Psalm 119 – Tsadhe (God’s Words Are Always Right)
Psalm 119:137-144 ESV
Righteous are you, O LORD, and right are your rules.
You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness and in all faithfulness.
My zeal consumes me, because my foes forget your words.
Your promise is well tried, and your servant loves it.
I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts.
Your righteousness is righteous forever, and your law is true.
Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight.
Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live.
God’s words are righteous, He is always right!
The Psalmist was determined to be zealous for God’s words even as his foes forgot God’s words. It must be frustrating that the people who are against us do not uphold the word of God. They lie; they maliciously attack others or bully and tear people down. How could we face them? Only if we are strongly aligned to God’s words can we avoid confrontation using ungodly methods.
How zealous have we been in the word of God? Has something else replaced the importance of God’s words? The Psalmist’s love for God’s words helped him face his foes. His love for God’s words consumed him. It prevented him from being swayed away from God. In good times, he sought God’s words. In bad times, his zeal for God was even more obvious, and the troubles his foes caused did not consume him. Think about the most recent problem that has consumed us, and how we can change that by letting our zeal for God’s words consume us instead.
We have to be intentional in turning towards God’s words when facing foes because it is not natural. Our flesh is weak, and we can be strong only when we worship God in spirit. It comes with dedication to reading and understanding the Bible. Brothers or sisters who watch over us will remind us to turn to God in our trouble. But do we have such friends in our life to advise us? Do they love us enough to teach us? Or do you only get the usual best wishes from ‘friends’?
When facing my enemies, I’ve seen myself consumed with fighting back instead of turning to God. The Psalmist repeatedly proclaimed God’s “righteousness”, “righteous”, and “right” five times in this short section of the psalm. This is what we ought to say in our prayers, that God is always right and righteous. His commands are wonderfully written, and they guarantee life.
God’s promises are “well tried”. Have we tried them? If we don’t believe in His promises, count our blessings and we would change our mind. Every part of our life has been planned and protected by God.
The Psalmist viewed himself as a lowly servant because he didn’t deserve all his blessings. Jesus lowered himself as a servant to bless us. There is no limit to God’s humility, in lowering Himself to bless us because He loves us. We shouldn’t be bothered about being so “small and despised” because Jesus made himself small and despised.
If Adam desired to be like God (in a big way), God desired us to be like Jesus (in the smallest way, in humility). It will show in our actions if we have the strong conviction that God is right. Jesus showed us the right way to live in humility and obey His words. But first, we ought to make the Bible our source of knowledge of God and not rely on assumptions we make about God. We need our own convictions directly from God, not from the pulpit.
It is alright that “Trouble and anguish have found me out” because we can find delight in God’s words. Our zeal for God will overcome the troubles we face. People who dwell in the word of God will be better prepared than those who aren’t. Find delight in the words of God before trouble comes our way. Trouble will surely come. It is only by understanding God’s words that we would be able to live through tough times.
Andy is the head of compliance for an international bank and is happily married, with three daughters. He became a disciple of Christ three decades ago, and studies God's Word passionately. He desires to be constantly led by the Spirit.