“I hate those who are undecided about You,
but my choice is clear – I love Your Law.
You are my refuge and my shield;
Your Word is my only source of Hope.
Get out of my life, you evil minded people,
for I intend to obey the commands of my God.
LORD, sustain me, and I will be saved;
then I will meditate on your principles continually.
But you have rejected all who stray away from Your principles.
They are only fooling themselves.
All the wicked of the earth are the scum you skim off;
no wonder I love to obey Your decrees!
I tremble in fear of You:
I fear Your judgments.”
There are many who proclaim to love God and who are professing to be “born again Christians” who live in a double minded world. The author of Psalm 119 has come from Babylon only to find that the remnant who was left behind has adopted the religion and culture of the Assyrians and Persians and corrupted their faith in the God of their ancestors.
While claiming to be faithful to God, they have in fact, deserted Him and the Law of Moses. He has come to hate these people that want to corrupt his Faith and the Law among the returning exiles. The is choice is clear! The only avenue to follow is one that holds the evil in the land with great contempt (see Ezekiel 9:3-6) and to love the Law with a zealous heart. The writer is concerned that these people who have corrupted the word and joined with the “world view” will dilute and distort the faithful. Is that not also something that has happened in the churches today? Haven’t too many believers succumb to the teachings that divorce, abortion, sexual misconduct and homosexuality are not “sin”? All around us we see the Word of God weakened or outright attacked and the people who want to follow the Word of God and the teachings of Our Lord Jesus are mocked and persecuted.
But as for me and my family, we will stay in balance with God by obedience to the Heart of the Law, Jesus. As with the writer, I love the peace that God’s Law, his Word, gives me. My soul is secure not in the claiming to be a Christian but in the refuge and protection that living in obedience to His Loving Will offers me.
The psalmist tells the corrupt and deceivers, “Get out of my life!” Whenever we find those who condone, practice or promote sin in their lives and justify it by saying, “I am saved, God has forgiven me of what I am about to do,” we are to run to the nearest exit lest they corrupt us. Many times I have heard that contemptuous living is justified because, “Jesus forgave me and nothing I do is considered a sin.” That is not what Jesus said nor is it what Paul tried to convey to the early church. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you WILL obey my commandments.” In Matthew 7:21,23 Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord” will enter the Kingdom of heaven. … I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.'” Then he continues with the illustration of the house built on rock (Faithfulness) and the house built on sand (foolishness). See Matthew 7:24-27).
David says in Psalm 139:17-18, “How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I could count them, they would be more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.” It is better to live one day with God than a thousand anywhere else. It is wiser, surer and more blessed to be living in the Word of God than to dwell in the failings of the world.
The Psalmist cries out, “Hold me up that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually!” (Psalm 119:117 ESV). While under the stress of the challenge of belief by those who would seek to justify falsehoods, he goes to the Creator to give him the strength and encouragement to withstand them. It is easy to say that it is alright to live a sinful life, Jesus has forgiven me, but the truth is that Jesus only forgives the contrite heart and those who seek to be true repentants thereby no long desiring to repeat the offenses against their Redeemer and purifier. “Uphold me according to Your promise that I may live [in grace]” is his desire. That is the dream of the faithful.
For it is by the Grace of the Father, given to us by the Divine Breath of the Holy Spirit as the result of the Sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. In this we are forgiven and in this we are live in obedience of the Law of Christ’s Perfect Sacrifice. While many will use Paul’s Letter to the Romans to say that we can not earn our right to salvation (and I have no argument with that), he also says in Romans 8:9,12, “You therefore, are not of the flesh but of the spirit, if in fact the spirit of God dwells in you. … so then brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh to live according to the flesh.” We are to die to sin and to reject all things that lead to sin.
The psalmist goes on to condemn those who reject the law of godliness and embrace the ways of the flesh, even to call them the scum of the earth! In verse 119 he claims that God has removed the wicked like dross, the film of waste that is left after refinement of metal. In verse 118, the claim that those who reject God are in turn rejected is made and we should take perfect note of that. When those who profess the faith yet reject all the teachings of moral behavior, who refuse to live within the Law of righteousness expect that God is so forgiving that he will allow them to be counted as the redeemed is ludicrous. Those who cry out “Lord, Lord,” and walked in the path of evil will not be counted as those who know the Lord Christ. As the New Living Translation says, “They are only fooling themselves.”
The choice is ours, to live in the loving care of Our Redeemer in obedience and service, or to live outside of His Grace by remaining in a sinful lifestyle. Will we love God’s testimonies by faithfulness to them or will we reject His love for us by disobedience? It is time, and long overdo, to stop the feel-good theology and return to the testament of godly obedience.
The final verse of this stanza, Psalm 119:120 reads, “My flesh trembles for fear of Thee, and I am afraid of Thy Judgments.” (RSV). The fear is the respect of God, the reverence of His Awesomeness. It is not a fear of a coward or of as from a bully, but the fear that we might cause sorrow to the greater among us. And God is among us, through the Holy Spirit. If a police officer was standing beside you would you break the law before his eyes? Yet we who claim Christ, daily choose to disregard His presence and continue to sin; deliberately and continually claiming that His forgiveness allows us to behave this way.
Christ came that we might be free from the sinful nature that rules the flesh. Seek to walk in the path of Jesus and flee from the desires of the flesh. Love the Testimonies of Faith, righteousness and clean living that we may not be as the dross, the scum on the melting pot of purification. Let us not be like the remnant left behind who added to their beliefs the ways of the pagans, the common law of self-indulgence, and remain faithful to the command of Jesus to obey the meaning of the whole of the Law. That is to Love God with our entire being and to love our fellow man as we love ourselves. Let us live in the loving-kindness to each other and the devotion to God as Christ has shown us.
Let our Faith be one-way, all the way and in the Way. Put out the double minded man and become single-minded for Christ’s holiness. Let us become Wholly devoted to God. Let us stand up to those who want to defile us with hypocrisy, decadence and the foolishness of sin.