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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

July 8, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again


Daily Reading: Psalm 119:89-176

 

Psalm 119:173

Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.

 

In life there are many choices to make. There are good choices and poor choices. It seems that of the poor choices there are many; of the good there is one. One good choice against a plethora of wrong ones. For God’s Word is good. The good choice is to know God’s Word, believe it, and make all life choices in light of it. It (God’s Word) stands against wrong. Just as Jesus was righteous in an unrighteous world, so too is God’s Word. “That is all well and good preacher, but what are you talking about?” 

 

It's about the choice made. Yes, those words above are well and good, but what good do they do? What difference do they make? After all, all they do is state the obvious. Well, this devotional thought is not about the abstract of choice. It is about the practicality of choice. It is about a reality so overlooked today that, well, frankly its astounding. “Again preacher, you’re going too far afield, what are you saying?”

 

What is trying to be communicated is this: too few exercise their right to choose what to believe. The psalmist chose God’s precepts. On his own admission there was opposition to his choice. The opposition is cunning, artful, and well implemented. For example, in verse 157 he writes, Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies…  and 143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights. In his case the opposition to good choices employed the tactics of persecution, enemies, trouble and anguish. These tried to pull him back to making bad choices, to intimidate him, or force him to make no choice at all, just go with the flow that is mainstream, easy, and without complications. But the Psalmist stood firm saying, yet do I not decline from thy testimoniesyet thy commandments are my delights. He stayed the course of right choices.

 

The long and short of it is that every person must choose for themselves what they believe, where they will stand, and what they will endure because of their choices. Ask any pastor, the choices they make for their personal life or for their church bring opposition. The same is true with anyone who chooses God’s Word over the way the world, or the flesh, demands they go. II Timothy 3:12 proves the point, Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

 

Right choices are not always easy, but since they are based on the teachings of God’s Word they are always right. Right choices also always result in some form, or some degree, of opposition.

 

Perhaps this is why God includes verse 165. Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. For this is the only way to overcome the tactics of the opposition and keep a sweet spirit. Just love His law, for in it there are teachings about loving one’s enemy, understanding them, and even seeing them as sinners needing the love of the Savior. After all, the love of the Savior is primarily conveyed to sinners through the lives of those who were once sinners but who chose to come to the Savior. For those which have employed that, which is perhaps the greatest liberty and freedom of all, Amen! For they made their own freewill choice. They chose His precepts. They chose Him.

 

When they stand before Him, they will know that they made the right choice, whatever the cost.

 

Dr. William T. Howe

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