Summary: Deliverance is a major need in the Christian life and is the theme of this section. Because he has keep the divine Word, the writer commends himself to the protection and deliverance of the Lord.
PSALM 119: 121-128 [The Ministry of The Word Series]
GOD, UPHOLD YOUR WORD
Deliverance is a major need in the Christian life and is the theme of this section [Ayin, the 16th Hebrew letter]. The bases for deliverance is one's integrity before God. Because he has keep the divine Word, the writer commends himself to the protection and deliverance of the Lord (CIT).
Oppressors (vv. 121, 122) and the proud (v. 122) regard God's Word as empty or void (v. 126). Contrary to their opposition and denial, however, the Word of God stands as true. It is for this reason that God must intervene against them, showing Himself to be the Living God So the psalmist asked God to deliverance him from arrogant oppressors and to deal with him in justice and love (vv. 121-124). He sought to motivate God to respond to his loyalty as God's servant (vv. 125-126; vv. 122, 124).
I. HIS DIRE CONCERN, 121-124.
II. HIS DESPERATE CRY, 125-126.
III. HIS DISCERNING CLAIM, 127-128.
Verse 121 opens with the psalmist's confession of integrity. "I have done justice and righteousness; Do not leave me to my oppressors."
In affirming his inner righteousness and just actions he lays his integrity before the Lord. He has obeyed the Word of God and been faithful to the covenant. Therefore, he can with a clear conscience boldly ask, "Do not leave me to my oppressors."
Oppressors appears for the first time in the Psalm here. The word describes the abuse of power and authority, the taking advantage of others by deceit, coercion, or violence. Since man is unjustly oppressing him, he pleads with God for just action or deliverance.
The servant then asked God to protect him from arrogant oppressors in verse 122. "Be surety for Your servant for good; Do not let the arrogant oppress me."
He describe himself as God's "servant," which means that God is his King or Lord and that he is submitted to Him. The writer asks God to be his guarantee or assurance for him against the oppressing arrogant (vv. 51, 69, 78, 85). In asking Him to be "surety" [pledge to pay] for him "for good," [for safely, deliverance; Duet. 6:24, 10:13, 30:9] he uses a legal term that means that he wants God to take the responsibility for his debt. In other words, he asks God to stand up for him and to stand in on his behalf and mediate the concern. The dire necessity is seen in the repetition of the previous verse's petition: "Do not let the proud oppress me."
This verse is the only one in Psalm 119 that does not have either a direct or indirect (vv. 75, 90, 121, 132) reference to God's Word.
Jesus became surety or a guarantee for those who trust in Him (Heb. 7:22). By His death on the cross, Jesus has paid the debt for us. Now He lives as our mediator to make intercession, to stand in the gap for us in all our concerns (Heb. 7:25) so that He might bring about our eternal good (Rom. 8:28).
The desperation and determination of the psalmist is expressed again in verse 123 as he relates the longing with which he hopes for God deliverance. "My eyes fail with longing for Your salvation and for Your righteous Word."
He presents himself as continually devoted to Scripture, reading until his eyesight grows dim (v. 82). Don't you love the expression, "the Word of Thy righteousness"? The righteous Word is the promise of a righteous God, who cannot lie. God's "righteous Word" will not merely give him comfort; it will come against his oppressors. For the promise which proceeds from God's righteousness or integrity cannot remain unfulfilled.
In verse 124 he urgently calls for the life of blessing that comes to those with a deeper knowledge of God's Word. "Deal with Your servant according to Your loving-kindness and teach me Your statutes."
He asks that the Lord give him loving-kindness ("covenant-love") or mercy, identifying himself as His covenant "servant."
"And teach me Your statutes." It is out of that covenant bond so clearly revealed in Scripture that the psalmist expects God to act in his behalf. He then pleads with God to be his teacher.
II. HIS DESPERATE CRY, 125-126.
Verse 125 is a petition for understanding of God's Word because he is a servant of God. "I am Your servant; give me understanding, that I may know Your testimonies."
The prayer is for discernment. It is not enough to know the content of God's Word; we must also ask Him to illumine it for us.
Those who are taught the Word can receive the discernment they need to handle the concerns of life. Understanding and faith come alive when we apply Scripture to our daily tasks and concerns. We need discernment so we can understand life and how to apply Scripture. The Bible is like medicine, it only goes to work if it is applied to the need or affected area. As you read the Bible be alert for lessons, commands or examples that you can put into practice if you want to become a person of integrity.