The King of Glory (Psalm 24)

Looking down on east side of the Temple Mount. 23 May 2017. Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn.

24 A Psalm of David. 

1  The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, 

the world and those who dwell therein, 

for he has founded it upon the seas 

and established it upon the rivers. 

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? 

And who shall stand in his holy place? 

He who has clean hands and a pure heart, 

who does not lift up his soul to what is false 

and does not swear deceitfully. 

He will receive blessing from the Lord 

and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 

Such is the generation of those who seek him, 

who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah 

Lift up your heads, O gates! 

And be lifted up, O ancient doors, 

that the King of glory may come in. 

Who is this King of glory? 

The Lord, strong and mighty, 

the Lord, mighty in battle! 

Lift up your heads, O gates! 

And lift them up, O ancient doors, 

that the King of glory may come in. 

10  Who is this King of glory? 

The Lord of hosts, 

he is the King of glory! Selah 

In light of Holy Week 2022, I cannot help but meditate on David’s hymn.

David makes it clear that the earth belongs to Yahweh and that He is the Creator and Sovereign overall (vv 1-2). David’s understanding of creation theology is the antithesis of how Israel’s neighbors understood creation. For most of the Ancient Near East (ANE), they viewed the earth as flat and floating on a cosmic ocean. Water in the ANE was signified with chaos and disorder. (Each ANE civilization had a defeated sea god. For example: the Ugaritic (Canaanite) Baal was the storm/fertility god who defeated the sea god Yamm). To David, “these words signify that the Lord has manifested his wisdom in creating an orderly world, and therefore he rules over all. The biblical perspective is opposed to the deification of nature, for, while everything is glorious, its glory is derived from the glorious Creator” (W. VanGemeren, Psalms REBC, 2008, p. 258).

“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place?” (v 3). The hill that David is speaking of is Mount Zion. “The temple of Yahweh was built on a hilltop above the rest of the city. Thus, going to worship at the temple involved a modest ascent. The Temple Mount was the place of God’s throne, which is relevant in this psalm’s call to praise God’s kingship” (J. Hilber, “Psalms” ZIBBC, 2009, p. 342). While the temple was not constructed in David’s lifetime, I love what VanGemeren says, “The hymn instructs God’s people wherever they may be to live in the presence of the Creator-King in order to receive his blessing” (p. 260).

Holiness is required to enter the Lord’s presence! Only those with clean hands and a pure heart, who neither lift up their soul (life source) to what is false nor swear deceitfully (v 4), will “receive blessing from the Lord” (v 5). The Lord requires us to be solely and only devoted to Him. We cannot serve God and something or someone else. It was impossible in the Old Testament and it is impossible today!

“Purity of ‘hands’ and ‘heart’ is the condition of living before God in accordance with his precepts and out of the desire of his heart…The one who has ‘clean hands’ is innocent of wrongdoing and readily asks for forgiveness when he or she has sinned against God. In contrast is the sinner, whose ‘hands are full of blood’ and who needs cleansing, forgiveness, and reconciliation” (VanGemeren, p. 260).

Only a fool would enter the Creator-King’s Holy presence in a manner that is contrary to His Character and Workings. The people of God need to be sensitive and mindful of the condition of their hands and hearts when they enter into His presence. Failure to do so will lead to discipline rather than blessing.

For the “generation of those who seek him” they are the legitimate children of Jacob (v 6). Seek here is a Hebrew participle denoting continuous action. “To ‘seek him’ is an expression of a sincere desire to live in accordance with God’s standards so as to live in the presence of his ‘face'” (p. 260).

Scholars are not in agreement as to what David is referring to in verses 7 and 9. It could be that David is literally commanding the gates and doors of the temple to open or it could be referring to the ancient city of Jerusalem itself. Since the temple was not built in David’s time, I am more inclined to go with the latter; however, I am not dogmatic on this! As VanGemeren states, “Regardless of the referent, the point remains that Jerusalem had been a Jebusite city with a long history…over which Melchizedek ruled in Abraham’s days. It became the city of God because God chose to dwell in it. Consequently, both the city and the people were called on to receive with joy and anticipation the Great King. The repetition in v. 9…bears out the importance of proper preparation for ‘the King of glory'” (p. 262).

Verses 8 and 10 are verbless clauses where the people cry out, “Who is this King of Glory?” The answer is the Lord, Yahweh. “He brings blessing, victory, and vindication to his people because he is their God and Savior” (p. 262). Yahweh is the Divine Warrior (a significant theme in the Old Testament) who fights for Israel rather than against her. David describes the Lord’s divine power as “strong and mighty” and “mighty in battle!”

The Lord of Hosts (ebāʾôt) is also translated Almighty. “The Great King has at his command innumerable heavenly ‘hosts,’ reflecting the glory and splendor of undisputed lordship. He is the Divine Warrior, the Commander of all powers in heaven and earth. His battles always win him victory…The presence of the divine Warrior among his people is the ground for tranquillity that drives out fear” (p.263).

In Psalm 24, David celebrates the entrance of the great Divine Warrior, the King of Glory, the Lord Almighty Himself coming into Zion. Yesterday, April 10, 2022 Protestants remembered the Triumphal entry of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a colt, where the crowds met Jesus with palm branches, spreading their cloaks on the road, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” (John 12:12; c.f. Ps 118:25-26).

Only a few days later these same people along with their chief priests and religious leaders cried out for Pilate to “crucify” Him (Luke 23:21; John 19:6). In prophetic irony, Pilate put an inscription on Jesus’s cross which read, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” (John 19:19). Onlookers who were coming to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover would have seen this sign. For three hours Jesus suffered before succumbing to death. His body was then taken down and buried in a new, yet borrowed tomb (v 41); however, this was not the end, because on the third day, Jesus rose from the grave! This Overcoming King of Glory defeated death, the grave and Satan forever!

For those who believe in Christ, we know that Jesus is the Soon Returning Conquering King who will enter the holy city of Jerusalem bringing His reward with Him (Rev 22:12). For those who believe in Christ we know that our reward is being with our Triune God forever. For those who do not know Christ, their reward is separation from God and eternal torment (see Matthew 25). In a world full of uncertainty and zero guarantees, Jesus’s return is certain. None of us are promised tomorrow, please seek Jesus while there is still time!

Jesus is the ultimate Davidic King. Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus is the King of Glory, the One who fights on behalf of His people. May we allow Jesus’s death, burial and resurrection take root more in our lives this year. For the reader who is a part from Christ, do not spend another day without Jesus being Your Redeemer, Savior and King. All glory to Jesus both now and forevermore.

Father God, prepare our hearts to worship You both now and in eternity. Thank You Jesus for coming to earth, being born of a virgin, living among sinful man, being crucified, dead and buried, rising on the third day so as to reconcile Your repentant sinful people to Yourself for the glory of God the Father. Holy Spirit, thank You for indwelling and sealing Your people. Thank You Holy Spirit for helping us to become more like Jesus each and every day. Help us to want more of You and less of ourselves. Lord God, help Your people to have clean hands and a pure heart. May we never forget that we come to You and stand in Your presence because of Your grace and mercy and not because of anything good in us. Lord God, may we never forget that salvation has always been by grace through faith, never because of our works! Lord God, help Your people to be a generation who seeks Your face. Lord God, help believers to not lift their soul to what is false nor swear deceitfully. Lord God, thank You for this reader! Lord God, You are strong and mighty in battle and NOTHING is too great for You. Thank You Lord that nothing will stop Your will from being accomplished. Thank You for this reader. Lead and guide this reader to love You more each and every day. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

 

Fluffy snow and sunset 2/13/2022

Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn
Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn
Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn
Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn
Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn

Lord God, thank You for today. Thank You Holy Trinity that You are intimately involved with Your Creation! Thank You Lord that for those of us who are in Christ we are no longer covered in sin and hell bound, but are a people alive with hope and purpose. Lord God, help us this week to live more for You. Help us to be more like Jesus. Lord God, stir our hearts to share Jesus while there is still time.

Lord God, thank You for this reader. May this reader take comfort and courage in You. May this reader be refreshed by Your Word and renewed knowing there is nowhere they can go that is out of Your grasp. Thank You and praise You Lord for this reader. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

On my way!

Sunrise, 24 January 2022. Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn.

For the first time in I don’t know how long, there was NO airport security line! While it is 47f in St Pete, FL as I type this, that sounds a whole lot better than the 25F in Lancaster, PA!

God willing, I will be with my mom today until early Thursday morning and then I will fly from Tampa to LA to visit with friends until next Monday. I am SO excited and appreciative to God for this opportunity! I am thankful that my dad and another friend will hangout with PQ while Nathan is at work! I am thankful for Nathan for supporting me in visiting my mom and our friends in SOCAL (Lord, please let it be warm there!!!).

Thank you dear reader for adventuring with me. We were never meant to travel on this Jesus road alone. I have never in my life thought I would make such great connections with folks through this blog. Please know that I love you and that it’s a joy and an honor to pray for you.

Lord God, thank You for this opportunity! Lord God, thank You for this reader! Lord God, take this reader on an adventure in Your Word. Lord God, may this reader read Acts and all the journeys that Paul went on. Or may they read Exodus and journey with Israel through the Red Sea or journey in Numbers through the wilderness. Lord God, may we all adventure through the Psalms feeling the grief, joy and hope of the psalmists. Lord, praise You that in Revelation You bless Your people who read it. May we live in confidence knowing that the road for those who are in Christ is leading us to victory regardless of what happens in this life.

Thank You and praise You Lord for this reader. May they be encouraged by who You are and how You work. May this reader embrace their journey with You knowing that without You life makes NO sense. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

21 January 2022 Sunset

Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn

Father God, thank You for Your extraordinary color at the close of a very cold day! Lord God, thank You that the sun always comes out to set. Lord God, thank You that each sunrise and sunset are glimpses of Your Majesty, Might and Glory! Lord, I am humbled and awed by how involved You are with Your Creation. No wonder David said, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?” (Ps 8:3-4 ESV).

Lord God, help Your young people to stay pure this weekend. Lord God, fill our youth with the peace of Your presence this weekend. Lord God, there is so much garbage in the world enticing Your young people to sin. Lord for those who are more mature in the faith, may they not forget what it was like to be young. Lord God, may those of us who are older in years not look down on the younger with contempt but rather with a heart to serve, mentor and guide.

Lord God, thank You for this reader. Lord, whether this reader is younger or older, new believer or seasoned saint, may they marvel at being a new creation in Christ. Lord God, for the reader who does not know You, may they seek Jesus while there is still time. Thank You and praise You Lord for who You are and how You work. Amen.

Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn
Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn

Sunset 15 January 2022

Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn

Lord God, thank You for Your faithfulness. Lord God, whatever troubles this reader today, I ask Lord that You fill them with peace. Lord, for the reader who is ill, I ask that You will heal them as You see fit. Lord God, for the reader who is rejoicing, may their praise be acceptable to You.

Thank You Lord for each day You give us to live for You. Thank You that in our sleeplessness we can cry out to You in prayer. Lord God, as no two sunsets are the same, thank You and praise You that You have created each person unique.

Lord God, for the reader who is far from You, draw this reader to Yourself by grace through faith in Christ while there is still time. Thank You Lord for this reader. Thank You for our identity and position in Christ. Bless this reader and encourage them, as You have blessed and encouraged me. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn
Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn

Happy New Year! January 2022 Prayer

Father God, radically change our minds, hearts and hands in 2022 from constant rebellion and disobedience to minds, hearts and hands that fully desire to love and obey You.

Lord God, thank You for this new year! Thank You for this new month! Lord God, may we learn more about Your glory and holiness this year! Lord God, Your glory is seen in salvation and in judgment. Lord, motivate us more in 2022 to warn people of Your coming judgment. Motivate us Lord to love You and worship You more in this new year!

Lord God, for those of us in cooler climates may we wrap ourselves in Your Warmth and for those who are in warmer climates may they know the cool breeze and refreshment of Your Word.

Lord God, thank You for this reader. Lord, help this reader to make spiritual goals rather than New Years resolutions. Lord God, help us to grow in You more this year and in this new month. Thank You and praise You Lord that Your mercies are new each morning. Lord God, as Jesus Christ in His Humanity grew physically, spiritually, emotionally may the same be said of Your people this year. Thank You Jesus that You are God and we are not! Thank You Jesus that You are perfect! Lord, help us to embrace that while You do NOT call us to be perfect You do call us to be holy and wise!

Lord God, help us to be holy this year. Sanctify us and unite us in Your Word and Truth. Lord God, may there be peace among the Body of Christ this year rather than spears, swords and division. Lord God, teach us to set our minds on You and the things above rather than on the things of this life. Praise You Lord that You are Sovereign and that Your will and way will NEVER be stopped!

Lord God, fill this reader with confidence in 2022. Fill this reader with courage and boldness to live for You in this changing world. May we seek to live in Your Kingdom rather than in the metaverse. Lord God, help this reader to cling to You more this year. Help us to put away childish things so that we may love, grow and serve You more faithfully.

Lord God, thank You for this reader. Thank You Lord that for the reader who is in Christ that I will one day see them face to face in Your Kingdom! Lord God, for this reader who does not know Christ as Lord and Savior I ask boldly Lord that today will be their day of salvation. Lord God, thank You that You are still stirring, convicting and bringing individuals to Yourself by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Lord God, thank You that salvation is Your Work from start to finish. Lord God, may we never think that You will give us tomorrow. May we live in a manner each day where we complete the tasks that You have set before us. Not to merit our salvation or for greater reward but because we love You and want to please, honor and glorify You.

Lord God, thank You for this new year and month. Thank You Lord for new beginnings. Thank You Lord that in Christ we are new creations. Thank You Lord that while we still contend with us, when we call on You in repentance You are Faithful and Just to forgive and cleanse us for our sins. Lord, help us live in a manner that honors and glorifies You. May this reader allow You to transform them, sanctify them and use them for Your glory. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Psalm 119

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Psalm 119 encourages believers to love the Word of God and to walk in obedience according to the Word of God. Psalm 119 encourages us to be the Lord’s students and servants. Wise is the person who takes the Lord’s Word to heart, walking in its ways.

Lord God, thank You for this study on Psalm 119. Lord God, may this study be an encouragement to believers and conviction to those who are not. Lord God, thank You for this reader. May this reader grow closer to You through Your Word. Thank You and praise You Holy Trinity to live in such a time to share Your Word online. Thank You again Lord for this reader. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Introduction to Psalm 119

Psalm 119:1-8

Psalm 119:9-16

Psalm 119:17-24

Psalm 119:25-32

Psalm 119:33-40

Psalm 119:41-48

Psalm 119:49-56

Psalm 119:57-64

Psalm 119:65-72

Psalm 119:73-80

Psalm 119:81-88

Psalm 119:89-96

Psalm 119:97-104

Psalm 119:105-112

Psalm 119:113-120

Psalm 119:121-128

Psalm 119:129-136

Psalm 119:137-144

Psalm 119:145-152

Psalm 119:153-160

Psalm 119:161-168

Psalm 119:169-176

Psalm 119:137-144

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

Tsadhe
137 Righteous are you, O Lord,
and right are your rules.
138 You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness
and in all faithfulness.
139 My zeal consumes me,
because my foes forget your words.
140 Your promise is well tried,
and your servant loves it.
141 I am small and despised,
yet I do not forget your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is righteous forever,
and your law is true.
143 Trouble and anguish have found me out,
but your commandments are my delight.
144 Your testimonies are righteous forever;
give me understanding that I may live.

The psalmist knows that the Lord is Righteous and that His rules are right (v 137). The Lord is the One who has appointed His testimonies in righteousness and in all faithfulness (v 138). The Lord is Righteous in His Character and Right in His Conduct. “Trust in the reliability of God’s word is directly proportionate to one’s trust in the Lord himself. The conviction that the Lord is righteous and faithful, as is his word, evokes a response of great devotion” (W. VanGemeren, Psalms REBC, 2008, p. 884).

The zeal that the psalmist has for the Lord’s Word is an all consuming zeal because his foes forget God’s Words (v 139). This zeal is a deep anger that almost destroys the psalmist. Ultimately, “he could not however stand by while the word of the LORD was being nullified, for it is truth. The reliability of the word of the LORD is not something he had heard, or had been taught—it has been proved by him. He had been in situations where he was forced to rely on the promises of the LORD, to discover that the LORD keeps his word” (A. Ross, A Commentary on the Psalms 90-150 KEL, 2016, pp. 572-573).

The psalmist knows the Lord’s promises firsthand, and as His servant he loves it (v 140). Even though the psalmist is small and continually despised (niphal, participle, 2ms, absolute) he does not forget the Lord’s precepts (v 141). “Being the little son, the youngest, or being small of stature, means being insignificant and not counting. That is the suppliant’s status in the community; it likely reflects the troubles the psalm has referred to. Trouble leads to being discounted and disregarded” (J. Goldingay, Psalms 90-150 BCOT, 2008, p. 433).

Unlike his foes who forget the Lord’s Words, the psalmist does not. Even though the psalmist is being afflicted and continually despised by his foes, he still loves the Lord’s promises. “The psalmist acknowledges candidly that he is totally unimpressive, with no importance or prestige or honor. Nevertheless, he does not let his low status deter him from staying true to the Lord. What distinguishes him is his commitment to God’s word, nothing inherent in himself that would cause others to be impressed with him” (D. Estes, Psalms 73-150 NAC, 2019, p. 432).

Returning to the theme of righteousness (vv 137-138) the psalmist states the Lord’s righteousness is righteous forever and His Torah (law) is true (v 142). What the Lord says is true and can be trusted because of Who He Is. The Lord NEVER speaks nor acts in a manner that violates or contradicts His Character!

Although trouble and anguish have found the psalmist, the Lord’s commandments are his delight (v 143). “From the context of this stanza as well as the previous stanzas the difficulty most likely has been caused by his enemies in high places who are oppressing and demeaning him (Ross, p. 573). Zeal and obedience to God’s law (v 139) are what drive his foes to oppress him. “The psalmist might have wished not to feel so strongly about people’s ignoring Yhwh’s word, but passion does not give options. No doubt declaring this passion again signals that the psalmist is definitely not someone who fails to be mindful of Yhwh’s words” (Goldingay, p. 432). The psalmist delights in the Lord’s commands even when it hurts.

The psalmist ends this stanza again stating the Lord’s testimonies are righteous forever; and because of this, he petitions the Lord to give him understanding so that he may live (v 144). Understanding here is a hiphil, imperative 2ms with 1cs suffix. As the psalmist has done in other verses, he is commanding God to cause him to have understanding. God here is as He was in verse 27 is the Agent: “the person or thing that instigates an action or causes change in another person or thing” (J. Thompson, The Lexham Glossary of Semantic Roles, 2014, n.p.). The Lord has never ceased being in the heart changing business! The Lord is the One who causes effectual and lasting change and understanding in His people. The psalmist knows that the Lord and His Word are righteous; as such, he delights in it with his whole being. Because the Lord is always calling people to grow in their love and devotion to Him, the psalmist knows that God will hear his petition for understanding so that he may live for him. “As the Lord is perpetually righteous (v. 142), so his decrees are righteous forever. There will never come a time when God’s word will fail, so obeying God’s word is always the right thing to do. The psalmist, therefore, calls on the Lord to give him understanding (cf. v. 130) so that he can choose the path of life” (Estes, p. 433).

Lord God, thank You and praise You that You are Righteous forever! Thank You Lord that Your Word is Righteous and True. Thank You Lord that You are not like finite humans who change their mind 500 times a day, oh Lord God how my family and friends can attest to how guilty I am of that! Lord, thank You that in Your Sovereignty and Timing You appointed Your testimonies in righteousness and in all faithfulness. Lord God, thank You that in Your Sovereignty and Timing You sent Jesus into this world to be born of a Virgin, taking on flesh, dwelling among sinful people who was crucified, dead, buried and resurrected on the third day. Thank Father that Jesus is now seated at Your Right Hand and when the appointed time comes, Jesus will return. Thank You Father that at the appointed time through Jesus’s Work on the Cross, You sent Your Holy Spirit into the world to convict sinners of their need for Jesus. Holy Spirit, thank You for indwelling and sealing Your people. Holy Trinity, for the reader who is not in Christ may today be their appointed time for salvation.

Lord God, may our zeal and passion for You and Your Word be productive and not a hindrance. Lord God, I love You and I love Your Word more than life itself. Lord, I hate how Your Word is being mocked and twisted by apostate believers. Lord, each day when I hear what these apostates are saying I come to a greater understanding of Paul’s zeal and passion for wanting the Judaizers to castrate themselves! Lord God, help me to have righteous anger and not sinful, vengeful anger. Lord God, may we never make excuses for unbelievers behavior but may we not be surprised when unbelieving people act like unbelivers. Lord God, how well Your people know Your promises and intervening in their lives. May we always be Your servants who love Your precious promises.

Thank You Lord that Your Good News was first revealed to the humble. Lord may we remain a humble people even if that means we are deemed small and provincial, despised by the world. May we never forget Your Word because we know in both times of trial and times of joy You are Righteous and Your Word is true. May we never cease delighting in Your Word. May we never cease in asking You to cause us to have more understanding so that we may live more for You. Lord God, may we never forget that You never teach us anything to keep it to ourselves! Lord God, stir Your peoples hearts to want to have understanding and to obey the understanding that You give us! Lord God, thank You for this reader! Holy Trinity, cause this reader’s understanding to grow by the Spirt, through the Son, for Your Glory Father. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

December 2021 Prayer

Sunrise, 1 December 2021. Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn.

Thank You Lord for this new month. Lord God, thank You that even when the sunrise and sunset fizzles, You never fade away. Thank You Lord that when we burn out, we know that You do not burn out. Praise You Lord that You never slumber nor sleep.

Lord God, help us to grow this month in understanding that we are stewards and not owners. Help us Lord to give our lives in service to You and to others. Lord God, help us to be a people who worship and serve You with authentic and sincere hearts. May we be a people of whole hearted devotion to You. Lord God, helps us to offer You our sacrifice of obedience willingly. Help us Lord to be a people who seek Your Kingdom first and in doing so, we will grow in rejoicing and worshiping You.

Lord God, regardless of what this reader thinks about Christmas, thank You and praise You Father for sending Your Son Jesus to be born of a virgin, taking on flesh and dwelling among sinful people. Lord God, may we meditate and reflect on the mystery and wonder of Jesus’s Incarnation more this year. Lord may we look on the manger scene with Your eyes and not our own. May we meditate and reflect that the Baby in the Manger grew to become the Suffering Servant who paid our sin debt on the Cross. Lord may we never separate the Incarnation from the Resurrection.

Lord God, help us to end 2021 well. Lord God, impress on us that this world is not our home. Lord God, prepare our hearts to meet Jesus whether it be through death or rapture, prepare us to see our King in His Beauty. Lord God, may we strive to love You more this month. May we strive to obey You more this month. Lord, may we seek ways to serve You. Lord God, thank You that You do not call us to do life alone. While the Internet has many, many ills, thank You Lord that it does provide us with a means of connecting with others.

Lord God, with all the turmoil, darkness and chaos that is rampant in the world today, help Your people to be wise and discerning. Help us to exercise common sense and to hold everything we read, hear and see up to the Light of Scripture. Lord God, may we not fear new variants, geopolitical issues, societal and economic collapses but rather view them with an end time lens. Lord God, may we not bury our heads in the sand, but to face what is to come in Your strength and with Your mind.

Lord God, thank You for this reader. Lord, thank You for the opportunity to get to know some of my fellow bloggers outside of WordPress. What a gift and joy this community is to my life. Lord God, for the reader who does not know Christ, stir their heart toward You. Lord God, thank You and praise You for the gift of salvation. Thank You Jesus for Your first coming (Advent) and prepare our hearts for Your second coming. Thank You Lord for this reader. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Psalm 119:105-112

Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn

Nun

105  Your word is a lamp to my feet 

and a light to my path. 

106  I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, 

to keep your righteous rules. 

107  I am severely afflicted; 

give me life, O Lord, according to your word! 

108  Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O Lord, 

and teach me your rules. 

109  I hold my life in my hand continually, 

but I do not forget your law. 

110  The wicked have laid a snare for me, 

but I do not stray from your precepts. 

111  Your testimonies are my heritage forever, 

for they are the joy of my heart. 

112  I incline my heart to perform your statutes 

forever, to the end.

Psalm 119:105 is a beloved verse for many and in Hebrew it is a verbless clause. “In Old Testament times, lamps were made of clay in the shape of a shallow cup or saucer pinched on one edge to support a wick [see image above]. They were not carried outside for travel lest oil spill out of the open top; rather, they were used indoors or in a cave where neither sunlight nor moonlight illuminated the darkness” (J. Hilber, “Psalms” ZIBBC, 2009, p. 423).

Ross’s commentary on verse 105 states, “The comparison of the word of God to a “light” and a “lamp” (metaphors) indicates that divine revelation brings spiritual guidance for the faithful who live according to it. The figures of “foot” and “step” (implied comparisons) refer to what Scripture elsewhere calls the believer’s walk, the course of actions in life. The image of light in the Bible also has the connotation of joy and happiness in life. On the other side, the world is enveloped in darkness because of the presence of evil and what it produces” (A Commentary on the Psalms 90-150 KEL, 2016, p. 551).

There is danger in darkness. “Without God’s word [the psalmist] would be walking in the dark, unable to see the path before him” (Estes, Psalms 73-150 NAC, 2019, p. 425). Believers today have the entire canon of Scripture to light their path and we would be wise to read and heed it! The only time that believers are said to be “of the world” is when they shining the Light of the World, Jesus Christ (John 8:12). As this world grows darker and darker by the minute, may believers, like this psalmist not deviate from the Lord’s Word and Path.

The psalmist is so commitment to staying on the Lord’s path that in verse 106 he uses legal language to solemnly swear an oath to keep the Lord’s righteous rules. “Rather than insisting on his freedom to choose as he pleases, he firmly holds to what the Lord decrees” (Estes, p. 425). The Lord’s decrees for the obedient brought life and blessings, but for the disobedient the Lord’s decrees brought consequences.

In verse 107a the psalmist again states he is severely afflicted (see also vv 22-23, 25, 39, 51, 61, 69, 71, 78, 81-83, 85-87, 92 and 95). In his affliction the psalmist knows to cry out to the Lord to give him life (piel, imperative, 2ms with 1 cs suffix) rather than running away from God or becoming angry with Him. The psalmist makes his petitions according to the Lord’s Word (v 107b), offering praises (v 108a) and with a teachable spirit (v 108b).

The psalmist “depicts his praise in the language of sacrifice that is not compulsory but freely given. He knows that to be accepted by the Lord his praise must be genuine and not a cover for his insincerity. As he praises the Lord, he also wants to continue to learn from him, so he approaches the Lord as a humble suppliant and not with a spirit of entitlement” (Estes, p. 425). Oh that the people of God would approach the Lord in the same manner today!

The ESV does a poor job translating verse 109a and in Hebrew it literally says, My life is continually in my palm. Goldingay states, “To take your life into your hand is an image for risking your life (1 Sam. 19:5; 28:21). “Palm,” kap, rather than the general word yād, helps to explain the idea: having your life on your open hand makes it easy for your enemies to take it” (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament: Psalms 90- 150, 2006, 422). Even thought the psalmist’s life is in his palm he does not forget/ignore the Lord’s torah/law (v 109b).

The Lord’s Word is a lamp to his feet and light to his path (v 105) and even though his life is continually in his own palm (v 109), the psalmist does not stray from the Lord’s precepts even though the wicked have laid a snare for him (v 110). “[E]ven when facing threats, he keeps listening to the Lord. He does not allow dangers to deter him from God’s way, but he fixes his compass on the true north of God’s word and does not deviate from it” (Estes, pp. 425-426).

The Lord’s testimonies are the psalmist’s heritage and joy of his heart (v 111). Heart in Hebrew thought encompasses the entire being: mind, will and emotions. The psalmist’s entire being delights in the Lord’s testimonies to the point where he inclines his heart to perform His statutes forever, to the end (v 112). Good theology always moves from the head, to the heart, to the hand; and that is how the psalmist ends this stanza, with active obedience. The psalmist is “intentional about obeying what the Lord has commanded, choosing to live according to the Lord’s way rather than his own way. This commitment to obedience is complete and permanent, extending “to the very end.” As in v. 33, he will obey the Lord all the time throughout all his life” (Estes, p. 426).

Father God, may Your Word be the lamp to our feet and light to our path. Lord God, may we walk in step with You rather than this world. Lord God, at some point for the believer in Christ, they have made a faith declaration, impress on Your people, what that declaration of faith means. May we be reminded that our declaration of faith means that we will no longer live for ourselves but for YOU! Lord God, may we be reminded that faith in Christ is not easy. It is the narrow road. Lord God, for the person who is suffering from affliction I ask that You will give them life according to Your Word. Lord, may we run to You in our affliction and not from You. Lord God, may we offer You authentic and sincere praises with teachable spirits.

Lord God, thank You that for believers in Christ, we know that You hold us in the palm of Your Hand. Lord God, help us even when it seems like we are on our own, in enemy territory, that You are with us. May we never forget Your promises so that when the wicked come and lay traps for us we will not be moved. Lord, may we know Your Word so well Lord that when persecution comes, Your Word will be hidden in our hearts.

Lord God, Your Word is our heritage, our inheritance. You preserve Your Word from generation to generation. It never is far from my mind that Your Word is always one generation away from extinction. Impress on us Lord that You have no grandchildren. Lord God, for the reader who does not know Christ, may today be the day of salvation. Lord God, may Your Word be the joy of our hearts! May we incline our hearts to do Your Will! Lord God, may we obey You forever, not to earn our salvation but out of love and reverence for You. Lord God, for the reader who is on the edge and thinking of giving up, I ask boldly that You revive them according to Your Word. Give them light in their darkness. Thank You Lord for this stanza of Psalm 119. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.