Summary: The psalmist believed God created him & had given him hope through the Word. God is still working on us. God humbles, but He also raises up. God will not deny His follower that which will make him eternally blessed through the knowledge & understanding of
PSALM 119: 73-80 [The Ministry of The Word Series]
INSTRUCTED BY THE WORD
The experience of learning from affliction continues from the previous stanza. The proud malign and mistreat the psalmist but he knows that God is in control. It is in faithfulness that God had afflicted him (v. 75) in order to make him a greater blessing to others. Wanting to teach, the Psalmist first seeks to be taught (v. 73). He prays for more experience in God's lovingkindness (76, 77), for the gathering together of the godly to him (79), and for his being fully equipped for his witness (79).
The psalmist believed that God created him and had given him hope through the Word (vv. 73, 74, 81). God is still working on us. God humbles, but He also raises up. God will not deny His follower that which will make him eternally blessed through the knowledge and understanding of His Word. He simply asks that we share it with others.
I. Faithfully Fashion By the Word, 73-75.
II. Comfort and Compassion From the Word, 76-77.
III. Unashamed Because of the Word, 78-80.
Verse 73 opens with the confession that God is the Creator. "Your hands made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments."
It is God's hands that have "made" and "fashioned" the psalmist. He has been molded like the potter molds his clay (Jer. 1:5; Gen. 2:7). But since the Fall it is not enough for us to have been created by God. We must also be remade by Him. Thus the psalmist prays, "Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments." As we owe our existence to God so we owe our spiritual illumination to His grace. Instructed by God, he will be a blessing to fellow believers for when God blesses us He also blesses others through us.
Sometimes we read when we are shopping the words "handcrafted" on an article. Handcrafted or handmade tells that special attention and workmanship went into the object. God may have mass-produced the universes (when He spoke them into existence), but God rolled up His sleeves and made man with His own hands. How much more care God is putting into His own born-again children who will display His craftsmanship (Eph. 2:10) throughout all eternity?
[What the psalmist taught, "Your hands have made and fashioned me" is a total contradiction to the EVOLUTIONARY THEORY. The psalmist recognized that he was a creation of God. And having been created by an intelligent God, it follows that God has a purpose and plan for each individual's existence.
To take the opposing view, the view that one is just the result of billions of accidents, over billions of years; makes one's existence meaningless. So the public schools are indoctrinating our children in a philosophy that teaches them that they are just accidents without purpose, and then spending millions of dollars trying to con them into having self-esteem.
How much more self-esteem could you have than the realization that you were personally made by the hands of God? [Smith, Chuck. The Word for Today Bible. 2005. Thomas Nelson. p.776.]
Verse 74 indicates the encouragement the God-fearing receive when they meet believers who have been matured by the Word. "May those who fear You see me and be glad, because I wait/hope for Your word."
The psalmist wants to be an example to the God-fearing of the blessing that comes to those who wait on or hope in the fulfilment of God's promises. He wants his trust in God's word to encourage others to trust also. So he prays the God-fearing will find joy through seeing His faith in God and His word so that they too may be encouraged to trust God's Word also.
Hopeful men who wait on the Lord bring joy with them. Their witness lifts spirits. Those who hope in the future have placed their faith in God's infallible Word. Those whose hopes are grounded in God's Word carry sunshine in their faces for they are laying up "joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Pet. 1:8) .
"Those who love the Lord will be glad when they see me coming," the psalmist says. How I love to be around people who encourage me through the Word [instead discouraging me with discussion of the world]. I wonder when our friends and acquaintances are around us if their burdens become lighter or heaver through our association (Gal. 6:2,5)?
The psalmist confesses in verse 75 that God's acts of judgment are righteous and for man's salvation. "I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me."
Judgments is the Hebrew word mishpatim and indicates God's decisions, most probably the ones God made when dealing with His servant. Life is difficult and we must accept from the hand of God both pleasant experiences and unpleasant (Job 2:1-10; Phil. 4:10-13). The Word though shines bright in the dark moments of life to lead us in the everlasting way.