It Is Good for Me That I Was Afflicted

Text: Psalm 119:65-72

Ninth stanza of Psalm 119 – The theme of this lesson is affliction. David said that it was good that he was afflicted. How could this be a good thing? What kind of affliction was he talking about? How does this apply to us today? These are the questions that will be considered in this lesson.

What is “Affliction”? (v. 67)

  • Many ways in which we can use the term affliction – context will determine the meaning; term carries with it the idea of being humbled (put to shame); from a root word for a browbeating (verbal attack)
  • In this context, affliction refers to the discipline that comes from the word of God
  • David received this type of affliction/discipline (2 Samuel 12:1-9) – after he sinned, the words of the prophet Nathan, which he received from God, brought David to repentance (2 Samuel 12:13)
  • We receive discipline from God’s word today (2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 2:15)

Affliction Should Lead Us to Repentance (v. 67, 71)

  • Why does the word of God discipline us? … so we will turn back to the Lord when we sin – sin is always a danger for God’s people, even after obeying the gospel (Romans 6:23; Hebrews 10:26-27)
  • Affliction comes after we sin (v. 67) – sometimes preachers can make Christians feel guilty when they’ve done nothing wrong; preaching/teaching should be both instructive and corrective (2 Timothy 3:16-4:2); before sin is committed, we need to be encouraged/exhorted (Hebrews 10:24); after sin is committed, we need to be rebuked/reproved/corrected (Luke 17:3)
  • The ultimate goal of the affliction/discipline/correction is repentance (2 Corinthians 7:8-9) – turns one back to obedience (v. 67); leads one to a deeper understanding of God’s word (v. 71)

God is Good and Does Good (v. 65, 68)

  • God is good (v. 68; cf. Mark 10:18) – not because He fits the definition of goodness, but because He is the definition of goodness
  • Every good thing is from Him (James 1:17) – this includes His discipline (v. 65); not pleasant, but good because of the end result (Hebrews 12:5-11)
  • Many view the reproving/rebuking of God’s word as “negative” – but it is not “negative,” it is “for our good” (Hebrews 12:10); teaching from the word of God is always for our good, whether we realize it at the time or not

Different Responses to God’s Law (v. 66, 69-70)

  • Right response – belief (v. 66; cf. John 5:24); desire to learn (v. 66; cf. Acts 17:11); resolve to obey (v. 69; cf. James 1:22); delight (v. 70; cf. 1 Peter 2:2)
  • Wrong response – love lies over truth (v. 69; 2 Thessalonians 2:10); heart covered with fat, an expression to mean they were stupid (v. 70; Proverbs 12:1; 1 Corinthians 1:18-19; 3:19-20)

God’s Law is Better Than Riches (v. 72)

  • Comparison is made elsewhere as well (Psalm 119:127; 19:7-10)
  • Important to remember in our context – affliction; corrective discipline
  • When God disciplines us through His word, the goal is to make us better (2 Corinthians 7:8-11) – riches do not make us better

Conclusion

  • When we sin, God’s word is there to afflict/discipline us – not to drive us further away, but to bring us back to Him
  • Depends on how we respond to God’s law – do not be like the arrogant (v. 69); instead, humbly and faithfully obey

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