God’s Eternal Word

Psalm 119:153-160
Consider my affliction and deliver me,
For I do not forget Your law.
Plead my cause and redeem me;
Revive me according to Your word.
Salvation is far from the wicked,
For they do not seek Your statutes.
Great are Your tender mercies,
O LORD;
Revive me according to Your judgments.
Many are my persecutors
and my enemies,
Yet I do not turn from
Your testimonies.
I see the treacherous, and am disgusted,
Because they do not keep Your word.
Consider how I love Your precepts;
Revive me, O LORD, according to
Your lovingkindness.
The entirety of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.

While we consider the spiritual discipline of prayer, we might with the Psalmist turn to the basis on which God hears our prayer. The fact that God does hear the prayers of His children is truly amazing, not that He can hear them, but that He would listen to them with anything other than disdain and contempt, yet that is exactly what we know to be true, both by experience and by the teaching of God’s word. It is the distinct privilege of Christians to cry out for deliverance, intercession, and revival on the basis of God’s completely true and eternally trustworthy word.

In fact, in this stanza we find that God’s response to our prayers is determined by our relationship to His word. How does the Psalmist, who represents a true follower of God, view the Scriptures?He remembers God’s law and refuses to turn away from it, even when surrounded by persecutors. He professes, again and again, his love for God’s truths and grieves openly when others reject the Scriptures. This commitment to the Bible results in some very specific benefits. He can expect God to watch over him in times of trouble and deliver him. He can expect God to intercede for him, acting on his behalf as a kinsman-redeemer. Three times the Psalmist asks God to revive him, literally cause me to live, because that is the essential blessing of a relationship with the Savior. The conviction of every true believer is summed up in the final verse: God’s word does not contain truth; it is truth, and not a single word of Scripture will fail.

In stark contrast, however, salvation remains distant and unreachable to the wicked, rebellious man. His ways are those of a traitor, who, although he knows what God expects of him, refuses to obey God’s word and turns against those who love the Scriptures. This is not to say that the wicked man is unredeemable, but he has refused to look upon the only means of redemption, and so it remains far from his grasp. The question here is, “Can a man find deliverance without repentance?” And the answer of Scripture is, “Salvation is far from him.” The Psalmist never claims to be sinless, but he acknowledges that God’s tender mercies are great, and His lovingkindness is a life-giving force. It is truly marvelous that God would hear the prayers of any man, and yet in His great mercy He offers forgiveness and hope to all who will take heed to the truths of Scripture. And to the one who has entered into sweet fellowship with Him, God listens with rapt attention, seeing him through each trial and giving life according to the promise of His eternally true word.

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