Psalm 119:24

Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors.
~ Psalm 119:24

In the midst of adversity, the Psalmist delighted in God’s Word. The previous verses reveal he is in the midst of persecution. When someone speaks against us, we are sorely tempted to respond and retaliate if necessary. He wasn’t distracted. He found delight and sure counsel in the Word.

It seems this Psalm was written over a long time, or at least was written later in life with reflection on life. We have a young man in the previous stanza (Psalm 119:9-16). He is starting on his way. As we come to the present stanza (Psalm 119:17-24), he is living life, interacting with the world, and engaging in God’s service.

He’s not writing about hypothetical speculations. We often speculate about new situations. If we are starting a new job, moving to a new town, etc., we have ideas about how things are going to be. Often, those ideas are far from the reality we experience.

The Psalmist had made some resolutions in prospect that he was realizing. He had resolved to meditate and delight in God’s Word and that he would not forget it (Psalm 119:15-17). As we close the present stanza, he is living out those resolves. He was meditating in God’s Word despite temptations to distraction (Psalm 119:23). He was delighting and remembering despite the confusion of false speech around him (Psalm 119:24).

In our quiet times alone with Word, let us make holy resolves. Let us cling to those resolves in the stormy, tumultuous sea of life.

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Psalm 119:16

I will delight myself in thy statutes:
I will not forget thy word.
~ Psalm 119:16

I will delight myself in thy statutes
The seeds of meditation in verse 15 have yielded the fruit of delight in verse 16. Delight refers to satisfaction, contentment, and a deep, abiding joy. The statutes of God are His commandments, His law. The blessed man of God delights in God’s law and meditates in it continually (Psalm 1:2). The wicked do not delight in God’s law. They are described variously as forsaking it (Psalm 119:53), breaking it (Ezra 9:14), refusing to keep it (Exodus 16:8), not hearing it (Nehemiah 9:16. 29, 34), and despising it (Amos 2:4) 1.

I will not forget thy word
Treasuring up the Word, meditating in the Word, and delighting in the Word lead us to remember God’s Word. Sooner could a mother forget her nursing child than could we forget God’s Word (Isaiah 49:15) when we have counted it greater riches than earthly wealth (Psalm 119:72) and made it our daily counselor. Forgetting the Word comes through neglecting it. We cannot drift into remembering it but we do drift into forgetting it. We must take heed to hold fast God’s Word that we not let it slip (1 Thessalonians 5:21; 2 Timothy 1:13).

The second stanza of this Psalm, verses 9-16, follow a progression: treasuring the Word in verse 11, declaring the Word in verse 13, rejoicing in the Word in verse 14, meditating in the Word in verse 15, and delighting in the Word in verse 16. The delight is produced through the previous efforts. They are testing, trying, and proving the Word of God in real life. The further the Psalmist walks with the Word, the more precious God’s Word becomes to him.

The stanza opened with a question and answer: “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalm 119:9). Verses 10-16 expand and explain what it means to take heed according to the Word.

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Notes:

  1. Craft, Bert 2013. Learning to Delight in the Law of God. Oaxaca, Oaxaca Mexico: Ministerio Gracia Abundante.

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