Read: Psalm 119:7, 171; Psalm 29:2, 66:4; Revelation 4:10 – 11
Commitment is a theme of Psalm 119. One commitment the psalmist makes is to worship the Lord. In v. 7 he writes, “I will give thanks to Thee with uprightness of heart.” Hebrew yadah means thanks or praise – from the root word “to shoot an arrow” — therefore praise for something specific. In v. 171 the psalmist says, “My lips shall utter praise.” Hebrew tehillah means praise, hymn of praise, or act of public worship. The reason for this praise: “when You have taught me Your statutes.”
Think About It: Am I committed to worship the Lord? In public worship, am I a participant, or merely a spectator? What could I do to participate more fully in worship? For what specific things can I be thankful to God right now?
Prayer: Thank God for His specific acts of grace and goodness in my life.
Read: Psalm 119:11, 16, 93, 105
The psalmist makes several commitments to memorize God’s word in Psalm 119. He says in v. 16, “I will not forget (shakach – ignore, allow to wither) Your word.” “Withering” is a good description of what happens to things in our memory if we do not work at keeping them fresh. In v. 93 he says, “I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have kept me alive.” This explains why it is so important to commit God’s Word to memory — God’s precepts give us life. These are the principles that guide us, keep us from harm, give light to our path (v. 105).
Think About It: In Psalm 119:11 the psalmist provides a classic description of memorization: “Thy Word have I hid (tsaphan – hid, treasured up) in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” Have I “treasured up” God’s word in my heart? How much Scripture do I know? What could I do to increase my “treasure store” of God’s word?
Prayer: For a greater knowledge of God’s revelation in His word.
Read: Psalm 119:15, 27, 78; Joshua 1:8; Psalm 63:6; 1 Timothy 4:15
The psalmist of Psalm 119 commits himself to meditate on God’s word. This commitment explains one way to use what we have memorized. The psalmist writes in vv. 15 and 78, “I will meditate on Your precepts.” The Hebrew for meditate is siyach – muse, ponder, study, sing. The word has a secondary meaning of “complain” which may refer to the aspect of murmuring and chewing over a grievance. Much better to murmur and “chew over” God’s Word than it is to mull over past hurts.
Think About It: In v. 27 the psalmist writes, “I will meditate on Your wondrous works.” What are some of the wondrous works of God recorded in Scripture? What wondrous works of God have I experienced in my own life?
Prayer: Lord, help me to pay attention to what You are doing in my life, and to meditate on Your word and Your wondrous works.
Read: Psalm 119:10; 1 Kings 9:4; 11:4; 18:21
The psalmist commits himself to seek the Lord in Psalm 119:10: “I will seek you with a whole heart.” The Hebrew for seek is darash – to consult, enquire of God; to practice, to follow. The Hebrew word for heart is leb – mind, conscience, will, seat of understanding, soul; the core of being.
Think About It: Why was God pleased with David’s service? What was Solomon’s downfall? What did Elijah demand of the people? Am I seeking and serving God with integrity, or am I hopping between two opinions?
Prayer: For my devotion to God to be whole-hearted; for integrity.
Read: Psalm 119:32, 33, 45, 69, 105, 106, 112, 145; Philippians 2:12 – 13
The most often repeated commitment in Psalm 119 is the commitment to obey.
In vv. 32 – 33 the psalmist says, “I will run in the way of Your commandments, for Thou wilt enlarge my heart. I will keep . . .Your statutes.” Verse 32 puts obedience into the context of grace. The psalmist will be obedient not because of the strength of his commitment, but because God has given him the capacity, just as a runner gains capacity from a strengthened heart. Philippians 2:12 – 13 explains that the essence of grace is God working in us, to will and to do according to His good pleasure.
Think About It: What is one result of keeping God’s precepts, according to Psalm 119:45? What does Jesus have to say in John 8:34 on a closely related topic? What is the essence of real freedom? Am I living as a slave, or as a free person?
Prayer: Thank God for freedom from the bonds of sin.
Read: Psalm 119:48; Lamentations 2:19, 3:41; 1 Timothy 2:8; 1 John 5:14 – 15
In Psalm 119:48 the psalmist commits himself to pray: “I will lift up my hands towards Your commandments.” Lifting up the hands is a biblical gesture of prayer.
Think About It: What is the secret of prevailing prayer according to 1 John 5:14 – 15? While recognizing that a specific promise or commandment of Scripture will not apply to every prayer request I might make, what can I do to strengthen my case before God in prayer?
Prayer: For wisdom to know how to pray according to God’s Word.
Read: Psalm 119:46, 172; Mark 8:38; Romans 1:16
In Psalm 119:46 and 172 the psalmist commits himself to witness for the Lord: v. 46, “I will speak of Your testimonies before kings, and shall not be ashamed”; v. 172, “My tongue shall speak of Thy word.” “Speak” translates the Hebrew anah, meaning to testify, to respond as a witness. The commitment of the psalmist parallels the commitment of Paul in Romans 1:16, and recalls the warning of Jesus in Mark 8:38.
Think About It: Am I taking every opportunity to speak up for Jesus and His word?
Prayer: For boldness in my witness to the Lord and the Gospel.