Browsing Tag

Psalm 119

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

The Extremely Muddy, Putrid Place ( A current Digging Deep nugget)

Some people act as if they are laying claim to—as if they can own— the borrowed lives, time, circumstances and blessings of this temporary life. They take clear parts of the Word that belong to God and wrest them to make their current circumstance of business, marriage, or pleasure palatable to a quickly hardening conscience. They attempt to seize the terms of faithfulness that belong to God. They act as if the very earth on which they are sojourners is theirs for all time and eternity. They transgress His law, His precepts, His testimonies and His commandments. They take these commodities that can only rightly belong to Jehovah and pretend they own them. They sometimes even pretentiously say the words “I am going to live my life for God” while making decisions that are diametrically opposed to the clear counsel of the I AM,. The I AM has clearly rejected the notion that we can claim any “confusion” inherent in the statutes of the God of lovingkindness. He has rejected this notion with redundancy and clarity. If we cannot understand His commandments, we might as well throw the Bible into the trash heap. But we can understand.  His word is profitable for training in righteousness and for correction in our lives, (2 Timothy 3:16). We can understand Him. We just find it convenient, when we are tempted to sin, to wrest/twist the scriptures (2 Peter 3:16). It is a great temptation of the master tempter and I cannot ever claim immunity from the temptation to twist truth—to challenge His sovereignty.

In the LAMED section of Psalm 119, we see at least 8 immutable commodities to which the Lord lays solid claim: 

The word


The earth

All things

The Law

His precepts


His testimonies

His commandments

While there may be some redundancy here, we can boil this passage down to a clear emphasis on the sovereignty of God. The earth and all of the life on it are His. We do not decide if we are His. We only choose whether or not to accept that reality. Faithfulness is HIs. It is inherent in the divine nature. Because we are His and He is faithful, we choose to follow the law, commandments, precepts, and testimonies that He has issued. He issued them, not because He is tyrannical or vindictive, but because He is faithful. 

Not to oversimplify, but when we walk away from His precepts, it is because of one of two things. It is because we have been convinced that He does not exist or it is because we have vainly decided that we know better than the God of the universe. We are arrogant before Him. 

In my judgment, the person who has believed the lie of Darwinian evolution, or of some other of the world’s blatantly idolatrous religions, is perhaps less culpable, in some ways, than the person who has studied Him, knows Him, and then pretends that there is confusion about His precepts. ( I can quote the golden rule and I know what the Word says about good stewardship, but I believe my trips to the casinos can be justified because of the ‘social/educational merits’ of gambling.” …  “I can quote Matthew 19:9, but I have decided of late, in view of my circumstance, that this means something other than the surface text implies/warns.  I’ve studied and learned that I can remarry anyway.”…  “I know what the Bible says about purity of thought in Philippians 4:8, but I think I can go on and allow my children to be entertained by material that has a few curse words or that mocks God in various ways, without harm. My kids know I want them to serve Jesus and that’s what matters.”… “I’m rethinking worship and authority and Christianity and I am not even sure we can truly replicate the New Testament church today.” … “I know there are commands. But my God is not sitting around hoping I will mess up. He is a God of mercy, so I am on a journey to love Him and experience His grace, not necessarily to dot every i and cross every t. I want to love and embrace His mercy, so I am less concerned about statutes and laws.”  “I don’t want to talk about sin x. That’s something with which I struggle and I don’t want to discuss my continuing participation in that particular activity. God knows my heart.” (Notice the interwoven truth in the conscience-soothing rationalizations. That’s what makes them palatable)

I’m  not saying that the person who rejects God entirely is “less lost” than the person who is on a pew somewhere on Sundays and becomes unconcerned  (or unwilling to talk) about holiness and who finally “reinvents” the word of God to fit a lifestyle of worldliness.  Neither am I saying that those who continue to be concerned about commandment-keeping can feel smug and secure about their own salvation. All of us must be giving diligence to show ourselves approved of God (2 Timothy 2:15) and all of us are hopeless without the blood. I am saying that when we know the Word and then convince ourselves that we can alter or amend what is undeniable truth, we do so to our own peril. We become like the dog returning to his vomit or the pig that goes back to wallowing in the mire. God says it is a sorer punishment for the man who walks away after experiencing the grace coupled with faithful obedience.  It’s not hard to understand: 

For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire (2 Peter 2:18-22). 

It’s interesting to notice that these people who have left righteousness and returned to the “vomit” are speaking great, swelling words of vanity. They are professing their own righteousness, while they are servants of corruption, entangled in sin, and overcome. It would have been better if they had never even know the way of truth. 

Cindy Colley can never go back to a place of “not knowing truth.” If I am lost, my punishment will be the sorer one. I need His mercy even at my miserable best. But may I never tout his mercy to the exclusion of keeping His laws. Have you known the way of righteousness? If so, don’t ever look back. It’s a putrid and muddy extreme to which you can only travel once you have known the way of righteousness!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Seizures of Horror ( A current Digging Deep study)

In the section called ZAYIN of Psalm 119, the passage says this in the ESV: 

Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,

who forsake your law.

Your statutes have been my songs

in the house of my sojourning.

Has hot indignation ever seized you because of wickedness in your circle of family or friends? The KJV calls it horror that seizes the righteous. I know if you have lived very long as a child of God, you have experienced this spiritual seizure. The word of interest here, translated hot indignation or horror, means a glow of wind or anger, a consuming famine, a burning or raging heat. Has sin that affects your household ever made you feel that way?

The word is found one more time in the Psalms. It’s in chapter 11, where the psalmist says this: 

The Lord tests the righteous,

but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.

Let him rain coals on the wicked;

fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.

For the Lord is righteous;

he loves righteous deeds;

the upright shall behold his face.

The scorching wind of this passage is the horror or hot indignation of God on the wicked. This is the prayer of the righteous man…that God would allow a scorching wind  to be the portion (or inheritance) of the wicked. 

Notice one distinction as we think about this word. 

Hot indignation seizes the righteous. But there’s a remedy. The horror is sandwiched between these two verses: 

When I think of your rules from of old,

I take comfort, O Lord (v. 52)


I remember your name in the night, O Lord,

and keep your law.

This blessing has fallen to me,

that I have kept your precepts (vs.55-56).

But the horror of the wicked is described as their portion (their allotment by providence or law.) It (along with fire and brimstone and snares) is what has been reserved and allotted to the enemies of God. It’s their inheritance (Psalm 11:6). 

It’s a temporary seizure with a remedy vs. a portion or final allotment. I choose the seizure of temporary horror inflicted on the people of God. I do not want the portion of horror that is eternal. When it’s the darkest and I am terrorized by the enemies of my Father, I will remember His name in the night. I take comfort in His name.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Guest Writer, Katie Burch–On the heart’s growing capacity…

(Katie is on the left)

If you are into the study this month, you know we are digging into the Psalm 119 ABC’s of “Word-comfort”. Katie has excellent thoughts about the “Daleth” portion of Psalm 119, particularly the portion in which the Psalmist says “I will run the course of your commandments,” (vs 32). Do you want to gain a larger heart capacity? This is the capacity that matters not just on the medical heart monitor, but the kind of line-tracking that never flat-lines; the kind of line tracking (unlike your exercise monitor) that never lies. It’s accurate and eternal. The Word is your eternal heart-health monitor! 

Katie says this:

With regular rigorous aerobic activity, the athlete’s heart begins to change over time, growing larger and stronger with increased capacity. (MedStar Health, Dr. Ankit Shah)

Every day we need to run God’s course. “Run in such a way that you may obtain it (I Corinthains 9:24)  The way in which we run is full of self-control (vs. 25). It is with certainty, abiding by the rules—the commandments (2 Timothy 2:5). It is filled with discipline and endurance (Hebrewa 12:1). With our goal ahead in sight (Hebrews 12:2). our spiritual heart begins to change over time. Our lives are a journey. We are not the same babes in Christ, but rather are maturing day by day.  With running in the course of our Lord, we lose those things that are weighing us down (Hebrews 12:1), and gain capacity from God, who enlarges our hearts.