First reading: Psalm 119:129-149, 169-176
Second reading: Psalm 119:150-168
Psalm 119 has many verses that talk of rejoicing in doing what is right, and anger at those who mock God’s word. One might get the impression that the psalmist is “self-righteous,” confident in his own perfection. Yet some verses tell us this is not so: 119:132-133 says “let no iniquity get dominion over me” and asks for God’s “grace,” and 119:176 says “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant.” The psalmist rejoices in the goodness of God’s laws and rules because they are good, not as a way of proving anything to anyone; he rejoices that they give him wisdom for how to navigate life, and rejoices in how they reveal God’s good character. It is not wrong for Christians to rejoice and thank God for the ways in which God has kept us from doing evil, whether by the good influence of others such as parents and our church community, or by granting us repentance to change our ways.
At the same time, if we do sin, God forgives us and is ready to restore us: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness… My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 1:8-2:1) This is not a license to sin: John goes on to say, “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.” (1 John 2:3-5)
A Christian united to Christ is oriented toward following God’s commandments, not for the sake of self-righteousness but because we are to rejoice in what is good. When we fall, as we invariably do, we can be confident of God’s grace and forgiveness, and return anew to obedience.
Sing - Psalm 132
Abiding - Psalm 132:1-5 talks of King David’s mission to find a location for the Temple; Psalm 119:147- 148 also talks of this type of single-minded, restless intentionality. Is there anything God has called you to pursue with energy, for his kingdom?
Praying for Our Leaders
The psalm of ascent for this week (Psalm 132) expresses the longing of the Church, in her sojourn here on earth, for God to finally dwell among His people and reign as King. In the world around us, we see the grave consequences of unjust, unwise, and proud leaders. Our leaders have the power to do tremendous good for the nations, but they also have the power to do tremendous evil. Spend some time this weekend praying for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-4). Pray that God would grant them wisdom and that they would follow it. Pray that they would seek to establish God’s justice. Pray that they would not hinder the mission of Christ’s Church and His coming Kingdom. Wait upon the Lord, for the day when He will come again to finally rest with His people, when all His enemies will finally be put under His feet, and Christ will be crowned as our eternal King (Psalm 132:18).
City Reformed Presbyterian Church
The 90 Days project is a collaborative effort of many church leaders. Matt Koerber and Daniel Snoke have taken lead roles, with others helping to write daily devotionals.