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"Choosing God's Way of Help"
Psalm 119:173

Wednesday AM Bible Study of Psalm 119
February 2, 2003 - 10AM

"Let Your hand become my help, For I have chosen Your precepts" (NKJV).

"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" (NIV).

"Stand ready to help me, for I have chosen to follow your commandments" (NLT).

"Let Your hand be ready to help me, For I have chosen Your precepts" (NASB).

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.

"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.

"... 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 God's help.

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