73. Your hands have made and fashioned me;
give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
74. Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice,
because I have hoped in your word.
75. I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous,
and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
76. Let your steadfast love comfort me
according to your promise to your servant.
77. Let your mercy come to me, that I may live;
for your law is my delight.
78. Let the insolent be put to shame,
because they have wronged me with falsehood;
as for me, I will meditate on your precepts.
79. Let those who fear you turn to me,
that they may know your testimonies.
80. May my heart be blameless in your statutes,
that I may not be put to shame!
73. God created me. He formed my mind. Only that of His Truth which He allows me to understand will I be able to comprehend. I have no ability outside of His enabling. I cannot wrap my mind around anything about Him and His Word except that which He communicates to me in a way that my frail heart can grasp. Rather than be discouraged by myself, I must fly to Jesus, seeking Him in His Word to make the words speak to me and to affect my understanding for His glory.
74. Hope belongs to believers. Without Jesus, you can have your best life now and put off unpleasantries till later. Face up to God’s wrath against you now, and you may enjoy His pleasure eternally. Only children of God have hope of good things while they are afflicted here on earth.
For the non-christian, this life is the best things will get.
For the Christian, this life is the worst things will get.
No light matter is here connoted.
75. God’s ways are all good. Even His chastening is good. God will be faithful to afflict me with my sin until He calls me home. What a comfort!
76. As long as I am chastised by God for my sin and continually brought back to Him from my straying ways, I can rest in knowing that I belong to Him. Falling from the hands of my God would be the greatest tragedy. Therefore, knowing that I am held securely by Him is the greatest joy.
“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.” Hebrews 12:6
77. God’s grace in my life is my life. I have no life outside of His life. What He has given me and continually gives me is true life, not some semblance of a happy existence.
78. I must not try to right all wrongs. First, I would never be able to do so. Second, God alone is Judge. He will right all wrongs in His perfect timing, so I can rest in His goodness.
Here, is an example of what to do when we are falsely accused. Rather than mull over our hurt and ways of revenge, we should meditate on God’s Word. It alone is Truth. It is bad to encounter falsehood, but it is a hundred times worse to stoop into falsehood ourselves. Stooping to false thoughts shows a deeper false belief that our thoughts, words, and actions will not be judged.
To war against falsehood in our own lives, we must give ourselves to reading and meditating on what is true—God’s Word.
79. Are we so filled with God’s Word that we have a ready answer for all who question us? Are we able to confidently say that we can communicate God’s Word to others?
Ministry is not the goal. Knowing God is the goal.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” -2 Timothy 2:15 (emphasis mine)
Nevertheless, we should all be equipped to articulate our hope and minister to others in due time.
“Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.” 1 Peter 3:13-17
We cannot articulate our hope unless we know what it is and know it well. We cannot have any counsel to minister to others if we have not plunged the depths of God’s counsel ourselves.
80. The psalmist did not here state that he desired his appearance or the way others perceived him to be blameless. He asked for his heart to be blameless. You cannot get any deeper than that. The heart in Scripture denotes the whole inner person, including the mind and attitudes. The heart, too, is the seat of emotion. Rather than wanting to promote an upright image, the psalmist desired Truth in the inmost parts. He wanted to be spotlessly clean on the inside. Why? If we Christians already have the promise of eternal salvation, why expend much energy on purifying ourselves? Why give ourselves to housekeeping of our earthly temples? (1 Corinthians 6:19)
Scripture states that each person will receive what is due him at the final judgment.
“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” 2 Corinthians 5:1-10
I want to be worthy of receiving a large reward, don’t you? Now what should be my reason for desiring a large reward? I cannot think of a better reason than that I may be able to give a large reward back to my King. Whatever I may receive will rightly be cast back at my Savior’s feet. How big of a reward do I want to cast back? How much glory do I want to ascribe to His Name?
Now, here is a reason to pursue uprightness with a passion—to glorify my God as much as I can as long as He gives me breath.