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PSALM 119:33-40 H

If you wanted a title for this mornings study it would simply be, Ending
Well. The psalmist prays v.33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy
statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.

A good beginning ought to lead to a good ending but we see in Scripture
with the examples of Lot, Samson, King Saul and Demas that this is not
always the case. Many begin well but their lives end in spiritual tragedy.
The psalmist wanted to end well, but in order to end well he needed to
live well.

We could divide this section into five divisions:
1. Learning (vv.33-34). Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes;
and I shall keep it unto the end. 34 Give me understanding, and I shall
keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart
2. Obeying (v.35a). Make me to go in the path of thy commandments
3. Delighting (vv.35b-37). for therein do I delight. 36 Incline my heart
unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. 37 Turn away mine eyes
from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way
4. Fearing (vv.38-39). Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is
devoted to thy fear. 39 Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy
judgments are good
5. Longing (v.40). Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me
in thy righteousness

However, the way I would like us to look at it this morning is as a sincere
prayer from the heart of the believer, and we shall especially consider the
words in verse 37, quicken thou me in thy way.

Do you need to be quickened? Do you feel you need to be livened up?
Some people believe you come to church to be livened up in your faith; it
is the singing of the hymns or the preachers ability to excite you that
quickens you. In other words, its someone elses responsibility to liven
you up. What does the psalmist teach us?

It is an important word, - it is a cry from his heart and he uses it nine
times throughout the psalm:
v.25 quicken thou me according to thy word.
v.37 quicken thou me in thy way.
v.40 quicken me in thy righteousness.
v.88 Quicken me after thy lovingkindness.
v.107 quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word.
v.149 O LORD, quicken me according to thy judgment.
v.154 quicken me according to thy word.
v.156 quicken me according to thy judgments.
v.159 quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness.
And, in fact, he uses it two more times:
v.50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.
v.93 I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.

With all the emphasis that he puts on this word it becomes very clear
there must be an intimate connection between quickening and the Word of
God. And it is true, the more the Word of God directs your life the
more your living for Christ is in evidence. The more precious the study of
Gods Word, the more bearing it has on the way you live for Christ.

Do you feel the sincerity when the psalmist prayed, quicken thou me in
thy way? There is urgency here, he longs to have a closer walk with God.
As he looks around him, - even to the places where the Name of God
ought to be revered and reverenced, - he sees only emptiness and
pretence, - people pretending about their relationship with God.
But the psalmist wants nothing of pretence, he longs to maintain a
real relationship with God. I trust each one of us here who knows the
Lord J esus wants nothing of pretence.
Pretence and sham are what ruins churches, - people putting up to be
something they and everybody else knows they are not. The psalmist is
against that, 37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou
me in thy way.
Oh, but we all know how easy it is to become sluggish and tired in
our service for the Lord. It is as if we are prone to becoming worn out; we
know all too well our spiritual limits and it seems as if running the race,
- as Paul puts it in I Cor. 9:24, - takes so much out of us.
By the way, this isnt the same quickening Paul talks about in Eph 2:1,
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins, - no dead
man ever prayed to be quickened; a real prayer for spiritual quickening
can only come from those inside whom the Holy Spirit already abides.
The psalmist prays for a closer walk with God. You look into His
Word and you see the face of Moses shining when He was in
conversation with J ehovah. Or you see young Samuel, - called only as a
boy, - speaking with the Lord.
Or you read the language of the Song of Solomon, 2:4 He brought me
to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. These were men
who knew the Lord and walked with Him.
Youll find the Buddhists climbing a rugged mountain barefooted or
the Hindus walking on hot coals all you and I need to do is come to
Gods Word and study it; the hymnwriter wrote, Im feasting on the
manna from a bountiful supply, For I am dwelling in Beulah Land.
Quicken thou me in thy way.
Do you study Gods Word to win arguments? Do you study the Word
to prove your brother or sister wrong? Do you study the Word to show
off how much you know? Well, its good and obedient to Scripture to
study the Word and to be ready always to give an answer to every man that
asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you (I Pet. 3:15). But the primary
purpose of Gods Word is so that you would grow in the faith, Ps. 119:11
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. 12 Blessed
art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes. 105 Thy word is a lamp unto my
feet, and a light unto my path.
When you feel down, read about men like Elijah, - exhausted in his
efforts for the Name of God, I Kgs. 19:4 he requested for himself that he
might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life. The Lord
wakened him as he lay under the juniper tree and gave him food to eat
and drink; What doest thou here, Elijah? And Elijah spoke from a broken
heart, v.14 I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the
children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain
thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to
take it away. Lord, its all going wrong!
Do you remember what the Lord told him? V.15 Go, return on thy way
to the wilderness of Damascus. Imagine the Lord sent His servant into
the wilderness, why? In the wilderness he would be alone with God, -
no Ahab, no J ezebel, no spiritually adulterous children of Israel just
him and God ... quicken thou me in thy way.
I take you to another place where a Man is lying on the ground as
they pierce His hands and feet and nail Him to a cross; they lift up that
cross and our Saviour cries in deepest agony as they dropped it into the
socket in the ground. That Man died for you, He said, J n. 10:10, I am come
that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. That
spiritual life is only in Him, it is only His to give.

Believer, you have allowed something to creep in and it is affecting
your walk with God look again and consider what He has done to save
you how precious you are to Him. Look into His Word and pray,
quicken thou me in thy way. (Lord, the problem is not with You, its with me.)
You have taken your eye off the Lord, - you know you have, -
Christian, Is. 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, for I am God, and there
is none else. Yes, Lord, v.25 quicken thou me according to thy word.
You feel you are strong? Perhaps you are stronger than many
others but are you as earnest in the faith as you could be? as Christ
saved you to be? Are you as vigorous for God as He wants you to be?
You might be doing more than others for Christ but then just think
while God might have given them two talents, He has given you five
to be responsible for.
Look at Paul and the miles and the work He did for Christ.
Look at the faithfulness of men like David Livingstone as he
travelled through many parts of Africa to win the lost for Christ and
women like Mary Slessor.
But Im so busy, - I have a hundred and one things to do, - aye,
but what takes priority? Who takes priority? Does Gods presence in the
meetings? in the prayer meeting with your brother and sister in Christ?
Remember you are not your own, you belong to God, you are
bought with the price of His Sons blood. You are a servant of our Lord
and Master, J esus Christ. Some day He will call you to account for your
service and faithfulness.
Youll not be able to make any excuses and isnt it so beautiful
that the psalmist wasnt trying to make excuses; he wanted God to answer
this sincere prayer that came from his heart, quicken thou me in thy way.
Lord, I want to be more alive for You The Believers Need.

Yes, we need to emphasise this point. One of the things that saddens
me is to hear some Christians put the weight of burden upon someone
else in order for them to be closer to God.
Or we need to be doing this and we need to be doing that. Yes, I
agree wholeheartedly we need to be active for the Lord, - the Lord
doesnt bless idleness but I dont agree we need to be active just for
the look of it.

A certain evangelistic program is all the rage, - read its literature
and it will tell you how successful it is and you can send off and get all
the material you need and it will work! There is almost the same
guarantee on it that you would receive with the latest toothpaste or
washing-up liquid!
What we need is a certain pastor, - hes well-known; if we get him
hell do the work of building our church up. He will change the place!
But true blessing is not the pastors to give, true blessing comes only
from the Lord; all a pastor can do is to seek to lead the people over whom
he has responsibility to the One Who can provide the blessing. If you
only trust in the blessing a person can bring it will soon dry up and
become barren.
But you see, the psalmist wasnt looking in any other direction for
quickening but in the direction of the Lord.
I find it so encouraging that in Revival times God used people hardly
anyone had ever heard tell of. He uses ordinary people with an
extraordinary longing for His Name and none of us ever received
spiritual life from any other source but from God.
The first time I went to a certain church, I was called over by one of
the women to sit beside her; with a sharpness and hardness in her voice,
she told me how the church is going further and further downhill and is
facing closure and what the church needed was me to come and be its
pastor. Not because of what she said, but I did become its pastor and we
did see some encouraging times and we even saw some measure of
growth, - spiritual as well as numerical. When I left, two warring factions
entered the membership (they wouldnt join while the previous secretary
and myself were there); in just over a year after I left there were three
fall-outs in that church culminating in the church closing. I dont believe
it had to close, - I simply believe its people gave up. The spirituality of
a church does not totally depend upon who the pastor is; the spirituality
of the church depends upon the walk of its people with their God.
We have a great God; He has only one family. That family is
precious to Him. He died to purchase His family.
When the psalmist prayed, quicken thou me in thy way, he wasnt
addressing some high priest or even a faithful prophet he was speaking
to a personal God, His Heavenly Father.

Some people think if I come to the Lords Table that will quicken
me but no, the elements are a symbol of Christs body and blood, -
there is nothing magical in them it is not the outward that needs to be
touched, but the inward and the heart can only be made right by the
working of the Holy Spirit.
It is Christ in your life that changes you continually for God, - it is
the Holy Spirit working. I believe the Holy Spirit at this moment can
come upon the coldest heart and make it flame and blaze in a way that
brings glory unto God.
We have been considering Moses standing before the bush in the
wilderness; it was not the dryness of the desert and the heat of the sun
that set it alight but the presence of God, - He kept it burning.
Spurgeon told his congregation, My ministry cannot quicken you,
but the Lord can. He told his people to pray, quicken thou me in thy way.
Do you notice here that the psalmist does not tell God how to do His
work, - he was leaving it up to God as to how he would be quickened. He
didnt pray Quicken thou me in my way, but he prayed quicken thou me
in thy way.
God sometimes uses different ways to fulfil His purposes and we
depend upon Him because His ways are always the best. The supreme
way that He uses is His Word but sometimes it might be reading a
biography of a faithful servant, or a hymn or a testimony; however it
happens God is at the source of it when we make sure to pray, quicken
thou me in thy way.
Yes, God can use different ways to quicken, - He might choose to
use your witness in front of your brother or sister who needs encouraging.
Each born-again believer is part of the family of God and we all have
a responsibility towards each other, - I have a responsibility to you, you
have a responsibility to me and we both are responsible to the Lord.
Sometimes He uses a gentle approach to quicken us, sometimes it
might be a hard and rough approach but, at the end of the day, what
matters is that He does quicken us.
I dont want to be cold-hearted towards the Lord, I dont want to be
lifeless and lukewarm however God chooses to awaken and quicken
His people out of their sleep is for His glory and our good.
He took Elijah off to a desert, - there is nothing wrong with a desert,
if that is where God takes you. He brought Saul of Tarsus to the desert
and taught him there and that is where the Lord J esus spent time as

Quicken thou me in thy way. It is a prayer inspired of the Lord. It is to
His glory and it is only to Him we can pray it.
Each of us here this morning needs to come before Him again with it
on our lips and in our hearts.
When you come to His Word He teaches you, - you find out more
about Him and what He expects of His people. Stay away from His Word
and you will miss out!
And what you learn in His Word you need to be obedient to, Ps. 40:8 I
delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. And the
more the Lord sees you obeying His Word, the more He will share with
Remember too that it doesnt work to have one eye on the world and
the other on the Word, - that is double-mindedness, and God doesnt
bless double-minded people (J ames 1:5-8).
Look at how the psalmist closes this section, 119:40 Behold, I have
longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness. To have such a
longing for Gods Word is a mark of a true believer; look back at v.20 My
soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times. V. 131
tells us that he even panted for Gods Word, I opened my mouth, and
panted: for I longed for thy commandments. He longed to hear Gods Word.
It wasnt the playing of the harps and the timbrels and the musical
instruments of the temple he longed to hear his longing was satisfied
by the living Word of God that quickened him.
V.33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto
the end. Ending Well! May the Lord bless to each of us our study of
His Word today.