Psalm 119 is a treasure chest of truth for the earnest Bible reader willing to search for it. God has revealed himself in his Word and the longest chapter in the Bible teaches us much about the character of God.
When reading any passage of Scripture, you can learn by simply asking questions of the text. The first question to ask is, “What does this passage teach me about God (Father, Son or Holy Spirit)?”
Today I read and meditated on Psalm 119:57-64 and found four verses in this passage that taught me something wonderful about God.
God is righteous (Psalm 119:62)
“At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws”. Isn’t this amazing? The psalmist was so thankful for God’s Word that he would get up at midnight to thank him for it! Note that he is thankful for God’s “righteous laws”. The laws of God are righteous because God is righteous. He always does the right thing. He is morally pure. God is the only perfect being in the universe, and his Word is a wonderful reflection of that perfection, causing David to sing, “the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6).
God is gracious (Psalm 119:58)
God is holy and righteous, but we are not. Scripture repeatedly teaches the utter depravity of humanity. We are sinners – we daily commit acts of unrighteousness because we are by nature unrighteous. We have broken God’s law and stand before him as a guilty criminal before the Judge, deserving of punishment, the sentence of death (both physical and eternal) hanging over our heads.
But God is not only righteous, he is also gracious! He is so gracious that he has provided a way for us to be rescued from the wrath of God. And so the psalmist can cry out, “Be gracious to me according to your promise.”
In the Old Testament, a repentant Jew would offer an animal sacrifice to atone for his sin. Fortunately, this sacrificial system is no longer necessary because God sent his Son Jesus to be the ultimate sacrifice, and his death pays the penalty that we deserve to pay for our sin.
And so God is infinitely gracious, extending unmerited, undeserved favor to us by putting forth Jesus as the perfect sacrifice and thereby satisfying God’s justice toward our sin.
God is loving (Psalm 119:64)
Why would God do such a thing? Because he is a loving God. We experience his love every day through the sun and rain that cause the crops to grow so we can have food on our tables. And so the psalmist could say, “The earth is full of your love, O Lord”.
But the ultimate expression of God’s love is the coming of God the Son into the world as a Man. Jesus was the Father’s greatest gift to us and so the best-known verse in Scripture tells us that God loved us by sending Jesus to provide eternal life instead of eternal death to anyone who believes in him (John 3:16).
God is all-satisfying (Psalm 119:57)
The righteousness, grace and love of God are mind-boggling truths. For the Christian, they are the reason we gather weekly to worship Him corporately. And they are the reason we praise him daily no matter where are.
And they are the reason the psalmist can say, “You are my portion, O Lord”. Having experienced the wonder of who God is and what he has done to save a guilty sinner from hell, we too find our ultimate satisfaction in him.
Seeing the righteousness of God most clearly in the person of Jesus Christ, receiving his grace and love through repentance of sin and faith in him, we now can proclaim, “My soul will be satisfied with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you” (Psalm 63:5).