Summary: God’s word is a word of promise… but that promise is not always fleshed out in plain and simple terms. But the ONE thing we CAN rely upon is that God’s promise, whether complex or simple… it is the promise of the Almighty and we must surrender to that pro


January 25, 2012

Oak Park Baptist Church – Wednesday Bible Study Series

Psalm 119:81-88 (ESV) – 11 of 22

Kaph – 11th letter of the Hebrew alphabet…

81My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word.

The word the psalmist uses here that is translated as ‘longs’ is also translated as ‘languishes’ in some translations. The Hebrew verb is kaw-law which is a verb of completion. It means to accomplish, to end, to finish, to be complete, or to be accomplished…

The psalmist is saying that he ‘longs’ for God’s deliverance and salvation and that it would be completed and accomplished in his life. But we can also see a sense of desire in the words of the psalmist that God is his hope… that God is his answer to the things of life! Look what the psalmist says in the 2nd part of this verse… “I hope in Your word…”

The verb the psalmist uses here is the Hebrew verb yaw-chal' which means to hope in… but it also can be translated as “I wait for OR I wait upon Your word!” This reveals that the psalmist not only has a desire for God’s plan to be completed in his life, but that he has an ardent expectancy about him that believes fully that God will complete his plan!

In Hebrews, faith is described like this: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” What a great picture we now can get from the pen of the psalmist… He had faith in God through His Word… His salvation was coming and he longed and yearned for its completion, but he had NO doubts in its coming.

82My eyes long for your promise; I ask, “When will you comfort me?”

The ESV translates this as ‘my eyes long for…’ but the NASB translates it a slightly different way. It reads, ‘…my eyes fail with longing…’ But when we look at the Hebrew verb it is the same verb that is used in v.81 for ‘longing’ the Hebrew verb Kaw-saw which is a longing for completion and accomplishment. Here reflects the psalmist desire to see the promise of God delivered… for him to experience and revel in the COMPLETED promise of God, that is his salvation!

Then the psalmist goes on to ask what may seem like an odd question, but it really isn’t… when he writes: “…when will You comfort me?” How many of us find ourselves asking the very same question of God?

We KNOW what the psalmist knew… we know and believe in our salvation and that eventually all of God’s promise is going to be delivered and we are going to experience it…but we find ourselves mired in self doubt and the troubles of this world distract us and cause us to lament over the fact that God is not moving fast enough for us… and although we believe in God’s timing, we cry out to Him… OH GOD HOW LONG must I endure this life… this world… how long must I wait!

Have you ever wondered why we are so impatient when it comes to the things of God? I believe it has a lot to do with control! Control is something none of us want to give up… and when things are out of our control, we get bent out of shape and we find ourselves thinking HOW LONG AM I GOING TO HAVE TO ENDURE THIS… let me give you an example!

When you go to the DMV to renew your DL or register your car… what happens? Well it seems to me that you are made to feel like cattle in that place… you are herded into a room where those behind the desk have the power to separate the ‘herd’ one by one…

You are given a number and there seems to be absolutely no rhyme or reason to their system and you sit there thinking… HOW LONG! HOW LONG WILL THIS LAST… have you ever been there? I have… what about in your spiritual walk… things are OUT OF YOUR CONTROL and you cry out to God.. .HOW LONG… well that is where the psalmist is here in v.82

He sees the promise of God and knows its coming but his heart is crying out HOW LONG LORD!

83For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, yet I have not forgotten your statutes.

Here the psalmist is reflecting on how hard life can be and how we can allow the circumstances of life to embattle us and make us bitter and hard. The phrase the psalmist uses here is a phrase all Bedouin travelers and desert dwellers would know about and those of the Israel of would be familiar with…

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