Have you ever been in a building with a shaky foundation? Maybe the floors slant, or there are cracks in the walls. Our oldest son's first place of residence when he was in college had big foundation problems. This was an old "house" behind one of his buddy's parent's home. I'm sure when it was built over 100 years ago it was a very nice home. But when the boys lived there it was basically a shack! The first time I visited and walked inside I literally thought I was falling as I walked from the living room into the kitchen the floor slanted so much!
A firm foundation is important for many reasons. First, a firm foundation holds the building up by supporting the weight of the building. Second, a firm foundation keeps ground moisture from seeping into the building and weakening the floors and walls. Third, a firm foundation keeps the building sturdy should there be an earthquake or strong winds. A mistake in the foundation multiplies as the building is constructed. The longer the foundation is left without correction the worse the problems become.
Jesus talked about building on a solid foundation in Luke 6:47-49:
"I will show you what it's like when someone comes to Me, listens to My teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the flood waters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and does not obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins."
God's Word is a firm foundation on which to build our lives.
This is the truth David is conveying in Psalm 119:89-96. This section of the Psalm is all about the eternal quality of God's Word. David proclaims:
"Your word, Lord. is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens."
God's word is settled, unchanging and unchangeable. God's Word cannot be shaken; it is steadfast and unwavering. His Word is enduring and perfect. Speaking about the Law of Moses, Jesus said:
"I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but My words will never disappear." Matthew 24:34-35
And in Matthew 5:18 He gives us a glimpse of the permeance of His Word when He said:
"For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."
The KJV use the terms 'jot and tittle' in place of letter and stroke. Jot refers to the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet. When written it looks like a single quotation mark, not very big at all; yet Jesus said even that small letter would not change in His Word. The tittle is like the dot of an "i" or the cross of a "t" in our alphabet, small indeed; yet again, Jesus said that smallest of marks would never change in His Word.
God's Word is what spoke the heavens and the earth into being and His Living Word is what sustains them. Everything in creation will eventually pass away but God's Word will last forever. God's Word is eternal because God is eternal. His Word is unchanging because God is unchanging. God's Word is faithful and true because God is faithful and true. In Psalm 89:2 we read:
"Your unfailing love lasts forever - Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens."
In Jeremiah 33:25 God says:
"I would no more reject My people than I would change My laws that govern night and day, earth and sky."
And Isaiah declares:
"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever."
Though the laws that govern day and night, earth and sky will eventually change; God's Word will not. Though the grass wither and flowers fall; God's Word will not. Though all flesh will fade away like the shadows at end of day; God's Word will not. God's Word will endure forever.
Gathered manna from Psalm 119:89-91 is:
God's faithful Word stands firm forever.
How do you view the Bible? Do you see it as the infallible word of God; faithful and true like Him?
After declaring God's Word as enduring, David returns to the state of his distress. He is under affliction and feels as if he will die from it. How often do we think the same? We flippantly say things like: "This stress is killing me!" or "If I don't get out of here I'm going to die!" When trials and afflictions come our way we may momentarily forget God's Word; but not David. David declares God's Word to be his delight and that he will never forget God's Word.
The Amplified version translates verse 94:
"I am Yours, therefore save me [Your own]; for I have sought (inquired of and for) Your precepts and required them [as my urgent need]."
In our times of affliction we must inquire of God's Word and we must inquire for God's Word. To inquire of God's Word is to ask for His guidance as we read. Like Samuel we cry out, "Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening." To inquire for God's Word is to ask Him for a deeper desire for His Word. As the Psalmist proclaims in Psalm 42:1, we must desire God's Word like a deer desires water on a hot summer day. Jeremiah had this desire for God's Word when he said:
"When I discovered Your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear Your name, O Lord God of Heaven's Armies." Jeremiah 15:16 NLT
God's Word should be an urgent need every day of our lives. Like we need air to breathe, food to eat, water to drink. Our need for God's Word should be that urgent in our lives; not just when we are going through a trial but always. Urgency for God's Word gives life to our souls. His Word breathes the breath of His Spirit into our hearts. His Word feeds our soul with His truth. His Word gives us the soul quenching drink from the Fountain of Living Water. Urgency for God's Word unifies our will with His.
Gathered manna for Psalm 119:92-94 is:
God's enduring Word gives life.
How do you seek God's Word? Do you inquire of His Word? Inquire for His Word? When do you seek His Word? In good times or only when afflictions come? How do you require God's Word in your daily life? What evidence is there that God's Word is your urgent need?
When we are under affliction is may seem the enemy has ambushed us and is winning. Like David we must quietly keep our mind on God's Word when we are under attack. God's Word is perfect truth and the only weapon against Satan's lies. As Moses wrote:
"He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection." Psalm 91:4 NLT
Gathered manna fro Psalm 119:95-96 is:
God's perfect Word provides protection.
Where do you run when you are under attack? How can turning to God's Word help you fight? Why is it important to focus on God's Word in our trials?
God's Word is faithful because God is faithful. His Word is enduring because He is enduring. His Word is perfect because He is perfect.
Gathered manna for Lamedh (Psalm 119:89-96) is:
God's Word is faithful, enduring, and perfect forever.
Have you ever read a book that left you wanting more? One that kept you so intrigued you couldn't wait to pick it up again? That's how David felt about God's Word! In Psalm 119:97 he shouts:
"Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day." AMP
Lysa TerKeurst has said, "We steer where we stare", meaning what we spend the most time thinking about is what we end up doing. Jesus said our mouth speaks what our heart is full of (Luke 6:45). David's heart was full of God's Word, he meditated on it not only during the night when he was finally still and quiet, but during the day when he was busy and life was happening all around him. He spent time in God's Word and this time grew his desire for God's Word. Time in God's Word causes us to want to know more of His Word.
As we spend time in God's Word, reading and studying it we begin to learn more about God. Time in God's Word makes one wise. Wise in His ways. Wise about His character. Wise to understand the tactics of our enemy. God speaks to us through His Word and His Spirit teaches us as we read. Paul said of Timothy, "You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood and they have given you wisdom to receive salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus." 2 Timothy 3:15
This passage goes on to say:
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
God teaches, reproofs, corrects, and trains us through His eternal Word.
Gathered manna from Psalm 119:97-100 is:
Love for God's Word grows desire for and knowledge of God's Word.
List the reasons you love God's Word. How has spending more time in God's Word grown your desire for His Word? What wisdom have you gained by spending time in God's Word?
Who first taught you about the Bible? One of my earliest memories is of the days spent at Vacation Bible School in my childhood church. I remember Preacher Melton leading the opening and closing ceremonies each day; the songs he led us in, the stories he told, how his face would get so red I thought he'd burst right there in front of us. Sometimes he would get so excited leading those songs and telling those stories large drops of sweat would roll down his face and he would have to wipe them with his handkerchief.
"All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace." Isaiah 54:13
David said in Psalm 71:17:
"Since my youth, God, You have taught me, and to this day I declare Your marvelous deeds."
And Jesus, speaking to the grumbling Jews, said:
"It is written in the prophets, 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from Him comes to Me." John 6:45
Time in God's Word open ones heart and mind to be taught by God's Spirit.
Being taught God's Word is important. His Word is what enables us to stand firm in times of temptation. Wise King Solomon said in Proverbs 1:10,15:
"My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them!...My child, don't go long with them! Stay far from their path."
Time in God's Word keeps one from falling prey to sins enticement. Time in God's Word teaches one to obey God.
Gathered manna for Psalm 119:101-102 is:
Love for God's Word grows obedience to God's Word.
How have you learned obedience by studying God's Word? How has learning God's Word helped you in times of temptation? In what areas do you need to learn more from God's Word? When will you take the time to learn these things?
Time in God's Word grows our love for His Word. As we spend more and more time with God, pouring over His Word, we begin to see what David meant when he said, "How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" Psalm 119:103
Time in God's Word develops our spiritual tastebuds. Psalm 34:8 says: "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him." When we spend time in God's Word we begin to develop a spiritual appetite for Him and His Word. Our spiritual taste buds are awakened to the delicacies of His love, His character, His mercy, His grace as described in His Word. This is not something we can get from someone else, nor can we give it to someone. This spiritual tasting must be found for oneself.
In John 4 Jesus spends time with a Samaritan woman at a well. Through their interaction with each other the woman is saved and runs into town to tell the people there of the Man who told her everything she had ever done. She poses the question, "Could this be the Messiah?" (verse 29b) The people go out to the well to meet Jesus, resulting in their salvation. They say to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world." John 4:42 Time in God's Word causes us to believe in Christ Jesus.
Gathered manna from Psalm 119:103-104 Is:
Love for God's Word grows understanding of God's Word.
How much do you love God's Word? To answer this question, look at how much time you spend in His Word. How developed are your spiritual tastebuds? In what ways do you desire to taste God's Word? How does spending time in God's Word help you believe in Jesus and believe in what He can do for you?
David began this section speaking of his great love for God's Word. He ends the section speaking about his hatred of wrong and false ways. Time in God's Word gives us His perspective of right and wrong, truth and lies.
Gathered Manna from Mem (Psalm 119:97-104) is:
Love for God's Word gives one His heart toward good and evil.
What do you feel about right and wrong? How has your study of God's Word helped you gain His perspective? Where do you need to seek God's heart about good and evil? What do you need to change as a result of learning God's heart?
I pray we are all learning from and being transformed by God's Word as we continue to study Psalm 119!
Until next time,
God bless and keep you,
1) Read Psalm 119:89-104 and mark all references to God's Word.
2) Prayerfully answer all the questions in this lesson.
3) Read Psalm 100. What should be our response to God's Word? How can you begin to respond to His Word in these ways?
4) Read John 1:1-18. What additional information do you learn about God's Word from these verses?