Sermon Notes: The Attributes of Biblical Wisdom

Wisdom questions to ask:

  • What are my motives (13–18)? 
  • Is there bitterness in your heart or envy? 
  • Are you speaking from God’s wisdom or the wisdom of the world? 
  • Are you a peacemaker or a troublemaker? 

If your heart is right before God (Heb. 4:12), He will use your words to produce the right kind of fruit. 

  • James 1:5 NIV If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

James 3:13‭-‬18 NIV

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.

  • James 1:22 NIV Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
  • James 1:19‭-‬20 NIV My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit,impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

  • Galatians 5:22‭-‬23 NIV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
  • Matthew 5:9 NIV Blessed are the peacemakers,  for they will be called children of God.
https://youtu.be/Y-DY3QTYKK0

Sermon Notes: Great and Precious Promises

Focus Scripture

Verse Psalm 119:38 Confirm to your servant your promise, that you may be feared.

  • Elaboration: The psalmist seeks affirmation of God’s promise, suggesting that such assurance will deepen reverence for God.
  • Cross-reference: 2 Peter 1:4 – “Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature.”

The symbolic meaning of “He” “sounds like “Hay” in Psalm 119 touches on themes of divine revelation, the breath of life, human humility before God, the desire for divine grace, and the transformative power of engaging with God’s law. It underscores the section’s focus on seeking understanding, guidance, and the ability to live in accordance with God’s commandments.

The Message:

Peter 1:3-9

Introduction:

2 Peter, aimed at bolstering believers’ faith amidst challenges and reminding them of the divine power and promises granted through faith in Christ. 

Scripture Text: 2 Peter 1:3-9

Verse 3: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”

  • Cross-Reference:Ephesians 1:3 – “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”

NOTE: This passage emphasizes that through the divine power of God, believers are equipped with all necessary resources for living a life that reflects godliness, rooted in the knowledge of Christ.

Verse 4: “Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

  • Cross-Reference:Ephesians 4:24 – “and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

NOTE:  This promise of participation in the divine nature underlines the transformative impact of the Gospel.This is the same as a son being “like” his father in behavior, but he is not the father

Verse 5: “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;”

  • Cross-Reference:James 2:22 – “You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.”

NOTE: Peter urges believers to diligently cultivate a series of virtues, starting with faith and building upon it with goodness and knowledge, emphasizing the active effort required in spiritual growth.

Verse 6:”and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;”

  • Cross-Reference:Galatians 5:22-23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

NOTE: This continuation of virtue development includes self-control, perseverance, and godliness, each building on the other, illustrating the holistic nature of spiritual maturity.

Verse 7: “and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”

  • Cross-Reference:1 Thessalonians 4:9 – “Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.”

NOTE: The pinnacle of these virtues is love, demonstrating that true godliness manifests in genuine affection for others, underscoring the central role of love in the Christian life. This is called “Continuous Improvement or Growth”.

Verse 8:”For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

  • Cross-Reference:John 15:5 – “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

NOTE: The presence and growth of these virtues ensure that a believer’s life will be fruitful and meaningful, highlighting the practical outcome of deepening one’s understanding and relationship with Christ.

Verse 9:”But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”

  • Cross-Reference:Hebrews 6:4-6 – “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance.”

NOTE: The absence of these virtues leads to spiritual myopia, causing one to forget the fundamental transformation that has occurred through Christ’s cleansing. This serves as a warning against complacency.

Key Takeaways:

  • Divine Provision for Godliness: God’s divine power has granted us all we need for life and godliness, showcasing the importance of knowledge of Him and reliance on His promises.
  • The Path of Spiritual Growth: Peter outlines a progression of virtues that believers are encouraged to develop, emphasizing the interconnectedness of faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love.
  • The Importance of Increasing Virtue: Growing in these qualities ensures our effectiveness and productivity in our spiritual journey, deeply connected to our relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • The Danger of Spiritual Stagnation: Lack of these virtues leads to spiritual shortsightedness and a dangerous forgetfulness of the fundamental transformation we’ve experienced through faith in Christ.
  • Call to Diligent Growth: Believers are encouraged to actively pursue spiritual maturity, reflecting on the divine nature through the cultivation of these virtues, supported by the promises and strength found in Christ.

He Psalm 119:33-40

“He” is the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet and serves as the heading for the fifth section of Psalm 119, encompassing verses 33-40. In this section, each verse begins with “He” in the original Hebrew text, maintaining the acrostic pattern found throughout Psalm 119.

The symbolic meaning of “He” within the context of Psalm 119, as well as in broader Hebrew mystical tradition, includes several layers:

  • Literal Meaning and Symbolism: “He” literally can stand for “behold” or an exhalation, suggesting a breath or a sigh. In the mystical tradition of Judaism, particularly in Kabbalah, the letter “He” is often associated with the divine breath, creation, and revelation. It symbolizes the divine presence and the breath of God that gives life.
  • Divine Revelation and Insight: In Psalm 119, the “He” section contains pleas for understanding, guidance, and life according to God’s statutes and commandments. The letter could symbolize the psalmist’s desire for divine revelation and insight into God’s law, mirroring the breath of God breathing spiritual life into the seeker’s soul.
  • A Call for Divine Grace: The invocation of “He” at the beginning of this section can also be seen as a call for divine grace. The psalmist asks for God’s teachings and expresses a longing to follow God’s commandments more faithfully, seeking the grace to understand and live by the divine will.
  • Human Frailty and Divine Assistance: The letter “He” has been interpreted to represent humility and frailty, acknowledging human limitations and the need for divine assistance. This theme is present in the section, as the psalmist acknowledges his dependence on God to understand and keep the law.
  • Renewal and Transformation: Just as “He” signifies a breath or sigh, it can symbolize the renewal and transformation that comes from engaging deeply with God’s Word. The psalmist’s requests in this section reflect a yearning for spiritual renewal through adherence to God’s statutes.

In summary, the symbolic meaning of “He” in Psalm 119 touches on themes of divine revelation, the breath of life, human humility before God, the desire for divine grace, and the transformative power of engaging with God’s law. It underscores the section’s focus on seeking understanding, guidance, and the ability to live in accordance with God’s commandments.

Verse 33:   

  • Text: “Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end.”
  • Reflection: The psalmist asks for divine instruction in understanding God’s statutes, with a commitment to obedience. This demonstrates a desire for a deep, enduring relationship with God’s law.
  • Cross-reference: Psalm 25:4-5 – “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”

Verse 34:   

  • Text: “Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.”
  • Reflection: Here, the psalmist seeks not just knowledge but understanding, emphasizing the importance of heartfelt obedience to God’s law.
  • Cross-reference: Proverbs 2:6-7 – “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless.”

Verse 35:   

  • Text: “Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.”
  • Reflection: Expressing joy in following God’s commandments, the psalmist asks to be guided along this path, underscoring the pleasure found in divine obedience.
  • Cross-reference: Psalm 40:8 – “I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.”

Verse 36:   

  • Text: “Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!”
  • Reflection: The psalmist prays for a heart that prefers God’s testimonies over selfish pursuits, highlighting a battle against materialism.
  • Cross-reference: Hebrews 13:5 – “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'”

Verse 37:   

  • Text: “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.”
  • Reflection: A plea to avoid distractions and to find true life in the ways of the Lord, indicating a desire for spiritual rather than worldly fulfillment.
  • Cross-reference: Matthew 6:22-23 – “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.”

Verse 38:   

  • Text: “Confirm to your servant your promise, that you may be feared.”
  • Reflection: The psalmist seeks affirmation of God’s promise, suggesting that such assurance will deepen reverence for God.
  • Cross-reference: 2 Peter 1:4 – “Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature.”

Verse 39:   

  • Text: “Turn away the reproach which I dread, for your rules are good.”
  • Reflection: Asking for protection from feared reproach, the psalmist affirms the goodness of God’s rules, showing trust in God’s righteousness.
  • Cross-reference: Psalm 31:17 – “Let me not be put to shame, O Lord, for I call on you; let the wicked be put to shame; let them go silently to Sheol.”

Verse 40:   

  • Text: “Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life.”
  • Reflection: The psalmist expresses a deep longing for God’s precepts, associating them with the source of life, emphasizing a desire for spiritual vitality through righteousness.
  • Cross-reference: Isaiah 55:3 – “Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.”

Key Takeaways from Psalm 119:33-40:

  • These verses reflect a sincere plea for guidance, understanding, and the ability to live according to God’s statutes, highlighting the psalmist’s dedication to following God’s commandments.
  • The psalmist emphasizes the importance of heartfelt obedience and the desire for spiritual over material gains, showing a clear preference for divine wisdom and righteousness.
  • The recurring theme is a deep yearning for a closer relationship with God through adherence to His laws and a life lived in alignment with divine will, underscoring the belief in God’s word as the true path

Sermon Notes: Righteousness Through Faith in Christ

Aleph, as the first letter, can symbolize the primacy of God and the beginning of wisdom. It’s often associated with the teaching that understanding and wisdom begin with a knowledge and respect for God and His precepts, statutes, and decrees.

Beth literally means “house” in Hebrew. Symbolically, it can represent the idea of a dwelling place or a foundation. In the context of Psalm 119, this could symbolize the dwelling place of God’s Word in the believer’s heart, indicating that one’s life should be built upon and inhabited by the teachings and commandments of God.

Daleth literally means “door” in Hebrew. This can symbolize an entryway or pathway, which could be interpreted as a metaphor for the entry into understanding and the pathway to deeper knowledge and relationship with God through His Word.

Focus Scripture:

Psalm 119:31 “I cling to your testimonies; Oh Lord, do not put me to shame.”

  • Reflection: Expressing a firm adherence to God’s testimonies, the psalmist seeks assurance that this commitment will not lead to shame. This reflects a trust in God’s word as a source of honor and dignity.
  • Cross-reference:Romans 10:11 – “As Scripture says, ‘Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.’

The Message

Romans 10:5-13

In the Old TestamentMoses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” 

‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬ Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” 

Paul begins by referencing the righteousness that is based on the law, quoting

  • ‭‭Leviticus‬ ‭18:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬ Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them. I am the Lord.
    • He explains that those who live by the laws toachieve righteousness.
    • This sets up a contrast with the righteousness obtained through faith.

Romans 10:6-8: But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) [7] “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). [8] But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 

These verses quote from

  • Deuteronomy 30:12-14, where Paul uses the scripture to describe the righteousness that comes from faith. He emphasizes that this righteousness does not require impossible feats, like ascending to heaven or descending into the abyss, to bring Christ down or up. Instead, it is near and accessible, centered on the word of faith that Paul and other apostles are preaching.

Romans 10:9-10: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [10] For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 

  • Paul outlines the simplicity and accessibility of the Christian message of salvation. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
  • For Paul, the heart’s belief leads to righteousness, and the mouth’s confession leads to salvation.
  • This indicates a personal and internal acceptance of Christ’s lordship and resurrection, resulting in a rightrelationship with God and assurance of salvation.

Note: The core message Romans 10:5-10ity is:

  • The distinction between trying to achieve righteousness through one’s own effort by adhering to law (which is impossible to do perfectly) and receiving righteousness through faith in Christ.ion.
  • Paul emphasizes that salvation is Jesus Christ,e to all who believe in internal regardless of their ability to follow religious laws perfectly.
  • This passage is central to Christian doctrine, highlighting the importance of faith in Jesus as the pathway to righteousness and salvation.

Romans 10:11: “For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.'”

  • This verse quotes Isaiah 28:16, reinforcing the message that belief in Jesus Christ leads to salvation without disappointment or shame. It highlights the reliability and trustworthiness of God’s promise of salvation to those who have faith.

Romans 10:12: “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.”

  • Here, Paul emphasizes the inclusivity of the gospel message. The distinction between Jew and Greek (or Gentile) is irrelevant when it comes to salvation. God’s lordship and the offer of salvation extend to all people, regardless of their ethnic or cultural background.
  • The “riches” mentioned here refer to the blessings and benefits of salvation, including righteousness, peace, and eternal life.

Romans 10:13: “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'”

  • This verse quotes Joel 2:32, further underscoring the universal offer of salvation.
  • To “call on the name of the Lord” means to appeal to God for salvation, recognizing Jesus as Lord and Savior. This promise asserts that anyone who turns to God in faith will receive salvation.
  • These verses collectively highlight a central theme of Paul’s theology: the universality of the gospel.
  • Salvation is not limited by ethnic, cultural, or social boundaries but is available to all who believe in Jesus Christ.
  • This passage is crucial for understanding the inclusive nature of Christian salvation, affirming that faith in Christ is the sole requirement for being saved, thus eliminating any grounds for boasting in one’s heritage or adherence to the law.

Daleth – Psalm 119:25-32

“Daleth,” the fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, serves as the heading for the fourth section of Psalm 119 (verses 25-32). In this section, each verse begins with “Daleth” in the original Hebrew, continuing the acrostic pattern that characterizes the entire psalm.

The symbolic meaning of “Daleth” in Psalm 119, as well as its use throughout the psalm, can be understood on multiple levels:

Literal Meaning: “Daleth” literally means “door” in Hebrew. This can symbolize an entryway or pathway, which could be interpreted as a metaphor for the entry into understanding and the pathway to deeper knowledge and relationship with God through His Word.

Spiritual Seeking: The verses under “Daleth” express a profound sense of humility and need for God’s guidance and sustenance. The imagery of a “door” could symbolize the psalmist’s desire for God to open the door to spiritual enlightenment and revival, especially as the psalmist speaks of being brought low to the dust and seeking life through God’s word.

Transition and Hope: Doors symbolize transition from one state or place to another. In the context of “Daleth,” it can represent the psalmist’s hope for a transition from a state of spiritual desolation (“My soul clings to the dust”) to one of spiritual vitality (“Give me life according to your word”).

Dependence on God: The request to be taught God’s statutes and to understand His precepts (verses 26-27) can be seen as a knocking on God’s door, seeking entry into a place of deeper wisdom and communion with God.

A Call for Divine Intervention: The section implies a request for God to intervene and open the doors that lead to righteous living, understanding, and fulfillment of God’s law in the psalmist’s life.

In summary, the use of “Daleth” in this section of Psalm 119 symbolizes a desire for new beginnings, divine teaching, and the opening of pathways to deeper spiritual understanding. It reflects the psalmist’s humility, dependence on God for spiritual sustenance, and a yearning for transformation through adherence to God’s Word.

Psalm 119:25-32: Verse by Verse Analysis

Verse 25:

  • Text: “My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word.”
  • Reflection: The psalmist feels at his lowest, possibly in despair or mourning, and seeks revitalization through God’s word. This plea for life according to God’s word indicates a belief in the power of scripture to uplift and renew.
  • Cross-reference: Psalm 71:20 – “Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.”

Verse 26:

  • Text: “I have declared my ways, and you answered me; teach me your statutes.”
  • Reflection: After acknowledging his own ways or sins, the psalmist notes that God responded to him. He asks for further instruction in God’s statutes, showing a desire to learn and grow from divine guidance.
  • Cross-reference: 1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Verse 27:

  • Text: “Make me understand the way of your precepts; so shall I meditate on your wondrous works.”
  • Reflection: The request here is for understanding, not just knowledge of God’s precepts. Understanding will lead to deeper meditation on God’s works, linking the knowledge of God’s laws with the appreciation of His deeds.
  • Cross-reference: James 1:5 – “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

Verse 28:

  • Text: “My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to your word.”
  • Reflection: Describing a state of sorrow or depression, the psalmist seeks strength from God’s word. This reflects a belief in the comforting and empowering capability of scripture.
  • Cross-reference: Isaiah 40:31 – “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Verse 29:

  • Text: “Remove from me the way of lying, and graciously grant me your law.”
  • Reflection: The psalmist requests deliverance from falsehood and deceit, asking instead for the gift of God’s law. This verse illustrates a desire for truth and integrity, seeing God’s law as a path to righteousness.
  • Cross-reference: Ephesians 4:25 – “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”

Verse 30:

  • Text: “I have chosen the way of truth; your judgments have I laid before me.”
  • Reflection: A declaration of commitment to truth and to living by God’s judgments. The psalmist places God’s laws as a guide and priority in his life.
  • Cross-reference: Joshua 24:15 – “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Verse 31:

  • Text: “I cling to your testimonies; O Lord, do not put me to shame.”
  • Reflection: Expressing a firm adherence to God’s testimonies, the psalmist seeks assurance that this commitment will not lead to shame. This reflects a trust in God’s word as a source of honor and dignity.
  • Cross-reference: Romans 10:11 – “As Scripture says, ‘Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.’

Verse 32:

  • Text: “I will run the way of your commandments, when you enlarge my heart.”
  • Reflection: The psalmist promises to eagerly follow God’s commandments, asking for an “enlarged heart” – a heart that is broadened with understanding and zeal for God. This shows a desire for spiritual expansion to more fully live out God’s laws.
  • Cross-reference: 2 Corinthians 6:11-13 – “We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also.”

Key Takeaways from Psalm 119:25-32:

  • The psalmist demonstrates a profound dependence on God’s word for spiritual vitality and guidance, especially in times of distress and sorrow.
  • There is a continuous appeal for understanding and strength that comes from engaging deeply with scripture, highlighting the transformative power of God’s word in the believer’s life.
  • The commitment to truth, integrity, and the rejection of falsehood is evident, showing the psalmist’s desire to live in accordance with God’s law.
  • The section reflects a journey from despair to a determined commitment to follow God’s commandments more fervently, indicating the psalmist’s growth in faith and understanding.
  • The plea for an enlarged heart suggests a yearning for greater capacity to love and serve God, illustrating the psalmist’s aspiration for spiritual expansion and deeper devotion.

Sermon Notes: A Steadfast Faith

Psalms‬ ‭119:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬ Though rulers sit together and slander me, your servant will meditate on your decrees.

Daniel‬ ‭6:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬ Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. 

Salvation reveals God’s greatness (15–23). Ask God to open your spiritual eyes to see the greatness of His power. Jesus is alive and has conquered every enemy! You may draw on His power to meet every need in life.

The two prayers in Ephesians complement each other. Ephesians 1:15–23 focuses on knowing what God has done for you in Christ, while 3:14–21 emphasizes experiencing His blessings. The first is for enlightenment; the second is for enablement. For other prison prayers of Paul, see Philippians 1:9–11 and Colossians 1:9–12. You may use these prayers for yourself and know that you are praying in the will of God.

The Message

Ephesians 1:15‭-‬23 NIV  15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people,

This Reason

  • Ephesians 1:13‭-‬14 NIV And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

  • 1 Corinthians 2:9‭-‬10 NIV However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him— these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,

19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,

21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

  • Philippians 2:8‭-‬11 NIV And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Gimel – Psalm 119:17-24

Overview: Psalm 119 stands out in the Book of Psalms not only for being the longest chapter in the Bible, but also for its unique structure and profound devotion to the theme of God’s Word.

  • This psalm is an acrostic poem, meticulously crafted with each of its 176 verses corresponding to the Hebrew alphabet.
  • It is divided into 22 stanzas, each containing 8 verses.
  • Every verse in a stanza begins with the same Hebrew letter, following the order of the alphabet.

“Gimel” is the third letter of the Hebrew alphabet and is used as a heading for the third section of Psalm 119, verses 17-24. Each verse in this section starts with “Gimel” in the original Hebrew text. The use of “Gimel” and other letters in Psalm 119 follows the acrostic pattern that characterizes the entire chapter.

In the context of Psalm 119, the “Gimel” section, like the others, continues to explore themes related to the value, beauty, and importance of God’s law and commandments. It reflects on how adherence to God’s word impacts one’s life, providing guidance, wisdom, and spiritual insight.

The use of Hebrew alphabet letters such as “Gimel” in Psalm 119 is not just a literary device but also adds layers of meaning and aids in memorization and meditation on the psalm’s themes. Each section, under the header of a different Hebrew letter, offers a unique perspective or emphasis, together forming a comprehensive meditation on the Torah, or God’s law.

Psalm 119:17-24: Verse by Verse Analysis

Verse 17:

“Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word.”

Reflection: The psalmist begins by asking for God’s blessing, not for material gain but for the strength and ability to live a life that honors God’s word. It reflects a dependence on God for spiritual vitality.

Cross-reference:

  • Psalm 116:7 – “Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.”

Verse 18:

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.”

Reflection: This verse is a request for spiritual insight. The psalmist seeks a deeper understanding of God’s law, recognizing that the true wonders of God’s word can only be understood when God enlightens the believer.

Cross-reference:

  • Ephesians 1:18 – “The eyes of your heart enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.”

Verse 19:

“I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me!”

Reflection: Acknowledging his transient status on earth, the psalmist pleads for God not to conceal His commandments. This reflects a view of life as a temporary journey, with God’s commandments as the essential guide.

Cross-reference:

  • Hebrews 11:13 – “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”

Verse 20:

“My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times.”

Reflection: Here, there is an intense expression of desire for God’s laws. The psalmist’s longing is continuous, illustrating a deep, insatiable hunger for spiritual truth and righteousness.

Cross-reference:

  • Psalm 42:1-2 – “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”

Verse 21:

“You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones, who wander from your commandments.”

Reflection: The psalmist acknowledges God’s rebuke of those who arrogantly disregard His commandments. This verse serves as a warning against the folly of straying from God’s law.

Cross-reference:

  • Proverbs 3:34 – “He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.”

Verse 22:

“Take away from me scorn and contempt, for I have kept your testimonies.”

Reflection: The psalmist asks for relief from scorn and contempt, possibly faced due to his commitment to God’s testimonies. This reflects the challenges of living a godly life in an ungodly world.

Cross-reference:

  • 1 Peter 4:14 – “If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.”

Verse 23:

“Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes.”

Reflection: Despite facing opposition from powerful figures, the psalmist remains committed to meditating on God’s statutes. This demonstrates unwavering dedication to God’s law, even under pressure or threat.

Cross-reference:

  • Daniel 6:10 – “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.”

Verse 24:

“Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.”

Reflection: God’s testimonies are not only a source of joy but also guidance for the psalmist. They are seen as counselors, indicating that the psalmist looks to God’s word for wisdom and direction.

Cross-reference:

  • Psalm 32:8 – “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”

Key Takeaways from Psalm 119:17-24:

  • These verses reflect a deep yearning for spiritual enlightenment and understanding of God’s law.
  • The psalmist views life on earth as a temporary journey, with a constant reliance on God’s commandments for guidance.
  • There is an intense desire for God’s rules and a recognition of the dangers of straying from them.
  • The psalmist faces challenges and opposition but remains steadfast in his commitment to God’s statutes, using them as sources of delight and counsel.

Sermon Notes: Experiencing the God’s of Promises

Psalms‬ ‭119:12‭-‬16‬ ‭Blessed are You, Lord; Teach me Your statutes. [13] With my lips I have told of All the ordinances of Your mouth. [14] I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches. [15] I will meditate on Your precepts And regard Your ways. [16] I shall delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.

Background of Deuteronomy 6:1-8

Deuteronomy 6:1-8 is part of a series of discourses delivered by Moses to the Israelites in the plains of Moab, shortly before their entry into the Promised Land. These discourses are meant to remind and instruct the Israelites about the laws and commandments they are to follow as God’s chosen people. Deuteronomy, meaning “second law,” reiterates and expounds upon the laws given at Sinai.

This particular section, known as the Shema (from the first word in verse 4, “Hear”), is central to Jewish faith and daily prayer. It emphasizes the importance of loving and obeying God wholeheartedly and teaching these commandments diligently to future generations.

Verse by Verse Analysis of Deuteronomy 6:1-8

Verse 1:               

  • Text: “Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the judgments—which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it.”
  • Reflection: This verse sets the stage for the instructions to follow. It emphasizes that the statutes and judgments are commanded by God and are essential for life in the Promised Land.
  • Cross-reference:
    • Exodus 20:2 – “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”

Verse 2:               

  • Text: “so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.”
  • Reflection: The verse links obedience to God with the concept of fearing (revering) Him. It underscores that the commandments are not just for one generation but are to be kept through generations, implying a continuity of faith and obedience.
  • Cross-reference: Proverbs 3:1-2 – “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.”

Verse 3:               

  • Text: “O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.”
  • Reflection: This verse emphasizes the benefits of obedience — well-being and prosperity in the Promised Land. The “land flowing with milk and honey” symbolizes abundance and fulfillment of God’s promises.
  • Cross-reference:
    • Leviticus 26:3-5 – “If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments and do them, then…you shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land securely.”

Verse 4:               

  • Text: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!”
  • Reflection: Known as the Shema, this verse is a foundational declaration of the Jewish faith, affirming the monotheistic belief in one God. It serves as a call to attention for the significant commandment that follows.
  • Cross-reference: Mark 12:29 – Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord;”

Verse 5:               

  • Text: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
  • Reflection: This verse commands a total, all-encompassing love for God. It is not just about external obedience but involves the whole being — heart, soul, and strength.
  • Cross-reference: Matthew 22:37 – Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’”

Verse 6:               

  • Text: “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.”
  • Reflection: The commandments are to be internalized, deeply rooted in the heart. This internalization is key to genuine obedience and relationship with God.
  • Cross-reference:
    • Proverbs 7:3 – “Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.”

Verse 7:               

  • Text: “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
  • Reflection: This verse underscores the importance of educating children in God’s laws. The instruction is to be a constant part of daily life, indicating that teaching about God should permeate every aspect of living.
  • Cross-reference:
    • Ephesians 6:4 – “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

Verse 8:               

  • Text: “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.”
  • Reflection: The verse uses metaphorical language to express the need for God’s commandments to be ever-present in daily actions (sign on the hand) and thoughts (frontals on the forehead). It emphasizes the integration of God’s law into all facets of life.
  • Cross-reference:
    • Exodus 13:9 – “And it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the law of the Lord may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the Lord has brought you out of Egypt.”

Key Takeaways from Deuteronomy 6:1-8:

  • These verses form the core of Jewish religious instruction, emphasizing the importance of loving and obeying God wholeheartedly.
  • The passage connects obedience with the well-being and prosperity of the Israelites in the Promised Land.
  • The Shema (v. 4) serves as a central declaration of faith in one God.
  • The instructions highlight the necessity of internalizing God’s commandments and diligently teaching them to future generations, ensuring the continuity of faith and adherence to God’s laws.

Bible Study: Beth – Psalm 119:9-16

Overview: Psalm 119 stands out in the Book of Psalms not only for being the longest chapter in the Bible, but also for its unique structure and profound devotion to the theme of God’s Word.

  • This psalm is an acrostic poem, meticulously crafted with each of its 176 verses corresponding to the Hebrew alphabet.
  • It is divided into 22 stanzas, each containing 8 verses
  • Every verse in a stanza begins with the same Hebrew letter, following the order of the alphabet.

“Beth” is the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet and is used as the heading for the second section of Psalm 119, verses 9-16. In this section, each verse in the original Hebrew text begins with “Beth.”

The “Beth” section of Psalm 119 continues the psalm’s overarching themes, which include the significance of God’s word, the desire for a pure and obedient life, and the pursuit of divine wisdom.

The use of “Beth” as a section header in Psalm 119 signifies more than just a literary structure; it represents a methodical and contemplative approach to exploring the depths of God’s word, with each stanza providing a specific lens through which to view and understand the broader themes of the psalm.

Verse 9:

 “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.”

Reflection: This verse poses a question about maintaining purity, especially for the young. The answer is clear: adherence to God’s word is key. It implies that divine guidance is essential for navigating the challenges of youth and maintaining moral integrity.

Cross Reference:

  • 2 Timothy 2:22 – “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

Verse 10:

 “With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!”

Reflection: The psalmist expresses a wholehearted pursuit of God and a desire to stay faithful to His commandments. This verse highlights the intentionality and commitment needed in the spiritual journey.

Cross Reference:

  • Jeremiah 29:13 – “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Verse 11:

 “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”

Reflection: Here, the importance of internalizing God’s word is emphasized. By keeping God’s teachings close at heart, the psalmist aims to avoid sin. This verse speaks to the protective and guiding power of scripture.

Cross Reference:

  • Colossians 3:16 – “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom…”

Verse 12:

 “Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes!”

Reflection: This verse is both a declaration of praise and a request for divine instruction. The psalmist recognizes God’s blessedness and shows a teachable spirit, eager to learn more of God’s statutes.

Cross Reference:

  • James 1:5 – “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

Verse 13:

 “With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth.”

Reflection: The psalmist commits to speaking of God’s laws, indicating that sharing God’s commandments is a form of worship and testimony. It also reflects a personal commitment to not just internalize but also verbalize God’s teachings.

Cross Reference:

  • Romans 10:9 – “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Verse 14:

 “In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.”

Reflection: The psalmist compares the joy found in following God’s testimonies to the joy found in material wealth. This example elevates the value of spiritual riches over earthly wealth.

Cross Reference:

  • Matthew 6:19-21 – “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…”

Verse 15:

  “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.”

Reflection: This verse emphasizes the importance of meditation on God’s precepts and focusing on His ways. It suggests a deep, contemplative engagement with God’s word.

Cross Reference:

  • Joshua 1:8 – “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.”

Verse 16:

  “I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.”

Reflection: The psalmist expresses joy in God’s statutes and a commitment to remembering God’s word. This verse conveys the joy and satisfaction found in living according to God’s commandments.

Cross Reference:

  • Deuteronomy 6:6-7 – “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

Important points from Psalm 119:9-16:

Guidance for Purity and Integrity: These verses emphasize the importance of God’s word in guiding individuals, particularly the young, towards a life of purity and integrity. The psalmist suggests that adhering to God’s teachings is the key to navigating life’s moral challenges.

Wholehearted Pursuit of God: The psalmist illustrates a deep, heartfelt pursuit of God. This pursuit is characterized by a desire to not stray from God’s commandments, reflecting a firm commitment to living a life aligned with divine will.

Internalizing God’s Word: The importance of internalizing scripture is highlighted to avoid sin. Storing God’s word in the heart is portrayed as a spiritual defense mechanism against wrongdoing.

Teachability and Desire for Learning: The psalmist expresses a teachable spirit, seeking to learn more about God’s statutes. This reflects a humble acknowledgment of the need for continual learning and spiritual growth.

Verbal Declaration of God’s Laws: There’s an emphasis on the importance of verbally declaring God’s rules, showing that proclaiming God’s laws is an act of worship and a means of spreading divine teachings.

Valuing Spiritual Riches Over Material Wealth: The joy and delight in following God’s commandments are compared to the joy found in material riches, suggesting a preference for spiritual wealth over earthly possessions.

Meditation on and Commitment to God’s Word: The psalmist emphasizes meditating on God’s precepts and focusing on His ways, highlighting the importance of contemplation and ongoing engagement with scripture.

Joy and Satisfaction in Obedience: A theme of finding joy and satisfaction in living according to God’s statutes is present, coupled with a commitment to not forget God’s word, showing the deep fulfillment found in a life dedicated to God’s teachings.

Bible Study: Aleph – Psalm 119:1-8

Overview:

Psalm 119 stands out in the Book of Psalms not only for being the longest chapter in the Bible, but also for its unique structure and profound devotion to the theme of God’s Word.

  • This psalm is an acrostic poem, meticulously crafted with each of its 176 verses corresponding to the Hebrew alphabet.
  • It is divided into 22 stanzas, each containing 8 verses
  • Every verse in a stanza begins with the same Hebrew letter, following the order of the alphabet.

Aleph, as the first letter, can symbolize the primacy of God and the beginning of wisdom. It’s often associated with the teaching that understanding and wisdom begin with a knowledge and respect for God and His precepts, statutes, and decrees.

Verse 1:

“Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord.”

Reflection: This opening verse sets the theme of the psalm, emphasizing the blessings upon those who lead a blameless life by following God’s law. It highlights that true happiness and spiritual fulfillment are found in living according to God’s commandments.

Cross Reference:

  • Matthew 5:3-11 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. […] Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” 

Verse 2:

“Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart.”

Reflection: Here, the psalmist underscores the importance of not just outwardly observing God’s laws, but earnestly seeking God with a sincere heart. It suggests a deep, internal commitment to God.

Cross Reference:

  • Deuteronomy 4:29 – “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.” 

Verse 3:

“Who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways.”

Reflection: This verse reinforces the ideal of living a life of integrity and righteousness. Walking in God’s ways is equated with living a life free from wrongdoing.

Cross Reference:

  • 1 John 3:6 – “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” 

Verse 4:

“You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.”

Reflection: The psalmist acknowledges God’s command for diligent obedience. This verse emphasizes the seriousness with which God’s laws should be observed.

Cross Reference:

  • Deuteronomy 6:17 – “Be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you.” 

Verse 5:

“Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!”

Reflection: This verse expresses a personal yearning for consistency in obeying God’s laws. It reflects an awareness of the challenges in living a life of constant obedience.

Cross Reference:

  • Psalm 51:10 – “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” 

Verse 6:

“Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.”

Reflection: The psalmist connects the commitment to God’s commandments with the absence of shame, suggesting that moral and spiritual integrity comes from a focus on God’s laws.

Cross Reference:

  • Romans 10:11 – “As Scripture says, ‘Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.'” 

Verse 7:

“I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.”

Reflection: In this verse, learning and adhering to God’s rules is a basis for sincere praise. It highlights the relationship between understanding God’s commandments and authentic worship.

Cross Reference:

  • Psalm 143:8 – “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” 

Verse 8:

“I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me!”

Reflection: The psalmist commits to obeying God’s statutes while seeking assurance of God’s continual presence and support. It reflects the our need for divine guidance and help in the journey of faith.

Cross Reference:

  • Hebrews 13:5 – “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” 

Important points from Verses 1-8:

  • These verses collectively emphasize the blessings and spiritual fulfillment that come from living in accordance with God’s law.
  • The psalmist highlights a journey of seeking God wholeheartedly, living a life of righteousness, and the importance of divine guidance and support.
  • There is a strong connection made between understanding, obeying, and praising God, illustrating the deep relationship between God and the believer.
  • The initial verses of Psalm 119 set a foundation for the rest of the psalm, focusing on the devotion to God’s word and the recognition of the need for God’s help in maintaining faithful obedience.