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February 10, 2009 / beidson

Using Psalm 119 To Battle Lust

Though every jot and tittle of Scripture is profitable, some parts speak more clearly to certain issues than do others.  In reading Psalm 119 continually as of late, I have taken its many warnings and exhortations to heart, particularly those which cause my inner man to make war on the flesh and its many lusts.

  • “Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments” (v. 6).
  • “How can a young man keep his way pure?  By guarding it according to your word.  With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments” (vv. 9-10).
  • “When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies; I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments” (vv. 59-60).
  • “Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me” (v. 133).

I have found this Psalm to be of inestimable value in training my heart to long for that which is truly life, Jesus Christ, and to turn away from that which is oozing death, the flesh.  There is an obvious connection between the eyes and the heart, so that “fixing” our eyes is the way we “fix” our heart:

  • “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways” (v. 15).
  • “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (v. 18).
  • “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways” (v. 37).
  • “My eyes long for your promise; I ask, ‘When will you comfort me?'” (v. 82).
  • “My eyes long for your salvation and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise” (v. 123).
  • “My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise” (v. 148).

This is just a great passage to read when thinking of what it is that we must get at if we are to turn away from “worthless things.”  It gets to the point, and then it gets to the point again.  The repititious pleas have a unique way of disciplining our hearts.  We are to be “diligent” and “steadfast,” the Psalmist says, in keeping the statutes of the Lord, like a soldier preparing himself for battle.  We must trade the treasures of this world for the Word of God, who is Christ, the God who has spoken and made himself known to us.

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