Psalm 119:89-96

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Lamedh

89  Forever, O Lord, your word 

is firmly fixed in the heavens. 

90  Your faithfulness endures to all generations; 

you have established the earth, and it stands fast. 

91  By your appointment they stand this day, 

for all things are your servants. 

92  If your law had not been my delight, 

I would have perished in my affliction. 

93  I will never forget your precepts, 

for by them you have given me life. 

94  I am yours; save me, 

for I have sought your precepts. 

95  The wicked lie in wait to destroy me, 

but I consider your testimonies. 

96  I have seen a limit to all perfection, 

but your commandment is exceedingly broad (ESV).

The psalmist knows the Lord’s Word is fixed forever in the heavens (v 89). As tumultuous as life here on earth can be, the psalmist knows that the Lord’s Word is secure. “There will never be a time or a place when the Lord’s authoritative word is silenced or thwarted, and this truth is the strong and enduring grounds for the psalmist’s confidence” (D. Estes, Psalms 73-150 NAC, 2019, p. 421).

The psalmist is confident that the Lord’s faithfulness will endure to all generations. And that He has securely established the earth so that it stands fast (v 90). This harkens to God’s people to pray earnestly for His will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven (Matt 6:10).

Verse 91 is the most difficult Hebrew verse thus far to translate. “The general sense is that everything in the Lord’s domain is upheld by his authoritative word. In the Lord’s ordered world, everything ultimately serves his purposes, even though the intentions of the actors (such as the wicked who have afflicted the psalmist) may be evil” (Estes, p. 422). Nothing on this earth exists that is not under the Sovereign Hand of God. “All of creation exists because of obedience to God’s word; all of creation, therefore, exists to do his will” (A. Ross, A Commentary on the Psalms 90-150 KEL, 2016, p. 541).

The psalmist delighted in the Lord’s law, had he not, he would have perished in his affliction (v 92). “The psalmist confesses that he, too, wants to be included among those who serve the Lord by keeping his “law.” He has found “delight” (see vv. 16, 24, 47, 70, 77, 92, 143, 174) in the “law” (tôrâ “instruction) of the Lord, and this has given him a desire to align his life with the revealed will of the Lord. If he had not found meaning in his experience of “affliction,” he feels that he would have perished. He would have been like a falling star” (W. VanGemeren, Psalms REBC, 2008, p. 876).

The psalmist declares that he will never forget the Lord’s precepts because they are what give him life (v 93). The Lord’s people are always at risk of forgetting His precepts. The psalmist knows “God’s word does him little good if he fails to remember it” (Estes, p. 422). Remember (or not forgetting) God’s Word is a biblical principle that runs from Genesis to Revelation. May the people of God continue to feast on the Word of God so that in times of famine they will know how the Lord instructs them to live.

Since the psalmist is the Lord’s he petitions Him to save him (hiphil, imperative 2ms with 1cs suffix). “‘I am yours’ (lĕkā-ʾănî) indicates that the psalmist accepted a servant’s responsibility and Yhwh accepted a master’s responsibility. Verse 94 appeals for that to continue to be true. One who belongs to Yhwh can appeal to Yhwh to deliver. The line again emphasizes Yhwh’s direct involvement in our lives. Yhwh is not just the deist clockmaker. But part of the basis for expecting Yhwh to behave as if we belong to Yhwh is that we have so behaved” (J. Goldingay, Baker Commentary on the Old Testament; Psalms 90-150, 2006, p. 416).

In verse 94b the psalmist has sought God’s Word. In verse 95a the wicked lie in wait to destroy the psalmist. Estes notes this form of the verb for wait “often speaks of the righteous waiting for the Lord to intervene in their lives, but here the verb refers to the wicked waiting to do an intentional act of evil (p. 422). God’s people are not immune from the intentional evil acts of the world, the flesh and the devil. As such God’s people need to consider His testimonies (95b).

The psalmist ends this stanza in confidence. All human speech, efforts and achievements have a limit; however, the Lord’s Word has no limit because it is exceedingly broad (v 96). “[T]o live for anything other than what the Lord commands is to invite disappointment and defeat” (Estes, p. 423).

Lord God, thank You and praise You that Your Word is firmly fixed and exceedingly broad! Thank You and praise You Lord that You are perfect! In a world that is turning darker and more evil by the day, thank You that You have put a limit on what Your people will suffer. Thank You and praise You Lord that Your Word has no end and that it will not return void. Lord God, You are faithful to Your people. May we never cease to remember how You have been in our midst in the past, so we can live for You in the present, being bold and fearless when facing the future.

Lord God, You truly hold the whole world in Your Hands. Lord God, You have created all people for eternity. Lord, may today be the day of salvation for the reader who is far from You. Lord, as all things are Your servants, may we be instruments for good and not instruments of evil.

Lord, make our desires Your desires so that we will endure in our afflictions. Lord God, thank You that for those of us who are in Christ we can come boldly before Your Throne seeking Your grace, mercy and help when we need it most. Lord God, may we not be surprised by how unbelievers act. May we not be surprised that the world, the flesh and the devil seek to harm us. May our desire for You increase and the things of this world decrease! In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

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Published by

Blue Collar Theologian

My name is Mandy Sweigart-Quinn, I live in Lancaster, PA and I am a “Blue Collar Theologian.” I love Jesus! I am passionate about His Word (The Holy Bible)! I come alive when I can encourage others in their walk with Jesus (whether by writing or speaking). As a “Blue Collar Theologian” it is my aim to live/practice/work out my Christian hope with sincerity, authenticity and genuineness. As a “Blue Collar Theologian,” I strive to meet people right where they are (“Incarnational Theology”). I graduated in May 2019 from Capital Seminary and Graduate School with a Master's in Biblical Studies. I am a passionate, excited and enthusiastic person! I love flowers, sports and sunsets. Since January 2, 2018 I have had the privilege of being married to Nathan.

46 thoughts on “Psalm 119:89-96”

  1. Time to dive into my favorite Psalm again! 😀
    In so much of this Psalm and this passage the writer is truly worshipping God. How good it’d be to read aloud and worship alongside!
    Verse 91 also stands out to me and I so agree that “Nothing on this earth exists that is not under the Sovereign Hand of God.” When our life spins out of control, the sovereignty of God is the only anchor of hope.
    “All things are Your servants” I apply that to circumstances as well. Thinking of some right now!
    Agreeing with you in prayer sister, may ‘our desires become His desires…’
    Thank you Mandy for another 119 visit! Hugs to you too! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a beautiful timely study Mandy, it has significance to my recent meditations on the story of Bartimaeus. Thank you for your faithfulness to His Word and your willingness to share it, may our Father bless you and yours richly today.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Alan, your studies on Bartimaeus have been really life-giving (sorry I was behind in reading!). Bartimaeus and this psalmist have an attitude of crying out and worship. How I want to grow in this area! How are you and Susan doing? Love, hugs and blessings to you both!

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      1. I love your studies in this amazing Psalm, they are so rich in His Truth and edifying. I thank our Father for you often.
        Susan, Sam (our son) and I are nearly recovered from the cold virus that is ravaging Scotland/UK at present. Susan has another operation to stretch her oesophagus in two weeks time, only a few months after the first one: we pray this one is more successful. I pray that you and your family are well, and being blessed in Him.

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  3. Wow its amazing you are up to verse 96. This is an amazing effort you put into this; Mandy you ought to make this into a Kindle book at least one of these days. I take hope that verse 96 says His Word is broad and that He has something to say with every sphere (of course what He says and how much He says about a matter varies in different areas). Good post!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Jimmy! I’ll be honest, I thought this was my worst installment to date. Nathan has asked if I would turn this into a book. When I was working on verse 96, I was thinking about your study this year. God and His Word are perfect and broad!

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  4. I’m so glad you’re continuing this rich delving into Psalm 119!! It is heaped with treasure for weary souls and I am blessed by your leading us to take a closer look at it. It is much needed, Mandy. Thank you. Blessings and mega hugs 🤗

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    1. You are a gift to my nefesh Dora and I pray you know that. Psalm 119 is truly our model for how to worship God in our afflictions and troubling times. We praise Him for who He is, for what He has done and for preserving His Word for us. I have been really meditating on what does it mean that the Bible is inspired, especially in the Psalms. The Lord wrote the psalms through the psalmists’ joy, affliction, pain, loneliness, sin and repentance. The Lord knows and uses our human experiences to bring us closer to Himself. This is really, really profound to me. I love learning systematic theology but at my heart I am a biblical theology girl who loves seeing how themes of worship, praise and affliction run through Genesis and culminate in seeing our King in His Beauty at the end of Revelation. Praise God for His sustaining weary souls and using fellow believers to encourage us to persevere. Jesus loves you Dora and so do I! 🤗🤗🤗🧡🧡🧡😘😘😘😘☀️☀️☀️☀️

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    1. Thank you, Dee! As we have talked about before in the end beginning closer now than ever before, God’s Sovereign Hand is causing me to marvel even more. In a time where my heart (mind, will and emotions) wants to tremble in fear and worry of the future, I am reminded of God’s sovereignty and as He cares for the sparrows, so too will He care for me. I am so thankful for your friendship and how committed you are to speaking the Truth in love and to trust and depend on God with what is coming! Love you sister, thank you for your encouragement!!!! 🤗🤗😘😘🍁🍁🧡🧡🐶🐶

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      1. If there’s any Christian who says they’re not tempted to tremble in fear and worry of the future, they’re either not being truthful or are full of pride and confidence in themselves. I believe He will keep His promise to carry us through the times to come. And though we may tremble in fear now, His strength to endure will come precisely at the moment we need it. Love you back. 🤗 💕 😻

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      1. RE: Leaf campaign
        Thanks! I collected a tarpfull of leaves Monday and the leaffall began to accelerate “a bit” yesterday and today. At this rate it looks like I’ll be able to collect two or maybe three tarpfulls tomorrow. That would make five tarpfulls so far, a dramatic contrast to the thirty-eight tarpfulls I collected by this time last year.

        My big project today is waiting for a callback from the lawyer about a sticky situation involving my sister’s huge cat scratch infection hospital bill and medical insurance. I’m still chipping away at a boring book by an independent fundamental Baptist pastor. Sixty pages to go and I’m bound and determined to finish.

        What does your day look like?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks, Mandy! Glad you’re having a nice day, too, including the hair cut!

        I have sparse hair on top so I give my head a go-round with the clippers set at #2 and call it a month.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Responding to your comment: Man there’s some ignorant people out there with things military…those 22 years your husband served are filled with lots of awful times and awful places…some people seem to think the military is just a great meal ticket plan or something. Far from it…we don’t have any dinner plan yet but what about you and Nate???

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  6. This section of the psalm is truly infused with confidence in the eternal nature of Gods word. Yes it stand and always. What joy and confidence it gives us, those who believe in Him that everything will fade but His word stands forever. Anything may try but they can never succeed in silencing His word.
    Amen 🙏🏽.
    Thank you Mandy for this beautiful study through this psalm. May the lord bless you 💙

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey, Colleen!!!! I am glad to hear that this encouraged you. Praise God! I was reading the genealogies in 1 Chronicles 1-9 today and my takeaway from that is God’s faithfulness. I need to meditate on his faithfulness more!!!! Love, hugs and blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Getting back to your comment earlier: Had a lot of ministry conversations today on the phone with various things; good things and encouraging things and also prayer requests and people’s struggles. Thanks for asking!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and Nancy so much for your love and care for me as well as for Nathan. I have also been taking to heart what you and Nathan are advising with turning Psalm 119 into a book. I am excited about this next section. Loved your Marines post today and am praying that it will lead the lost to Christ!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Response to your comment: This evening will be sermon prep for tonight!! I’m behind with all the calls and discussions! Youth group went well! There was only two but it was good and I notice them improving with making better observation of the Scriptures so that is awesome!! How are you now? Hope you are much warm!!!

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