Tuesday, September 1, 2020

September 01 – Tuesday prior to Pentecost 14 – Proper 18

—Psalm 119:113-120 - The first letter in each verse of this portion of Psalm 119 is the Hebrew letter samekh. As in the other sections, the psalmist here extols the goodness of God in giving us His holy Word. His devotion to the Word of God moves him to reject the counsel of evildoers.

So far in the Psalm 119, the psalmist has used the word “hate” once, in verse 104, “I hate every false way,” and he has reserved the word “love” to refer only to God’s Word (verses 47, 48, and 97). In the stanza we are looking at today, he uses both “hate” and “love” to refer to the “double minded”, and to God’s Word (Your law) respectively. (119:113)

The psalmist hopes in God’s Word because God was his refuge. He lists five ways to show respect for God’s Word  in Vv. 113-117.

1.      Whole-Hearted commitment to God’s Word v. 113. “I hate vain (undecided) thoughts...” “...but Thy law do I love.”

2.      Patient in relying on God’s Word for victory v. 114. “Thou art my hiding place...” - So attackers can’t find you. “...and my shield:” - To hold off attacks of the enemy. “I hope in Thy Word.” - Never losing confidence.

3.      Reject the influence of bad companions v. 115. “Depart from me, ye evil doers;”

4.      Count on God’s Word to never let you down v. 116. “Uphold me according to Thy Word..

5.      Cling to God for safety and protection v. 117. “Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe:”

Take note that when the psalmist write, “I love Your law,” this is not the opposite of the Gospel, but a term which encompasses the whole of God’s communication to man.

Collect for Psalm 119
Lord, you are just and your commandments are eternal. Teach us to love you with all our hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves, for the sake of Jesus our Lord.[1]  

[1] Collect for Psalm 119, For All the Saints, A Prayer Book for and by the Church © 1995 American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY

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