Christian Family Fellowship


Scripture of the Week


Ephesians 4:26-27 (ESV)

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
27 and give no opportunity to the devil.

 
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  * = Updated
INL June 8, 2007

SOUNDING OUT:
God's Word Quickens

  The fourth section of Psalm 119 establishes how God's Word quickens us. It is our life, and it revives us and establishes us in the way.

Psalm 119:25-32: Daleth
My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.
26 I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes.
27 Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.
28 My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.
29 Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously.
30 I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.
31 I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame.
32 I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.

  In this octet of verses the psalmist presents the trouble of his soul and asks for God to quicken him through His Word. In pouring out his distress he says:

Psalm 119:25:
My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.

Psalm 119:28:
My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.

  These verses indicate the great mental anguish he is going through. They show how down in the dumps he was. If the first verse didn't convince you, the repetition three verses later should convince us that the psalmist is declaring that he is about as low as he could get. The New Living Translation render these verses: "I lie in the dust, completely discouraged; revive me by your word and I weep with grief; encourage me by your word"

    Because of the nature of life, discouragement and grief are things we must deal with at times. They should be transient states, and we endure them until our souls are revived with the greatness of God's Word. The psalmist's admission and request in verse 25 acknowledges the transforming power of God's Word to heal our souls of the hurt and anguish that it receives at times.

    "Quicken" is the Hebrew word, chayah, and it means "to live, have life, remain alive, sustain life, live prosperously, live for ever, be quickened, be alive, be restored to life or health." It occurs sixteen times in Psalms 119. In the Piel it is translated "quicken" (verses 25, 37, 40, 50, 88, 93, 107, 149, 154, 156, and 159) and in the Qal it is translated "live" (verses 17, 77, 116, 144, and 175). It is used of being revived from sickness, discouragement, faintness, and death.

    Psalm 107:20 says that God'sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions." The psalmist"s acknowledgment of the power of God's Word is evident. In both verses 25 and 28 the psalmist"s honest admission of the condition of his soul is followed immediately by his request to be revived by God's wonderful matchless Word. He cries, "Quicken Thou me!" and "Strengthen Thou me!" We"ve already looked at "quicken," let"s look at "strengthen."

    "Strengthen" is the Hebrew word, qum, and it means to raise up or establish. It occurs four times and is translated in four different ways: "strengthen" in verse 28, "stablish" in verse 38, "will rise" in verse 62, and "perform" in verse 106. God's Word gives us life and puts us back on our feet again so we can stand for Him.

    The "quickening" and the "strengthening" are according to God's Word. God's Word sets the standard in at least two ways. First, it provides the promise, and second, it purveys the power. It"s because of what we read in God's Word that we know for what to ask and we ask according to His promise. Furthermore, when we believe what we read, that Word furnishes the power to accomplish what it promises. It is both quick and powerful and can accomplish all that God intends for it to do. Remember Isaiah.

Isaiah 55:11:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
  God's Word not only communicates God's will. God's Word accomplishes God's will. The psalmist says plainly that he has chosen the way of truth (verse 30). He deliberately chose to go the way of God's Word and laid it out before him like a road map showing the way. He further asserts that he has stuck with it and anticipates God's support so that he is not ashamed (verse 31).

    He finishes up the section with a declaration of his resolve. "I will run the way of thy commandments, when ("for" in the Hebrew Interlinear) thou shalt enlarge my heart." When we run physically we build our endurance and get better as we stay faithful and continue to run. Just as we can build our physical conditioning, we can build our conditioning spiritually as we run to do God's Word. As we do, God will enlarge our hearts. The more we run, the larger our hearts can get. We should condition ourselves and think about the long haul.

    We can take our hurts and distress to God knowing He will heal and deliver. His Word quickens and establishes us. He not only heals our souls and our hearts, but He will help us condition them. When we condition ourselves to God's Word instead of our circumstances our lives can take on new vibrancy. We can run the way of God's Word for He will enlarge our hearts.

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