He who loved the Word (Part 4)
The 4th letter of the Hebrew alphabet is Delet. A,B,C,D. Alef , Beit, Gimel, Dalet. It is as we learn the Alphabet that we learn to read. As we learn what God wants us to do, so we learn to live, not as the world wants us to live, but Spirit-filled godly lives.
25. LEVEL WITH THE GROUND (verse 25)
“I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word.” The Psalmist was obviously a very humble person, and that is why the Lord used him, through the Spirit, to pen this wonderful teaching Psalm. God used him, through his obedience in observing the word and the leading of the Spirit to teach others that listened to this Psalm and who committed it to memory, as we learned the other morning in verse 11 where he said that he committed God’s word into his heart.
He actually preserved the Word by doing so. If properly preserved it will not go bad on you, but will stay there for the feeding of your soul and guidance to your road in Christ. To go back to the word humbleness. Many people ignore it but God takes it in a very serious light, so we need to get ourself in line with God’s word.
Let us go the highest authority on the subject, Jesus Christ Himself. In Matth. 11:28-29 He said these significant words, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Jesus gives all the clues you need. In verse 28 He gives the greatest clue ever – “COME TO ME” This coming to Jesus must be in humility and not in arrogance or high-heartedness.
The second clue is to LEARN from Him. That is what Jesus wants from us – not for US to try to teach him or try to tell Him what He should do in our lives. How does Jesus teach us? Only one way – through His Word, which is revealed to us through His Spirit.
The third clue is to humbleness that it starts in the heart and not in the mind, as is so often the case. Jesus said that when we do these things we will find the rest we seek after. Humbleness is the clue to a truly restful heart.
When we are humble before the Lord we have that wonderful peace that so many seek after but do not find. Study the life of Moses, for he gives us an excellent example of true humbleness. Who does God give grace to? James 4:5 tells that God gives grace to the humble, and James takes this quotation from Prov. 3:34
26. A LOOK INTO THE PAST (verse 26)
“I recounted my ways and you answered me,” We are certainly not to live in the past because this is a very dangerous situation to land into. What is said here is that we have to look back at what we have done and learned and to see if we have taken these experiences and usefully used them to change our lifestyle for the better. To recount is to go back piece for piece and analyse each situation that we found ourself in.
There has to be growth in our Christian walk, if not, then as I once mentioned a few years back, we will eventually have spiritual mosquitoes breeding in our spiritual pool. Jesus is the living water. It is a flowing water, that ever is fresh and refreshing to the soul. Mosquitoes only breed in stagnant water, and stagnant water eventually becomes filthy and smelly.
Listeners, I sincerely hope that none of you have landed in this situation! But, praise the Lord, there is still a way out of your stagnancy. Return to Jesus. He will receive you with open arms and forgive you if you ask His forgiveness. Then the past will be the past and you will have the experience of God answering your prayers.
27 ASK FOR UNDERSTANDING AND WISDOM (verse 27)
“Let me understand the teaching of your precepts.” This is one of the most important verses in the whole Bible. There are also a few other like it. There are two basic types of understanding. Firstly with the mind and secondly with the heart. The man in the world or with the natural mind cannot understand the word of God as God intended it to be understood.
Only when a person has received a spiritual renewing of the mind does the Word of God take on a genuine meaning. Only when the mind has been renewed with the mind of Christ, ie, the person reading the Word has been spiritually reborn, can the Word of God penetrate the heart of the believer. This does not mean that the believer automatically receives the full understanding of God’s Word. No! It means that the POTENTIAL is there! Understanding has to be developed, by the study of God’s Word.
Understanding and wisdom has to be asked for and it is available to the believer in abundance and unconditionally. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given him.” One thing we should be very clear on: it is possible to have understanding without wisdom.
One can have all l the understanding of a particular situation yet give a real unwise and disasterous decision. On the other hand, if one has wisdom that has been given by God, then understanding is part and parcel of the gift of wisdom.
28 GOD’S WORD IS OUR STRENGTH (verse 28)
“My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.” There is not one of us, who at some time or other, gets into a state of sorrow or dejection. More than often we get into a state of dejection rather than in sorrow. Satan is nearly always blamed for our troubles and sorrow. That is not always the case for more often than not the problem lies with our own self.
Let me give an example: We are told that the fire is hot. We know that if we touch it we will burn our fingers. Yet we ignore the warning and find ourself in the hospital full of bandages. Is it Satan’s fault, or is it ours? Before blaming Satan for all our difficulties, let us look to ourself first.
Certainly Satan also tempts us into his ways, but we need to look at it with intelligence, through the Holy Spirit. When we become weary in the soul then immediately we become prey to Satan. Why? Because weariness causes us to enter into a state of sleepiness and unguardedness. When we become careless we are not prepared for war with the spiritual enemy.
When we find ourself getting into a state of weariness then we ought, or rather MUST, call upon Jesus to strengthen us. We cannot go in our own strength; If we do then we will certainly be on the short end of the stick. God said to Abram in Gen. 15:1, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield and your very great reward.” The one who handles the shield in a very fierce battle has to have very strong arms.
As a youngster in Natal I fully remember the time when the Zulus still walked around with loin cloths and knobkierries and shields, especially in the country villages. Most of the Zulu women were topless. We were so used to them that we hardly gave them a second glance. I remember playing with shield and knobkierie and I soon found out that my arms got tired very quickly holding that shield, for believe me a cowhide shield is very heavy indeed and especially when you are receiving those blows that go through your arm and body like shock waves.
I have mentioned this for one reason, and that is let you know that if we rely on our own strength, rather than in God’s strength, we will fail miserably. In the beginning we will get the impression that we can handle the situation and for a while it WILL go well. In the heat of the battle against Satan and the assaults from the world our strength will fail us, we will not be able to hold he shield up. As we drop it from tiredness, the darts will go over the top of the shield and pierce us.
Listeners, God is our shield. He is the one that holds it up with His powerful arm. If we stay behind it we will come to no harm, but if we let ourself out of the protection of that shield we have only ourself to blame! Psalm 105:4 gives us encouragement when the Psalmist advises, “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”
It is possible for the believer to have the strength of the Lord as his portion. In fact it is part of the inheritance as a son or daughter of God in his kingdom. So often we remain all the poorer because we do not recognize what we have in Christ. Some are so “humble” that they feel that they cannot ask God for favours such as this. True humbleness is strength while over-humbleness is the exact opposite. The Christian must stand proud of the fact that he is a citizen of the kingdom of God.
Now to attain this strength is very simple. Let us read what Nehemiah had to say to those who were there at the rebuilding of the temple. He said, “This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the JOY of the Lord is our strength.” It is not OUR joy that gives us strength, but GOD’S joy. A long-faced Christian has little of God’s strength in him for he thinks that the whole world is against him. It is when we recognize the JOY of the Lord and we joy WITH Him that God’s strength starts to penetrate us.
How did Jesus get His strength? Remember He came as God, to be a man on this earth to talk to man. He experienced all that we experienced; pain, sorrow, joy, tiredness, except on things: He was sinless! Apart from that, at a certain stage of His earthly life, He received power to perform His duties, Power means strength and it was at His Baptism that He received His strength with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. It was then that Satan tempted Him to see if He indeed HAD God’s strength! Listener, God’s strength is available to you as well.
Seek the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Luke 4:13-14, “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him (Jesus) until an opportune time. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit is not a force or a power but a Person, and He GIVES power to those who receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.