Walking at Liberty

Text: Psalm 119:41-48

Sixth stanza of Psalm 119 – This lesson focuses on the idea of liberty. How can it be said that we have liberty when we are bound to follow God’s law? Many are confused by this today. But the psalmist connected law and liberty.

What It Means to Walk at Liberty (v. 45)

  • Our society places a great deal of emphasis on liberty – from government tyranny, from moral restraints, and from religious doctrines
  • Yet David approaches liberty from a different perspective – closely connected with God’s law (v. 45)
  • If we will serve God, we can be free (1 Peter 2:16) – from anti-God rulers (Acts 5:29); from the ever-changing “morals” of society (Proverbs 29:18); from man-made religion (Colossians 2:20-23)
  • Following the Lord is the path of liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17) if we will only recognize it as such (John 8:36) – we walk at liberty by submitting to the Lord and to Him alone

God’s Lovingkindness Allows Us to Answer Opponents (v. 41-42)

  • The psalmist expressed a desire to receive God’s lovingkindness and salvation (v. 41) – this would be done through the word
  • David described a situation in which he was being put to shame by an opponent (v. 42) – we will, at times, face mockery, ridicule, and other forms of persecution (1 Peter 4:12)
  • In this setting, we must be prepared to give an answer for our hope (1 Peter 3:14-16)
  • Not only this, but we need to remember that ultimately our opponents’ words are meaningless (Matthew 5:11-12; Romans 8:33)

Commit to Speak and Act According to God’s Law (v. 43-44)

  • David wanted God’s word to be in his mouth (v. 43) – ready to speak it; requires the word to be in his heart (Proverbs 4:23; Luke 6:45)
  • David was determined to keep God’s word continually – on an ongoing basis (Acts 2:42)
  • He was also determined to keep God’s word forever and ever – unending; not just for a while; until death (Revelation 2:10)

Do Not Be Ashamed of God’s Word When Before Kings (v. 46)

  • We already noticed how we are not to be intimidated by anti-God rulers (Acts 5:29; cf. Ecclesiastes 10:4; Matthew 10:28)
  • However, remember that David wrote this – he was a king; these were not superiors to him, but peers
  • The lesson for us is that we must not be ashamed to speak about God’s word when among our peers (Matthew 10:32-33)

Love the Law of God (v. 47-48)

  • Expressions like those in these verses are to be expected – but it is especially important in this context; no contradiction between loving God’s law and walking at liberty
  • Too many reject God’s law because they want freedom – but in reality, those who reject God’s law and the liberty that comes by following it are not free
  • All people will serve something/someone – if not God, then it will be sin (John 8:31-34; Romans 6:16); the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23); salvation comes as we follow God’s word (v. 41)

Conclusion

  • Liberty is an appealing idea to most people
  • True liberty is found by following the law of the Lord

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