This sermon is a companion to five previous sermons: In the Way of This Life - Psalm 119:1
In the Ways of Our Lord (Part 1) - Psalm 119:3
In the Ways of Our Lord (Part 2) - Psalm 119:3
In the Ways of Our Lord (Part 3) - Psalm 119:3
In the Ways of Our Lord (Part 4) - Psalm 119:3
Psalm 119:1-3 reads, “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.” To this Psalm 119:29-30 adds, “Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously. I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.”
In Psalm 119 we encounter the words “way” and “ways” eighteen times and the word “path” two times, indicating that the pathway of our lives is an important subject of this psalm. With the phrase “in the way,” Psalm 119:1 introduces us to the first category of truth concerning this subject matter – the way of this life. Thereby we learn that we all must travel along the pathway of this life, and that we all must deal with the matter of challenges, choices, and consequences in the way of this life. With the phrase “in his way,” Psalm 119:3 introduces us to the second category of truth concerning our walk along the pathway of life – the way of our Lord. Even so, the intention of this psalm is to exhort us and encourage us to choose the way of our Lord as the direction of our daily walk. Yet this psalm also employs the word “way” in relation to a third category of truth – the way of sin’s lies. Even as the psalm exhorts us and encourages us to walk faithfully in the way of our Lord, it also exhorts us and encourages us to depart away from the way of sin’s lies.
Already in our study concerning the ways of our Lord, we have learned that there is a need for rejection, that is – for rejection of the ways of sinful iniquity. Even so, Psalm 119:1 declares, “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.” Herein we find that those “who walk in the law of the LORD” are also those who walk “undefiled in the way.” In like manner, verse 3 declares, “They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.” Indeed, those who walk in our Lord’s ways are also those who do not involve themselves in sinful iniquity. Thus in verses 29-30 the psalmist made his request and expressed his commitment, saying, “Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously. I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.” The psalmist had made his determined choice to walk in the way of truth as revealed in the Lord’s Holy Word. In union with this choice, he also desired to be kept away from “the way of lying.” Now, in this context this phrase, “the way of lying,” is not referring to the personal practice of speaking lies. Rather, this phrase is referring to the way of sin’s lies and falsehood. Even so, in verse 101 this way is described with the phrase, “every evil way;” and in verses 104 & 128 this way is described with the phrase, “every false way.” So then, what is involved for us to depart away from the ways sin’s lies even as we walk in the ways of our Lord?
The Need for Correction
As we have noted, in Psalm 119:29 the psalmist lifted up his request unto the Lord, saying, “Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously.” Because we all are born with a sinful nature in heart, because we all begin with spiritual foolishness bound in our hearts, because even as the children of God we retain our sinful flesh, the principle of selfishness and sinfulness within us, and because none of us have attained through the process of sanctification unto perfect righteousness, we all yet possess characteristics of sin within our hearts. Therefore, we all yet need our Lord’s correction of those sinful characteristics. Understanding this truth, the psalmist made request that the Lord might remove from him the way of sin’s lies and corruption that were yet within him. He sought for the Lord to search him and try him, and know his heart and thoughts, and reveal any wicked way that might be within him, and remove such wicked ways from him, and lead him in the way of everlasting righteousness and truth. Even so, if we are to depart away from the way of sin’s lies and corruption, we also must seek for the Lord’s correction of those sinful ways that are yet a part of our own character. We must come to God’s Word, not only seeking to be taught its doctrine and to be instructed in its righteousness, but also to be reproved and corrected of our sinfulness. We must understand that “the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life” (Proverbs 6:23). We must understand that “the ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise” (Proverbs 15:31). Even so, we must not despise the chastening of our Lord, or faint when we are rebuked of Him (Hebrews 12:5). Rather, we must submit to the chastening and rebuke of our Lord, in order that it might yield “the peaceable fruit of righteousness” in our hearts and lives (Hebrews 12:11).
The Need for Separation
In Psalm 119:101 the psalmist declared, “I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.” If we are to depart away from the way of sin’s lies and corruption, not only must we have the sinful characteristics of our hearts removed, but also we must refrain from approaching unto “every evil way” in our daily walk. We must not make any provision for our sinful flesh, to fulfill its selfish, sinful desires (Romans 13:14). Rather, we must flee away from every selfish, sinful desire of our sinful flesh, in order that we might pursue the righteous ways of our Lord (2 Timothy 2:22). We must ponder the path of our feet, removing our foot from every evil way, letting all our ways be established in righteousness, and not turning to the right hand or to the left (Proverbs 4:26-27). We must not walk in the counsel of the ungodly or enter into the way of sinners (Psalm 1:1). We must not walk in the way with sinners, but must refrain our foot from their path (Proverbs 1:15). We must avoid the pathway of sinful wickedness. We must not pass by it, but must turn from it and pass away (Proverbs 4:15). We must “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). All this we must do with the specific motivation to keep our Lord’s Holy Word and to walk in our Lord’s righteous ways as revealed in His Word.
The Need for Instruction
In Psalm 119:104 the psalmist declared, “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.” As the psalmist grew more in spiritual understanding through the principles and precepts of God’s Holy Word, he grew more in spiritual hatred of every false way of sinful iniquity. Indeed, the instruction of God’s Holy Word will develop in us a hatred of every sinful way. Even so, Hebrews 5:13-14 states, “For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Therefore, we must faithfully study and obey the wisdom of our Lord’s Word, that we might grow in spiritual understanding to discern between good and evil, learning to love and hold fast that which is good, while abhorring and hating that which is sinful.
The Need for Abomination
As we have noted, in Psalm 119:104 the psalmist declared, “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.” Again in verse 127-128 he declared, “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.” As we grow in our spiritual understanding through the principles and precepts of God’s Word, and as we grow in loving adoration for the principles and precepts of God’s Word, we must develop a righteous hatred for every false way of sinful iniquity. We must grow to view every false way of sin as a hateful abomination in our sight, even as it is in our Lord’s sight. As we grow in love for our Lord, we must grow in hatred for sin. Yea, we must grow to view, not simply the sins of others, but especially the sins of our own character, with the same fierce hatred as the Lord our God. We must grow to view every sinful characteristic of our hearts as a direct, despised offense against the authority of our righteous Lord. We must grow to view every sinful characteristic of our hearts as a filthy, disgusting wickedness in the sight of our holy Lord. We must grow to view every sinful characteristic of our hearts as a poisonous, destructive evil in the walk of our daily lives. Indeed, we must grow to “abhor that which is evil,” and to cleave unto “that which is good” (Romans 12:9).
Posted in Weekly Sermon, Psalms, Receiving Correction, Biblical Humility, Separation, Word of God, Godly Love,