Psalms 119.89-176 The wicked lie in wait to destroy me, but I consider your testimonies, Lamedh and Mem

From Psalms 119.89-176

19 Psalms Fragment

Today we look at the biggest psalm in the bible. It takes two normal daily readings to finish the whole thing as it is a massive 176 verses! It is Psalm 119 and it is all about the law. It is an acrostic Psalm, it is organised and remembered by sequential Hebrew letters.

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

Passage and Comments

The lamedh section of the psalm contrasts what endures with what perishes.


89 Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.

90 Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.

91 By your appointment they stand this day, for all things are your servants.

92 If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.

93 I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.

94 I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts.

95 The wicked lie in wait to destroy me, but I consider your testimonies.

96 I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commandment is exceedingly broad. (Ps 119:89–96)

The stable creation is a visible sign of the LORD’s faithfulness.

The results of his word, both creating and sustaining are seen in creations order. The order of creation in turn glorifies the LORD. In contrast to the stability of God’s creation, chaotic elements threaten to overcome the psalmist. Devotion to God’s law is the only means of prevailing.

God’s law is the divinely intended channel of true life – ‘by them you have given me life’. In addition to its steady infusion of joy and life, there is a need of direct and dramatic intervention in the believer’s deadly situation. ‘The wicked lie in wait to destroy me, but I consider your testimonies’.

The mem section of the psalm describes the benefits of meditating on the law.


97 Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.

98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me.

99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.

100 I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.

101 I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word.

102 I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me.

103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104 Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. (Ps 119:97–104)

The psalmist enjoys reading the law. He loves them. The commandments are sweet like honey.

The law sets him above his enemies, his teachers and the aged.

The psalmist is tempted with evil. But because he values the law and knows its benefits he holds back. He recognises and hates evil. He does this because he recognises the LORD has taught him. Like a father with his children. The LORD has worked through the law to guide the psalmist.

Story of Jesus

The psalmist recognises the value of learning from the law and applying it in his life. Jesus in a similar manner alludes to the same. Except he points to himself and his own example.

13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. (Jn 13:1–16)

Jesus has given us all an example that he instructs us to do.

17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. (Jn 13:17)

The psalmist’s teaching and experience is echoes in Jesus example and promise.

In following Jesus’ example following his instructions we will be blessed.

Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2015. All Rights Reserved.