Life-Study of Exodus

Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0397-9
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 56 of 185 Section 1 of 4

LIFE-STUDY OF EXODUS

MESSAGE FIFTY-SIX

HOW THE OLD TESTAMENT SEEKERS OF GOD
ENJOYED HIS LAW

(1)

Scripture Reading: Psalm 119:1-2, 14-16, 20, 30, 35-36, 40, 42-43, 45, 47-48, 54, 55, 58, 66, 70, 74, 77, 80, 92, 94, 97, 103, 111-114, 117, 119, 127, 131-132, 135, 140, 147, 159, 162, 165, 167-170, 172-174; 19:10b

Psalm 119 is a psalm which dwells specifically on the law. The longest piece in the book of Psalms, this psalm was written according to the sequence of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, with each of its twenty-two sections using eight verses for each of the twenty-two Hebrew letters. Thus, this psalm of one hundred seventy-six verses has more verses than the whole book of Ephesians. Due to its length, it is difficult to cover in a brief way.

The foregoing messages on the law of God should be helpful to us in understanding Psalm 119. The psalmist did not write this psalm according to theology. Rather, it was written according to his sentiment and experience, according to the deep aspiration of his heart, and according to his enjoyment of the law. The psalmists expressed their hunger, thirst, and desire for the Lord. Like all the psalms, Psalm 119 is filled with aspiration, not with doctrine. Verse 131 says, “I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments.” Here the psalmist uses the word panted, a word also used in Psalm 42:1: “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” The note in one version says that in Hebrew the word pant refers to the longing for a cool spring after suffering burning heat. The use of this word in Psalm 119:131 and 42:1 shows the deep sentiment and aspiration of the psalmists. The psalmists thirsted and panted after God. Hence, although Psalm 119 has much to say about the law, it does not speak about the law from the perspective of doctrine, but from the viewpoint of spiritual experience. This psalm was written by one who dealt with the law in the way of enjoyment. In this message and in the next, we shall look into Psalm 119 to consider how the Old Testament seekers of God enjoyed His law.

I. SEEKING GOD

Psalm 119:2 tells us that those who enjoyed God’s law in the Old Testament were seekers of God: “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.” The writer of Psalm 119 was such a seeker. Many Christians are not familiar with the term “seekers of God,” even though this concept is biblical. According to Psalm 119, seeking God is related to keeping the law. If you try to keep the law without having a heart to seek God, your efforts will be in vain. This was the serious shortcoming of the Judaizers at the time of Paul. Trying to keep the law without seeking God with their whole heart, they failed in their endeavor to fulfill the law’s requirements. If we want to walk according to God’s law, we must seek Him with our whole heart.

II. LOVING HIS NAME
AND REMEMBERING IT

Psalm 119:132 says, “Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.” This verse indicates that the psalmist loved the Lord’s name. Verse 55 says, “I have remembered thy name, O Jehovah, in the night, and have kept thy law” (Heb.). When the psalmist awoke during the night, he remembered the Lord’s name. What we remember in the night reveals our true interest, even the thing that occupies us. What do you think of when you wake up at night? If you are one who seeks God, you will remember His name. His name will be your special interest. Young people, I hope that when you awake during the night, you will not dwell on worldly things, but will remember the sweet, precious name of the Lord. Like the Old Testament saints, may we all love the Lord’s name and remember it, even in the middle of the night.

III. ENTREATING HIS COUNTENANCE

Psalm 119:58 says, “I entreated thy face with my whole heart” (Heb.). The King James Version uses the word favor instead of face. To seek a person’s face is actually to seek his favor. If we entreat the Lord’s face, His countenance, we shall receive bounty. Often little children will earnestly seek the face of their mother. To them nothing is more dear than beholding their mother’s face. We also should seek the Lord in such an intimate way, entreating His countenance. The Lord’s countenance brings His favor to the seeking one. For whatever the psalmist needed, he would entreat God’s countenance.

Psalm 105:4 says, “Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.” According to this verse, we need to seek God’s face continually. Then in Psalm 42:5 the psalmist praises God “for the help of his countenance.” In a deeply personal and intimate way, the psalmist sought the help of the Lord’s countenance.


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