Basis of Real Desire
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Open your Bibles to Psalm 119, for we are going to examine the paragraph which is presented to us under the Hebrew letter JOD , beginning with verse 73 and concluding with verse 80.

May we remind you that we have been looking at Psalm 119 from the standpoint that it is particularly and peculiarly the Psalm of the Word of God, each paragraph within the Psalm presenting some basic application of the Word of God to the believer's life. If we want to know how to practically use the Word in our lives, then we can follow through in the examination of the life of the Psalmist as he gives us illustration after illustration that life was not to be lived for self, but life was to be used for God and His Word.

This paragraph presents to us the Word of God as the basis for real desire. If you have a deep desire in your life, to what is it related? The Psalmist said that his was related to the Word of God. Notice that as we read from verse 73:

Psalm 119:

73 Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.
74 They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.
75 I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.
76 Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.
77 Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.
78 Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.
79 Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.
80 Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.

There is one verse in the paragraph that we might emphasize as the theme verse of the entire paragraph and that is verse 77:

Psalm 119:

77 Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.

“God,” said the Psalmist, “I want to live. I don't want to die. I want an extension of days, and the reason I want to live is that I might make Thy Word the delight of my life.” Here he emphasizes that he did not wish to live for self, but he wished to live in order that the Word of God could be lived out through his life. This appeal, accompanied by three others in the paragraph, grow out of an acknowledgment accompanied by an aspiration; and if we use those three words as mental pegs upon which to hang some of the things I want to leave with you, perhaps we can profit from this time together. The words are acknowledgment, aspiration, and appeal.

God Acknowledged as Creator of Body and Soul

Glance at verse 73 for the acknowledgment, for there we read:

Psalm 119:

73 Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.

Then down in verse 75 we read:

Psalm 119:

75 I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

The Psalmist acknowledges God as his Creator and God as the Father who chastens those who are His own. This twofold acknowledgment is something that every believer should consider very seriously if their relationship to God is going to be as it ought to be. Glance back at verse 73 again and hear the Psalmist as he said:

Psalm 119:

73 Thy hands have made me and fashioned me…

Here he acknowledges God as the Creator of his body, the Creator of his soul. He acknowledges God as his Creator, and in the acknowledgment, he rules out any adherence to any evolutionary theory. He rules out any adherence to any story of creation other than that which is found in the Word of God.

I would like to emphasize that today because you are told in various schools of learning that it really doesn't matter what you believe about the creation story. It doesn't matter what you believe about how you were created. It has nothing to do with your relationship to God. The Psalmist thought that it did. He said, “God, I acknowledge that you have made me and that you have fashioned me.”

Look at the word made there as I emphasize that it comes from the very Hebrew word that is used in the story of creation in Genesis, chapter 1, verse 27, when God said, “Let us make man in our own image…” and when the details later were given, “…male and female made He them.” This is the same word which is used, so we know that we are talking about the same act of creation.

Look at the word fashion as I suggest to you that it comes from the Hebrew word kuwn , which very literally translated means “to be erect,” or “to stand perpendicular.” When the Psalmist said, “God made me,” we might ask him, “How did He make you? Did He make you a little bit of floating protoplasm as some people believe?” “No,” said the Psalmist. “Did he make you somebody who walks on all fours as some people believe?” “No,” said the Psalmist. “Did He make you some sort of creation that strains the imagination of men to visualize where you walked a while on your ear until it became a foot, then you gradually walked on your foot and finally found a hand sticking up somewhere? Is that the way God made you?” “No,” said the Psalmist. “When God made me, He fashioned me.” “What do you mean, He fashioned you?” The Psalmist said, “He made me stand upright. He made me stand on two feet. He made me stand perpendicular. He made me just as I am today.”

Beloved, if you are going to accept the Word of God, then you are going to have to accept the creation that is described in the Word of God, and it does make a difference whether you think you were a floating piece of protoplasm or some kind of creature crawling around on all fours. The Psalmist said, “I wasn't created that way. I was created upright, standing perpendicular, and I have no question about it.”

This word kuwn is translated in our Bibles by another word that to me is very interesting. It is translated by the word prepare , which suggests preparation for a purpose. Turn, please, to Psalm 107, where you will notice an illustration in verse 36, of how this word is translated with the idea of preparation. Speaking of the children of Israel and God's provision for them, we read:

Psalm 107:

36 And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation;

When the Psalmist said, “God made me and God fashioned me,” he could just as well have said, “God made me and God prepared me for a purpose,” and he would have been speaking according to the original intent of the language. This word kuwn is not only translated by the word prepare in our Bibles, it is translated as well by the word provide . Turn back to the book of Job, chapter 38, and notice what Job has to say in relation to God's provision for the creation.

Job, you will recall, needed humbling before the Lord. He had been humbled enough before men. He had an exalted opinion of his own ideas of what he was able to do and not do, and so God said to him, “Job, I want to have a little talk with you. I want to ask you some definite questions, and if you have the answers, then maybe you know as much as you think you know; but if you don't have the answers, maybe you need to lower your opinion of yourself.” So one of the questions, among many that He asked, are found in verse 41:

Job 38:

41 Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.

“Job, who takes care of the raven?” That was the question, and of course, the obvious answer is “God does”—not Job, not man. But we are interested in this verse from the standpoint of the word provideth in verse 41. “Who provideth for the raven his food?…”

This word kuwn is translated by this word provideth , so that when the Psalmist was talking about the creative act of God in relation to himself, when he said, “God has made me; God has fashioned me,” he could well have said, “God has made me to stand upright on two feet. God has prepared me for a purpose, and God has provided for me everything that I need to fulfill that purpose.”

Let us recognize that man was not created to wander aimlessly on this globe and finally burn out as a dissipated candle. God created man, placed him on this globe for a purpose, provided him with all that he will ever need in order that that purpose might be accomplished.

If the Psalmist believed that God had prepared man for a purpose, if the Psalmist believed that provision was made for the fulfillment of that purpose, it is only natural that we would hear him praying in the manner in which we do back in Psalm 119, verse 73, where he said:

Psalm 119:

73 Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.

Here, of course, the commandments are in relation to the subject under discussion and the Psalmist said, “God, give me understanding that I may learn thy instructions related to the purpose for which I was created and the reason why Thou didst permit me to be born and live upon this earth,” and it becomes an appropriate request.

If all of us would take the time to seek the mind of God in relation to the purpose of creation related to ourselves, we would save ourselves a tremendous amount of trouble. I believe, for example, that if we took the time to study what God has already provided concerning some simple laws of health and abide by them, a lot of us could save ourselves a lot of trouble that we have now. God did not leave us to wander aimlessly about. He created us for a purpose, and the Psalmist acknowledged that.

The Father's Right to Chasten

The second part of the twofold acknowledgment is found in verse 75:

Psalm 119:

75 I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

The chastening of the previous paragraph was still fresh upon his mind, and he said, “God, I know that You created me, and I know that not only are You my Creator, You are my Father, and as my Father, You have a right to chasten me. You have a right to discipline me. You have a right to train me as You will.”

If we compared Scripture with Scripture in detail, we would discover that God is not the Father of men by creation solely, but He is the Father of men by their relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ, for no one actually has the right to call God Father and be represented as His child unless he has received the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior; but as we think of God's right as a father to chasten His children, let us find it in our hearts to acknowledge that, for if we acknowledge that, then we will be able to have the same aspirations as the Psalmist, and perhaps see them fulfilled in our lives.

If we are not willing to acknowledge the manner in which God created us, and if we are not willing to acknowledge that God has a perfect right to do with us what He will without consulting us about it, then the aspirations which I have in mind will not be fulfilled in their entirety.

Aspiration Related to Believers

The Psalmist had a twofold aspiration in mind. One of them was related to believers and one of them related to unbelievers. Notice verse 74, where he describes the aspiration related to believers. He said:

Psalm 119:

74 They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.

This was his desire. This was his aspiration in relation to believers. He wanted them to share with him the experience that he had in relation to his acknowledgments of God and rejoice in that experience. Notice that I said he wanted them to experience it because if you look at the word see in the verse that we are considering, you will realize that it comes from the Hebrew word raah , which means “to enter into the experience in question.” They will be able to enter into the experience which the Psalmist had and rejoice in that. That is one of the joys in knowing the Lord, and it is one of the joys of Christian fellowship to be able to enter into the experiences of one another; not to stand on the circumference as a mere observer, but to be actually part of the experience itself. That is one of the beauties of a ministry of intercession. That is one of the reasons that we can pray for one another. We can learn to weep with those who weep, and we can learn to rejoice with those who do rejoice.

In this instance, it was a matter of rejoicing. The Psalmist said, “I want to so live that those who fear the Lord can rejoice with me in the experience that I have with Him.” He is very particular in this verse. He mentions a special kind of experience, something that comes to every Christian if he lives for the Lord any length of time. Look again at verse 74, and notice the last statement:

Psalm 119:

74 …because I have hoped in thy word.

Have you had the experience of hoping in the Word of God? Oh, it is a lovely experience, and it is one that all Christians ought to have. The word hoped comes from the Hebrew word yachal which means “to be patient.” It means “to trust,” and it means “to wait for the fulfillment of the Word of God.”

I don't want you to give me an audible answer but I ask you, have you had the experience of hoping in the Word of God in the sense that you patiently wait for its fulfillment? Have you had the experience of waiting for the fulfillment of the Word of God as you trust because there is nothing in the immediate area of your thinking that will indicate that the Word is going to be fulfilled? Oh, there is no problem in saying that you trust the Word of God if every time you claim a promise it is fulfilled. There is no trouble there. There is no problem; that is an easy thing to do. But oh, if you claim the Word of God and it is never fulfilled, you rest in the Word of God and you never see its fulfillment, you patiently wait and you don't ever see the fulfillment of the Word, that is where the difficulty comes. You see, the Psalmist said, “I want to hope in the Word in such a fashion that people will be able to enter into my experience and rejoice with me when the answer comes because, Beloved, the answer will come. As I say that, I want to point out to you from the Word of God that it isn't easy to wait for the fulfillment of the Word of God. Perhaps some of you can say, “Amen. I know that it isn't. I have been waiting and I have been praying. I have been begging God and nothing has happened. I know it is not easy to wait for its fulfillment.”

The Psalmist didn't think it was either. He describes one of his experiences in waiting for fulfillment of the Word. In Psalm 69, verse 3, He said:

Psalm 69:

3 I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.

Have you gone that far yet? Have you waited so long for the fulfillment of the Word that you are weary of crying, your throat is dried, and your eyes fail while you wait for the fulfillment of the Word? The Psalmist had reached that place; have you? If you do, what is your attitude going to be? Are you going to go ahead and wait? Some people don't, you know; and when they don't, sad things occur.

In II Kings, chapter 6, verse 33, there is the story of a man who said, “I'm not going to wait for God any longer. I'm through.” Read the story when you have time. Oh, it was a trying time. It was the time in Israel when the famine was so great that people were eating one another's children, and the thing that precipitated this statement on the part of the King was when a woman came to him and said, “King, I have a complaint to make,” and he said, “Don't we all. Look at the fix we are in.” She said, “I have a special complaint to make,” and he said, “All right, what is it?” She said, “This lady and I were neighbors and we made an agreement that we would eat our sons. We agreed that we would boil my son yesterday and eat him; and today we would boil her son and eat him. We boiled my son yesterday, but today she is welshing on the deal. She is backing out, and I don't think it is right. If we eat my son, we ought to eat hers.”

The King rent his clothes. He put on his sackcloth and he said, “I am not going to wait on God any longer. I've waited and waited for deliverance and I am through with waiting.”

As serious as that situation was—and it was serious, and I don't suppose any of us have ever been faced with anything quite as bad as that—he got into worse trouble by not waiting for the Lord. So you see, some people don't wait. There may be some of you who have waited to the point that your throat is dried and you can't cry any more, and you say, “I can't wait any longer. I am going to do what I want to do.” I beg of you, don't do it. It never pays. It is always worse.

Some people do wait, thank God, and Job gives a lovely testimony in which we as believers can rejoice in what happens when an individual waits for the Lord. In Job, chapter 14, verse 14, he said:

Job 14:

14 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.

You have probably heard sermons on that text any number of times, especially around Easter because it is a good text related to the Resurrection. Job didn't ask that because he thought some preacher in the twentieth century would preach a sermon on the Resurrection. He asked that because he knew he was going to die; at least, he felt like he was. He felt like the next step was death, and he said, “When a man dies, is there anything after death?” He was in such a state of discouragement that he wasn't even really sure about that. He said, “I may die, and there may be nothing left after death. What am I going to do?”

Let him speak to you. Notice verse 14 again:

Job 14:

14 If a man die, shall he live again? [then he said] all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.

Those are sublime words, Beloved, and a testimony that we could all do well to covet. He was at the point of death and he said, “I am not even sure at this stage of my experience whether there is anything after death or not, but I have made up my mind that I am going to wait. I am not going to get ahead of God. I am going to wait all my appointed time, this time of chastening, this time of waiting [it may not be chastening; it may be just waiting] all the way through to the end until God makes the change.”

How I wish I could impress upon all of our hearts the importance of waiting until God makes the change, but we do get tired of waiting, don't we? We are so tired, and we want to take things into our own hands and change the picture. Oftentimes we do; then we have a terrific bill to pay. How much better it is to take the stand with Job and say, “I will wait until God makes the change.”

This was the experience that the Psalmist was talking about—his desires, his aspirations in relation to believers. “I want to so live with my life involved in the Word of God that I can wait on God and open His Word and then when the victory comes, believers can rejoice with me and say, ‘Isn't it wonderful what God has done for him'?” That is an aspiration

Aspiration for the Unsaved

Glance at verse 78 and notice his aspiration for the unsaved when he said:

Psalm 119:

78 Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.

We noticed in the paragraph previously that part of his affliction was the manner in which the unsaved people dealt with him. They had dealt so perversely with him and without a cause, and he was very disturbed about it, but now he has a new hope for them. He said, “Lord, You take care of them. Let them be ashamed.” That is, “Let people see how wrong they are.”

Psalmist, what are you going to do? Are you going to go around and point out to these people how wrong they are? Are you going to everybody to whom they have talked and say that they are wrong about you, that God has vindicated you? The Psalmist said, “No, I am going to concentrate on the Word of God.”

That is what he meant when he said, “I will meditate in Thy Word.” I like the way the Paraphrased Bible has it when it reads: “I will concentrate my thoughts on your Word.” Beloved, that is the best thing I know to do when you think things are bad. Just concentrate your thoughts on the Word of God. If someone has said something evil about you, something that isn't true, don't think about what they said. You concentrate on the Word of God and the Lord will take care of the situation. Then your desire related to unbelievers will be fulfilled. They will be brought to shame, but you won't have anything to do with it. God will have the glory.

An Appeal for Comfort

Having stated his aspirations, he presents his appeal. One thing we have learned about this Psalmist, if nothing else, is that he was a praying man. He wasn't afraid to pray. He wasn't afraid to ask God for anything that came to his mind, and the appeals which are in this paragraph all begin with the English word let . Notice first an appeal for comfort in verse 76. Keep in mind that he was getting tired of waiting on God. He was uncomfortable. What did he do? Did he go about and make him a bed of nails and lie on it and say, “I think it shows how religious you are and how spiritual you are if you are uncomfortable.”? Some people think it is a virtue being uncomfortable, but the Psalmist didn't think so. Notice what he said here in verse 76:

Psalm 119:

76 Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.

“Lord, keep me comfortable according to your promise. You promised to keep me comfortable. Lord, I am uncomfortable now. Make me comfortable.” You see, there isn't anything wrong with praying about comfort. The Psalmist did. He said, “Lord, I want a comfortable time of it. I have had a hard time waiting on You and I want to be comfortable.”

An Appeal for Continued Strength

Then you will notice in the next verse an appeal for continued strength.

In verse 77, we read:

Psalm 119:

77 Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.

“Lord, my strength is ebbing away. I'm running out of strength. I can't carry on much longer. Let thy loving kindness come to me that I may live and delight in thy law.”

An Appeal for Companionship

Then he made an appeal for companionship. Are you lonely today? Oh, you are and somebody told you that was what God wanted. He wants you to be lonely. You will be closer to Him if you are lonely. That is not true. There is no reason you shouldn't have companionship if you need it, and that is exactly what the Psalmist said in verse 79:

Psalm 119:

79 Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.

“Lord, I am tired of walking this road by myself. Let the folk who fear Thee come along and walk with me.” If you are weary of being alone, ask God to send someone into your life who loves you. Ask God to send somebody into your life who fears His Word. Don't go out and find somebody who doesn't believe the Lord. Don't you go out and find someone who doesn't depend on His Word. You ask God to do it and He will send you some companionship. Let the Holy Spirit minister that truth to your heart.

An Appeal for Consecration

One last appeal he makes here. In verse 80, he said:

Psalm 119:

80 Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.

For the sake of alliteration, I suggest it is an appeal for consecration. Beloved, I believe every one of us can pray this prayer: “Let my heart be sound in relation to Thy Word.”

This word sound comes from the Hebrew word tamiym , which is translated by the word perfect .” It is the same word the Holy Spirit used to describe Noah in Genesis, chapter 6, verse 9, when we read that Noah was a just man and perfect in all his generation. It is the same word God used when He gave His commission to Abraham. He said, “Walk thou before me and be thou perfect…” When the Psalmist said, “Let my heart be sound [perfect] in relation to thy Word that I might not be ashamed,” he was praying a prayer that every one of us can pray.

Notice what he said. He didn't say, “Lord, make me sinless.” He said, “Lord, let me be perfect in relation to your Word. Don't let me deviate from it even the slightest bit. Everything I find in there, Lord, give me the grace to obey it. Then my desires will be fulfilled.”

Remember this: God has given promise that no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly. The only way you can walk uprightly is to walk in accordance with the Word of God. God won't hold one thing back from you if you walk in accordance with His Word.


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