As we continue our series Learning From the Psalms we take a look at Psalm 116 where it shows the importance of us showing our affection for God.
Here we learn how important it is for us to show God that we love Him. We are reminded that the Lord truly desires the same kind of affection that we give to those we love on earth. It shows that we need to stop and contemplate what God does for us so that we can begin to love and appreciate Him more and more each day of our lives. We need to remember that He gives us new life and He never forgets to shower us with His grace. Sure, He might discipline us at times, but after all, He is our Father in heaven and we often deserve discipline, probably far more than He hands out, if we were to be honest with ourselves! All the time we spend on this earth He is building an eternal home for us when it’s time for us to be called back home to His kingdom. If we can truly realize all of the blessings that He gives us we can then honestly show our own love for Him. Psalm 116 paints a picture of a loving father who leans over and puts His head near us so He can hear us speak into His ear.
“Great is His love toward us.” (Psalm 117:2)
This is a simple Psalm that professes the undying love of our God for us and how we must praise Him. “Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol Him, all you peoples. For great is His love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!”
There is so much good news contained in this Psalm. It’s a message to all nations about God’s love for His children. Just think about what God’s love really means and consider the fact that God loved all of us before we were even born and He will love us after we die. There isn’t a single thing that can separate us from the love of God as long as we follow the path that His Son, Jesus sets before us. His heart is full of love and mercy for each and every one of us and that should encourage us all to continue through life praising Him for all His goodness.
“The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.” (Psalm 118:24)
If you look closely at Psalm 118 and you will see that this Psalm is filled with a celebration of God’s goodness and mercy even in the middle of trouble and pain. We all have bad days, we all have problems that arise, some very difficult, after all, as Christians we’re not exempt from the problems of the world or our own personal lives. Psalm 118 lists difficulties that include personal distress, national troubles and spiritual issues, but it goes on to declare, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” But this Psalm reminds that through it all the Lord is our strength and our defense as well as our salvation. This Psalm encourages us to be thankful for the life He has given us and to enjoy each beautiful day that we wake to.
This psalm is just filled with a variety lessons we can reap wisdom and know from and here’s just a few things that should help us understand God a little more.
“Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees?” (Psalm 119:5)
If you are a driver then you already know how stupid and dangerous it can be if we ignore the warnings of traffic signals, if we fail to heed their warnings more than likely we’re going to find ourselves in an accident. By not heeding those signals we are not only endangering our own lives but the lives of others. It’s no different if we ignore the “red lights” found in the Bible. Psalm 119 teaches us that there are prohibitions against a variety of things such as envy, pride, hatred, irreverence, lust as well as selfishness. It’s the Holy Spirit that acts like those “red lights” on our city streets by alerting us to danger and when that happens we need to immediately put the brakes on. Just like in traffic, during our daily lives we are given “green lights” to proceed and we need to obey those as well, in our spiritual lives that would be signals of kindness, humility, love, worship along with purity.
The stops and starts that God provides us with are designed to help us, not hinder us. We need to be as fearful of ignoring these commands from Scripture as were are of running a red light in traffic!
“I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11)
This part of Psalm 119 tells us that it’s important to keep God’s Word in our hearts at all times. As much as it is a good thing to memorize Scripture it’s not just memorizing the words that keeps us from sin but it’s allowing His Word to spread throughout our entire being so that we not only know these words but live them. We need to internalize Scripture like a musician does with a piece of music, it needs to become part of us. This means we need to live the Bible and not just memorize it’s words.
Living the Bible is an ongoing and everyday thing. So by keeping God’s law continually in our hearts will allow us special privilege that will give us the strength to be able to face problems that arise in our daily lives much easier and with much more humility and grace.
“I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your Word.” (Psalm 119:16)
Not only does Psalm 119 teach us to keep God’s Word with us at all times it tells us that we also need to enjoy His Word. How long has it been for you since you last picked up the Bible and actually studied the Words for your own enjoyment and spiritual growth? Sure, it’s God’s Book, however, it’s not one that He’s just loaning to us. He doesn’t want it back, He wants us to keep it, learn from and enjoy the beauty of it’s Words! Don’t let the Bible become a lost and forgotten book in your home!
“Direct my footsteps according to Your Word; let no sin rule over me.” (Psalm 119:133)
When the psalmist wrote Psalm 119 many centuries ago he knew even then that there was a need for a moral benchmark and asked for divine help in following it. He prayed to God, for His guidance. We need to do the same thing so that we don’t let the sins of the world rule our lives, instead, we need to ask for direction from God which will lead us to the light.
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from?” (Psalm 121:1-2)
So many times in our lives we find ourselves only able to see shadows of our hardship, illness, disappointment and trouble and we can’t see much else because they block our view. This is because we don’t lift up our eyes any higher than the foothills of our troubles and we often forget that if we look above and beyond this darkness we’ll discover the sunlight above the mountain peaks of God’s promises to each of us. Sometimes our spiritual journey can get bogged down by all of this and we need to stop and lift our eyes to the mountains and discover where our help truly comes from.
So, where are you right now? Are you caught at the bottom of gloomy foothills and clouded in the shadow of their darkness? If you are, don’t despair, just keep moving upward and looking up and you will eventually discover the sunlit mountain peaks of His promises just beyond the darkness.
Next week will be part 6 of this series that will conclude it. Hope you will return to read the final part and hope you have enjoyed this series so far.