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Precepts – Pull Up A Chair

~Psalm 119:33-40

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.
36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.
37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.
38 Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.
39 Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good.
40 Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.


1. Find all the things the Bible will do for you
2. Find the things you are suppose to do with your Bible
3. Find the things the Bible is likened to

Today’s text reveals the heart of our Psalmist. For eight verses, he petitions the Lord God:

  1. He asks to be “taught” – who can teach better than the Author of our faith? (Hebrews 12:2)
  2. He asks to be “given understanding” – who better to open our eyes than God Himself? (Jeremiah 33:3)
  3. He asks to be made to “go” – who better to lead us than the Shepherd? (Psalm 23:1-3)
  4. He asks to be “inclined” – who better to bend our hearts to righteousness than the Holy Spirit who quickens the heart? (Psalm 51:10)
  5. He asks to be “turned away” from vanity – who better to guide us and help us to turn away from the world but the Father? (1 John 2:15-16)
  6. He asks to be “stablished” – who better to stablish us than the One who has been since the beginning and whose words and promises are established forever? (2 Samuel 7:25-29)
  7. He asks to be “turned away from his reproach” – who better to keep us from reproach than the One who can keep us from falling? (Jude 1:24)
  8. He asks to be “quickened” – who better than the Holy Spirit of God who does a work in our hearts as we read His word? (Romans 8:11)

Do we love God’s word with the same intensity as the Psalmist? Do we read it with the same hopes and desires as he had? Today’s text is a wonderful prayer to start the day with as I read my Bible and waiting to hear from God! What earthly father would not desire to give his child anything after his child petitions him in this manner? How much more our Heavenly Father?

(Psalm 119:4) Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. God has commanded us to keep His precepts diligently. The New Testament does not obliterate the commands of the Old Testament, my friend. The Ten Commandments are still to be kept by the born-again Christian. Psalm 119:4 says that God commands that we keep His precepts diligently. I don’t know about you, but when God commands me to do something diligently, I know that I should heed and obey.

All of God’s Word is to be read by the believer. The Old Testament will lead a person to Christ just as well as the New Testament. Look at Timothy. At the time that 2 Timothy was written by Paul, the New Testament was not in written form. However, Paul states that Timothy was made wise unto salvation because he knew the holy Scriptures from childhood. (2 Ti 3:15) And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. That says a lot, in my opinion. With all the Scriptures Timothy learned as a child, he was led to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ by Paul. He had learned about the Messiah and how He would come one day to save His people. Paul witnessed to Timothy and showed him how Jesus was that Messiah and Timothy was saved. (2 Tim. 2:1) Putting the Scriptures together (Old and New Testaments), we see the beautiful picture of our Saviour. We see how the Old Testament spoke of His coming and we see the New Testament testifying that He came. Each prophecy dealing with His birth and ministry on earth was fulfilled. All the prophecies yet to be fulfilled must come to pass.

If God’s Word is so important that one little piece of it cannot be discarded, then why shouldn’t all of Scripture be important to us? (Mat 5:18 ) For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. We cannot take so lightly the Word of God, my friend. We cannot put man’s words above God’s. Twice Paul wrote that his words were not from his own wisdom but that brought to him by the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 2:4) And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: (1 Cor. 2:13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. Paul told us that it was God’s Word, His power, that keeps us from stumbling. (2 Cor. 6:7) By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, (emphasis mine). Paul exhorts the Corinthians in verse 12 that they were not patterning themselves after what he had preached from the Word but they were patterning themselves after their own thoughts. Cain sought his own way by offering a sacrifice that God had not asked for and God did not accept Cain’s offering. Why should God accept man’s distortions of the Word today? There is only one true Word and that is found in the Scriptures.God does not want us to be ignorant fools. Proverbs is filled with verses about the fool and his wicked ways. God wants to draw us to Him and He wants to change us from the inside to be more like Him. Each line and each precept is important in His Word to achieve His likeness in our own lives. God grows the Christian like a mother feeds her child – from milk to meat. (Isa 28:9) Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. (Isa 28:10) For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: (Heb 5:13) For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (1 Pet 2:2) As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: It is not God’s wish that we remain spiritual babies, forever needing our spiritual diapers changed. The Lord Jesus gave us His Word to grow thereby. We must progress from milk to meat and put that growth to work in our lives… Precept upon precept, line upon line.

With that said, let’s look at what God says about His precepts:

1. We are to meditate on them:

(Psalm 119:15) I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

(Psalm 119:78 ) Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.

2. We are to understand them and talk about them:

(Psalm 119:27) Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.

3. We are to desire them AND allow them to convict us:

(Psalm 119:40) Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.

(Psalm 119:93) I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.

(Psalm 119:159) Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness.

4. We will have nothing to fear if we abide in them:

(Psalm 119:45) And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.

(Psalm 119:56) This I had, because I kept thy precepts.

5. We will have fellowship with others who love God’s Word:

(Psalm 119:63) I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.

6. We are not to forsake them:

(Psalm 119:69) The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.

(Psalm 119:78 ) Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.

(Psalm 119:87) They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.

(Psalm 119:100) I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.

(Psalm 119:134) Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.

(Psalm 119:141) I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts.

7. We are to seek them unto salvation:

(Psalm 119:94) I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts.

8. They bring understanding and keep us from error:

(Psalm 119:104) Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

(Psalm 119:110) The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.

(Psalm 119:128 ) Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.

(Psalm 119:168 ) I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee.

(Psalm 119:173) Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.

(Dan 9:5) We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:

Noah Webster defines the word precept as:

PRE’CEPT, n. [L. proeceptum, from proecipio, to command; proe, before, and capio, to take.]1. In a general sense, any commandment or order intended as an authoritative rule of action; but applied particularly to commands respecting moral conduct. The ten commandments are so many precepts for the regulation of our moral conduct.No arts are without their precepts.2. In law, a command or mandate in writing.God would not have us to be ignorant. He commands us to follow His precepts diligently, therefore, logically He would provide us with those precepts in some form that we can read – His Word. He would not have us to follow after a man and man’s thoughts and doctrine. The Lord has given us His Word to follow after and He is capable of preserving that Word. To say otherwise is limiting God’s power and ability. To say otherwise is to tell God that He is not able to keep His Word preserved throughout all eternity. Is anything too hard for God? Why can He not preserve His oracles throughout the ages? The devil has succeeded in deceiving the person who thinks that God’s Word has been changed or has not been preserved throughout time. (Jer. 32:27) Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? Yes, the father of lies has successfully convinced some of you that “the church’s” interpretation of the Bible is what is best. This same father of lies has convinced you that your “church” holds the truth. (John 8:44) Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. But the Bible says that God’s Word is truth – not some church. (John 17:17) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.It is through God’s Holy Word that we can grow and have wisdom to keep us from sin. Does your church keep you from sin? Does believing what the church has taught you keep you from sin? It is God’s Word that will form us into the likeness of Jesus Christ. The more we are in the Word and allow the Word to change us, the more like Him we will become. It is your own responsibility to study God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit, who wrote it, to reveal God’s will to you. God warns in Romans about those who try to establish their own righteousness through “the church” or through “the pope” or through any other means. Sadly, they will find themselves deceived. (Rom 10:3) For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. God says to submit to HIS righteousness, not man’s. God’s righteousness alone is true.

There is nothing in man’s heart that is good. (Jer. 17:9) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?I love how Paul exhorted Timothy to study for himself so he could be approved unto God. Paul didn’t tell Timothy that he had to study to prove his knowledge to Paul or to others – but unto God! (2Ti 2:15) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Ashamed of what? When Christ appears with judgment in His hands, we will all have to stand before Him and give an account of why we allowed ourselves to be deceived by man. (1 John 2:28 ) And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. John exhorts the believers to abide in Christ (His Word) so we will be confident and not be ashamed. We will not have followed every wind of doctrine but will have recognized false doctrine. Why would anyone pray to Mary and the saints when the Word explicitly says that there is one mediator and that is Christ. Is man’s word or “the church’s” word better than God’s? How impudent are the thoughts of man who believe this to be true!

What audacity one has when he believes that God would change the Bible to accommodate man and his evil heart. Would God state one thing in His Holy Word and then state it otherwise through the pope – then state that it’s OK to strike out what the Bible says and replace it with what the pope says because he is God’s man? God is not a liar. He will not say one thing and then change his mind. How foolish one is who believes that the church supersedes what God has said in His Word!(Psalm 119:4) Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. So who’s precepts are you keeping? God’s or your church’s? God has commanded you to keep His precepts!

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