“[Into] Without end I shall not forget thy justifyings; for in those thou hast quickened me. (I shall never forget thy precepts; for through them thou hast given me life.)”
Wonderful, isn’t it? – that word “justifyings.” And who is the justifier? Well, God of course. Who quickens whom? Well God of course quickens us. How? Through His own justifyings; His own precepts.
Always I think of God’s work as the preparation of the Gift – the salvation earned for us by His Son who sacrificed Himself for us – His enemies – on the Cross. And our work? Ours is hard and easy at the same time – we are called to accept the Gift from His hands.
After comparing flesh to grass which “withers” and to flowers which “fail,” Peter writes that “the Word endures forever.” Unlike flesh — which is subject to death and decay — the Word of God stands eternally.
Recall that “man does not live by bread alone but on every Word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 8: 3)
The psalmist asks God, “How can a young man keep his way pure?” And answers his own question, “By keeping Your Word.” (Psalm 119: 9) He says to God, “I treasure Your Word in my heart so I may not sin against You… I do not forget Your Word.” (Psalm 119: 11, 16) “Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” (Psalm 119: 105)
The psalmist recognizes that God “gives [him] hope through [His Word].” (Psalm 119:49) God’s Word “is [his] comfort in affliction; [God’s] promise gives [him] life.” (Psalm 119: 50)
The psalmist declares, “I put my hope in Your Word.” (Psalm 119: 81) “Lord, Your Word is forever; it is firmly fixed in heaven.” (Psalm 119: 89)
“Grant me life by Your Word.”
Jesus says, “You do not come looking for Me because you see signs, but because you eat the bread and your hunger is satisfied. You must work, not for this perishable food, but for the food that lasts, the food of eternal life. This food the Son of Man gives you, for He it is upon whom God the Father sets the seal of His authority.” (John 6: 26 – 28)
“My Father,” says Jesus, “gives you the real bread from heaven. The bread that God gives comes down from heaven and brings life to the world.” (John 6: 32 – 34)
Jesus claims again that He is “the bread of life,” telling us that “whoever comes to Me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in Me shall never be thirsty.” (John 6: 35 – 36)
He then tells us that “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood you can have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood possesses eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. My flesh is real food; my blood is real drink.” (John 6: 53 – 55)
Some who find this shocking say “this is more than we can stomach.” (John 6: 60)
Jesus replies, “This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.” (John 6: 65)
“How shall a young man steer an honest course? By holding to Thy Word.” (Psalm 119: 9)
A wise young man will say, as does David: “I will bow down towards Thy holy temple, for Thy love and faithfulness I will praise Thy Name; for Thou hast made Thy promise wide as the heavens.” (Psalm 138: 2)
Knowing the Word of God allows the Holy Spirit a greater opportunity to guide in moments of need. “For the Word of God is alive and active. It cuts more keenly than any two-edged sword, piercing as far as the place where life and spirit, joints and marrow, divide. It sifts the purposes and thoughts of the heart.” (Hebrews 4: 12 – 13) Without this sword, a young man may be left to his own devices, his own knowledge and fail to “steer an honest course.”
Solomon teaches the young man to “understand the fear of the Lord and attain to the knowledge of God; for the Lord bestows wisdom and teaches knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2: 5 – 6) Solomon promises that this wisdom from God will enable the young man to “understand what is right and just and keep only to the good man’s path.” (Proverbs 2: 9)
Solomon tells the young man: “Prudence will keep watch over you, understanding will guard you, it will save you from evil ways and from men whose talk is subversive, who forsake the honest course.” (Proverb 2: 11 – 13)