# 346 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 119 (vv. 113-120 ס Samekh). Double- mindedness!

Writing in the context of having to tolerate evildoers (v. 115) in his midst, the psalmist here makes the strong statement, I hate those who are undecided whether or not to obey you; but my choice is clear—I love your law. (119:113 Living Bible)

The NIV describes those who are undecided as double-minded people and this is the phrase also used by James in the New Testament. He writes:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Presently I am reading a book by Amy Carmichael, who served in India in the late 1880s to the early 1900s. In her book she writes concerning a young man from a Hindu background who heard the Good News of Jesus and decided that he wanted to follow Christ, knowing well that he would be persecuted as a result. For his family his decision meant “the bitterest shame to endure” and they were not going to give in without a fight. “Twice he was tied up and flogged… but he never wavered.” Eventually he had to leave home because of the pressure upon him to return to Hinduism. He was even asked to stay at home and “compromise,” but as Amy writes: “this involved the observance of certain customs which by their very nature are idolatrous.” Still, this was a very tough time for that youth and Amy writes, “though he never wavered, we knew he felt it… praying for his people, pouring out his heart.” She continues, “Then a year or so afterward… he was baptized.” (Amy Carmichael, Things as They Are, Morgan and Scott, 1903)

For him, like the psalmist, he could say, my choice is clear—I love your law!

Certainly, no matter what the evildoers thought of him, or even did to him, the psalmist was not going to be double-minded.  Listen to his words:

ס Samekh

113 I hate double-minded people,
    but I love your law.
114 You are my refuge and my shield;
    I have put my hope in your word.
115 Away from me, you evildoers,
    that I may keep the commands of my God!
116 Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live;
    do not let my hopes be dashed.
117 Uphold me, and I will be delivered;
    I will always have regard for your decrees.
118 You reject all who stray from your decrees,
    for their delusions come to nothing.
119 All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross;
    therefore I love your statutes.
120 My flesh trembles in fear of you;
    I stand in awe of your laws.

Like the psalmist we need to resolve to be single-minded in following Jesus and obeying his word. But for this we need God’s help, understanding our own weakness (and our enemies persistence), and so, he prays, Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.Uphold me, and I will be delivered; I will always have regard for your decrees. (vv. 116-117)

May God strengthen us to be single-minded concerning our relationship with and our faith in God and His Word. Then by the grace of God we will not be like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind… unstable in all we do.

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