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Ellison Harper's topical concordance by Charles R. Church The home book of Bible quotations by Burton Stevenson. Wording Edition Concordances; Analyses. Concordances; Miscellanies. Related tags What is MDS? This decision was upheld on appeal. The Urantia Book is approximately 2, pages long, and consists of a body of "papers" divided in four parts, and an introductory foreword:. According to The Urantia Book , God is the creator and upholder of all reality [36] —an omniscient , omnipresent , omnipotent , infinite , and eternal spirit personality. God, according to the book, is one Deity who functions on a range of different levels of reality, both personal and impersonal.

God is taught to exist in a Trinity of three perfectly individualized persons who are co-equal: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. The three personalities of Paradise Deity are, in all universe reality reactions and in all creature relations, as one. The Father, Son, and Spirit are considered "existential" persons of Deity, those in existence from the eternal past to the eternal future. The persons of God the Ultimate and God the Absolute are considered to be remote from the possibility of comprehension and are covered on a limited basis.

Many types of celestial beings are enumerated in the book, and one of particular note is a joint "offspring" of the Universal Father and Eternal Son called a "Creator Son. The final paper states: [49]. To "follow Jesus" means to personally share his religious faith and to enter into the spirit of the Master's life of unselfish service for man.

One of the most important things in human living is to find out what Jesus believed, to discover his ideals, and to strive for the achievement of his exalted life purpose. Of all human knowledge, that which is of greatest value is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it. God is described as the Father of each individual, and through the direct gift of a fragment of his eternal spirit, called a Thought Adjuster , is said to be able to guide the individual toward an increased understanding of him.

In relation to biblical traditions, the Thought Adjuster is said to be the meaning behind the phrases "being made in God's image" and the "kingdom of God is within you": [54]. The Adjuster is the mark of divinity, the presence of God. The "image of God" does not refer to physical likeness nor to the circumscribed limitations of material creature endowment but rather to the gift of the spirit presence of the Universal Father in the supernal bestowal of the Thought Adjusters upon the humble creatures of the universes. Each person is said to receive one such fragment at the time of his or her first independent moral decision, on average around the age of five years and 10 months.

A person's Thought Adjuster is described as distinct from either the soul or the conscience. In The Urantia Book 's teachings, the degree to which a human mind chooses to accept its Adjuster's guidance becomes the degree to which a person's soul "grows" and becomes a reality that can then survive death.

The soul is in essence an embryonic spiritual development, [55] one parental factor being the divine Adjuster and the other being the human will. The book says: "But you yourself are mostly unconscious of this inner ministry. You are quite incapable of distinguishing the product of your own material intellect from that of the conjoint activities of your soul and the Adjuster.

Persistently embracing sin is considered the same as rejecting the leadings of the Adjuster, rejecting the will of God. Constant selfishness and sinful choosing lead eventually to iniquity and full identification with unrighteousness, and since unrighteousness is unreal, it results in the eventual annihilation of the individual's identity.

The book says that a person ultimately is destined to fuse with his or her divine fragment and become one inseparable entity with it as the final goal of faith. The Hebrew prophet Elijah being taken to heaven without death in "chariots of fire" is said to be a rare example in recorded history of a person who translated instead of experiencing death.

After a person fuses with his or her fragment of God, "then will begin your real life, the ascending life, to which your present mortal state is but the vestibule. The book regards human life on earth as a "short and intense test," [67] and the afterlife as a continuation of training that begins in material life. The book describes that at the center of the cosmos is the stationary Isle of Paradise—the dwelling place of God —with Paradise being surrounded by "Havona," an eternal universe containing a billion perfect worlds, around which seven incomplete and evolutionary "superuniverses" circle.

The word "universe" in the book is used to denote a number of different scales of organization. A "superuniverse" is roughly the size of a galaxy or group of galaxies, and the seven superuniverses along with Paradise-Havona are together designated as the "grand universe.

The term "master universe" refers to what in modern usage would be the total universe—all existing matter and space taken as a whole. Urantia is said to be located in a remote local universe named "Nebadon," which itself is part of superuniverse number seven, "Orvonton. The book's extensive teachings about the history of the world include its physical development about 4. The emergence of humans is presented as having occurred about a million years ago from a branch of superior primates originating from a lemur ancestor.

The first humans are said to have been male and female twins called Andon and Fonta, born ", years prior to The Urantia Book teaches not only biological evolution, [3] but that human society and spiritual understandings evolve by slow progression, subject both to periods of rapid improvement and the possibility of retrogression. Progress is said to follow a divine plan that includes periodic gifts of revelation and ministry by heavenly teachers, which eventually will lead to an ideal world status of "light and life" in the far distant future.

Although there is the ideal and divine plan of progression, it is said to be fostered and administered by various orders of celestial beings who are not always perfect. Urantia is said to be a markedly "confused and disordered" planet that is "greatly retarded in all phases of intellectual progress and spiritual attainment" compared to more typical inhabited worlds, due to an unusually severe history of rebellion and default by its spiritual supervisors.

More than one third of the content of The Urantia Book is devoted to a narrative of the life and teachings of Jesus, and the Judeo-Christian tradition is given an importance exceeding any other. Gardner notes similarities between Seventh-day Adventism and the teachings of The Urantia Book , and sees this as evidence that William Sadler and Wilfred Kellogg had a role in editing or writing the book, since they both were one-time believers in Adventism.

The book can be seen as belonging in the genre of spiritual literature that includes A Course in Miracles and Conversations with God. Comparisons with facets of various world religions are incorporated in the book, including Buddhism, Islam, Taoism, Judaism, Hinduism, Shinto, and Confucianism. For example, Paper , "The World's Religions" discusses the aspects of these religions that are in common with what the book claims is the "religion of Jesus.

The Urantia Book has been enjoyed by some as a form of science fiction , historical fiction or fantasy. The Urantia Book is noted for its high level of internal consistency and an advanced writing style. Skeptic Martin Gardner, in a book otherwise highly critical of The Urantia Book , writes that it is "highly imaginative" and that the "cosmology outrivals in fantasy the cosmology of any science-fiction work known to me. The papers are informational, matter-of-fact, and instructional. Part IV of the book is written as a biography of Jesus' life, and some feel it is a rich narrative with well-developed characters, high attention to detail, woven sub-plots, and realistic dialogue.

Martin Gardner considers Part IV to be an especially "well-written, impressive work," and says, "Either it is accurate in its history, coming directly from higher beings in position to know, or it is a work of fertile imagination by someone who knew the New Testament by heart and who was also steeped in knowledge of the times when Jesus lived. The authors refer to the book as the fifth revelation of "epochal significance" to humankind, the fourth epochal revelation having been the life of Jesus.

Skeptics such as Martin Gardner say it is a product of human efforts rather than a revelation because some of its science is flawed. Because the book does not support certain tenets of Christianity, such as the atonement doctrine , while at the same time presenting an account of parts of Jesus' life absent in the Bible, others with a Christian viewpoint have argued it cannot be genuine.

We full well know that, while the historic facts and religious truths of this series of revelatory presentations will stand on the records of the ages to come, within a few short years many of our statements regarding the physical sciences will stand in need of revision in consequence of additional scientific developments and new discoveries. These new developments we even now foresee, but we are forbidden to include such humanly undiscovered facts in the revelatory records.

Let it be made clear that revelations are not necessarily inspired. The cosmology of these revelations is not inspired. John Ruskin 19 th century British writer , William Wilberforce 19 th century British politician who led the movement to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire , Henry Martyn 19 th century pioneer missionary to India , and David Livingstone 19 th century pioneer missionary to Africa. George Wishart was the Bishop of Edinburgh in the 17 th century not to be confused with another Scot by the same name who was martyred a century earlier. Wishart was condemned to death and would have been executed.

But when he was on the scaffold he made use of a custom that allowed the condemned person to choose one psalm to be sung, and he chose Psalm Before two-thirds of the psalm was sung, his pardon arrived and his life was spared. Psa Blessing declared. Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart! Blessed are the undefiled in the way : In beginning to describe man's blessedness, the Psalmist starts with the idea that being undefiled in the way is a blessing.

Many people - ancient and modern - think the life lived undefiled in the way is boring at best. The idea is that if there isn't any defilement in it, it therefore can't be any fun. Yet the one who walks in God's word knows the true blessedness of living and enjoying an undefiled life. We can simply say that God is blessed; He wants us to share His blessedness.

His word shows us the way to share His blessedness, and it is found by being undefiled in the way. Survey and polling data constantly demonstrate that those who live lives in general conformity to God's standards are happier, enjoy life more, and are more content. Yet the illusion remains for many that a defiled life is more "fun. We need God to show us the way to a happy life, and it is centered on being undefiled in the way.

Apart from being instructed by God, human beings do not know how to achieve happiness. Who walk in the law of the LORD! In the mind of the Psalmist, there is a strong and definite connection between being undefiled in the way and to walk in the law of the LORD. To walk in the law of the LORD is in fact to be undefiled in the way. We wouldn't know what a pure life was without God telling us. Certainly, some aspects of a pure life are revealed in human conscience and known widely among humanity. Yet there are other aspects of the pure life that we learn only from the Word of God.

The many various ways he referred to God's written revelation shows us how much he knew, loved, and respected God's Word. This sacred exercise is very different from sluggish piety. There must be progress - practical action - in the Christian life; and in order to blessedness we must be doing something for the Master. Here is an example of the parallelism common to Hebrew poetry, used for both explanation and emphasis. Keep means doing , not only hearing.

We must first get a thing before we can keep it. In order to keep it well we must get a firm grip of it: we cannot keep in the heart that which we have not heartily embraced by the affections. Surely when I consider my own natural aversion and enmity to the law of God, and the danger of self-deception in the external service of the Lord, I have much need to pray.

Who seek Him with the whole heart! If one will seek God with the whole heart , it must include diligent study into God's written revelation. There are good and important ways to seek God other than through His word such as in prayer, worship, fasting, serving, and so forth. Yet if these do not include seeking God in and through His word, these other practices can be dangerous. With the whole heart : Yet, we do not miss the emphasis on the heart.

Love reveals itself to love: God manifests his heart to the heart of his people. It is in vain that we endeavour to comprehend him by reason; we must apprehend him by affection. The whole heart is vital. God is one; and we will not know Him closely until our heart is one and we seek Him with the whole heart. This is a challenge to the divided heart, not to the broken heart. Psa Blessing described. They also do no iniquity : The idea from Psalm is repeated; these ones keep His testimonies , they are undefiled in the way , and they also do no iniquity.

There is a purity and goodness that marks their life. They walk in His ways : They have learned His ways from the written revelation; but with His Word God also gives grace and power to walk in His ways. Psa Blessing desired. You have commanded us To keep Your precepts diligently.

Oh, that my ways were directed To keep Your statutes! Then I would not be ashamed, When I look into all Your commandments. I will praise You with uprightness of heart, When I learn Your righteous judgments. I will keep Your statutes; Oh, do not forsake me utterly! You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently : In this the Psalmist connects commanded obedience with the blessings to the obedient. He shows that the reason God commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently is not only because it honors Him, but also because it is the path to blessing.

With the words " You have commanded us " we see that the Psalmist begins to address God in prayer; a position he will hold through most the entire Psalm. This shows that he was not only a student of Scripture, but also a man of prayer. To keep Your precepts : "God has not commanded us to be diligent in making precepts, but in keeping them. Some bind yokes upon their own necks, and make bonds and rules for others: but the wise course is to be satisfied with the rules of holy Scripture.

Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes : This is not only a pious wish; it is also a prayer for the ability to obey God's Word. We received God's commands understanding our lack of ability to keep those commands, apart from His work in us. Here we see the Psalmist get personal. This isn't a theological treatise on written revelation; it is an interaction with the Living God regarding His primary way of showing Himself to us. It contains the anatomy of experimental religion, the interior lineaments of the family of God. He wants to be, but he is not yet.

Then I would not be ashamed, when I look into all Your commandments : The Psalmist felt the shame that comes when the standard of God's Word is compared to our life.

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He prayed for the power to live an unashamed life. The one is the merit and fruit of sin; the other is an act of grace. This which is here spoken of is to be understood not of a holy self loathing, but a confounding shame. Though utterly unable to render perfect obedience to the least of the commandments, yet my desire and purpose will have respect unto them all. I will praise You with uprightness of heart : The Psalmist found it not only important to praise God, but to do it with uprightness of heart.

He did not want to offer God the image of praise or a moment of praise when the rest of his life was not upright. I will keep Your statutes : This was a promise to keep - in the sense of guarding - the statutes huqqim , the engraved, inscribed, written word of God. We never forget that in a real sense, only Jesus could say, " I will keep Your statutes. Oh, do not forsake me utterly! We sense the note of desperation in the Psalmist. He knows and loves God's word, yet is also very conscious of his inability - apart from the work of God in his life - to live God's Word.

If God did forsake him, he would be lost. David was forsaken , not like Saul. Peter was forsaken , not like Judas, utterly and for ever. Mark his dealings with you. Inquire into their reason. Submit to his dispensation. If he forsakes , beg his return: but trust your forsaking God. The heart that sings, " do not forsake me utterly! From beginning to end, the singer sang as one who had personal knowledge of God and direct dealing with Him. Each line of this second section of Psalm begins with the Hebrew letter beth, which also means "a house.

Psa A young man finds a cleansed life through God's word. How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. This was no less a difficult question in ancient times than in our own. The young man has his own particular challenges in living a pure life. This is a question that some - even some who are numbered among the people of God - never seem to ask for themselves. Sadly, some people never have a life concern for moral purity.

They echo the prayer of Augustine before his conversion: "Lord, make me chaste - but not yet. The world tells us, "Have your good time when you are young; get it all out of your system. When you are older you can settle down and be religious and proper. God says, If you are going to live for me, you must begin at the earliest possible moment, without delay, preferably when you are very young. Even when one has the desire for moral purity, there are many things that may make it difficult for a young man to cleanse his way.

Because God justly claims the first and the best. It is also because God wants to spare the young man and the older man the bondage of sin. This reflects upon the power of experience to shape our habits. Surrender to any temptation; transfer it from the realm of mental contemplation to life experience, and that temptation instantly becomes much more difficult to resist in the future. Each successive experience of surrender to temptation builds a habit, reinforced not only spiritually, but also by brain chemistry.

Such ingrained habits are more and more difficult to break the more they are experienced; and it is almost impossible to break such habits without replacing them with another habit. Significantly, the words " his way " come from the Hebrew " orach , which we translate way here, signifies a track , a rut , such as is made by the wheel of a cart or chariot.

Of course, it is not only the young man who has these challenges; older men and women of every age have their own challenges to pure living. Yet these are often more severely felt in the life of the young man. He is praying rather than preaching. By taking heed : A life of moral purity does not happen accidentally. If one does not take heed , the natural path is towards impurity and degeneration.

One must take heed in order to be pure. According to Your word : This is how one takes heed. The foundation for a morally pure life is found in God's word. Jesus spoke specifically of the power of His word to cleanse and keep pure: You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you John Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth John The impact is clear: if one us concerned to cleanse his way , then he must also be concerned to take heed according to God's word.

You must take heed to your daily life as well as study your Bible, and you must study your Bible that you may take heed to your daily life. With the greatest care a man will go astray if his map misleads him; but with the most accurate map he will still lose his road if he does not take heed to it. This idea is communicated in Proverbs : When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you; Understanding will keep you, to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things.

Psa How one takes heed to God's word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. With my whole heart I have sought You : Here the Psalmist both declares his dedication to God, while at the same time recognizing his weakness to maintain such a dedication Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!

With my whole heart I have sought You reminds us that Scripture was no mere textbook to the Psalmist; it was how he sought and met with God. Let me not wander helps us to put in perspective the many claims to purity and devotion in this Psalm and others. They are understood in the light of dependence upon God , not in the sense of self-righteous pride. This caution is further manifested in the distrust of self, and earnest seeking to be kept in the way of God's commandments. In a careless or half-hearted state, wanderings are not watched, so long as they do not lead to any open declension.

Your word I have hidden in my heart : The Psalmist knew the value of taking God's word and hiding it in the heart.

It is hidden in the sense that it is on the inside , where none can see it and it is safe so that none can take it away. We can be assured that before this word was hidden in the heart , it was received in the mind. The Psalmist heard and read the Word of God, and thought about it continually, until it became ingrained in both mind and heart. That I might not sin against You : Here the Psalmist states one benefit from having God's word hidden in the heart.

It is a defense against sin, for all the reasons discussed above and more. Psa A prayer for instruction. The Psalmist seems to interrupt his thoughts on the connection between God's word and a pure life with this expression of praise. The greatness of these ideas and the reality of them in his life has made such praise necessary. Teach me Your statutes : This is another reflection of the humility of the Psalmist. Though filled with God's word and a desire for purity, he sensed his constant need for instruction by God. He didn't simply need to read God's statutes ; he pleaded with God to teach him.

It is saying written in many Bibles: "This book will keep you from sin. Sin will keep you from this book. Psa A declaration of commitment. With my lips I have declared All the judgments of Your mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. With my lips I have declared all the judgments of Your mouth : The Psalmist understood the importance of not only silently reading or hearing the Word of God, but also in saying it.

To declare God's word all the judgments of Your mouth with his lips was another part of his relationship with and love for God. We may confidently conclude that there is not enough - never enough - of this among the people of God. God's people should have His word not only in their minds and hearts, but also upon their lips. Saying it is powerful and must not be neglected. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches : The Psalmist understood the true value of God's word; it gave him as much joy as all riches might. It could be fairly asked to every Christian: "For what amount would you deny yourself to ever hear or read God's word again?

Obedience is not a burden, but a delight. I will meditate … and contemplate … I will delight … I will not forget Your word : The greatness of God's word has led the Psalmist to great resolution of life. His life will be filled with God's word, in his mind meditate … contemplate , in his heart delight , and in his habits not forget.

I will delight : "The word is very emphatical: evetva eshtaasha, I will skip about and jump for joy. This giving of the fullness of life to God's word - in mind, heart, and habits - is a good description of what the Psalmist meant by taking heed in Psalm This will see the young man cleanse his way , and enjoy the fullness of such a God-honoring life. We can almost hear a challenge from the Psalmist: "You live your compromising, impure life that thinks it knows pleasure and satisfaction; I will cleanse my way and give the fullness of my life to God and His word, and we will see who will be more blessed, more happy, and more filled with life.

Psa A prayer for blessing, so that God's word can be kept. Deal bountifully with Your servant, That I may live and keep Your word. Deal bountifully with Your servant : This is a wonderful request; boldly asking for blessing deal bountifully , while at the same time coming humbly before God Your servant. The servant properly depends upon the master for his bounty. In saying, " Deal bountifully ," the Psalmist was asking for a lot, not just a little. We may, indeed, be too bold in our manner of approach to God; but we cannot be too bold in our expectations from him.

It was not for personal indulgence or even comfort, but so that God's word might be lived and kept. This is a wonderful, God honoring prayer that is heard in heaven. As the rest of this section will demonstrate, the Psalmist prayed this because of great problems and pressures that had beset him. This section of the Psalm shows us that the author was a man who had suffered deeply. He had known persecution , he had known deprivation and fear for his life , seasons when he seemed to get nothing from God's word , he had also known loneliness, rejection, and a sense of abandonment In the midst of these trials, he wanted to live - not only in the sense of surviving, but also in the sense of a quality of life, especially in regard to God.

That I may live : "[This] is the first of many such prayers … While some of them could refer simply to surviving an illness or an attack, others are clearly qualitative, speaking of life that is worthy of the name, or in our terms, spiritual life, found in fellowship with God. Psa A prayer for insight, so that God's word can be understood. Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law. Open my eyes, that I may see : The Psalmist recognized that without God's enlightenment, he could not see what he could and should from God's word.

It has to do with removing a veil, or covering. This reminds us that it isn't the word that needs changing, as if it were obscure; we are the ones who are veiled and can't understand the word of God apart from the work of the Spirit. Paul's eyes were unveiled when he was converted Acts ; it was as if scales had dropped from his eyes. What then is this prayer? Not - give me a plainer Bible - but open my eyes to know my Bible. Not - show me some new revelations beside the law - but make me behold the wonders of the law.

The Psalmist didn't need new revelation; he needed to see the revelation that was already given. He didn't need new eyes; he needed to see with the eyes he already had.


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Wondrous things from Your law : There are wondrous things in Scripture; but they can only be seen when the eyes are opened by God. This means that prayer is an important and often neglected part of Bible study. It also means that not everyone sees the wondrous things in God's word, but that when one does see them, they should regard it as evidence of God's blessing and favor. Jesus rejoiced that God revealed His wisdom this way: At that time Jesus answered and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.

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God has given man a sense of wonder, and there are certain things that prompt it. The new and unexpected can cause wonder; the beautiful and great and cause wonder, and the mysterious and unknown can cause wonder. We can say that God has provided for this sense of wonder by giving us His word. The Holy Spirit can make us alive to the Bible, and constantly see things that are new and unexpected; things that are great and beautiful; things that are mysterious and unknown.

It is a shame to many Christians that they look for their sense of wonderful to be satisfied without looking to the Word of God. Think of all there is in the Bible that you don't see. Think of all the wonder, all the treasure that is there , but you don't see it.

You can see such things, though you can't see everything , and sometimes you will think you see things that are not really there. Yet those who see more than you are not necessarily smarter or better; their eyes are just more open. We must also study the Bible carefully. The Holy Spirit is given not to make our study unnecessary but to make it effective. Psa A prayer for revelation, longing for God's word. I am a stranger in the earth; Do not hide Your commandments from me.

My soul breaks with longing For Your judgments at all times. I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide Your commandments from me : This is the same request as in the previous verse, made upon a different reason. The Psalmist wants to know and keep God's word, and prays for it to be so; but now because he recognizes that earth is not his home, and he needs communication with his true homeland.

When we think of the man who says, " I am a stranger in the earth ," we should not think of the man who wanders alone through the wilderness. We should think of the man who lives among others and is surrounded by the vanity of the world's joys, and all the while knows "I don't really belong here.

You cannot expect to be at home in it, and if you are, well, it is an indication that you really do not belong to Christ or at least are living far from him. My soul breaks with longing for Your judgments at all times : His soul longed for God's word so much because he was indeed a stranger in the earth ; for those who feel perfectly at home in this world, the word that comes to them from heaven is less precious. My soul breaks : "We have a similar expression: It broke my heart, That is heart-breaking, She died of a broken heart.

It expresses excessive longing, grievous disappointment, hopeless love, accumulated sorrow. By this we may see the hungering and thirsting which the psalmist had after righteousness, often mingled with much despondency. What God intends to give us he first sets us longing for. Hence the wonderful efficacy of prayer, because prayer is the embodiment of a longing inspired of God because he intends to bestow the blessing. What are thy longings, then, my hearer?

Where the heart is breaking with desire there is life. This may comfort some of you: you have not attained as yet to the holiness you admire, but you long for it: ah, then, you are a living soul, the life of God is in you. Psa A prayer for refuge in God's word. You rebuke the proud-the cursed, Who stray from Your commandments. Remove from me reproach and contempt, For I have kept Your testimonies. Princes also sit and speak against me, But Your servant meditates on Your statutes.

Your testimonies also are my delight And my counselors. You rebuke the proud : Those who stray from God's commandments are both proud their disobedience is evidence of willfulness and cursed no good can come from their disobedience. Remove me from reproach and contempt : The Psalmist recognized that even princes also sit and speak against him; yet he would not turn from meditation on God's word. Instead, he simply prayed, asking God to deal with the reproach and contempt that notable people put on him for his love of God's word.

Reproach is unpleasant; it is the expression of disapproval or disappointment. Yet contempt is even worse; it is the feeling that a person or thing is beneath consideration, that they are worthless and useless. Beyond reproach and contempt , these enemies also did slander the Psalmist sit and speak against me. Slander goes beyond our "stranger" status. When the world thinks we are strange and wonders if we belong, it sees us correctly.

When the slander us, they tell lies about us and falsely accuse us. Our own attempts at clearing ourselves are usually failures. Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors : The Psalmist delighted and trusted in God's word much more than in the high people of this earth such as princes. While his enemies took counsel with each other the holy man took counsel with the testimonies of God.

My counselors : "Yet a mere cursory reading will never realize to us its holy delight or counsel. It must be brought home to our own experiences, and consulted on those trivial occasions of every day, when, unconscious of our need of Divine direction, we are too often inclined to lean to our own counsel. In this section the Psalmist saw many things that hinder his reception of the Word of God and his fellowship with God, and he prayed to be preserved from them. Psa A prayer for revival from a soul that feels dead.

My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word. My soul clings to the dust : The Psalmist used a strong image to say that he felt near death in his current crisis; dust was the place of death, the place of mourning, and the place of humiliation. Revive me according to Your word : From this low place, the prayer for revival came. The Psalmist asked for live and vitality to be restored and he asked that it happen according to Your word.

This shows us that revival comes from a sense of spiritual need and lowliness. True revival - in the Biblical and historical sense - is marked by a shamed awareness of sin and an urgency to confess and make things right mentioned in the following verse. The Psalmist knew what he needed.

When a person is depressed in spirit, weak, and bent towards the ground, the main thing is to increase his stamina and put more life into him; then his spirit revives. According to Your word shows us that God uses His word in bringing revival, and that works that claim to be revival can be measured according to His word. Psa Teach me, make me understand.

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I have declared my ways, and You answered me; Teach me Your statutes. Make me understand the way of Your precepts; So shall I meditate on Your wonderful works. I have declared my ways … teach me Your statutes : The idea behind I have declared my ways is that he told God everything about himself and his life. He confessed fully and freely before God.

My ways : "My sins, in way of confession; and all my cares, and fears, and troubles, and concerns, in way of humble petition to thee, as appears from God's answer. For this should be done, not only at our first coming to him, but continually throughout the whole of our life. We have the sense of a wonderful liberty in conversation; he spoke to God as a dear friend. Make me understand the way of Your precepts : The Psalmist understood that he needed more than knowledge ; he also needed understanding. With both he would meditate on God's wonderful works.

Make me understand : "It is concerned with a deep understanding, one that goes beyond a mere understanding of the words to a profound understanding of what they reveal about the nature of God, the gospel, and God's ways. I have declared to thee my ways; now, wilt thou teach me thy ways? I have confessed to thee how I have broken thy statutes; wilt thou not give me thy statutes back again? Psa A plea for strength from a shrinking soul. My soul melts from heaviness; Strengthen me according to Your word.

My soul melts from heaviness : The problems surrounding the Psalmist as seen in Psalm made his soul heavy, feeling as if it would melt. He felt that he had no strength or stability within. Strengthen me according to Your word : Therefore, he prayed for strength , and that this strength would come both from and according to God's word. He sorely needs succour and strength. How does he seek it? Not by asking for pity, but by a determined application to the law of his God. Psa Choosing the way of truth. Remove from me the way of lying, And grant me Your law graciously. I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me.

Remove from me the way of lying … I have chosen the way of truth : The Psalmist sensed the common temptation to lie; yet he determined to choose the way of truth. Remove me from the way of lying : "A sin that David, through diffidence, fell into frequently. See 1 Samuel , 8 , where he roundly telleth three or four lies; and the like he did, 1 Samuel , 10 : this evil he saw by himself, and here prayeth against it.

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The full thought is, If we are to be kept from sin, it must be by the grace of God exercised through the teaching of his Word. Your judgments I have laid before me : This is how the Psalmist was able to choose the way of truth. It was because he was in close relationship with the Word of God. Psa Rescue me; enlarge my heart. I will run the course of Your commandments, For You shall enlarge my heart. The Psalmist understood that if he were to give himself entirely to God; to cling to His word as a shipwrecked man clings to a floating plank in the sea, then he could trust that God would not allow him to be put … to shame.

This was well-placed confidence. In the beginning of the section he is clinging to the dust Psalm ; by the end he is clinging to God's word. In the beginning he is laid low; now he is joyfully running with all his strength in the race God's word sets before him. The clinging of this verse connects well with the choosing of the previous verses. I will run the course of Your commandments : After beginning low in the dust, now the Psalmist is running.

He has moved in a beautiful progression, from confessing to choosing to clinging to running. For You shall enlarge my heart : The Psalmist comes back to a familiar theme; not only of the greatness of God's word, but also of his acute sense of weakness and dependence upon God. He must have his heart enlarged; that is, made bigger and stronger and better and more steadfast. His confidence is that God will do this through His word. He does not say - I will make no efforts, unless thou work for me; but if thou wilt enlarge - I will run.

Weakness is not the plea for indolence, but for quickening grace. The secret of Christian energy and success is a heart enlarged in the love of God. He is the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and it is used at the beginning of verbs to make them causative. So the prayers in this section are stated, "Cause me to learn" and "Cause me to understand" and "Cause me to walk" and so forth. Psa A prayer for instruction for righteous living. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it. The idea is that if only God teaches him, he will then persevere and keep it to the end. It is not an appeal for direction in some special case of difficulty, but rather for the clear manifestation of the meaning of the will of God. Only a God-changed heart can pray this. Left to himself, man is unable to keep the way and word of God much less keep it to the end.


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  • Philippians tells us that it is God's work in us both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Here the Psalmist prays as one who has received the will , and now prays for the doing of it. We should reckon ourselves to the duty of following God and His word to the end. Give me understanding … I shall observe it with my whole heart : Without this understanding, the Psalmist could not follow the desire of his transformed heart.

    The Psalmist had no doubt that God has given His word to us; his only fear was that he would not understand it or be distracted from it. Yet he was utterly confident that God had spoken and that it could be understood rightly by the prayerful heart and mind. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it : Despite his delight and desire for God's word, the Psalmist knows he cannot walk in God's path without God's empowering. But for a child of God, this is a prayer for constant use. Psa God's word and the problem of material things.

    Incline my heart to Your testimonies, And not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way. Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to covetousness : The Palmist rightly understood that covetousness was a threat to walking in God's way. A heart inclined towards God's word would help him be satisfied in what God provides. For the first time he is confessing a potentially divided mind. We should beware of all sins, but specially of mother- sins. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things : The Psalmist rightly understood that some things, comparatively speaking, are worthless things.

    They are of no value for eternity and little value for the present age. He prayed that God would empower and enable him to turn away his eyes and attention from such things. Many lives are wasted because people find themselves unwilling or unable to turn away their eyes from worthless things. The modern world with its media and entertainment technology brings before us an endless river of worthless things to occupy not only our eyes and time, but also our heart and minds. Some things are clearly worthless ; some things are thought by many to be worthy, but are in fact worthless. The Psalmist understood that he had a natural tendency towards worthless things , so he prayed for that natural tendency to be counter-acted.

    Yet the eyes are so powerful that the Psalmist had to pray; pray for power outside himself to turn his eyes from worthless things. Does the Psalmist have no eyelids? No muscles in his neck to turn the head?