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THE WORD TO OUR HEART:
Keep The Law: Psalm 119:129-136 Pe (פ)
Pastor John Weathersby
Sunday September 8, 2019

Keep, Keep, Keep…

129, 134 ,136

22 Times in Psalm 119, we see an emphasis on keeping the Word/being obedient to the Word. God’s Word has authority and should be kept.

The Psalmist here today will put some focus on his obedience to God’s will. However, we need to talk about a concept that’s vastly important to our spiritual life. It may be a new concept for you, it may be an old concept, but it will change how you interact with scripture, how you understand God, and give strength to your spiritual life!

I’m going to say that again, because it’s a bold statement, and I mean it to be,

Understanding scriptures authority will:
Change how you interact with scripture,
Change how you understand God, and
Give strength to your spiritual life

This authority of scripture is why the Psalmist says keep, keep, keep. Why in a chapter of a book, aligned with the alphabet, a teaching tool for children and adults, with 176 verses mentions scripture in almost every single, verse.

This concept alone gives it authority – the words of scripture are God’s own word, memorize:

2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

“Breathed out by God”, ESV and NIV moved away from the language “inspired” which isn’t necessarily wrong, but doesn’t fully show what B. B. Warfield made clear: the origin of scripture is God, though communicated through humans, God is it’s ultimate author. So, the logical outflow is that it a) is without error it comes from The all knowing all powerful God and b) it is authoritative.

So Paul’s point in 2 Timothy 3:16, is that Timothy then is to base all his theology, all his teaching, and all his exhortation on scripture, and NOTHING AT ALL more. In fact, scripture is God breathed and profitable for teaching. The Word teaching is used only 19 times in all of scripture 15 are by Paul in pastoral epistles 1/2 Timothy and Titus. More interestingly, the word is intratranslated between “doctrine” and “teaching” because right teaching about God is doctrine. Timothy is only to have doctrine, I would go as far as to say without “doctrine” there is no Christianity.

That’s why this concept of authority, is so important. That the words of Scripture come from God, they ARE doctrine and how we understand God –

2 Peter 1:20–21 (ESV)
20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

And so, if they’re from God, they’re consistent with His nature, they’re of an all knowing, all present being – they’re without error and as such they have authority.

Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV)
9 The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?

Matthew 22:28–33 (ESV)
28 In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.”
29 But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.
30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
31 And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God:
32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.”
33 And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching.

Don’t miss what just happened there. This is Jesus addressing the group trying to trap Him. Jesus says you are wrong. Ouch – but under what are they wrong…. “you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God” … “as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read”, Jesus a) appeals to scripture and b) holds them accountable to it.

This is incredible, Jesus’ view of scripture is that it’s the rule by which we should live, and it’s the authority for life.

So. I say again:

Understanding scriptures authority will:
Change how you interact with scripture,
Change how you understand God, and
Give strength to your spiritual life

Knowing that the words of scripture are breathed out by God and carry weight and authority, let’s look at the Psalmist and see his own willingness, desire, and position before scripture as someone who should be obedient.

Psalm 119:129–136 (ESV) Pe
129  Your testimonies are wonderful;
therefore my soul keeps them.

In Psalm 119:105, the Psalmist said that the word was a lamp to his feet and light to his path, he talked about the practical instructions that he gets from the Word. Pastor John said about Psalm 119:105 that

“the Psalmist sees that this word is the guidance that he needs, that he of his own desires would go astray, and that he’s see what the Word does when first truly heard cuts us and tells us who we are, considering this word is the guidance.”

The Psalmist is blessed by God’s word and his obedience “therefore” keeps them. His soul, is obedient from a place of joy. This is a Psalm about obedience to God through His word, in many seasons. Spurgeon talks of Jesus, the eternal word is described as wonderful, and continues talking about the wonder of God’s word. The word of God is wonderful – this is why we talked about their authority and looked to how Jesus understood, them, how Paul said we should teach doctrinal truth from them –

So. I say again:

Understanding scriptures authority will:
change how you interact with scripture,
change how you understand God, and
give strength to your spiritual life
God’s word brings us to the knowledge of God – which is exciting, we’re seeing that in the psalmist. And when we understand this Word we’re reading is living and from God we’ll give it the weight it’s due – like Jesus holding the pharisees accountable to id and correcting them from it, because it is source of authority.

The Psalmist speaks to a light that scripture gives, to his soul. As we’ll see in verse 130, even to the simple.

130  The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple.

The Word gives us light. We’re able through the Word to get so many experiences across all of scripture to see things like the feeding of the 5,000 the restoration of sight, to see Jesus’ ability to know the hearts of people, to know how everything was created, how God stretched the stars out like a cloak, the unfolding of God’s Word gives us light.

The truths of scripture bring us into worship, not emotional worship where we moan repeating words that don’t mean anything, but that we get to learn more and more about God, to gain insights into who He is and how His plan unfolded. The complexity of the interrelationships in the texts. We learn more about the depths of his love through the gruesomeness of the Gospel, to seeing Jesus love for His church, the restoration of those apostles who denied him – Thomas declared my lord and my God, Peter was restored by Jesus Himself saying love my sheep.

This is the grace of God, that is word is an accommodation to us. It allows lofty knowledge of God to come down to us through language and things we understand. Even to the simple, you don’t have to be a philosopher, the word is amiable to everyone –

James 1:5, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

131  I open my mouth and pant,
because I long for your commandments.

We’ve seen the Psalmist be low and depressed, asking God to be his cloak, here he is high and glorying. That’s the Christian experience. We have highs and we have lows.

The Psalmist is committed to following after God because of who He is, not what He gives. Are we?

132  Turn to me and be gracious to me,
as is your way with those who love your name.
133  Keep steady my steps according to your promise,
and let no iniquity get dominion over me.

Keep steady my steps – don’t let me fail God. Do you recognize God’s ability to do that? Do you see that God can steady you, can protect you, that He is all powerful and cares, the Psalmist does. Turn your eyes to me, and steady my steps. He want’s God to protect him from the power of sin against him, the iniquity that may have dominion over him. What is that, who knows.

James talks about sin, it’s our desires that when we entertain them after being pretend with them, are given life. What desires if you give them life will bear sin?

Do you pray over those? God protect me from giving those dominion? The Psalmist does – though he’s high on the mountain with God, he knows who he is, do you? Do you know who you are?

Write this Psalm down, remember it, keep is close:

Psalm 103:13–14 (ESV)
13  As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14  For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.

The Psalmist continues:

134  Redeem me from man’s oppression,
that I may keep your precepts.
135  Make your face shine upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes.

Maybe the Psalmist is struggling. Dealing with some things – he asks again here, redeem me from man’s oppressions. We should not forget – remembering our frame, that even the Godly are exposed to the oppression of the world, are faced with temptations that don’t honor God.

This verse asks a question of us, and knowing the authority of scripture helps answer it, what do we truly desire? To satisfy our desires and temptations, or to joy in obedience to God? The psalmist wants to be free of the oppression of Adam – that’s his pryer to God. The Psalmist is committed to following after God because of who He is, not what He gives.

136  My eyes shed streams of tears,
because people do not keep your law.

This is a change of tied from the joyous celebration of verse 129. There are two schools of thought here that I think are both right, that he’s thinking of himself as “people” who don’t keep the law, or all people, who don’t keep the law. I don’t see the need to choose here, starting from ourselves, and working out to others, we can grieve sin in the world around us – and look to God for protection from that. For His grace in preserving and setting us aside – The Psalmist is committed to following after God because of who He is, not what He gives.

Let us see scriptures authority and

Understanding scriptures authority will:
change how you interact with scripture,
change how you understand God, and
give strength to your spiritual life

Remember: Psalm 103:13–14, As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

Let’s make sure WE remember our own frames, that we don’t rely on ourselves, but that we reach out to God for understanding, guidance, and protection. That is the prayer of the Psalmist.
The Psalmist is committed to following after God because of who He is, not what He gives. Are we?
Do you pray for God to give you victory over specific temptations to sin?

The Psalmist 3 times implores of God 3 times about keeping his statutes – it’s the entire spectrum that live demands of us, God, my soul is encouraged to keep your law 129, God bring me back from the oppression of man and help me keep your law, God I’m broken over lack of law keeping, that’s the scope of our experience with God’s law, success, struggle, failure – in all this the Psalmist turns to God, from His word, and says – God help me!

Let’s do the same. Because His Word is perfect.

Pray, Observe, Apply.