Law’ was David’s connection with the will of God for his nation.  It was God’s manifesto – a way for Israel to experience the blessing of Mount Gerizim rather than the curses of Mount Ebal

 

 PSALM 119 GIMEL 2So we come to Gimel – this letter conveys the sense of a rich man running after a poor man to bless him. Let’s see …

 

 17 GIMEL. Deal bountifully with thy servant, [that] I may live, and keep thy word

 This reminds me of John 10:10 …I am come that you may have life, life in its fullness
 

Straight away it shows the heart of David – as a servant: the prodigal son had to learn the importance of this attitude.  It is great to have life and a testimony of being used by God in some way – servant of God is a great title.  There is appointed work, or service for each one of us to do

18   Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law

We need revelation.  Reason is good but Revelation is like turning on a light.  Reason can progress step by step but Revelation is like a satellite view showing the end from the beginning.  It may not come immediately but if we seek Him it will come.  Jesus is hidden in the Law and the prophets

One revelation I had from this psalm is that the very structure of the universe is based on  righteousness – we have the Laws of physics, but upholding all things is the moral law of God - His attributes of righteousness, judgement and justice - David calls them  ‘Statutes’.  The great news is that for the Christian our success – through our FAITH in Yeshua - is written into the structure of the universe – you could say it’s like Yarmouth rock – the name is all the way through wherever you break it

19  I [am] a stranger in the Earth: hide not thy commandments from me

We should not get too comfortable here… this is not our true home we’re just passing through… but getting a testimony at the same time.  Jesus was offered all the kingdoms of this world.  What bare-faced cheek… Jesus is not confined here, he does not need Satan’s help – He will bind the strong man and seize his goods

Jesus has both kept the law and paid for our transgressions – His new commandment is for us to love one another and GO into all the world with the Good News

20 My soul breaketh for the longing [that it hath] unto thy judgments at all times

David has such intensity of desire – he is so passionate in his devotion to God.  His attitude is not… well you win some …you lose some… chill.  David wants God’s decrees upheld.  How does this differ from an Al Qaeda sort of religious fervour?
David has an understanding of God’s grace and his provision for the sinner – but it is not a licence to sin, a tolerance of profanity and immorality - God forbid. There has to be a prophetic call to turn away from wickedness and back to God.  He gives us the grace to stand – like Daniel and his friends, in Babylon

21 Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments

You have scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, they can’t find their

way back to you.  Adam and Eve thought their eyes would be opened if they did as   Satan suggested – but only God is light

22 Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies

God judges the proud but blesses those who suffer reproach for the name of Christ Luke 6:22-23.  We need the attitude ‘…my life is hidden in you.’  It’s what you value that matters

23 Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes

Jesus was criticised and judged by religious leaders and in the case of Herod – mocked BUT THY SERVANT - crucial phrase.  Viva la difference… God’s servant follows a different drummer.  Be God’s testimony

24 Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors

Job was God’s testimony.  Stephen’s defence of his faith was a turning point for Saul as he recounted God’s testimonies in the heroes of Faith


 
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