Faithlife Sermons

The Teacher of Psalm 119

Summer Psalms  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Our dependence upon God to teach us His Word in such a way that it is life changing.

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Introduction

We recognized and prayed for the teachers a little earlier in the service. I am thankful for teachers, I think teachers are one of the underappreciated peoples that we have in this country.
I think it is a shame when entertainers like football players basketball players get paid millions upon millions and yet teachers who give of themselves for the good of others get paid just enough to get by.
yers get paid millions upon millions and yet teachers who give of themselves for the good of others get paid just enough to get by.
I think that is one of the sad pictures of how our culture has it priorities upside down and backwards.
Teaching is a necessary part of living, teaching is necessary for life and order to continue on within a society.
Whether it is learning to read, learning math, science, or any other skill teachers are necessary.
One might say that teaching is a necessary part of life, we can do without basketball players but we cannot do without teachers passing down knowledge to the next generation.
Just as teaching and learning is necessary in so many other parts of life, teaching is necessary in spiritual things.
Unless the gospel is taught to us, unless it is passed down to us by someone else then there is no spiritual life and there is no spiritual growth.
Here is we see who is the ultimate teacher for the psalmist, who is our ultimate teacher.

Who is the Teacher of ?

Who is the Teacher of ?

We see 8 requests in these 8 verses of . And all requests are to the LORD, we see that He is the great teacher of the Psalmist.
This is a theme that we see all through the Scriptures.
The Lord teaches Moses in , then He teaches the people of Israel, He teaches the priests.
The LORD is the great teacher of Israel as He teaches through His prophets and through parents as parents pass down knowledge from one generation to the next.
Deuteronomy 4:1 ESV
“And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
Deut. 4.1
Deuteronomy 6:1 ESV
“Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it,
Deuteronomy 6:4–7 ESV
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, 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.
Deut. 6.4-7
This theme of the LORD teaching His people is found all through the OT, we see it in the Psalms
Psalm 25:4 ESV
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.
Psalm 27:11 ESV
Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
Discuss Yahweh (Trinity)
The Need for this Divine teacher
An interesting development that we see through the OT is that it is not enough for one to simply learn by hearing with the ear, but that there is a deeper level of learning that must take place
Just like circumcision of the flesh is not enough instead it is pointing to a greater circumcision, circumcision of the heart.
It is not enough for God to write His law on tablets of stone so that Israel can read them and remember them, His law has to be written on the hearts.
Jeremiah 31:33 ESV
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Some more interesting things that we see related to God being our teacher
God is the Lawgiver, giving His law on Mount Sinai
God is the Lawgiver
God is the Great Teacher, Teaching through the Prophets of old
Jesus comes as the great Teacher, the Great Lawgiver, giving His law if you will on a mountain, the Sermon on the Mount, the Great Prophet declaring the Word of the Lord, He is the Word of the Lord
God is the Lawgiver
Jesus the new Lawgiver
Holy Spirit is given to us to be our Teacher
John 14:25–26 ESV
“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
We see our dependence upon the Lord to be our teacher all through the Scriptures
God must reveal Himself and the way of life to us, we cannot figure it out on our own.
Left to ourselves we are in darkness.
Psalm 18:28 ESV
For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
Proverbs 6:23 ESV
For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
John 1:1–5 ESV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
I will also point out one more thing while we are here in the
Our dependence upon Him to teach us this truth (this will lead into the next point)
People can hear the same words and one be taught by the Lord and the other one not
Gospel of John. We would reject His teaching if not for the inner working of the Holy Spirit
John 3:19–20 ESV
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
John 3.
2 Corinthians 4:3–6 ESV
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Oh God give light to dark hearts and increase the light in hearts in which your light is already shining!
I hope you have seen our desperate need for the LORD to be our teacher.

The Psalmist’s Pleas with the Teacher

Every teacher loves an eager student and that is exactly what we have before us in this text.
Are you an eager learner in the things of the Lord?
v.33 Teach me
This verb can mean to cast or to send out speaking of an archer shooting out arrows.
And it carried also the idea of casting out your hand to point, one pointing out a direction.
Therefore it came to mean pointing out the right way, to teach, to direct.
To show the way, to teach the way, to direct in the way.
This is also the verb yarah that developed into the hebrew word torah which is the word for law.
Simple reminder at the end of each of these:
If God does not point us in the way of life then we will go the way of death.
He must teach us the way or we will be lost
v.34 give me understanding
to give understanding, to give sight, to cause one to perceive or to see.
we all know a time when we did not understand something, it was like darkness to us and then we had someone come along beside us and give us understanding, give us insight into a situation
we all know a time when we did not understand something, it was like darkness to us and then we had someone come along beside us and give us understanding, give us insight into a situation
That is what the psalmist is praying for
If you do not give me understanding then I will not understand, I will remain in the darkness right?
v.35 lead me
The hebrew word for way or path is derek and here is the verb from that root, darak
cause me to walk in the way, make me to go in the way of your commandments
The interesting thing is that this is exactly what God says He will do in the New Covenant
Ezekiel 36:27 ESV
And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
If you do not cause me to walk then I will not walk in your Way.
v.36 incline my heart
The idea is turning one’s heart toward something and away from something else
Or to be drawen toward something
The implication is that if the heart is inclined or turned toward God’s testimonies they have to be turned away from something else right?
The psalmist is asking God to turn His heart away from the world and to the Word
The implication is that if God does not do this then our hearts will not inclined to His Word
This is so true brothers and sisters, we are prone to wander
Oh how we need God to incline our hearts to His Word
v.37 turn my eyes
Again, Oh Lord cause my eyes to move to another place.
He does not want to look at worthless things
What are worthless things?
Things that are empty or vain.
Oh brothers and sisters we can so easily get carried away and begin to live for things that are empty, things that will not last.
Reminder brothers and sisters that we are prone to build our lives upon the sinking sand of this world
We are like Lot we are tempted to look in a direction with our eyes only and it appears so attractive and we go that direction and it is really the direction of death.
Brothers and sisters if we look upon and trust anything else other than our Lord Jesus Christ and His promises for our life and our joy we will be disappointed.
This does not mean that we cannot enjoy other things, but we enjoy God’s gifts to us with our eyes still upon Christ.
Every other blessing is penultimate at best, Christ must be ultimate in our lives, He must be the focus of our hearts.
v.37, give me life
KJV quicken me
The psalmist understands that true life is only found in God’s ways.
There is a way that seems like the way of life but it is the way of death, God’s way alone is the way to life.
The world tells us today that there are many ways to life
God tells us that there is only one way and that is His way, God’s way is found ultimately in our Lord Jesus Christ that is way He says
I am the Way, the truth, the life
There is only one way, one truth, one life and He is it.
v.38, confirm your promise
Cause your word to stand, or establish your promise to your servant.
I think the idea is that of confidence, establish your Word within me
Give me confidence in Your Word
Give me confidence in Your promises oh God so that I may fear you
v.39 turn away the reproach
v.21 and 22 carry the idea
He understands that there is reproach, there is scorn and contempt from the world and yet he wants to be faithful to God’s Word.
Why does the psalmist pray like this?
1. He knows his dependence upon the Lord, if left to himself these things would not happen.
2. He delights in truth, He delights in God’s Word (v.35)
He has an appetite for the things of the Lord and not the things of the world (v.36-37)
He longs for the things of God, He longs for God’s Word, He longs to be taught the Word of God (v.40)
This is not a chore for him. He does not dread being taught the Word of God, you do not have to twist his arm to get him to listen to the things of the Lord
He is not bored with the things of the Lord, they are his delight.
We will discuss this desire to learn is evidence of Regeneration. This is evidence that you have a relationship with the Lord.
This desire, this delight is evidence that you have a relationship with the Lord.
Does your heart resound with the prayer of the psalmist?

The Results of being taught by this Teacher

Real quick, what happens when we are taught by the Lord?
v.33
persevere in obedience to God’s Word. Not perfection, but not a flash in the pan either.
v.34-35
there is a whole hearted obedience to God’s Word. You delight in obeying the Lord and His Word. Someone does not have to convince you to obey, this is the longing of your heart.
v.36-37
The things of the world grow strangely dim. Christ is your treasure. Christ is the center of life for you and everything else has it’s place orbiting around Him.
Christ is not only the light of your life but He is the light by which you see everything else in your life.
v.38-39
You fear God more than you fear man because you know that every one of His promises are true. God’s Word is God and it will not fail.
v.40
v.40
You long to grow in God’s truth because you know that it is the way to life
The world promises life and yet it cannot deliver,
Life is found in the Word of God.
In 1 Peter, Peter talks about being born again trough the living and abiding word of God, here is more of what Peter says about this life
1 Peter 1:3–5 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Oh may God be our teacher!!!
Those who are taught by Him
Know life in Christ Jesus our Lord
Know hope
Delight in their teacher and His teaching
They walk in obedience
Is God your teacher?
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