Psalm 119 | #5 God’s Word Gives Understanding


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God’s laws and words revealed in Scripture can give us understanding that transforms our outlook on life. See benefits of Scripture as shared in this text.

 
Jesus & Me in the Psalms / Word of God; Understanding; Wisdom

 

SCRIPTURE

Psalm 119:97–104 KJV

97 MEM. O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.

98 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: For they are ever with me.

99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: For thy testimonies are my meditation.

100 I understand more than the ancients, Because I keep thy precepts.

101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, That I might keep thy word.

102 I have not departed from thy judgments: For thou hast taught me.

103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: Therefore I hate every false way.

 

Today, we will see from our text how God’s laws, ways, and words give understanding to those who follow them.

 

Simply put, understanding is the ability to accurately see what once was abstract or unclear to you.

 

 

1001 More Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking: Fresh, Timely, and Compelling Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers, and Speakers 45 TOPIC: Appearances Involuntary Disobedience

Involuntary Disobedience
The attendant at a movie theater was walking up and down the aisle between showings of the movie. While doing so, he noticed that in the back of the theater there was a man lying across three seats. The attendant told the man that he would need to sit up in one chair. The only answer that came from the man was a muffled groan; the man did not even turn around and look at the attendant.
The attendant went to get the manager. The manager approached the man who was still lying across the three seats in the back of the theater. “Sir, you cannot lie down in this theater; you must sit up or I will have to insist that you leave!”
The man responded to the manager the same way he had responded to the attendant. The manager warned the man once more, but the reaction was the same.
The frustrated manager returned to his office and called the police. A police officer arrived and spoke to the man who was lying across three seats in the back of the theater: “I understand there is a little problem here; I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to leave this theater. So, what do you have to say for yourself now?”
With great hesitation, the man slowly turned toward the police officer and groaned out an answer, “You don’t seem to understand at all; we have a big problem here: I fell from the balcony and can’t get up!”

 

Knowledge: to know—they knew the man was lying on the seats

Wisdom: to do (apply)—they applied what wisdom they had based on their knowledge

Understanding: to see—seeing the full story changed everything

 

Understanding often takes time to develop.

 

We do what we know, and we see what has been done.

 

God’s words and ways are eternal, already established truth. If we can get understanding from them, we can avoid much ignorant discovery.

 

Our text begins with an exclamation of love for God’s law.

 

His love for God’s law goes on to be explained as he describes the understanding and wisdom gained from it.

 

Psalm 119:97 KJV

97 MEM. O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.

O how…love…law

My meditation all the day

 

I love God’s law greatly and think on it often!

 

As has been stated previously, the Psalmist’s love for God’s law is obvious in this Psalm.

 

God’s law and ways are of utmost importance to him.

 

As followers of Christ, we ought to have a similar mindset toward God’s laws, ways, and words. 

 

What God says should matter to us.

 

1001 Quotations that Connect: Timeless Wisdom for Preaching, Teaching, and Writing C. S. Lewis

Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important.
Citation: C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock

 

So true.

 

God’s words and ways cannot be moderately important to one who truly believes Him.

 

In our text today, we not only see a love for God’s laws but we also see practical reasons for the Psalmist’s love for God’s laws.

 

The reasons can be summed up as giving the Psalmist understanding, but let’s take a look at them individually verse by verse.

 

SEVEN BENEFITS OF GOD’S LAW

 

1) Having God’s commands always  with  me can make me  wiser  than my enemies.

 

Psalm 119:98 KJV

98 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: For they are ever with me.

Commandments: what God has commanded

Wise: trust and fear of God that works out faithfulness to God in the practical details of life; able to apply knowledge to bring success in life and situations

God’s commandments, when followed, make one wise.

 

 

First, consider that those who practice evil do not understand true judgement.

 

Proverbs 28:5 KJV

5 Evil men understand not judgment: But they that seek the Lord understand all things.

Evil people don’t  understand  God or His ways.

 

This makes sense since we see the fear of the LORD (and what He says) is the very beginning of wisdom.

Proverbs 9:10 KJV

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: And the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

We also see here that the knowledge of the holy is the beginning of understanding.

 

Those living in rejection of God and His Gospel, no matter how worldly wise and knowledgeable, have not even begun to attain wisdom and understanding in those things which most matter in this life—the eternal things of God.

 

Secondly, consider how God’s commands help us act wiser than enemies.

 

By enemies, think of those who would scorn, mock, or even cause harm to you.

 

Knowing how to act around and respond to enemies can be tricky.

 

Think about how Jesus was around His enemies.

•              Discerned their thoughts and intents

•              Held back knowledge that was not prudent to share with them

•              Asked them questions that led them to a truce

•              Warned others of their ways

 

Having God’s commands in our heart and mind give us trustworthy foundational thinking and helps us expose what is not trustworthy.

 

Being able to discern between truth and error helps us act and respond wisely to scorning, deception, and attacks.

 

It helps us also have love and mercy for those lost, living in rejection of God and His wisdom.

 

1) Having God’s commands always  with  me can make me  wiser  than my enemies.

2)  Meditating  on God’s testimonies can give me more understanding than my  teachers .

 

 

Psalm 119:99 KJV

99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: For thy testimonies are my meditation.

Testimonies: what God testifies to be His will

Meditation: to think and contemplate

 

 

10,000 Sermon Illustrations We Yearn For Shortcuts

Human beings grow by striving, working, stretching; and in a sense, human nature needs problems more than solutions. Why are not all prayers answered magically and instantly? Why must every convert travel the same tedious path of spiritual discipline? Because persistent prayer, and fasting, and study, and meditation are designed primarily for our sakes, not for God’s. . . . Christians reminded him of schoolboys who want to look up the answers to their math problems in the back of the book rather than work them through…We yearn for shortcuts. But shortcuts usually lead away from growth, not toward it.

 

Understanding, seeing, God’s testimonies comes from slow contemplation and prayer in them.

 

Having understanding is worth the time.

 

1) Having God’s commands always  with  me can make me  wiser  than my enemies.

2)  Meditating  on God’s testimonies can give me more understanding than my  teachers .

3)  Obeying  God’s precepts can give me more understanding than the  aged .

 

Psalm 119:100 KJV

100 I understand more than the ancients, Because I keep thy precepts.

Ancients: aged, elders

Precepts: what God has appointed to be done

 

There is no one as aged as God’s precepts.

 

What God has appointed to be done is as old as His eternal knowledge.

 

So, obeying these eternal precepts can give me wisdom far beyond my years.

 

Beyond that, not all aged people are necessarily wise.

 

It was said in Job:

Job 32:9 KJV

9 Great men are not always wise: Neither do the aged understand judgment.

 Status  and  age  do not always equal wisdom.

 

Get wisdom by obeying God’s precepts.

 

 

1) Having God’s commands always  with  me can make me  wiser  than my enemies.

2)  Meditating  on God’s testimonies can give me more understanding than my  teachers .

3)  Obeying  God’s precepts can give me more understanding than the  aged .

4)  Keeping  God’s word is important enough for me to avoid evil ways.

 

Psalm 119:101 KJV

101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, That I might keep thy word.

 

When God’s words prove faithful in our lives, we stay away from things that would pull us away from His Word.

 

We are often described as sheep in Scripture.

 

Jesus’ sheep know His voice and follow Him—they need to be listening.

 

1001 Illustrations that Connect Illustration 189: The Dangers of Straying


It is the nature of sheep to stray and get in harm’s way, whether from hungry wolves or steep canyons. For centuries, shepherds have used various methods—from staff to dog—to keep sheep from straying from the safety of their care.
In recent times shepherds have tried more sophisticated methods. One is a metal, hoof-proof grid that is built into the ground around the sheep’s territory. The animals cannot walk over the grid, which is eight feet wide. This works well in keeping sheep in the protection of the pen.
But in 2006, shepherds in Yorkshire, England, found that their sheep were not only stubbornly prone to stray but also crafty. One of the sheep laid down and rolled over the grid. The other sheep in the herd followed the first, and soon the entire flock had spread over the countryside to neighborhood gardens, where they ate the food and flowers of local residents.


The shepherds eventually gathered up the troublesome sheep and returned them to their pen. But they escaped again and got into trouble. While the escape of this flock of “black” sheep may have seemed like an exciting adventure, it actually placed the animals in harm’s way from cars and unfriendly dogs.

 

God’s laws, words, and ways are worth us refraining our feet from harmful ways that lead us to destruction, separation, and death.

 

1) Having God’s commands always  with  me can make me  wiser  than my enemies.

2)  Meditating  on God’s testimonies can give me more understanding than my  teachers .

3)  Obeying  God’s precepts can give me more understanding than the  aged .

4)  Keeping  God’s word is important enough for me to avoid evil ways.

5) Learning from God can teach me  commitment  to His  judgments .

 

Psalm 119:102 KJV

102 I have not departed from thy judgments: For thou hast taught me.

 

Commitment to what God rules is right deepens when our learning includes a direct relationship with God.

 

Without the direct relationship, the rules only become religion and dogma—which leads to rebellion.

 

Relationship gives reason to God’s rules.

 

 

1) Having God’s commands always  with  me can make me  wiser  than my enemies.

2)  Meditating  on God’s testimonies can give me more understanding than my  teachers .

3)  Obeying  God’s precepts can give me more understanding than the  aged .

4)  Keeping  God’s word is important enough for me to avoid evil ways.

5) Learning from God can teach me  commitment  to His  judgments .

6) Enjoying God’s words ought to be  normal  for me.

 

Psalm 119:103 KJV

103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

 

Makes me think of:

1001 More Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking: Fresh, Timely, and Compelling Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers, and Speakers 586 TOPIC: Missionaries Taste of Religion

Taste of Religion
Captured missionary to cannibals: “At least you get a taste of religion.”

 

As a born again believer, the truth and understanding from God’s words are both nourishing and tasteful.

 

When God’s words bring clarity to life and purpose, we develop a healthy appetite for more of it.

 

Did you know you can find enjoyment and pleasure from God’s words?

 

It takes slowing down and thinking on the applications of the wisdom contained within them.

 

Learning God’s words and ways is not just a discipline to practice, though it is a discipline. It is an opportunity that brings joy to those who taste of it.

 

 

1) Having God’s commands always  with  me can make me  wiser  than my enemies.

2)  Meditating  on God’s testimonies can give me more understanding than my  teachers .

3)  Obeying  God’s precepts can give me more understanding than the  aged .

4)  Keeping  God’s word is important enough for me to avoid evil ways.

5) Learning from God can teach me  commitment  to His  judgments .

6) Enjoying God’s words ought to be  normal  for me.

7)  Understanding  gained from God’s precepts can make me  hate  false ways.

 

Psalm 119:104 KJV

104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: Therefore I hate every false way.

 

Once you have internalized the sweet understanding gained from God’s Word and laws, false ways become abominable to you.

 

The falseness of false ways becomes absurdly obvious and detestable.

 

Understanding from God’s Word instills a hatred for ways that oppose it, yet while maintaining a love for those deceived by those ways.

 

CONCLUSION

 

You might say, “But, I am not theologian. Can I really get understanding from God’s laws?”

 

Yes, you can.

 

While you will never exhaust the riches and depths of God’s law and words, you can continually grow in understanding from them.

 

Psalm 119:130 KJV

130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; It giveth understanding unto the simple.

 

Receiving clear explanation of God’s words gives understanding to the simple who are not yet committed to the way of either the fool or the wise.

 

Are you uncommitted to foolishness or wisdom? Commit to learn from God’s Word and get understanding.

 

Have you been getting understanding from God’s Word? Remain faithful to God’s Word.

 

Do you know people who are uncommitted to either foolishness or wisdom? Share God’s Word with them.

 

1) Having God’s commands always with me can make me wiser than my enemies.

2) Meditating on God’s testimonies can give me more understanding than my teachers.

3) Obeying God’s precepts can give me more understanding than the aged.

4) Keeping God’s word is important enough for me to avoid evil ways.

5) Learning from God can teach me commitment to His judgments.

6) Enjoying God’s words ought to be normal for me.

7) Understanding gained from God’s precepts can make me hate false ways.

 

 
 
On task,
 
Malachi Moore – Designer / Illustrator

317-771-5015



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