Study 9 PRAISING THE LORD FROM DAY TO DAY
TEN STUDIES IN PSALM 119
by Francis Dixon
Key-verse: “Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws.”
David was so full of love for the Lord, and with an appreciation of the Lord’s greatness and goodness, that he said, “Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws.” Praise includes petition and confession, but more particularly thanksgiving and adoration. To praise God means to ascribe glory and worship to Him (Psalm 50:23), and see the record we have of the vast number praising God in Revelation 7:9-14. Seven times a day David praised the Lord. What does this mean? The language suggests that he praised the Lord frequently and habitually with much love in his heart. Consider why we should praise Him:-
1. Praise the Lord that God is our loving Heavenly Father
There is much confusion about the biblical doctrine of the fatherhood of God; but from Malachi 2:10 and Acts 17:24-29 we learn that, while God is the Father of all men everywhere in a creatorial sense, in a more personal, spiritual and redemptive sense He is only the Father of those who put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. This is made clear from the following scriptures: according to John 1:11-13, it is only those who receive Jesus Christ who are the children of God; in Ephesians 2:18 it is only those who have access to God through Christ and by the Holy Spirit who come to know Him as their Heavenly Father; according to John 14:6-9 we can only come to God and know Him as our Father through Jesus Christ; and Galatians 3:26 sums up the whole matter. It is surely a matter to praise the Lord for if we are truly the children of God – look up and see what Romans 8:15-17 tells us. Our loving Heavenly Father cares for us, watches over us, provides for us and understands us – look up and compare Psalm 103:13; Matthew 6:25-34.
2. Praise the Lord that Jesus Christ is our Personal Saviour
Here we have everything to praise God for! Without Christ we are lost (Luke 19:10); dead (Ephesians 2:1); condemned (John 3:18); under God’s wrath (John 3:36). The sinful state of man is summed up in Ephesians 4:18, and therefore the greatest need of everyone is to have the Saviour whom God has authorised and qualified to be the Saviour of all who believe on Him – Jesus Christ. It was for this purpose that He came into the world (1 Timothy 1:15); that He died and rose again, so that those who believe on Him might be saved (Romans 10:9-10); and He is the personal Saviour of all His people (Matthew 1:21). Every believer can say Luke 1:47!
3. Praise the Lord that the Holy Spirit is our Indwelling Comforter
The Holy Spirit is the third Person in the Godhead, one with the Father and the Son in the Holy Trinity. Where is He in relation to the believer? He is within every true believer. We learn this from John 14:16-17 (notice the words “will be in you”, which were spoken in anticipation of Pentecost); Acts 2:4, which was the fulfilment of the Saviour’s promise; Romans 5:5 (notice the words “whom he has given us”); Romans 8:9 and 1 Corinthians 6:19 (notice the words “who is in you, whom you have received from God”. Not only do we have a Heavenly Father who watches over us and cares for us, a loving Saviour who is exalted at God’s right hand; but God the Holy Spirit is actually living in us.
4. Praise the Lord that the Bible is our chart and compass
God has not only come Himself in the Person of the Holy Spirit, to live within us, but He has given us His Holy Word to guide us in all matters relating to faith (that is, what we believe) and practice (that is, how we should live). The Bible is God’s book, fully inspired from Genesis to Revelation (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21). The Bible is a reliable and authoritative revelation of the mind of God, and it is adapted to our needs while we are down here on earth. It tells us all we need to know about creation, redemption, God’s plan for the world, for His Church, for Israel and for eternity. Without the Bible we are completely in the dark about God Himself, His Son, the salvation He has provided, about death and the hereafter.
5. Praise the Lord that all God’s people are our people
Notice that wonderful verse in Ephesians 3:15. We learn that God’s family is in two locations: it is on earth and it is in Heaven. All those in Heaven are our brothers and sisters – but what about those on earth who believe on our Lord Jesus Christ? They also are our brothers and sisters who have been born of His Spirit (John 3:5); justified by His grace (Romans 5:1); baptised into His Church (1 Corinthians 12:13); washed in His blood (1 John 1:7); made the possessors of eternal life (1 John 5:12). We differ from each other in many ways, but – look up the last eight words in Galatians 3:28 and the last eight words in Ephesians 4:25.
6. Praise the Lord that the whole world is our parish
In Matthew 28:19 we have the record of Jesus’ last great commission. We have been entrusted with the gospel, which is for everybody, everywhere, and the whole world is our parish. This means that wherever the Lord has placed us to live for Him, just there we are to be His representatives, missionaries. Every Christian is in full-time service and the whole world is the area in which His servants are to preach the gospel and seek to bring men and women to Christ.
7. Praise the Lord that Heaven is our eternal home
John 14:1-3 is the Saviour’s promise to His own. We are pilgrims while we are on earth, and our home is not here but in Heaven. Soon our journey will be done and we shall go to that city described in Revelation 21:1-7. Praise the Lord!