I Find My Delight in Your Commandments | Psalm 119:47
Indeed, now that Christ has taken upon Himself the curse of the law for us, the great dread of the commandments has been removed. We are now entirely free to obey out of love and delight, rather than out of fearing the consequences. We no longer look at the commandments as if they were an impossibly steep mountain to climb; instead, we now see them as the loving rules of our Father.
for I find my delight in your commandments,
which I love.
Psalm 119:47 ESV
As is common to stanza waw, this verse is a continuation of the previous verse, in which the psalmist declared that he would speak of the testimonies of God before kings without shame. Of course, that verse too was rooted particularly in verses 44–45, where he declared his resolve to keep God’s commands. Now the psalmist unveils why he will devote his life to keeping God’s commandments and unashamedly speak God’s Word before kings: for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love.
Delight is nothing new to this psalm, for the psalmist has already expressed his delight in the testimonies of God and in the path of God’s commandments, and the writer still has more to say on the topic! The theme of delight is recurrent in Psalm 119 for good reason.
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Just as our sovereign creator created from, or out of, his own being, and created all things for himself, so too has he redeemed, or saved a people for his own possession by making them alive in Christ.
Recently, while picking up my daughter from school I asked my customary question: “So, how was your day?” Normally, the response is brief, but this day was one of those exceptions. “History class was interesting. We had a discussion on predestination.” As it turned out, since they were studying the Renaissance and dealing with the precursors to the Reformation, the topic came up. Sadly, it came up for the first time in the lives of many of her classmates. I say sadly because it reveals they don’t understand the gospel very well at all, and maybe not at all. After all, the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is about his and the Father and the Spirit’s sovereignty over all things and the exercising of it so that some sinners are saved from their sin and into the glorious freedom of God’s children.
As the creator, the Triune God brought his creation into being. In particular, Colossians 1:15-20 states the following regarding the Lord Jesus Christ:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Trusting God Through Terminal IllnessBy Steve Napper — 6 months ago
I know that God will give me the strength to keep going until he calls me home. I am learning not to worry about tomorrow, but to be thankful and trust him for each day. He knows what is coming and he will help me when it comes. Let me encourage you, in whatever situation you find yourself, to keep going. Remember that you are precious to the Lord and he will never leave you nor forsake you.
I was sitting at the piano on a big stage in a large concert venue, something I had done many times before, but this time my hands were heavy. My fingers weren’t able to play the notes that they should have been playing and I knew that something wasn’t right. Some months later, I was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, an incurable condition in which all my muscles would stop working and eventually lead to my death.
I quickly progressed to using a wheelchair and had to give up the job I loved, teaching kids to play music. Within a few months, I was totally dependent on my wife to feed me, get me dressed and take me places. Within a year, I had lost the ability to eat and now I am losing my ability to speak. I use a ventilator to breathe, am fed by a tube in my stomach and spend my days in a specially adapted chair. I am very thankful that I have an eye-tracking device so that I can still use a computer and turn on the TV. When my voice gives up, I can use my eyes to slowly type a few phrases which my mechanical voice speaks out loud. It would be easy to look at me and feel that there was no purpose to my life, but that’s not what God says.
Here are four things that God is teaching me. I need to remind myself of them constantly and though I sometimes forget, I know that he never forgets me.
I Am Precious
Isaiah 43 verse 4 says, ‘You are precious and honoured in my sight, and … I love you.’
I need to remind myself continually that God loves me for who I am not what I can do. The Lord has chosen me to be his treasured possession (Deut. 14:2) and I am still precious to him despite my illness. He knows what he is doing and he is good.
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I Am Blessed
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I need to ask God daily to help me remember my blessings. I have so much to be thankful for. Each day is a gift to enjoy being with my family, watching the birds and the garden grow.
Preserving Life and God’s Order In A World Of Death And DisorderBy Paul Gibson — 5 months ago
As we enter into the spiritual battlefield of 2023, we would do well to remember that while Herod did his worst in the early years of Christ’s life, he did not ultimately succeed in thwarting the redemptive purposes of God. When Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” He meant what He said. But as we play our own small part in that work, we must not lose sight of the fact that we do so in a world where many operate according to the same devilishness as King Herod.
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
“A voice was heard in Ramah,weeping and loud lamentation,Rachel weeping for her children;she refused to be comforted,because they are no more.”Matthew 2:13-18
These verses from the second chapter of Matthew’s gospel remind us that following His birth, the earliest months of Christ’s life were set against a backdrop of terrible evil and profound darkness. The celebratory hymn of the angels (in Luke 2:14) was followed by the sound of weeping and loud lamentation as Herod, in his twisted attempt to destroy the Messiah, ordered the murder of every male child under two years of age in Bethlehem.
As we remember and rejoice in the coming of our Saviour 2,000 years ago, let us not lose sight of the fact that the world is not any less dark now than it was then. We may not live in the wake of Herod’s violence, but the actions of civil governments continue to demonstrate the same contempt for what God has ordained – particularly when it comes to the sanctity of human life and His created order.
It is astonishing that just three days before Christmas, the Scottish Government has just this week secured parliamentary support for its Gender Recognition Reform Bill. The age requirement for those wishing to legally change their gender has been lowered from 18 to 16, there is no longer any requirement to secure a medical professional’s diagnosis of gender dysphoria and the period of time a person is required to live in their ‘acquired gender’ has been reduced from two years to three months (six months for those under 18s). Not only does this immoral and irresponsible legislation have the potential to place true women and girls in danger, it will cause untold damage to many teenagers at a time in their lives when they already face many pressures and experience much confusion.
Meanwhile, Liam Macarthur MSP’s Assisted Dying for Terminally Ill Adults (Scotland) Bill is due to be introduced to the Scottish Parliament in early 2023, which if successful, will make assisted suicide (a form of euthanasia) legal in Scotland. Where similar legislation has been passed in other countries (for example, Canada), previously agreed safeguards are already being disregarded by some Doctors who are proposing assisted suicide to patients who are not terminally ill and the list of those who are eligible is likely to be widened next year to include even those with mental health issues.
While on the subject of the sanctity and preservation of human life, I would direct you to a recent speech given by Andrew Bridgen MP in the House of Commons and to the call from UK Doctors for a Government investigation. I realise that to question either the efficacy or safety of Covid-19 “vaccines” is, in the eyes of many, to tread on sacred ground. However, as one who continues to have concerns about the mRNA experimental gene therapy injections (as I highlighted in a letter in September 2021 and to our denomination’s Covid-19 committee the same year), I could not in good conscience fail to alert you to these developments. I don’t know what is more alarming, the fact that there have been thousands of serious Covid-19 vaccine-related adverse events and deaths reported in official national databases, or the apparent unwillingness of health bodies and governments of the world to take any notice.
Whatever may be the reason for this, and whatever people’s motives might be for such sinister policies as the Gender Recognition Act and Assisted Dying for Terminally Ill Adults (Scotland) Bill, the fact remains that we are living at a time when the sacredness of human life is disregarded and the most basic foundations of a God-honouring society are being systematically overturned and destroyed.
Scripture tells us that whereas Christ came into that world to give life in all its abundance Satan exists to kill and destroy (John 10:10). Our battle then, is not ultimately with flesh and blood, but with the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
With this in mind, I am convinced that we must truly give ourselves to prayer. In particular, we must pray that:
The bride of Christ would take up the whole armour of God, that she might be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand firm (Eph. 6).
Those responsible for such destructive evils of our day would be brought to repentance, silenced or removed (Dan. 4:31-32).
Those seeking to identify as a gender other than the one given to them by God would be delivered from a corrupted mind (Rom. 1:28) and find salvation in Christ.
The church would recover her prophetic voice to the world and not be guilty of giving an indistinct sound (1 Cor. 14:8; Isaiah 1:17; Prov. 31:8-9). See our friend David Robertson’s recent blog post, for example.
As we enter into the spiritual battlefield of 2023, we would do well to remember that while Herod did his worst in the early years of Christ’s life, he did not ultimately succeed in thwarting the redemptive purposes of God. When Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” He meant what He said. But as we play our own small part in that work, we must not lose sight of the fact that we do so in a world where many operate according to the same devilishness as King Herod. Let us not therefore neglect our God-given responsibility – individually, locally and as a denomination – to pray hard and to contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints.
May God have mercy on our land, grant repentance and revival to His bride, and may each of you know the blessing and peace of the True King, our Lord Jesus Christ, in all the days to come.
With love from your pastor and friend, in Him,
Paul Gibson is a Minister in the Free Church of Scotland and is Pastor of Knox Church in Perth, Scotland. This article is used with permission.