Exploring Psalm 119 from a scientist’s perspective: Vav
Peter Gray-Read BSc MSc
We had a sneak preview of this section last week. The last verse of He has David praying: Behold I have longed for thy salvation, quicken me in thy righteousness
41 May your unfailing love come to me, Lord,
your salvation, according to your promise;
42 then I can answer anyone who taunts me,
for I trust in your word.
43 Never take your word of truth from my mouth,
for I have put my hope in your laws.
44 I will always obey your law,
for ever and ever.
45 I will walk about in freedom,
for I have sought out your precepts.
46 I will speak of your statutes before kings
and will not be put to shame,
47 for I delight in your commands
because I love them.
48 I reach out for your commands, which I love,
that I may meditate on your decrees
Here in Vav, we have David ‘flying the flag of Salvation’. Vav the letter that begins each of these eight verses looks like a flag. David knows that he needs the law to be administered in grace; we make a huge distinction between law and grace, and yes they are in many ways opposites - but verse 29 is so childlike - ‘grant me thy law graciously’. Only the law giver has the authority to do this
The Pharisees, the professional upholders or enforcers of the law would have been outraged at the idea. The law is a universal set of requirements making no distinction – it is no respecter of persons. Grace however is asked for – applied for - as a personal request. Let thy mercies come also unto me… even thy salvation according to thy word. He anticipates reproach in v42. It really is a revelation – David does not want to lose it v43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth - so to this end he confesses it continually – he is confident enough to say - ‘I have hoped in thy judgements’. It is only when you are sure of the verdict that the accused can hope for the judgements of the judge. He must have had assurance that the price had been paid in full, the demands of the law – met
As Joseph Prince reminds us so emphatically – we need to walk in the constant realisation and awareness of God’s love. As we confess our righteousness in Christ, verses 44 and 45 follow as light follows the sun – so shall I keep thy law continually, forever and ever, and I will walk at liberty for I seek thy precepts. When this breaks out in your spirit – you will not be ashamed to talk of this testimony before kings – for the King of kings has set you free. The apostle Paul says… I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also the gentile
We can also delight in God’s commandments v47 of which there are at least two aspects: towards God in ritual / legal temple sacrifice and towards man in honour and justice. Before Christ they were the way for the priests to come into God’s presence and for individuals to have their sins cleansed. The animal sacrifices ended up dead
Our great mentor is of course Jesus. Consider how he walked before His father – not legalistically but in willing obedience v48 My hands also will I lift up… and although Jesus went through death for us, He rose again to be the new and living way – after the order of Melchisedic with endless life. He did not learn to submit in Gethsemane but was helped in the time of greatest testing by having lived a lifestyle of obedience, waiting on and doing his Father’s will. We need to follow in these precepts and meditate on what he has done so that our thinking is renewed. For as a man thinks in his heart so is he… For as a woman thinks in her heart so is she
It has also been my prayer that Yehovah would take not the word of truth utterly out of the mouth of the church in the UK. We must pray all the more for the UK since our vote to remove ourselves from the ‘control’ of European masters and make our own way – not independently but under God. May we once again be Yahweh’s voice to the nations
the views carried here are those of the author, not of Network Yarmouth, and are intended to stimulate constructive debate between website users