The Sum: Psalm 119:153-160

Psalms 119:153-160

The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

As we draw nearer the end of this Psalm, I am reminded of the reason I began working through committing it to memory in the first place. My desire, my goal, was that God would awaken a greater hunger for His word and for His truth within myself and possibly even others. It is still my prayer that we will be reminded of the true life that is lived in Christ, not just during this time, but abiding in the Living Word of God from this time forward.

And so, on we go…

Reading through this stanza as David pleads for life not once but three times in eight lines, I can’t help but wonder if his own moments of faithlessness inspired both the pleas and the expressions of disgust. I can’t speak for him, but I do know that my own wickedness is a source of great distress for me. It is when I am faced with my own stubborn pride and my sin that I feel both crushing sorrow and unbelievable gratitude for the Lord’s mercy.

As I have meditated on these words, I lift my voice in prayer that God will grant spiritual life, not only to my family and myself, but to all His people. I am asking for a great awakening, for all our eyes to be open to our sin, for contrite and humble hearts, for repentance, and for zeal for His Kingdom to consume us.

It is not earthly pleasures and physical life we need the most right now, but a great rousing of spiritual life. At this point in history, perhaps especially in America, the life we need most desperately is this other-worldly life that comes of being dead to sin and alive to God in Christ. I pray today for this abundant life to flow through God’s people as we abide in Christ and make His truth our firm foundation.

On this holy week as we look back at the sacrifice of Jesus and His resurrection, it is a good time to be reminded that the sum of God’s word is truth. The world seems to be crumbling around us, and even those who identify themselves as Christian seem to be in confusion over what Jesus did as well as what His followers should do about it.

This is why I pray so fervently and frequently for a return to the Word of God. Even within the Church, there are many who doubt the veracity of the Bible. Many believe its authority has been dimmed with time, that its precepts are quaint and old-fashioned; that the Bible itself is an interesting book with an overall good moral message but that it is full of holes, myths, and irrelevant sayings.

My friends, this is simply not true. Nor is it true that we can take the bits of the Bible that are convenient and leave behind those hard truths that make us uncomfortable or bring conviction. No, indeed, sometimes the Word that brings the sorrow of contrition are the parts we need to hear the most. The sum of His word is truth.

Mathematically speaking, a sum requires that all parts are added to make the whole. Even so, God’s word cannot be taken piecemeal, nor can some bits be embraced while others are discarded. The sum — the totality of the whole word — is truth.  His righteous rules will endure forever. When I think on these things, I am reminded of my frailty and I thank the Lord again that His mercy is great!

Lord, grant that we never take Your mercy for granted, but live in a state of gratitude for it. May we, Your people, wake up and become serious about knowing and loving all parts of Your Word. May we, guided by the Holy Spirit, accurately total the sum. May it be said of us that we love Your precepts, and may we live lives of gentle and reverent boldness based not on a portion of the Word of God, but on the sum. 


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