Summary: Though the pursue of God may bring affliction, a transformation toward righteousness is found by abiding in God's Righteous Word
PSALM 119: 137-144 [The Ministry of The Word Series]
GOD'S RIGHTEOUS WORD
The Word of God reflects the character of God. This stanza [Tsadhe, the 18th letter in the Hebrew alphabet] declares that because the Lord is righteous, His Word is righteous (vv. 137-138).
While this passage addresses the perfect righteousness of Yahweh and His Word, it also expresses the struggles of a seeker of God in reference to that righteousness. The Psalmist testifies of his own zeal and love for the Word. Because it is pure, it purifies him (vv. 139-141). Though the pursue of God may bring affliction (vv. 143-144; 92), [comfort and] a transformation toward righteousness is found by abiding in God's Righteous Word (CIT).
I. GOD'S RIGHTEOUS WORD, 137-138.
II. GOD'S PURIFYING WORD, 139-141.
III. GOD'S ETERNAL WORD, 142-144.
The Word and deeds of a righteous God are righteous declares verse 137. "Righteous are You, O Lord, And upright are Your judgments."
God is praised by acknowledging His perfect righteousness. God is always right, in thought, word and deed. Righteous is part of the very essence of what it is to be God. God cannot be unrighteous.
The Word of God reflects the character of God. God's revelation of Himself and His dealings cannot be less than Himself. Since God is righteous, His Word is righteous. More that that since God is righteous His judgments must be just or according to truth, or what is right. God's Word is a record of His judgments. As their Author is righteous that which comes from the Righteous God is itself righteous.
The fact that God's decisions or judgments are right is a great comfort to our soul in time of trouble. When we are most afflicted, and cannot understand why, we may rest in this most sure and certain fact, that God is righteous, and His dealings with us are righteous or right too. It should bring us comfort to sing His praise -for His glorious righteousness. [Spurgeon, Charles. The Treasury of David. Vol. 3. McLean, VA: MacDonald Publishing. p. 390.]
Verse 138 declares God's Word is marked by justice and faithfulness. "You have commanded in righteousness Your testimonies and exceeding faithfulness."
All that God has testified in His Word is right and truthful. Their character is that they are like the Lord who has proclaimed them, they are the core of justice and the center of truth. God's Word is righteous, and may be relied upon for the present; it is faithful, and may be trusted in for the future.
The idea of faithfulness is included to declare that God answers the promises in His testimonies or Word. What mercy that we have a God who is meticulously faithful, true to all the details and indications of His promises, and always punctual in His timing. Well may we risk all upon a word which is "exceedingly faithful." [Spurgeon, p. 390.]
II. GOD'S PURIFYING WORD, 139-141.
Verse 139 indicates the Psalmist was ignited for God and His Word, even though man's unresponsiveness was burning him out. "My zeal has consumed me, because my adversaries have forgotten Your words."
The Psalmist has worn himself out trying to convince people to trust God's Word [69:9; Jn. 2:12]. How could they abandoned devotion toward God's revelation? Do they not know what God's Word is? Since they have ignored God, they have become God's enemies and thus the psalmist's adversaries.
God's Word is the purest, the noblest, the most fire purged matter as verse 140 declares. "Your Word is very pure, therefore Your servant loves it."
There is no error, defilement, or sin mixed into the Word [‘imrah] of God. God's "Word is very pure" like the most refined of metals [v. 127]. Because it is truth with out any mixture of error, God' "servant loves it." The purity of the Word reflects the purity of its author.
In an excavation at Jerusalem archeologist Gabriel Barkay uncovered a small COPPER SCROLL with writing on it from the Bible. This fragment of Scripture was brittle and tarnished with age. Barkay took it to his laboratory and worked with unbelievable patience and delicate care to unroll it without destroying it.
Dated around 400 BC, the scroll was a very important find because it contained the earliest written Hebrew name for God, Yahweh (or Jehovah). Apparently the scribe who copied it had broken with the practice of never writing that sacred name. Always before, because of their reverence for its holiness, Jewish scribes had felt unworthy to pen that special name.
The Bible is God's holy, inspired, infallible Word, and we must handle its truths with the same care Barkay gave to his discovery and the same reverence copyists gave to God's name. Scripture comes to us from God's heart. Therefore, we must guard its message with integrity by "rightly dividing the Word of truth" (2 Tim. 2: 15). We must respect its every word. To take Scripture out of context or twist its meaning to serve our purposes or justify our own opinions is to dishonor God's Word and His name. We must always handle the Word of God with due diligence.