Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Hope in the Promise (Psalm 119:129-176)

"I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure" (Ps. 119:162).

Psalm 119’s salute to God’s law not only includes the many precepts that direct His people in righteousness, but it also contains the promises of God. The promise of eternal life, of an everlasting kingdom, shone as a beacon of light to the people of Israel. God’s promise of salvation provided hope in times of trial, endurance in the face of affliction, freedom in the midst of bondage, and comfort during times of loss. These promises assured the saints of eternal life because they were grounded in the eternality of God’s Word. “Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens” (v. 89). “Concerning Your testimonies, I have known of old that You have founded them forever” (v. 152). God would remain faithful to His word, and in this the psalmist gained much comfort: “May Your unfailing love be my comfort, according to Your promise to Your servant” (v. 76).

God’s promise of salvation was fulfilled on the cross by the work of Jesus Christ. The Old Testament saints were saved by putting their faith in the promise that would be realized in the distant future. The writer of Psalm 119 looked forward to this fulfillment in Christ: “Fulfill Your promise to Your servant, so that You may be feared” (v. 38) and “May Your unfailing love come to me, O LORD, Your salvation according to Your promise” (v. 41). Calvin believed that David wrote Psalm 119 and would have been an appropriate figure to rest entirely on the promises God had given him. David understood that he could be saved only by God’s grace because nothing in himself would merit salvation: “be gracious to me according to Your promise” (v. 57).

Like saints in all ages, David put his hope in the promises of God. He endured sufferings because he had the very Word of God to ground him, to assure him. In this great salvation, fulfilled in Christ, David rejoiced. He considered the promises of God to be of greater worth than all the world, to supply even greater depths of happiness than any worldly delight: “I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure” (v. 162). Have you found this great spoil, this pearl of great worth? If so, rejoice in the freedom, peace, and hope that come from God’s promises.

Read through Psalm 119 again. Notice David’s reliance on God’s Word and promises? How does God’s Word give you encouragement and strength? How do God’s promises relate to your assurance of salvation? Thank God for His steadfast promise and its fulfillment in Christ.