to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice
July 26, 2019 – Friday
Psalm 119:73-80 NIV
73 Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn Your commands.
74 May those who fear You rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in Your word.
75 I know, Lord, that Your laws are righteous and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.
76 May Your unfailing love be my comfort, according to Your promise to your servant.
77 Let Your compassion come to me that I may live, for Your law is my delight.
78 May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause; but I will meditate on Your precepts.
79 May those who fear You turn to me, those who understand Your statutes.
80 May I wholeheartedly follow Your decrees, that I may not be put to shame.
The smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet, י Yodh, is the most frequently used letter occurs as the first letter in every verse in our stanza today. It has the numerical value of ten and is the first letter in YHWH and in Yeshua. It is unusual because while it is small it is made like an uppercase letter in the English alphabet as may be seen here and here. It is considered as the little that holds a lot as stated here. The yod’s pictograph originally represented a hand or an arm, you may see that here.
I was touched by the first verse (73) where David was thankful for being made and formed by God. Not only that, but he also gives thanks for the ability to understand and learn. All too often we neglect to offer thanks for all that we are capable of and all the abilities we have – all from God. David sets an example for us to follow herein.
In the next verse (74) David hopes and believes what is observed in his life will encourage others who believe and fear God. We seldom think about it, but our lives, living as our Savior Jesus would have us live, is often an encouragement to fellow believers. I know for me such individuals are a powerful witness to my own life.
The next three verses (75-77) could have come from the book of Job for even in his suffering David will trust in God’s unfailing love and be comforted by it. In the same way, he knows of God’s compassion because he delights in His law.
His attention upon God’s word has given the Psalmist wise and godly perspective even in seasons of suffering. He can proclaim the rightness of God’s judgments even when he is afflicted. It is one thing to say, “God has the right to do with me as He pleases.” It is a greater thing to say that His judgments are right, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. This was the place Job eventually came to through his long and desperate struggle through the Book of Job. He came to know that the judgments of the LORD were right, and even understood God’s faithfulness in affliction. Guzik
The final three verses (78-80) provide a strong contrast between the arrogant who wrong and wish to shame believers and those who fear God seeking to understand Him and who seek to wholeheartedly follow His word. This was true in David’s time and is true in our time today when many wish to shame believers for their faith in God’s word. They wish for us to turn from His word to their arrogant self-serving values that are not only in direct opposition to Him, but hostile to Him and to our faith.
It’s Friday and I hope you have a Great Weekend. I also hope you will remember to Go To Church where you may be strengthened in your walk with our Lord and Savior – Jesus the Christ.
(to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)