You have dealt well with Your servant,
O Lord, according to Your word.
Teach me good discernment and knowledge,
For I believe in Your commandments.
Before I was afflicted I went astray,
But now I keep Your word.
You are good and do good;
Teach me Your statutes.
The arrogant have forged a lie against me;
With all my heart I will observe Your precepts.
Their heart is covered with fat,
But I delight in Your law.
It is good for me that I was afflicted,
That I may learn Your statutes.
The law of Your mouth is better to me
Than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
The Hebrew letter Teth is the ninth letter and corresponds with our letter “t.” The letter is generally accepted to be connected to the Hebrew word “tov” (???), meaning “good”.
Literally, “Good you have done with your servant”. God had been good and done good to David, the Psalmist, according to His word.
When we realize God is good, our faith will grow enormously. He has been good. He is doing good. He will continue to do good.
Most of us want to do what’s right. Yet too often we could say about ourselves the same thing Paul said about himself in Romans 7:19, “For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.” We would benefit greatly if we began to pray the same thing David prayed, that God would give us wisdom in our decisions and that we faithfully believe and obey God’s commands.
Most of us don’t like pain, whether physical pain or emotional pain. We don’t like to be in trouble. We don’t like trials. Too often in these times we react the wrong way, but hopefully as we mature in our Christian walk, we will learn to react in the right way. Hopefully, like David, we have learned to hold fast to God’s word during times of trouble, trials and pain.
God is good. Everything about Him is good. God is the only “good” in the world. Our sinful nature can only be made good by the blood of Jesus. As we live out our lives as Christians striving to walk in His path and striving to imitate Him, we often stumble. By repenting of our sins, the blood of Jesus will continue to cleanse us and leave us “good” in God’s eyes.
Satan does his best to get us. He will use whatever he can to knock us down and cause us to falter. We may be persecuted and ridiculed, but if we keep our focus on God and His commands, we will remain steadfast and never falter.
In a rather grotesque view of the heart, the psalmist says the enemies’ hearts are covered with fat. We all know that there are good bad fats, but a heart covered with fat can’t be a good thing! What an unhealthy image of the heart… a heart that is so covered with bad that it’s unable to see that God is the best cardiologist for unhealthy hearts and souls.
The psalmist compares his heart with these unhealthy hearts saying in the previous verse and this one, that his heart is wholly consumed with God’s laws and commands, and is happy to be following them.
When we look back on some of our worst times in lives, we will often see those times were actually times of spiritual growth. Hitting rock bottom often causes us to look up, and when we look up, we see God. When our focus shifts away from self and to God, we transform in the way He wants us to. In our afflictions we often turn to God and His Word, which is what we should do in difficult times.
In our materialistic culture, wealth and the accumulation of riches are valued above spiritual blessings. As Christians, it is really easy for us to get so wrapped up in the world and forget that none of this “stuff” really matters. What matters is the eternal blessings and our eternal destination. God’s Word tells us what to do to be saved. The Bible says how to live our lives in a way that pleases Him, and tells us how to live a life that is worthy of salvation. Nothing in God’s Word will tell us eternity is worth less than silver or gold.
May each of us be able to pray this prayer:
You have done well with your servant, according to your Word. Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe in Your commandments. Before I learned of my lost state and gave by life to Jesus by obeying the Gospel, I was going astray. At times now I still fail and go astray, but now I strive to keep Your Word. You are good, and you do good. Please continue to teach me through Your Word. No matter what Satan throws at me, I will obey You. Though everyone around me may be calloused to Your Word, I will follow. If I fail or go through struggles that knock me down, help me to look up to You. May I never forget that You are faithful and Your Word will help me through anything I face. If I had never faced any trials, I would not have seen the truths in Your Word. I would not trade any riches of this world for the riches in Your Word.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.