Psalm 119 proclaims what God’s Word is, what it does, and why you need it in your heart and life, too.
Hear the full audio of “Your Word Stored in My Heart“
A sermon on Psalm 119:9-16 / Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity / 22 September 2019
If you were to take some time this morning to write just eight lines on your present attitude and actions related to the following:
The Lord’s Sayings,
The Lord’s Commandments
The Lord’s Statutes
The Lord’s Rules
The Lord’s Testimonies
The Lord’s Precepts
The Lord’s Ways
The Lord’s Word
–would it sound like this section of Psalm 119?
Or would it sound something more like this:
9 Do I really have to keep my way pure?
Can’t I just let my guard down for a while and ignore your word?
10 I kind of half-heartedly seek you sometimes.
But whole heartedly I wander from your Commandments.
11 I’ve stored up your word in my ammo belt,
for self defense, to fight back if someone accuses or sins against me.
12 Blessed am I, O Lord,
I could teach you much better statutes, deeds easier to do.
13 With my lips I declare
how backwards and unfair are the rules of your mouth.
14 My testimony is this: in the way of my fleshly delights,
I find my most precious riches, the desires of my own heart.
15 I meditate on my own precepts, my values and priorities,
and fix my eyes on doing things in my own ways.
16 I tried to delight in your statutes for a little while,
but quickly after, I forgot your word.
Some treat the Bible like a car they were given, but never bother learning to drive. It could just as well be an airplane we don’t know how to fly. It’s a cupboard full of strange ingredients we’ve never actually tasted and used, let alone learned how to prepare and serve for someone else’s consumption. For far too many, the Bible plays a rather minor role in defining what the heart actually believes and how the mind actually thinks and what priority actually governs and directs the day to day choices we make as we live out our lives.
Perhaps the Lord’s Word is not yet hidden inside our hearts. Could be we have hidden something else there and called it God’s will. Somehow it almost always agrees with what we wanted to do anyway, or props up my own unreasonable fears of things I don’t want to do. It always tells us why we don’t need to pray, to learn, to worship or to make very different life choices–whether on the Lord’s Day or on any other day.
We have hidden a word in our heart, but that word is our own. It is not God’s. It’s all us. And that’s a problem, you see. We need that word from outside of ourselves to teach us new things we haven’t discovered, to rebuke false notions we might have picked up. We need His Word to correct false loves and misguided behaviors along the way. We need the Word to train us in this righteousness we’ve received, as a free gift in Christ.
This cleansing righteousness we’ve received from Jesus is not of our own making. Rather, it is brought to us in the name of Christ by His Word. It enters in through the preaching and teaching, the learning and singing of that Word. God is pleased to send it through people, these real flesh and blood people, whom God has called, appointed and put to that task of uncovering the Word and presenting it to you. Pastors and parents, Sunday school teachers and students of all ages meet here around the Word to take it all in and store it away deep in our hearts.