PSALM 119:161-168  


 

(See:  pronunciation guide for the Hebrew vowels)

Psalm 119:161-168
THE PERSECUTION FILE
Each verse in this file begins with a siyn or a shiyn, which represents a TOOTH. The use of this letter speaks of violence and persecution. Keil and Delitzsch summarize this file, ďIn the midst of persecution Godís word was still his fear, his joy, and his love, the object of his thanksgiving, and the ground of his hope.Ē

 Verse 161, The Reverence Entry
Regardless of persecution even from rulers, the faithful believe continues to trust in God and His word.

1. Princes persecute me without cause:  The word, sar, refers to the majority of the nationís leaders, who are opposed to Godís viewpoint and policy for both leadership and social life. The verb is rAdaph again, and the noun, used as an adverb, is chinnAm, and comes from the verb, chAnan (be gracious). As GRACE is expressed WITHOUT MERIT on the part of the recipient, so also is this aggression expressed on its object WITHOUT MERIT. That is, undeservedly. The faithful believer represents the cause of God and Godís word and the persecutors attack him for no divinely motivated reason.

2. But my heart stands in awe of your word (dAbhAr): the heart (lābh) continues to reverence God and His word in spite of the UNJUST attack of the nationís rulers. The verb is pAchad, which indicates a humility attitude of total trust in Godís word.

Verse 162, The Happiness Entry
For the faithful believer, the word of God brings as great a joy spiritually, as would the acquisition of riches, materially.
1. I rejoice at your word: The verb is sus as a qal participle, and indicates an overt expression of an inner attitude.

2. as one who finds great spoil: This refers to material gain that is usually acquired through military victory, but that idea is not an issue here. The point is that as one would naturally rejoice over the finding and acquisition of great material resources, so does the faithful believer rejoice at the inherent value within the word of God. This reflects what was stated at the beginning of this Psalm at verse 14, 72 and 103, as well as Psalm 19:7-11, and all throughout the Proverbs.
Prov. 2.4-5; 3.13-15; 8.10-11, 18-19; 16.16


Verse 163, The Value Entry

The contrast between hate and love indicates the proper placement of value.
This is a matter of a volitional choice based on proper standards in the conscience.
1. I hate and despise falsehood: Two verbs (sAníā and tA`abh) to express the intensity of rejecting anything contrary to divine viewpoint. The word, falsehood, is sheqer, and as seen before, it refers to anything that is contrary to the truth as revealed by God.

2. I love your law: The verb is íAhabh again to indicate the proper placement of value on Godís truth.

Verse 164, The worship Entry
The faithful believer recognizes the value of Godís justice and righteousness every day.
1. Seven times a day I praise you: This is simply hyperbole to emphasize the believerís daily occupation with the character and plan of God. It further stresses his humility and faith-rest that puts total trust in God.

2. for the justice (mishpAt) of your righteousness (tsedeq): This is the same expression as seen at verse 160. In the context of spiritual evil and the persecutors who are influenced by it, it is justice and righteousness that provides the believer with protection.
 

Verse 165, The Abundant Life Entry
THE ABUNDANT LIFE is the quality of life available to the believer while he lives here on earth. At John 10:10, Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life (salvation) and have ABUNDANCE."
LIFE refers to the possession of salvation relationship with God through trust in the Savior.
ABUNDANCE refers to the life of peace, joy and confidence that results when we allow the word of God to govern our soul through the filling/control of the Holy Spirit.

At Romans 15:13, "Now may the God of (who is the source of) all confidence, fill you with all joy and peace BY believing (not salvation faith, but trusting-faith in the word of God, v. 4) so that you may abound in confidence by the power (filling/control) of the Holy Spirit."

1. To those who love your law (torAh): The verb of placing value occurs again, íAhabh, and states a principle that when Godís word is the object of that value, there is great benefit Ė peace. It is a qal active participle plus the preposition, LE, to indicate ďtoĒ or ďfor.Ē

2. there is great peace: rabh shalom indicates both abundance and quality., and refers to the abundant life that is experienced by the trusting believer, with the focus on paragraph one (peace Ė John 14:27). Psalm 85:8-13; Isaiah 26:3-4; Proverbs 3:1-2.

See Topic: The Peace of God

3. and nothing to them: we íāyn (and not) plus the same preposition, le, in front of the personal pronoun, them.

4. a stumbling: this is noun, mikshol. The literal then is, ďand (there) is nothing to them a stumbling (causes them to stumble).
This refers to the abundant life, paragraph 3 (inner stability Ė John 16:1).
Those who love Godís word experience the abundant life of peace, joy and inner stability.

Verse 166, The Deliverance Entry
The faithful believer continues to trust in Godís deliverance provision and continues to follow Godís policies.
1. I hope for your deliverance: The verb is sAbhar as a piel perfect to indicate completed action; action that has been going on in the past and continues at the present time. Thus, ďI have waited with expectation.Ē The word deliverance is yeshu`Ah with the preposition, le, and refers to protection from death at the hand of the persecutors. In addition, based on the context of the Psalm, it seems to include protection from any violent contact with them. There is no indication that this believer has yet to experience actual physical suffering; it seems to be simply the pressure of the extreme persecution that he has faced, that threatens his life.

2. and have done your commandments: The verb is `AsAh, which means to DO or make or perform. It is a qal perfect to indicate the past and present obedience to Godís word.

Verse 167, The Dedication Entry
The faithful believer guards and loves Godís word as in indication of his dedication.
1. My soul has guarded your testimonies (`ādAh): the verb is shAmar again, as a qal perfect, to indicate both past and present activity. It indicates preservation of Godís word in the life of the believer through study and application.

2. And I have loved them exceedingly: The verb, íAhabh, again, as a qal imperfect/consecutive, which preserves the COMPLETED action idea. The adverb, meodh, indicates the quality of love and the intensity of the dedication that this believer has toward God and his word.

Verse 168, The Obedience Entry
1. I have guarded your precepts (piqqudh) and your testimonies (`ādAh): He repeats the verb, shAmar as the same qal perfect.
    A. piqqudh refers to truths that have been gathered or appointed as Godís policy and viewpoint for His creatures.

    B. `ādAh refers to the truths and principles that WITNESS to the greatness and magnificence of YAweh; truths that magnify His Divine character and actions.

2. for (kiy) all my ways are before you: the word, ways, is derek with the adjective, kol, and indicates the way of life with emphasis on the soul first, and then the overt expression.
Are before you, is negedh, and means IN FRONT OF, as in ďunder your care.Ē
Yes, God observes and scrutinizes everything about the believer as per Psalm 139:1-6 and Hebrew 4:13, but this is NOT the reason that this believer keeps Godís word. He does not live truth because God is watching. He lives truth because he is under Godís special care and protection, and it is this kind of provision that motivates him to remain faithful.



SUMMARY OF THE PERSECUTION FILE

Verse 161, The Reverence Entry
Regardless of persecution even from rulers, the faithful believe continues to trust in God and His word.

Verse 162, The Happiness Entry
For the faithful believer, the word of God brings as great a joy spiritually, as would the acquisition of riches, materially.

Verse 163, The Value Entry
The contrast between hate and love indicates the proper placement of value.

Verse 164, The Worship Entry
The faithful believer recognizes the value of Godís justice and righteousness every day.

Verse 165, The Abundant Life Entry
Those who love Godís word experience the abundant life of peace, joy and inner stability.

Verse 166, The Deliverance Entry
The faithful believer continues to trust in Godís deliverance provision and continues to follow Godís policies.

Verse 167, The Dedication Entry
The faithful believer guards and loves Godís word as in indication of his dedication.

Verse 168, The Obedience Entry
The faithful believer lives truth because he is under Godís special care and protection.

 
 

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