“Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments. Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.” (Psalm 119:137-138)
The writer of the book of Hebrews called God’s Word “the word of righteousness” (Hebrews 5:13). Nehemiah declared that God had “performed thy words; for thou art righteous” (Nehemiah 9:8). Those two concepts merge in the beauty of the Word. “For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth” (Psalm 33:4). The written Word is righteous; the cause of the Word is righteous. That theme pervades this stanza of Psalm 119. Several synonyms describe this characteristic of the Scriptures.
- The Lord is righteous, and therefore His judgments are upright. “Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way” (Psalm 25:8).
- God’s Word is very pure (Psalm 119:140), like refined gold. “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6).
- Because the righteous acts of the Lord have everlasting consequences, the “law is the truth” (Psalm 119:142)—“the righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting” (v. 144).
Since the psalmist dedicated his heart and life to the clarity of God’s Word, righteous jealousy consumed him on behalf of God because the enemies of the Lord forgot His Word (v. 139). Furthermore, even though he felt “small and despised” (v. 141) and trouble and anguish surrounded him, he still delighted in understanding God’s righteous commandments (v. 143).
May the Lord God strengthen our resolve this day to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22). HMM III
From Days of Praise