The Psalms

Psalm 119:65-72 Teth: The Good.

All true children of the covenant LORD can say that He has dealt well with us (v. 65). We have His word to trust. In it we find “good judgment and knowledge” when we believe His commandments (v. 66). Christian epistemology is based on scripture alone-the first axiom of all thought and existence. The LORD disciplines His own that we might keep His word (v. 67). The psalmist then inserts a very profound piece of theology. “You are good and do good.” (v. 68a). Jesus said that only God is good (Mt. 19:17). Therefore all other “good” is derivative, from creation to providence Gen. 1:10; 50:20; Nu. 10:29; Ps. 4:6; 25:8; 34:12; 73:1; Acts 14:17; Js. 1:17). By God’s grace there are good people in whom the original image is being restored, and what remains of that image is also good (Ps. 112:5; Pr. 12:2). Only a good God can do good, and only a good person can do good (Mt. 12:35; Jn. 10:32; Acts 10:38; 11:24). It also can be learned (Is. 1:17; Eph. 2:10; Col. 1:10; I Tim. 6:18).

More apropos to this psalm, the law also is good (I Tim. 1:8). It is training in the whole counsel of God’s word that prepares us for every good work (II Tim. 2:21). This is why the psalmist asks the LORD to teach him His statutes, for they are good. There are ultimately only two classes of people-the proud who lean on their own understanding and reject the knowledge of God and His law, and the saints who have purposed to keep His law with the whole heart (v. 69). The heart refers to a persons core, and at the core there are two different hearts. The heart of the proud is so fat it has lost all sensitivity to the very law which the saints delight in (v. 70). Instead, the proud “forge a lie” against the righteous (v. 69a). Affliction can also be a ‘good’, when it leads one to learn His statutes (v. 70). It is all in what one values. For the psalmist, the law of the LORD was worth more than silver and gold (v. 71). Sadly, some Christians fail to see this to their own detriment.

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