161 Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of your words.
162 I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.
163 I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law.
164 Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules.
165 Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.
166 I hope for your salvation, O LORD, and I do your commandments.
167 My soul keeps your testimonies; I love them exceedingly.
168 I keep your precepts and testimonies. For all my ways are before you.
For most of our study of Psalm 119 we have just assumed that David was the Psalmist and this passage certainly points to the idea that he could be. Verse 161 says “princes persecute me without cause” and if we have studied the life of David, we certainly know that Saul persecuted and hunted and sought to kill David without cause. Saul knew that God had anointed David as the next king of Israel and he thought the only way to prevent that was to kill him. But Saul also did not take into account the protection and deliverance of God for David from Saul. David would have had to keep his heart close to God and the scriptures to have endured what he did from the hand of Saul for all those years. At least I think he would have had to. One thing I know to be true is that enduring trials and hardship whether they be persecution without cause, or even because of things we have done, trials such as financial trouble, health problems, children problems, family issues, all of these things can bring you to a place where you have to lean into God more and more. That has been true in my own life. And when these trials and tribulations bring you into a deeper relationship with God, you find yourself relying on his word more and more to just simply get you through the day. And when that happens, you will find your heart more and more in awe of His word and His ways. I love the next verse.
“I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.” v. 162
When you enter into a study of God’s word, more and more you will find hidden treasures in His word. I know that the more I study and learn, the more I understand and the more I understand, the more His word will be revealed to me. I found a quote in my study by Spurgeon.
“Our rejoicing will be measured by our reverencing.” Spurgeon
Do you reverence God’s word? I know there were years that my Bible sat on a shelf from Sunday to Sunday. I prayed for God to give me a love and understanding of His word. Oh believe me I have so far to go but I have come so far too and the more I study, the more I love it and the more treasure I find.
The next couple of verses show the Psalmist’s hatred for falsehood and for lying and his love for God’s laws. I believe that to be true too, the more you find yourself falling in love with God’s word the more you will hate the falsehoods that are in the world. The Psalmist also makes a declaration that he praises God seven times a day. I wouldn’t want to get caught up in the legalism of a number but I hope I find myself praising him at least seven times a day. I praise Him when I see His creation, I praise Him when I call on Him to help me through the next 10 minutes, I praise Him under my breath all day long.
In the next verse the Psalmist is recognizing the peace that he feels because of his love for God’s laws. Learning and studying God’s word brings you into a closer relationship with God. And that will naturally put you on more of a sure footing, “nothing causes them to stumble”. The Psalmist is recognizing this and is declaring his love one more time for the commandments of God and the salvation that they will bring to him. And he is laying it all out, his love for God, for his precepts and his testimonies and that his ways are before God. David knew that God knew his ways, and God knew what was in his heart, but this was one of the ways he praised God, by verbalizing it. God knows what is in our hearts, but I believe that God loves it when we verbalize our love for Him and for His testimonies.