89 Forever, O Lord,
Your word is settled in heaven.
90 Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations;
You established the earth, and it stands.
91 They stand this day according to Your ordinances,
For all things are Your servants.
92 If Your law had not been my delight,
Then I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget Your precepts,
For by them You have revived me.
94 I am Yours, save me;
For I have sought Your precepts.
95 The wicked wait for me to destroy me;
I shall diligently consider Your testimonies.
96 I have seen a limit to all perfection;
Your commandment is exceedingly broad.
Psalm 119: 89-96
Lamedh is the twelfth letter in the Hebrew alphabet and the twelfth section in this Psalm.
The writer may have been in a time of turmoil or strife and is again realizing the steadfast love of the Lord never changes. He recognizes that God’s word will not change. It’s not fickle and uncertain, like man and man’s teachings. He is confident that though life on Earth is hard and tiring, the promise of Heaven is lasting through generation after generation. This reminds me of Job and his trials. In chapter 19 of Job he is so destitute, that his body is decomposing, bones sticking to his skin and flesh, friends and young children abhor him, and yet in verse 25 he states “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.”
Back to Lamedh, verse 91, His ordinances are His laws that are set for us, for a purpose. They reveal God’s will and his understanding of what it means to do good, seek justice, and correct oppression. We are to meditate on his ordinances, and find wisdom and joy from them. In Jeremiah 31: 35-36, we see how Jeremiah took to His ordinances and their power. Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The Lord of hosts is His name: “If this fixed order departs from before Me,” declares the Lord, “Then the offspring of Israel also will cease from being a nation before Me forever.” Man is at the mercy of God, and therefore “all things are Your servants” shows not only that God is in control, but that He wants us to work to put forth effort in following His ordinances and recognizing Him as the Master over our lives. The writer recognizes his own weakness and is praising God and confessing to Him that man is nothing without God. If he did not take delight in God’s laws, or ordinances than surely he would have died. We need to rely on God and depend on Him, not ourselves. We cannot make it on our own, we will perish. Scripture says he took delight in His ordinances. Do you find joy in God’s words? James 1: 2-3 (ESV) tells us to “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” At the beginning of this section we are reminded of His steadfast love and now are reminded that trials that may test our faith, produce this steadfastness, it’s an eternal cycle of encouragement.
As we read through the bible, we see stories of people that start out being faithful to God and how quickly they forget His love, generosity and grace. They quickly start to gripe and complain that He isn’t providing for them. Thinking of the Israelites, we read how they are given so many gifts and opportunities and so quickly forget and start griping. Don’t we live like this? We have so many blessings and then hit a bump on our path and suddenly we wonder how God could allow something to happen. The Psalmist in verse 93 is confirming that He will not forget. He will not be like all of us, but will never forget His precepts because He is revived by them. Having read the rest of the verses in this chapter we realize that he does forget from time to time. It’s easy to forget, because we are human and tend to be very self-centered, but when you come back to the word, which is always there, Luke 16:17 assures us that His law will never become void or pass away, you are revived. You are strengthened and renewed. Psalms 28:7 tells us, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him.” As we continue the writer continues to recognize that he needs God. God is the one in control, not him. He knows that he can only be saved through Christ and the strength that comes with following His word.
Evildoers are lurking and want to devour you, Psalm 27:2. We need to be on guard against this. Recognize that the enemy is fighting for us to fall. Satan is prowling like a lion waiting to attack when we are most weak and vulnerable. Yet we know the Lord is stronger. We have victory and freedom from any evil doers when you are a follower of Christ. The writer is aware that he needs to dwell on God’s testimonies. Think of Daniel in the lion’s den. He was put there because of evil men and God provided protection, Daniel dwelled, meditated, and continuously worshipped the Lord.
Finally, we close this section with our writer being humbled before the Lord. 1 Peter 5:6, “ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.” The Psalmist recognizes that he is not perfect. He has seen the limit to his perfection and knows that He is not complete and that the range of God’s wisdom, love and power is exceedingly broad, so broad in fact that it is never-ending.
Lamedh is a portion of scripture of a human man, praising and honoring our amazing Father in heaven. These verses are comforting because we fail, we stumble, we struggle and He continually lifts us up. He knows what it’s like to experience fear, pain, the future being unknown and because of His love for us is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. While seated there He intercedes for us. Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus, the perfecter of our faith, endured that cross and shame for us. He loves us that much, and because of that love we are granted the privilege of being His servant and following his ordinances.
By Heather Powell
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