August 30, 1992
We are studying the 119th psalm in SS class. We are ready for this passage, but I wanted to share it with everyone. This message is simply because I love this passage and want to share my love for it with the people whom I love.
This is the thirteenth 8 verse section of the 119th Psalm. There are several titles for this section; my favorite is
The Source of Wisdom and Knowledge. We are shown beyond all
doubt in this section that the law of God is the source of all
wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
There are 2 passages of Scripture which I claim for my own.
I base my salvation upon Philippians ch 3; I
base my calling upon Ps. 119:97-104.
Philippians 3 describes perfectly what the
Lord did when He saved me. Over a period of several days, the
Spirit of God striped me of every hope, of every good work, of
every speck of anything of myself; He broke me totally to where
I was lost without Christ with no place to turn. By the Grace
provided to me by the Spirit of God, I turned in total dependance
upon the Lord Jesus Christ for my redemption. I cannot read that
passage without a lump coming up in my throat.
Ph 3 tells us that salvation is totally and
completely of the Lord. I was happy with where I was in my life
and wanted nothing more. But He wanted me, and I could not run
The second passage is this one in Psalms.
I really don't know how to describe the importance and feeling
(for lack of a better word) that I have toward this passage. It
is one of the two holy places for me before God; it is a passage
which I am almost afraid to teach from because I cannot not do
it justice and express to you everything it means to me. As I
read it, its meaning is so obvious that I am afraid I might slightly
deviate from it.
Ps 119:97-104, tells me that whatever understanding
or wisdom that I might have from His word is strictly of the Lord,
just as much as is my salvation. I was happy working in the building
trades. I was making excellent money and enjoying every minute
of the work. I would show up early and work late whether I was
paid for it or not. I enjoyed the work.
But the Lord gave to me something more enjoyable: His word.
I enjoy studying and developing it more than I enjoy the trades
in which I used to work. I also know that the love for and ability
with the word of God is totally from the Lord. And it is something
that is beyond description. The printing which He has allowed
us to be involved in is an outgrowth of this love.
I never really studied the word of God up until about 16 or
17 years ago. Up until then, I only read it. The three years I
was in MD, I read it through 10 or so times a year. Now the Spirit
uses those many readings to bring things to my mind as I study.
My prayer is that I would be able to express even a small portion
of this passage to you. It is so obvious to me that I don't know
where to start, so we'll just go through it.
Before we go verse by verse through this passage, let me point
something out: this man is wiser than his enemies, he has more
understanding than all his teachers and he is smarter than the
ones who have gone before him, but there is not an ounce of pride
in him. He makes it clear that everything he has is a result of
God working in him through the word of God. This section has godly
humility throughout it; the man knows that everything he has is
by the grace of God and through the word of God.
There are two points about this verse:
First, the man starts this division with an expression of his
love for the law of God. He loves God's law more than he can express,
so all he can say is O how I love thy law.
Second, because he loves the law of God, he meditates upon
it day and night, Ps. 1. He doesn't necessarily
memorize scripture, but he does putPh 4 into
practice. As he thinks on these things (the law
of God), it does several things for him.
I think this is the key verse of this section. Here is our
source of wisdom and understanding. This verse contains the key
The first thing the law of God did for this man as he studied
and meditated upon it, was make him wiser than all his enemies.
The key wordis Thou.. he confesses
right up front that it is the Lord that gives him his wisdom.
His enemies never leave him, and I will have to say that as long
as we are here on this earth, they will never leave us.
Another key point from this verse is the method which the Lord
uses to make this man wise, Thou through thy commandments
hast made me wiser than mine enemies.. This is more than just
studying the word of God, andthinking on these things.
Jn 7:17, Studying the word of God is the required
first step. But we see from Jn 7:17, action must
be added to study and meditation. As we act upon what we know
to do from the word of God, God will give us more wisdom and knowledge.
When we put the commandments of God into action, we throw the
enemies of God into utter confusion. They do not know how to respond
to a person who is honest, or who works for godliness when all
This person works for the Lord in society because he is doing
the will of his Heavenly Father. When we consistently do what
God has commanded in His word even though all others are doing
wickedly, the enemy is baffled. When we refuse to lie, fraud and
scheme through life, the enemy does not know what to do with us.
When we are involved in social issues because the Lord has told
us to be involved and not for the money, the enemy is thrown into
confusion: what can he do against such action? The enemy is powerless
against the one who is acting out of obedience to the commands
of God. How can the enemy counter a genuine fear of God which
Let me hasten to add that the psalmist's enemies are for the
Kingdom's sake. Many people have enemies and may even feel persecuted
for the Lord's sake, but their enemies are for the sake of maybe
patriotism, or money, or some other very fine causes. This man's
enemies were for the Lord's sake. He has stood on the word of
God, and the enemies of God hate him.
For they are always with me. As long as we are dedicated to
following the word of God and placing the commandments of God
into society, we will have many enemies. We can count on them
always being right there waiting for the opportunity to devour
us, but if we do the will of God their power over us is destroyed.
The power of the enemy is the fear of death, He 2:14-18.
The power of the enemy is broken by faith and confidence in the
Lord Jesus Christ: confidence that HIS divine providence is in
total control and He leads those who are actively doing His will.
The commandments of God must be our constant companions because
they are our shield against the constant enemy.
gives us the second thing that meditation upon the law of God
does for this man: it gives him more understanding than
all his teachers.
Man does not gain this kind of understanding upon salvation;
this kind of understanding comes about as a result of long hours
of study and meditation on the word of God, v. 97.
We live in a day of false teachers; they are found everywhere,
and they are especially prevalent in the media and in Christian
Colleges. Our teachers are not to always be trusted, but every
teacher is to be held up to the testimonies of the word of God.
Paul complimented the men at Berea, Acts 17:11,
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they
received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the
scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Does the word
of God testify that the instructions of our teachers are correct?
Acts 4:13, Now when they saw the boldness
of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and
ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them,
that they had been with Jesus. These men were not ignorant as
we think of ignorant; rather, they were not schooled
in the law under the religious leaders of their day. Instead,
they were schooled under the Word of God Himself.
The Word of God took unlearned men by the world's standard,
and gave them knowledge beyond anything the world could counter.
This has been the case throughout the history of the Church since
Let me say this about that: Christian Colleges may be fine,
although I know of none today which will turn out Christians.
They either turn out colones patterned after the professor or
school, or unlawful people. A christian college will not give
wisdom or understanding. I have heard from more than one person
that all college did was to teach them how to study. That is not
much to learn for the terrible expense involved.
Furthermore, I could not count the number of individuals who
went to so called Christian Colleges and returned home with their
faith completely destroyed. In fact, I know of NOT ONE person
in the last 20 years who has gone to a Christian College and has
escaped having their parent's teaching and their home church's
teaching either undermined or totally destroyed.
(A son of a pastor who's staff I used to be on, went to a Christian
College and seminary. He returned to the staff his home church
not believing the Bible. A lady that I know still in the congregation
told me this. This boy did not compare the instructions he received
with the word of God.)
The psalmist here clearly tells us where his wisdom comes from,
for thy testimonies are my meditation. This man knows where his
wisdom came from and he is not at all ashamed to admit that what
he has is not his: it camefrom the testimonies of the Lord.
for thy testimonies are my meditation: whatever love for and
ability with the Word of God which the Lord has given to me would
be useless without the long hard hours of study and meditation
on His word.
Acts 6, we see that the deacons were appointed so that the
pastors could peruse their study of the word of God. These pastors
of the first church at Jerusalem had walked with Jesus, yet they
had to devote the vast majority of their time to studying the
OT Scriptures. Is it any wonder the church is so shallow today?
Every time I read this passage, I think about some of the instructors
that I had in Bible College. They do not understand the issues
of our day at all.
The third thing which meditation upon the law of God has done
for him: He understands more than to the ones who have gone before
him. Again, this is not a result of salvation, but it is a result
meditating on the word of God, and of doing what he knows to do
from the word of God, He 5:14, But strong meat
belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason
of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
I know many people who have extremely good knowledge about
the word of God, but that is all they have: knowledge
about. They will not do what they know to do; therefore,
they remain immature children.
Let the followers of Socrates, Plato and of the great humanist
philosophers of antiquity boast of their wisdom. Their wisdom
cannot hold a candle to the wisdom which is available to every
sinner in here today. We have the eternal wisdom of the ages right
before us. If we will study it, memorize it, meditate upon it
and put it into practice, the wise men of this world will be confounded,
1 Cor 1:25-31. (V. 31, the psalmist
is clearly boasting in the Lord.)
What can compare to the Divine precepts? Whose word can compare
to the Divine word of God? Who of the ancients can compare to
the Ancient of days?
Let men study the writings of ancient philosophers; let us
study the writings of the Ancient of Days. The enemy is before
us armed with ancient philosophies; let us confront him with the
precepts of the Lord God. The Lord our God is a man of war, and
through His word, He will overthrow the strong men of our day.
We must declare war upon men's philosophies of today.
The next verse shows us where this man's superior wisdom and
understanding has brought him:
gives us a fourth thing that meditation and action on the law
of God does for him: it separates him from evil and to hard work
for the Kingdom's sake. A mark of the wisdom and understanding
of God in a person is that they put evil far from them and work
hard for the Kingdom's sake.
The knowledge and understanding which this man received from
the word of God did not sit still: he put it to work. He is actively
engaged in trying to implement the word of God into his society.
You say, "Bro. Need, how do you know that?" Because
he has enemies. I know many people who have great Bible knowledge,
but it is never placed into action; therefore, they have no enemies
for the King's sake. They may have enemies, but their enemies
are not over the word of God.
Let me give 3 more points here:
1) it is impossible to serve two masters. Either we will walk
in the evil way, or we will walk according to the word of God.
2) the word of God not only requires departure from evil, it
also requires active service for the Kingdom.
3) this man walks pure before God for a purpose: that
he might keep the word of God which he loves and meditates on.
A fifth thing that his meditation and action on the law of
God does for him: it gives him consistency for the Lord. The Lord,
through His law, through His commandments, through His testimonies
and through His precepts, taught this man; look at the results
of the Lord's teaching: consistent Holy living according to the
judgments of God.
Three more points from this verse:
1) A person who has been taught by God will be holy according
to the word of God, and that holiness will be a consistent lasting
2) the teaching of God is practical; A person with knowledge
but no action was not taught by the Lord. In other words, if we
have been taught by God, we will place His word into our everyday
activity, 1 Cor 8:1-3, Now as touching things
offered to idols, we know that we have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth
up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth
any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. but if
any man love God, the same is known of him.
3) this man again tells the world where his knowledge to do
the word of God has come from: for thou hast taught me.
The thing which enables him to understand the word of God and
walk in it is that the Lord taught him.
A sixth thing that meditation and action on the law of God
does for him: it makes the word of God sweet to him.
He has found by practical experience that the Lord is good
and His word is sweeter than description (how sweet..). I might
add, godly wisdom and understanding will result in the word of
the Lord being sweet to one's taste. The psalmist professes the
sweetness of the word of God to his senses, and found it sweeter
than honey unto my taste! I must admit that I
would rather study than eat. My wife will attest to that.
A seventh thing that meditation and action on the law of God
does for this man: actually there are two things here:
A) enables him to recognize every false way, and
B) causes him to hate every false way.
This verse sums up the preceding.
He is wiser than his enemies,
he has more understanding than his teachers
he understands more than the pagan philosophers...
he openly tells the world where he gained his understanding
and takes no credit for himself; it was through study,
meditation and applying the word of God.
He has learned the law from the Lord Himself. The taste of
the law to him is sweeter than honey. Now he receives understanding
of and hatred for every false way.
The sum of this passage for me is that I am where I am today
because the Lord placed in my heart a love for His word. As I
have studied it, the Lord has seen fit to reveal some things.
The things are not some great truths, but just simple things which
every one should be able to see.
The world will offer every means of increasing in wisdom and
understanding. People, my daughter included, can go off to school
and learn all the wisdom of the word, but it will not hold a candle
to what the Lord can and will teach His faithful people through
And those of us who have children coming up who might consider
college, we had better consider long and hard. I guarantee that
those schools will work to undermine what we have tried to teach
our children in our homes and in our church. Over the past 20
years, I have not seen an exception.
Note the end result of Godly wisdom and understanding: he hates
every false way. What a testimony for the child of God. It should
be every one of our testimonies.
CAN WE SPOT THE FALSE WAYS OF THE WORLD?
DO WE HATE EVERY FALSE WAY?