# 344 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 119 (vv. 89-96 ל Lamedh). Don’t waste your precious time!

“If I Only Had Time” is a song recorded by the New Zealand singer John Rowles in 1968. It is based on a French song “Je n’aurai pas le temps” by Michel Fugain. The lyrics are:

“So much to do
If I only had time…
Time like the wind
Goes hurrying by
And the hours just fly
Where to begin
There are mountains I’d climb
If I had time.”

Ever felt that way? That there is so much more you would love to do, but life is too short, so fleeting, the hours flying by so fast? Well, join the club of real life, and do not waste the short time God has given you to live for Him. Today in verses 89-96 the psalmist reminds us of what is truly lasting, will never end, will endure forever. A lesson well worth learning before it is too late!

So far, we have considered the first 11 stanzas of Psalm 119 and we have 11 more to go! The key word in this one is “forever” (the Hebrew word starts with the letter Lamedh). Meditate on his use of “forever” words in this stanza.

ל Lamedh

89 Your word, Lord, is eternal;
    it stands firm in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
    you established the earth, and it endures.
91 Your laws endure to this day,
    for all things serve you.
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 preserved my life.
94 Save me, for I am yours;
    I have sought out your precepts.
95 The wicked are waiting to destroy me,
    but I will ponder your statutes.
96 To all perfection I see a limit,
    but your commands are boundless.

In these verses the psalmist is encouraging us, particularly during hard times (vv. 92-95), “to depend on God’s Word by stressing its permanence and stability (vv. 89,96), resting as it does on the Lord’s eternal faithfulness (v. 90a) and unchanging purposes (vv. 90b, 91). In the Message, Eugene Peterson translates verse 90 as ‘Your truth never goes out of fashion’.” (SU Notes, Encounter with God)

 As well as these wonderful truths there are 2 significant verses here that deserve our attention.

The first is Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you (v. 91b). Concerning this Wilcock suggests, “The way that creation works, throughout space and time, demonstrates the power of God’s creative, sustaining word (vv. 89-91). Whether it is his laws that endure, or all created things that keep going according to those laws… everything operates as he tells it to. The fact that all things serve him has a very practical and comforting spin off… the word that directs both the structure of the universe and the processes of history is the same word that preserves and sustains the Lord’s servant (vv. 92-96).  It does not save him out of a world still vexed by scoundrels, but it does save him in it.” (# 5)

The second is, To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless (v. 96).

People often use this word “perfect” to describe something that looks good or a task that is done well. The actual word means complete, finished or having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics. But only God and his words and ways are really perfect as follows:

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect(Matthew 5:48)

He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. (Deut. 32:4)

As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless.  (2 Sam. 22:31)

What we call “perfect” in this world has its limits, they are finite. Only the infinite God is really perfect.

So, “following… the commands of God takes us beyond the limits, and the limitations, of this world.  If all people were to serve him, as all things already do, they would find in that service… perfect freedom.” (# 5)

In the words of Jesus:

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:32)

So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.  (John 8:36) Free to serve God faithfully and no longer waste our short lives on things of no eternal value.     

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