How the Lord Has Dealt with You
We worship the sovereign God of the universe, who knew our names and all of our days before the creation of the world (Ps 115:3; 135:6; 139:16). He chose us in Christ and sent His only begotten Son to redeem us from slavery to sin and death (Rom 6:6, 16–17, 20), by His precious blood (1 Pet 1:19). We know Him and this glorious salvation because He gave His Spirit to us, as a gift of His grace (Rom 5:5).
In other words, God has dealt bountifully with His people, according to His Word (Ps 119:17, 65). What could possibly be compared to the knowledge of God in Christ (Phil 3:8)? God has given us faith to believe His commandments (Phil 1:29), evidenced by the multitudes who do not believe (119:66). The believer petitions, “Teach me good discernment and knowledge (119:66a),” because it is his ambition to please God (2 Cor 5:9).
The believer recollects life before the Word of God began its knowledge work in his regenerated soul (119:67a). Lost in the world of sin and darkness, walking with the sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2; 5:6; Col 3:6), the path was leading to destruction, “But now I keep Thy Word (119:67b).” Amazing grace has changed the direction, along with the identity and works of the sinner, made to be a saint.
With one’s life focused on Christ (Heb 12:2), the Word incarnate (Jn 1:14), he knows that God is good and does good (119:68a). The saint knows his own depravity and that no man is good or does good (Is 64:6; Rom 3:10–12). Apart from Christ we can do nothing (Jn 15:5), but the wise man prays, “Teach me your statutes (119:68b).”
The prayer of the humble, who knows he has no hope in the world (Eph 2:12), is for the knowledge that leads to wisdom (Eph 1:17; Col 1:9; 2:3). Only grace, granting truth, can illumine one’s ignorance (1 Cor 2:16). Hope is other-worldly, and it looks to the future with confident faith because God’s Word is true (119:160).
Christians are saved, as through fire, however (1 Cor 3:15). Nothing burns quite like those set against the beloved, “The arrogant have forged a lie against me (119:69a),” and we are mere sheep, among goats and wolves. Satan is a liar, and so are those who serve him (Jn 8:44). Evil men and angels are faith destroyers, but there is an apt defense, “With all my heart, I will observe Thy precepts (119:69b).”
The psalmist insists on pointing us to the power of God’s Word. Every point of the believer’s salvation is supplied by the Word of God, from the Gospel call to glorification. The Word is the sword of the Spirit that serves the saint, in spiritual warfare against principalities, powers, and world forces of darkness (Eph 6:10–20).
“Their heart is covered with fat (119:70),” that is, the arrogant who love this world. They dwell in prosperity and pride, demanding Christian bakers to bake them a cake, and florists, to serve their perversity with all the colors of the rainbow. For this reason, “I delight in Thy Law (119:70b).”
It is revealed in God’s Law that the wicked will not prosper on the Day of Judgment (Rom 2:5; 2 Pet 2:9). Injustice against the righteous will not persist, forever. The child of God suffers affliction in this domain (Rom 8:18), but there is joy set before the church of Jesus Christ (Rom 5:2; Col 1:27; Titus 2:13).
It can be difficult to embrace the fact that God deals well with His adopted children, especially when affliction rages. Wisdom whispers from the heart, “It is good for me that I was afflicted (119:71a).” Human philosophy mocks the Christian for such foolishness. How can affliction be good?
Yes, this is quite possible with God, who works all things, including affliction, for good (Rom 8:28), for those who love Him, and who are called to join in Christ’s afflictions (Col 1:24). God purges our love for the world and the wisdom of the world. Trouble in the world helps set our minds on things above (Col 3:2). We set our minds on the Spirit (Rom 8:6), ”That I may learn Thy statutes (119:71b).”
The material world also tempts us to leave our first love. We cannot serve God and money (Mt 6:24), and greed exposes our idolatry (Col 3:5). The rich fool wants more of the world (Lk 12), but, “The Law of Thy mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces (119:72).”
Nothing serves to test us and to examine ourselves like material possessions and wealth (Lk 12, 16, 19). For this reason, faith is paired with obedience for us, to see where the treasure of our hearts is kept (Mt 6:21). As faith pays a frequent visit to God’s Word, we are reminded that God has dealt well with us. He provides for His people (Phil 4:19), as a good Father bestows gifts to His children (Eph 4:8; Jas 1:17).
Christian, what is your attitude toward your heavenly Father, today? Can you detect His goodness and His good dealings with you, in the midst of your prescribed discipline (Heb 12:4–11)? All things are ordered for your good, even the afflictions that currently cloud the rays of His grace, from shining upon you, to your liking.
Remember, God is more committed to your being prepared for glory (Rom 8:18, 30; 9:23), than you are in your waffling flesh. His plan is for the successful future of His beloved people (Jer 29:11), and He will accomplish what concerns them (Ps 57:2; 138:8). Have faith, today, remembering the days you could clearly see He has dealt well with you. He always does.
Spokane Valley, Washington
July 27, 2022