Summary: God does what is good, because God is good. Our Good God acts in accordance with His Word. Therefore God's Word is good and as we learn here, His word is good for us
PSALM 119: 65-72 [The Ministry of The Word Series]
[The Ministry of] GOD'S GOOD WORD
The psalmist has been attacked by lying enemies (v. 69; vv. 21, 51). He has experienced much affliction (vv. 67, 71). As a result his faith has been forged and purified in the fire. Through all this adversity he has gained a new perspective. He has discerned that God dealings have been for his good and that God's Word is good for him (CIT).
So the psalmist begins this section [stanza, strophe] with the observation that the Lord done good to him. He asked for further instruction in God's Word that would prevent him from going astray (vv. 66-68). He declares his trust in God and His Word even in the midst of slander and hardship (vv. 69-70). Because now he realizes that through affliction he came to understand more of the value that results from obeying God's statues (vv. 71-72).
God does what is good, because God is good. Our Good God acts in accordance with His Word. Therefore God's Word is good and as we learn here, His word is good for us.
I. GOD'S GOOD ACTIONS, 65.
II. LEARNING GOOD DISCERNMENT, 66-68.
III. GOOD TRUST DURING OF AFFLICTION, 69-70.
IV. A GOOD RESULT OF AFFLICTION, 71-72.
David makes a thankful acknowledgment of God's constant gracious dealings with him in verse 65. "You have dealt well with Your servant, O Lord, according to Your word."
However we think God has dealt with us, we must come to realize that He has dealt well [good] with us, far better than we deserve. His loving work and word are designed to deal with us for our eternal good. God has done well for us and for all His servants. [The Hebrew word tob is used six times in these eight verses. Tob can be translated good, pleasant, beneficial, precious, delightful and right.] The Lord has dealt well with His servant according to His word.
At last the sun has broken through the dark clouds for God's servant. In the light of God's Word he sees that all his difficulties and all his years of hardships were not a loss or a waste but were years in God's rigorous school of transforming grace.
God's blessings are best seen when they are compared with His Word and are seen as flowing from His perfecting grace.
II. LEARNING GOOD DISCERNMENT, 66-68.
Because God's dealings are now realized as good, the Psalmist asks for more divine instructions in verse 66. "Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe in Your commandments."
Notice it takes being taught the Word of God to have good discernment. [Teach me a good taste (the original meaning of the word), a good relish, to discern things that differ, to distinguish between truth and falsehood, good and evil; for the ear tries words, as the mouth tastes meat.] Discernment is the capacity to distinguish between good and evil. Good discernment is the ability to distinguish the best from the good.
We should pray to God for a good mind, a sound mind, and then ask Him for the good spiritual sense to exercise it (Heb. 5:14). For many have knowledge who have little discernment. Those who have both are well fortified against the snares of Satan and well equipped for the service of God and their generation.
This petition is backed with a plea: "For I have believed, ["trust in, rely upon"]Your commandments." He received them, consented that they are good, and submitted to their governance. Therefore he cries, "Lord, teach me." In other words, good discernment and knowledge will come from God's Word as we applied it to our life. [Henry, Matthew: Matthew Henry's Commentary On the Whole Bible. Peabody : Hendrickson, 1996, c1991, S. Ps 119:67.]
Verse 67 declares that God used adversity to bring the psalmist back to Himself. "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word."
In adversity he was caught up short and brought back to God. He then was ready to learn from the Lord so that he would no longer go astray as he did formerly. Spurgeon said that the promises of God shine brightest in the furnace of affliction.
We can easily identify with the psalmist. How often I meet people who have come to Christ in affliction. When life presses in upon them, they learn that they do not have the answers, that they have made wrong choices, and that they are ready for outside help. No wonder the first step in recovery for Alcoholics Anonymous is the admission that we are powerless over our lives. We have come to the end of our ropes. Part of God's goodness (v. 65) has been to allow affliction to come into the psalmist's life. Because of the resulting change that his affliction brought, he confesses that he now obeys God's Word.