“Teach me good discernment and knowledge,
For I believe in Your commandments.

Before I was afflicted I went astray,
But now I keep Your word.

You are good and do good;
Teach me Your statutes.”-{Psalm 119:67-68}.

 

WHAT A TESTIMONY!

The Psalmist was a believer, he was humble, for only the humble are teachable. He was a man of prayer; prayerfully communing with God, specifically asking for Wisdom to live and obey Him as he lives. He prays that He would teach and grant him “…good discernment and knowledge.” “Hebrew, the goodness of taste, an experimental sense and relish of divine things.” (Poole). “Good discernment/ judgment” literally means “taste.” Spiritual discernment, “‘for the ear tests words as the palate tastes food”- {Job 34:3}.

“We far too easily forget our great need to learn good judgment and knowledge, and are far too ready to trust our own heart and conscience.The faculty of conscience partakes, with every other power of man, of the injury of the fall; and therefore, with all its intelligence, honesty, and power, it is liable to misconception… Conscience, therefore, must not be trusted without the light of the word of God; and most important is the prayer – Teach me good judgment and knowledge.” (Bridges)

 “No school, but the school of Christ – no teaching, but the teaching of the Spirit – can ever give this good judgment and knowledge.” (Bridges)

And the Psalmist gives the reason why he prayed this. Indeed the word, “FOR” gives the explanation, namely “For I believe in Your Commandments!” He was a man of faith, in his faithful God. He believed in what God said. He trusted Him, because He knew Him to be “good and does good…” He trusted Him based on His character and the demonstration of His character manifested in doing good! And so he comes to humbly pray to Him to grant him his appeal and declares his faith, trust, is in Him who is good and His Word, which is eternal, sufficient to impart the good discernment and knowledge he needs!

He was a man who knew Pain; “Affliction” was the teacher God used to bring him back. In his own testimony  he says, “…I had went astray.”

I went astray – The Hebrew word means to wander; to err; to do wrong; to transgress. Numbers 15:28Job 12:16. It here means that he forgot his duty; that he fell into sin; that he departed from what was right; that he embraced erroneous views; that he lived in the neglect of his soul, the neglect of duty, and the neglect of God…”-{Albert Barnes}

Again he testifies, since “affliction,” was used to go rescue him, turn him back to the Lord and His ways, as he testifies regards his present seeing, understanding with the word “now,”…” BUT NOW I keep Your Word.” He was back under the safe, secure, satisfying, sufficient authority of the LORD’S Word!

WHAT A TESTIMONY- GOD IS GOOD!

He had experienced “affliction,” …

“..The Hebrew word has the general sense of being afflicted, and may refer to any kind of trial. –{Albert Barnes..”}

“Affliction,” is a great restrainer!

“Affliction thrice viewed and thrice blessed.

  1.       Before affliction: straying.
  2.       In affliction: learning.
  3.       After affliction: knowing. “–C.A.D.

He had experienced affliction, pain, and his next words show he was not resentful, bitter, as he testifies, “You are Good and Do Good, …”  The absence of bitterness, but instead the declaration of Praise! Praise for His Character -“Good.” Praise for His Conduct-“Do good!”

He proclaims God is good and does good and that includes being personally afflicted! He saw that affliction was part of God’s goodness to him, as it turned him back from the wrong way. God was not indifferent or careless towards him, but caring, lovingly so. And out of His goodness used affliction to bring him back. We can find comfort in that Jesus as Hebrews 5:8 teaches, “Although he was a son, He learned obedience from what he suffered.” He was sinless, yet part of the learning process of obedience was through suffering!  The psalmist upon being restored, shows forth a greater obedience.

It’s alright to say God is good and does good, as long as it’s not you being the one who is afflicted! We often say, God is good and yet murmur, complain, when difficulties come our way! We give lip service while the sun is shining, but when the clouds of difficulties and rains of trials seem to pour upon us we find what is in our heart TRULY REVEALED concerning God, coming to the surface!

 

“We talk of goodness, but yield to discontent. We do not profess to dislike trial – only the trial pressing upon us – any other cross than this; that is, my will and wisdom rather than God’s.” – (Bridges)

 “Affliction is not the most frequently mentioned matter in stanza nine. The most prominent word in these verses is ‘good.’ This is the teth stanza. Teth is the first letter of the Hebrew word ‘good’ (tov), so it was a natural thought for the composer of the psalm to use ‘good’ at the beginning of these verses.” (Boice)

“Despite the affliction – which we should regard as genuine – he proclaimed, “You are good, and do good.” In fact, he even wanted more instruction from God, saying “Teach me Your statutes.” This is said with the implicit understanding that this teaching might require more affliction; yet it was the Psalmist’s desire. This shows how confident he was in the goodness of God.”-{Enduring Word}

 God is good, devoid of all evil, be it motivation, intent, is devoid completely from His being. He is good! His nature is full of that which is beautiful, pleasant, beneficial, honorable, right, and is manifested in His delight in deeds of loving beneficial giving, forgiving! God demonstrates His goodness to all, “…for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”-{Matt 5:45}.

WHAT A TESTIMONY TO HIS BELIEF AND NEED FOR GOD’S WORD;

“For I believe {trust} in Your commandments.

  • Commandments (miswah/miswot, used 22 times): “This word emphasizes the straight authority of what is said… the right to give orders.” (Kidner)

“…Teach me Your statutes.” Again he comes back to his dependence, belief, obedience, desire for God’s Word.

  • “Statutes (huqqim, used 21 times): The noun is derived from the root verb “engrave” or “inscribe”; the idea is of the written word of God and the authority of His written word. “Declaring his authority and power of giving us laws.” (Poole)
  • In this Psalm there are 8 basic words to describe the Scripture! “law, Word, Judgments, Testimonies, Commandments, Statues, Precepts, Word { different word than mentioned above  for “Word”}

What a Testimony from a person who experienced pain, affliction and does not end up bitter, resentful towards the LORD, but desires, prays and with a glad submissive heart asks to be taught by the LORD from His Word, ” Teach me…good discernment and knowledge…teach me Your commandments!” Twice he asks, prays, “Teach me…teach me…” That we all would have such a humble teachable heart, outlook, faith and focus upon the LORD and response to affliction that come for various reasons not always to correct us.

 This is important, less you view and declare to others they are suffering because they must have gone astray! Don’t Be a Job Friend… Consider…

Sometimes as with the LORD Jesus to learn obedience.-{Read Heb 5:8}

Sometimes to experience His Reality and Comfort.- {Read 2 Cor 1:3;}. 

Sometimes to Equip us to be His Ministers of Comfort.To comfort others who are afflicted with God’s comfort. {Read 2 Cor 1:4}

Sometimes Opportunities to share the Gospel -{Read Phil 1:29; 1 Peter 3:15-16}.

Sometimes to Develop us Spiritually. {Read 1 Peter 5:10 and note the four things God does after we have suffered….”And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strongfirm and steadfast.”

Also consider what James says concerning “trials”. “WHEN…” not “If.” Trials are inevitable and with them James teaches they are opportunities to…

Develop perseverance.

Develop spiritually maturity.

Develop faith.

Develop Wisdom.

Display love to the LORD through responding to trials His way,{Read James 1:12}…

How? Through obeying His four commands for every trial. {Read James 1:2-5…}. Namely, “Count it all joy. Which means “immediately commence rejoicing,” and gives the reason in the next three commands. “Knowing” which has to do with an understanding mind. God does not want us ignorant, but understanding what He is doing. The next command is “Let,” which refers to a submissive will. We submit to His ways in trials by choosing to continually rejoice because we “know” what He is doing. In the passage developing perseverance and spiritual maturity  And the last command is “ASK” in the trial while we often ask for deliverance, which is fine, He tells us ask for “Wisdom’ and if we do not doubt but in faith asking believing He will provide we will receive wisdom! -{James 1:2-5,12}.

So there are various purposes for afflictions, trials, not all corrective, some are to know Him better, and mature us, develop our faith, depositing Divine wisdom to us for living. Developing perseverance. Developing Empathy to deposit comfort into others who are afflicted. And where else would we learn such empathy if we ourselves  had not been in our own “furnace of affliction.” He Promises, not “some things,’ or “a few things” but ‘ALL THINGS work together for good to those who love God and are the called!”{Read Rom 8:28-29}. It may not as one friend told me. “feel good, look good, But He promises “ALL Things” will work…! He Promises!

And remember Jesus said, “I have told you these things, SO THAT in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world…”- {John 16:33}. We live in a fallen world, troubles are inevitable of all kinds, but in them we have hope. hope in him who is good. Hope in him who has provided His Son for us. His Spirit to teach, assure and empower us. His Word to reveal, Guide us and precious and magnificent promises for us in there for us to apply from Him who is Good and does good! He has given us other believers that we can daily encourage and receive encouragement from them.{Read Heb 3:13}. He has gone ahead having been resurrected to prepare a place for us … with Him… for all eternity. We live in a fallen world but heading to a Perfect world with our perfect Good God!

WHAT A TESTIMONYYou Are Good and Do Good.”  In Himself He is devoid of evil, but is good and this is reflected in that He does good, and for the Psalmist that included His personally granting him access to Him through prayer, teaching Him, granting him answers to his prayers, teaching him through His Word. He considered even his Afflictions as part of that “good!” Think on that! He boasted, declared, testified and wrote it down for countless others, unknown to him, people like you, me, and countless others to read, hear, in order to trust Him who is “Good and does good!” His nature is “good!”- He is good, He does deeds – of goodness!

*** If you are in the midst of a painful trial FOCUS ON…GOD IS GOOD, HE DOES GOOD…

ASK Him to help you remember passages that declare so and also …

ASK HIM to bring to your remembrance ways in your life or that of others you have seen so!

 

 The Psalmist to Him appeals

“Teach me good discernment and knowledge,
For I believe in Your commandments.

Before I was afflicted I went astray,
But now I keep Your word.

You are good and do good;
Teach me Your statutes.”-{Psalm 119:67-68}.

 

* PRAY this for yourself…

* PRAY FOR OTHERS; Can you take the passage and pray it for someone else. Perhaps take three people and place their name in it, instead of where the PSALMIST refers to himself… Replace “me,” with the person’s name. Pray His Word. 

* TRUST HIM AND HIS REVEALED WORD

* PRAISE THE LORD – WHO IS GOOD… AND DOES GOOD!