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Keeping God’s Word - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
July 26, 2022 12:00 am

Keeping God’s Word - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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July 26, 2022 12:00 am

“I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments” (Psalm 119:60).

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Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise, The praise of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace. This is Lecair Bradley, Jr. welcoming you to another broadcast of the Baptist Bible Hour. Today, the theme of our study is keeping God's Word.

This is in Psalm 119, verses 57 to 64. If the program is a blessing to you, we would like to hear from you. We depend on our listeners for support.

If you can help during these challenging summer days, we certainly would appreciate it. The address is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. We want to look once again at Psalm 119. We come to that 8-verse section that begins with verse 57. Psalm 119, verse 57. Thou art my portion, O Lord, I have said, that I would keep thy words.

I entreated thy favor with my whole heart. Be merciful unto me according to thy word. I thought on my ways and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.

I made haste and delayed not to keep thy commandments. The bands of the wicked have robbed me, but I have not forgotten thy law. At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments. I am a companion of all them that fear thee and of them that keep thy precepts.

The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy. Teach me thy statutes. A promise is here made. He said, I have said that I would keep thy words.

And each of the statements that follow here support that commitment. First, he says, the Lord is my portion. By way of definition, a portion is to give an inheritance or it is something that one lays claim to. Remember that the tribes of Israel were given segments of land. It was their inheritance. It was their portion.

But there was something unique about the priest. They were not given the land. They were not given what the other people had because they were in a unique position of service. We turn to the book of Joshua chapter 13. Verse 28 says, this is the inheritance of the children of Gad after their families, the cities, and their villages.

And there's a long descriptive list of the various cities, the various sections of land that were given to these tribes. But verse 33 says, unto the tribe of Levi Moses gave not any inheritance. The Lord God of Israel was their inheritance as he said unto them.

The Lord God of Israel was their inheritance or their portion. Many choose vain things as their portion in life. They seek after wealth. They make the assumption that the more they can accumulate, the greater their joy and satisfaction will be. And often some of those who are extremely wealthy are at the same time extremely unhappy.

There are those that are concerned about recognition, honor. Multitudes seek the various pleasures that this world offers. But we look at Psalm 17 to see that those who make such choices, those who make these things their portion are turning to that which indeed is vain and empty. The thirteenth verse has referred to the wicked as being the sword of the Lord.

You recall how in the days of Habakkuk that the Lord was going to raise up the Babylonians to bring judgment upon his people and in that sense they were his sword. And then verse 14, from men which are thy hand, his hand or his sword O Lord, from men of the world which have their portion in this life and whose belly thou fillest with thy treasure, they are full of children and leave the rest of their substance to their babes. They have chosen a portion in this life only. And soon they die and they leave what they have accumulated to their children.

But there really was no substance, no value to that which was their portion. How sad to think that one's portion would be in this life only. For the children of God, they are looking to that inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled and faileth not away.

That inheritance on the other side which will be theirs forever. See the vivid contrast, verse 15 says, As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness, I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness. So here the wicked are choosing a portion which is in this life only and it has no everlasting value. On the other hand, the Psalmist has chosen the Lord as his inheritance, as his portion and he says, When I awake in thy likeness, I will be satisfied, satisfied forever. God then is the portion of his people. The Psalmist lays claim to the sovereign creator of the universe as his God.

What is your portion? Are you sometimes distracted by the things of this world and begin to think like and behave like those whose portion is only here? If you consider the fact that your portion is the true and living God, the creator of heaven and earth, how rich and how favored you really are. You have that which will bring you peace, satisfaction in this life and joy and peace forever in eternal heaven. Psalm 73, verse 25, Whom have I in heaven but thee?

And there is none upon the earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. God is my portion. Whom do I have in heaven? It's God who is my portion.

Who is it that I desire most upon this earth to sustain me and walk with me? Do not recognize how desperately you need God, not just in the moment of death, not just when you pass into eternity, but you need him every day, every hour of every day as you travel here. And to be able to say that he is the strength of my heart and my portion forever gives us great comfort, great joy to consider. That which others have chosen as their portion can swiftly be removed from them.

Anything in which you put your confidence that is here in this earth is something that's only temporary. But when your portion is the Lord, you have that which you can anticipate with great satisfaction that will give you joy forever. Psalm 16 and verse 5, The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup. Thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places, yea, I have a goodly heritage.

Because the Lord is my portion, I can say that I have a goodly heritage. I can say that the lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places. Well, you say, what about my troubles? What about my trials and afflictions?

Yes, all of those are a part of life. But must we not say when God gives us grace even to get through those difficult times that we must conclude that the lines have fallen unto us in pleasant places? Now, in view of this claim that he makes, Thou art my portion, O Lord, then he makes the promise, I have said that I would keep thy words. He takes the Lord as his portion and his Word as his guide. A lot of people like to think that things are in order as far as being prepared for death.

They like to think that they'll finally be united with loved ones on the other side. They like to have some thoughts about heaven being a beautiful place. But when it comes to taking God's Word as their guide now, looking to Jesus not just as the Savior of their soul but the Lord of their life, then it's a different matter. But David is saying, as I see the Lord to be my portion, then I'm going to keep his words. I'm going to recognize his authority.

I'm going to recognize his Lordship. He's not only my portion, he's not only what I possess, he's not only my inheritance, he's not only my God, he's my Lord and I want to be submissive to his Word. Next, in verse 58, he says, I entreated thy favor with my whole heart, be merciful unto me according to thy word. He looked for his favor. He knew that he needed divine favor if he was going to fulfill his promise and keep the words of God. He recognized his own frailty.

He knew that he would come miserably short if he did not have sustaining grace. And so he prays. He entreats the favor of God. He's diligent in his prayer. He's earnestly seeking God.

He's approaching him. Back in the 33rd verse of this 119th Psalm, he prayed, Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes, and I shall keep it unto the end. Acknowledges, if I'm going to keep thy statutes, I need to be taught.

I need to have a better understanding of them. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law. Yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments, for therein do I delight. See, there's no boasting here as though I'm capable of charting my course and fulfilling all of this in my own strength. But he says, Lord, make me to go in the path of thy commandments.

Move me of that direction. Therein do I delight. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.

Seeking God. I entreated thy favor with my whole heart. It wasn't a half-hearted effort.

It wasn't a casual thing. It wasn't a matter of just saying, well, I feel there's a special need today, and I'm going to pray today, but then you forget about it for several days. I entreated his favor. I recognized how desperately I needed it. I needed his grace. I needed his mercy. I needed his blessing. I needed the strength that only he could give, and so I entreated his favor with my whole heart.

I was diligent about it. We look at the book of Deuteronomy chapter 4 to see how an admonition was given to God's people long ago in this same regard as to how they were to seek God. Deuteronomy chapter 4 and verse 29, But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, that's a wonderful promise, seek the Lord, and you're going to find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. We may sometimes complain because of our spiritual coldness. We wonder why we don't experience a closer walk with God.

Why do we not have a greater sense of his presence? Could it be on this very point that we have failed to seek him with all of our heart and our soul? Think about how diligently you have sought other things. Think about seeking after the material things that you thought were so important in life. Seeking after some of the entertainments and pleasures that were so attractive.

Seeking after those hobbies that were very appealing to you. But could you say that you have sought the Lord, you have entreated his favor, you have sought him with your whole heart. We're to be seeking him. If we're going to fulfill the promise, yes, I will keep God's words, then we've got to be seeking him continually that we may be able to do it. Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount that we are to be seeking God at all times. In Matthew 7, verse 7, he says, Ask, and it shall be given you.

Seek, and ye shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth unto him that knocketh it shall be opened. We may say there are times that I have knocked and the door wasn't opened.

I have asked and nothing was given. But we're taught to pray and not to faint. Maybe you fainted before the door was opened. He says to continue asking, seeking, knocking. That's diligently seeking God. And the request, what's he asking for?

Of course it could be that some of the things you had asked for were the things that are forbidden in the Epistle of James when he tells us that we're not to seek things with a greedy, selfish spirit. But what the psalmist is praying for is mercy. And he says, I entreated thy favor with my whole heart. Be merciful unto me according to thy word. Lord, in your word, I've learned that thou art a merciful God. I've learned that there is a promise that mercy will be given to those who seek it.

So it's according to thy word, and this is the safest ground upon which you can stand when you pray. You're not praying for some fanciful idea that just passed through your mind. You're not praying for something that's self-centered. You're praying for something that's based on the word of God, on what God has already promised, on what God has already revealed to us in his word. Psalm 86 verse 5 says, For thou, Lord, art good and ready to forgive and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. What a promise! How that ought to inspire you to call.

How that ought to encourage you. When you've called and you say, but I don't feel that God has heard. But he says he's plenteous in mercy unto all those that call upon him.

He will hear. Verse 15, But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion and gracious, longsuffering and plenteous in mercy and truth. No danger here of the supply of mercy being exhausted.

He's plenteous in mercy. So though he may have bestowed mercy upon you yesterday, and you need it again today, there's still a supply of mercy available to you. Though he has been merciful to multitudes of others, he still will be merciful when you call upon him. And so in order to keep the promise, I'm going to keep God's words. I'm going to walk in the light of his truth. I'm going to be obedient to him. He looks for his favor. He seeks his favor earnestly. Verse 59, I thought on my ways and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. I thought on my ways. He gives attention to examining his ways. Sometimes that's a painful experience.

We tend to put that off. The psalmist prayed, search me, try me, make me to know what's within me. If you really take time to examine your ways, think about your attitudes, think about your motives, think about where you're headed. Pray the Spirit of God to assist you in taking a good look within.

It can be a very beneficial exercise. Consider where you are. I thought on my ways. As you think on your ways, what about your attitude? What kind of an attitude do you have? Is it a critical attitude? Are you very frequently looking at the faults and failings of others? Finding whatever wrong you can observe in the situations that you encounter around you in life? Is it an attitude of self-pity? Are you sometimes failing to move forward in a very positive way in the service of God because you're so consumed with feeling sorry for yourself? Thinking about your health problems, thinking about your financial problems, thinking about a variety of things that might pull you down. What is your attitude?

I thought on my ways. When you think on your ways, your attitude, what's revealed? Think about your words, your speech, your conversation. What are the things that you say to other people?

How do you communicate with them? Are your words edifying? Do you seek to encourage others and build them up? Are your words divisive? Are they unkind words? Are they harsh words?

Are they words that drive people apart? What about your activities? You may be extremely busy, but are you involved in doing the things that are going to bring glory to God? I thought on my ways. It's a good exercise for all of us to stop periodically and say, I'm just going to take a little time out here and really examine my ways.

Pray the Lord will assist me in this searching of my heart. Consider the course that you're taking and the reaction that you're having to various things that touch your life. As you consider your ways, you find saying, well, frankly I have to admit that I'm confused about a lot of things.

Then we ask the question, why? Why are you confused? Sometimes people become confused because they're listening to the wrong people. They're reading the wrong materials.

They're looking to the wrong source for counsel. Decision making is always a challenge. We all have little minor decisions that have to be made on a daily basis, but sometimes they are major.

They're more significant. In a moment of decision making, you find yourself to be confused. What is it that's influencing you? Are you turning to God's Word for guidance?

As the psalmist said in this portion, Psalm 119 verse 24, Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselers. Are you turning to the counsel that can be received from the Word of God? If you think about your ways, you may have to consider that, yes, if I'm honest with myself, I admit that I'm discouraged. What led to the discouragement? What was it that set you back? What was it that cast you down?

Did you allow something to have an effect on your life that it shouldn't have had? Have you thought about the promises of God? Have you meditated upon His goodness and mercy to remember that He has promised, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee that we might boldly say, The Lord is our Helper? What about the particular afflictions and troubles that have touched your life? How did you respond?

Have you responded by complaining? Have you responded by even questioning the wisdom of God and that which He has allowed to touch your life? Now notice He says, I thought all my ways and then I turned my feet unto thy testimonies. He not only recognized the Word of God to be the source of information that He needed, but He said, I turned my feet toward thy testimony. So it wasn't just a matter of thinking about what was right, but if His feet were going to be turned, He was going to turn in the right direction.

I'm going to travel in the right road. I'm going to do something about it. It's not just a matter of meditation.

It's a matter of action. Turn to thy testimonies. Isaiah chapter 55 verse 6 says, Seek ye the Lord, while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake His way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. And let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. So if we find ourselves with the wrong attitude, using the wrong words involved in the wrong activities, responding incorrectly to the things that have touched our lives in way of adversity, let's seek the Lord. Call upon Him while He may be found. Forsake the wrong path. Return to Him and He will abundantly pardon. Then in verse 60, it says, I made haste and delayed not to keep thy commandments.

This is the fourth thing He does. In conjunction with keeping the promise that He initially has made, I have said I would keep thy words. So if I'm going to be effective in keeping the words of God, then I need to be looking for His favor, seeking it earnestly. I need to think on my ways, and I will not delay. There's an inclination in our old human nature to put things off. Do you have any problem with procrastination? Things that you know you ought to be doing, and you put it off. And then as you put it off, you feel guilty about putting it off. But you put it off a little longer, and you fail to get to the things that are vital and important.

Do your parents have any challenges in that area with your children when you give them instruction and tell them what to do? And you come back to check up on it a while later and, Well, yeah, I was going to. But it would have been a relief to your mind to have had instant obedience that when you say, This is what I want you to do, I want it done now. Solomon said, I made haste and delayed not.

Think about the examples Jesus gave when He had spoken to some about following Him. Let me first. Let me first bury my father. Let me first go look at my land. Let me first go back and tell everybody goodbye. That sound familiar?

You ever use some of those examples? Well, maybe not those identical ones, but you come to the Word of God, here's His Word. Your promise is, I'm going to keep your words, Lord. But your response then is often this, Let me first. I've got a few other things to take care of. I've got some things on my agenda that are high priority. When I get that done, then I'll be attentive to these things.

Or an excuse like this. When the twelve spies came back from their visit to the land of Canaan, all were agreed it was a marvelous place. But the ten, the majority report said, They're giants in the land. The cities are walled unto heaven and we cannot take it.

How many times have you responded? Rather than to make haste and do what God said do, you looked at all the giants in the land. You looked at all of the hindering factors, all of the obstacles, all of the things that caused you to say, I don't know if I can ever get that done or not. Or if it is a good project and I ought to do it, I'm not up to it today. So I'm going to take a little more time to think about it, a little more time to prepare myself.

And what happens? It doesn't get done. The Psalmist is saying, I made haste. I delayed not to keep thy commandments. I didn't put it off. There may be many obstacles, but I moved forward. I was praying for grace sufficient to be able to do the things that needed to be done and I did it. Obedience is not to be delayed. Praising my Savior all the day long.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-27 20:18:03 / 2022-11-27 20:27:31 / 9

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