Turn and Be Gracious to Me

Text: Psalm 119:129-136

Seventeenth stanza of Psalm 119 – This lesson is about the grace of God. We typically think of grace as a New Testament feature, and it is certainly emphasized as such. However, grace still existed in the Old Testament, and this passage reminds us of that fact. Let us notice how God’s grace and God’s word are related.

We Must Recognize the Need for God’s Grace (v. 132, 135)

  • David appealed to God to turn to him (v. 132) – he needed to turn to God [more on this point later], but nothing he would do would matter if God did not turn to Him; without God, we have no hope, no matter what we do (Ephesians 2:12-13)
  • God extends His grace to all, but not all receive it (Titus 2:11-12; Matthew 7:13-14) – in order to receive His grace, we must respond with love (v. 132); gratitude and obedience (Colossians 3:17)
  • Make Your face shine upon Your servant” (v. 135) – another appeal for grace (cf. Numbers 6:25; Psalm 67:1; 80:3, 7, 19)
  • David ties this back to the word of God (v. 135) – God extends His grace through the word, not apart from the word (Acts 20:24; Romans 1:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:8)

We Must Remember That God’s Word is Good (v. 129, 131)

  • Your testimonies are wonderful” (v. 129) – God’s word is for our good (Acts 20:32); better than the word of man (1 Corinthians 1:25)
  • Because God’s word is good, we are to observe His testimonies (v. 129) – grace and works of obedience are not mutually exclusive, even in the NT (Ephesians 2:8-10; Luke 17:10)
  • We must long for God’s word – it is to sustain us (1 Peter 2:2; Hebrews 5:14)

God’s Word Gives Us Light (v. 130)

  • Remember: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105) – lighting the way is an act of God’s grace
  • Gives us understanding (v. 130) – without understanding, we will be lost (Hosea 4:6)
  • Gives us direction (Psalm 119:105) – without direction, we will follow the path to death (Proverbs 14:12)

Redemption Must Be Followed by Continued Obedience (v. 134)

  • The psalmist asked God to “redeem [him] from the oppression of man” (v. 134) – “deliver” (KJV); term means to rescue/ransom
  • We have been rescued/ransomed/redeemed by Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19; Hebrews 2:14-15)
  • Having been redeemed, we are to commit to a life of faithful obedience (Titus 2:14)

We Must Have the Right Attitude Toward Sin (v. 133, 136)

  • Many people like to talk about grace, but they do not understand it – they treat it as a “license for immorality” (Jude 4, NIV), but this is a perversion of grace (cf. Romans 6:1-2)
  • Sin must not have dominion over us (v. 133) – not to be slaves of sin (Romans 6:6, 14); the way to do this is by being established in the word (v. 133; Romans 6:17; 2 Peter 1:10-15)
  • Sin should cause us to mourn (v. 136) – what the Corinthians should have done (1 Corinthians 5:2); sin should not be tolerated, accepted, or celebrated (Ephesians 5:11; Romans 1:32)

Conclusion

  • Without God’s grace, we are without hope – but without God’s word, we cannot take advantage of His grace
  • Let us humbly respond to the grace God has extended by faithfully obeying His word

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