"Choosing God's Way of Help"
Wednesday AM Bible Study of Psalm 119
February 2, 2003 - 10AM
"Let Your hand become my help, For I have chosen Your precepts"
"Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts" (KJV).
"May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts"
"Stand ready to help me, for I have chosen to follow your commandments"
"Let Your hand be ready to help me, For I have chosen Your precepts"
Our culture thrives on choices. The choices a store makes available
to its customers becomes one of its biggest selling points. Automobile
advertising makes big use of the word "options". "Choice" has become something
that has value in and of itself - regardless of what the consequences
of that choice might be.
Mary of Bethany made a choice. She chose to sit at the feet of Jesus
and listen to Him teach rather than help in the kitchen - a choice that
her sister Martha opposed. But Jesus said to Martha, "Mary has chosen
the good part ..." (Luke 10:42). Choices aren't neutral. The consequences
they lead to will either prove them to be wise or foolish, good or bad.
The psalmist in this verse declares a choice he has made. He has chosen
the precepts of God. And the confident expectation he has as a result
of that choice - that God's hand would become his help - proves that he
made the wise and good choice.
I. THE CONFIDENT WISH OF THE PSALMIST FOR GOD'S HELP:
"Let Your hand become my help ..."
A. The "hand" of God toward one of His saints is a symbol of several
things that are crucial in a time of trial. For example, it's a symbol
1. Of the impartation of strength from God (Gen. 49:24).
2. Of the possessiveness of God (Isa. 49:16).
3. Of the pledge of God to protect (Isa. 62:8).
4. Of the power of God as defender (Ex. 15:6; Psalm 17:7).
5. Of the guidance of God (Psalm 139:10).
6. Of the support and help of God (Psalm 73:23; Isa. 41:13).
B. There is no greater promise we could have in a time of trial than
that God will be our helper (Isa. 41:10). Nothing can harm the man or
woman whom God helps (Isa. 50:9; Heb. 13:6). The psalmist's expressed
longing is that God's help, symbolized by His hand, would become his own.
II. THE CHOICE OF THE PSALMIST THAT MAKES THIS WISH POSSIBLE:
"... For I have chosen Your precepts."
A. The precepts of God are His specific commands and instructions for
particular situations. The psalmist not only knows them, but has chosen
them above other options. Thomas Manton suggested five things that are
implied in such a choice:
1. Deliberation (Luke 14:25-33).
2. Preference (Phil. 3:7-11).
3. Inclination (Luke 10:38-42).
4. Resolution (Ruth 1:16-17).
5. Contentment (Psalm 16:5-8).
B. He sees this choice as the reason why he can confidently trust in
and hope for the helping hand of God in his life. God's precepts are like
God's hand of help extended to us; and each time we choose them, we choose