Thursday, June 29, 2023

Psalms 119:165 Is An Often Misunderstood Passage Of Scripture

Psalms 119:165, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”

I hear preachers get the meaning of this Bible verse wrong all the time. The Hebrew word for “offend” in Psalms 119:165 is mikshol, which means “a stumblingblock; cause to fall.” This Bible verse means that if you abide in God's Word, you won't stumble. The psalmist David elaborates elsewhere in his writings:

Psalms 1:1-3, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

The Christian who loves God's inspired Word, so that he or she abides, nurtures and continually feasts upon the Holy Bible, will be grounded like a strong tree with deep roots nourished alongside a flowing river. In that believer's season (time) they will bring forth fruit (souls won to Christ). In The Parable Of The Sower And The Seeds, we read concerning the last and obedient fourth group in Luke 8:15, “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.”

Psalms 119:165 is not teaching that if you love the Bible, you won't be offended no matter what people do to you. I heard a preacher recently teach this misunderstanding of the passage. Folks, people are going to offend us all the time! Jesus said in Matthew 11:6, “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” I am not offended to let the world know that I am a Christian. That is what Psalms 119:165 means, no one can cause our faith to falter. I wear my “Jesus” and “John 3:16” hat everywhere I go, advertising to the world that I am a child of God, and I am not ashamed of Jesus!!!

The Bible is teaching in Psalms 119:165 that if we abide in the inspired Holy Scriptures, we won't go astray:
1st Timothy 4:10-16, “For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”
I love those last verses. The Apostle Paul is telling young Timothy that by taking heed to RIGHT DOCTRINE (not false teaching), he will not only save himself, but those who hear him preach. The Greek word for “save” in Verse 16 is sozo, which means “to deliver, or protect.” This is where consulting the Hebrew, Chaldean or Greek really comes in handy when trying to rightly interpret the Bible. Without looking up the word “offended” in Psalms 119:165 in a Strong's Concordance (or something similar; I like, you'd never be able to rightly discern the correct intended meaning of the passage. This is why we are commanded in 2nd Timothy 2:15 to “Study” the Word of Truth, to shew thyself approved unto God.

You can read the Bible all day, and mediate upon it all night, and still be offended by inconsiderate, mean, rotten and selfish people. When Jesus healed ten lepers of leprosy, only one bothered to return to thank Him. Jesus was offended! Luke 17:17-18, “And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.” The Lord's feelings were hurt. People can be such ingrates, especially toward those who help them the most.

Dear reader, Psalms 119:165 simply means that if you live, heed and obey the Word of God, you won't go astray! You're in good hands with Jesus!!!
James 1:22-25, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
When I went to San Diego, California in 2010 for my second neck surgery, I saw a homeless man looking through a garbage can for food. I handed him $20 and a Gospel of John. He humbly thanked me and said something I'll never forget. He quoted the preceding passage and said: “Thank you for being a DOER of the Word, and not just a HEARER!” Wow! That was so cool. I got much more of a blessing that day than he did. God is so good! ...
Proverbs 4:7, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

Proverbs 4:23, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”
If we will obey the Bible with God's help (Galatians 2:20), and draw close to our beloved Great Shepherd (James 4:8-17), then we will not be led astray from the truth and the joy that comes with having faith in God. Happiness is what happens to us. So we may not be happy most of the time (I'm not), but we can still have joy and peace 100% of the time in our miseries. Jesus told us in Luke 10:20 to rejoice, not because of external circumstances that can change, but only because our name is written in Heaven in the Lamb's Book Of Life. Peace is quiet of mind. Many people have: 'A Noisy Soul' (a tremendous sermon by Pastor Ron Haese).

God bless you dear reader! So, remember, nothing can cause you to stumble and bring offence to your walk with God, if you love God's Word and apply it to your life. Proverbs 3:5-7, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” It is only when we allow doubt to become the precursor to fear, that we start to go astray.

Either the Bible and prayer will keep us from sin, or else sin will keep us from praying and abiding in the Scriptures. Don't just read the Bible friend, think about what it means and what God intends for you to do with it. Meditate therein about the deep and dark sayings of God's Word. I don't know about you, but I enjoy trying to discern what God means in various passages. I great place to always start, if you are not sure where to begin, is either in the books of Genesis, Proverbs or the Gospel of John. Those are my favorites!

The $64,000 question is: Do you love God's Word? Jesus is the Living Word; the Holy Bible is the Written Word. Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980) used to wisely call Jesus and the Bible “twins.” Jesus' name is called: 'THE WORD OF GOD' (Revelation 19:13; John 1:1, 14). Jesus said in John 14:15 that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. So to the same degree that we love the Holy Bible, to that same degree we love Jesus, and vise versa. Psalms 119:165, “Great peace have they which love thy law (Jesus): and nothing shall offend them.” No one truly loves Jesus who does not heed the inspired Word of God in obedience!!! Our relationship the the King James Bible is synonymous with our relationship to Christ. No one can reject the Bible and accept Christ, for they are effectively one and the SAME (John 1:1-3, 14). When we study the Bible, we are learning the mind of Christ.

Jesus commanded us in John 5:39 to SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES!!! You won't go astray friend, if you make the inspired Word of God your lighthouse to guide you through life's raging storms! Psalms 119:104-105, “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” That is what Psalms 119:165 means!!! Psalms 119:165, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Nothing will sink your battleship! Nothing will cause you to stumble spiritually and choke you from maturing to win souls (Luke 8:14). Nothing will quench your faith!

So keep that in mind when you read Psalms 119:165, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” This doesn't mean that you'll never be offended, it simply means that you won't stumble if you are grounded in the inspired Word of God. I have heard some pastors, like Steven Anderson, discourage people from studying the Hebrew and Greek, but this is a good example of why it helps at times to study the ancient languages from which our beloved King James Bible was translated.

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