Psalm 119:65-72 Teth
You have done many good things for me, Lord,
just as you promised.
I believe in your commands;
now teach me good judgment and knowledge.
I used to wander off until you disciplined me;
but now I closely follow your word.
You are good and do only good;
teach me your decrees.
Arrogant people smear me with lies,
but in truth I obey your commandments with all my heart.
Their hearts are dull and stupid,
but I delight in your instructions.
My suffering was good for me,
for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.
Your instructions are more valuable to me
than millions in gold and silver.
Another fact of God’s word is it teaches us good judgment and knowledge. Even though the Psalmist here separates them, I really believe you cannot have good judgment without knowledge. Having an open mind to fresh ideas can give us good judgment in the future. A great word for good judgment is discernment. Now when I speak of knowledge I speak of godly knowledge. Godly knowledge will give us discernment. Let me rephrase that, godly knowledge will give us godly discernment and direction in our lives. Let me add one more element to this thought, suffering as the Psalmist puts is good for us. It give us the godly knowledge and the godly discernment.
Lets talk about each of these aspects starting with suffering. Suffering sounds like something negative, but God always has this paradox thing happening that the world does not get or understand. Yes, suffering is a bad thing, but it produces character, knowledge and faith. With those three will come hope. Suffering in brief produces hope. Without suffering we would not have the hope that Christ brings us everyday. For me when I run, I really am suffering in a way. My blood pressure gets high, my heart rate pumps higher and my muscles can be taxed. It’s work and it’s hard and it is deliberate suffering. It’s a good choice to do this deliberate suffering because it produces positive results as time goes on. If I hadn’t chosen to suffer I would never have lost 242 pounds and gained some major knowledge of running.
With knowledge or learning, you have to have an open mind to receive it. There is no easy way around this. Sometimes people think they know it all when in reality they don’t. As I lost weight I gained knowledge for my own situation. What worked for me may not work for you. What motivates me may not motivate you. I can’t pretend to know all the secrets of weight loss, neither can I pretend to know God that well. I have some knowledge, but I can’t claim all knowledge, only God can. What’s cool is if we have an open mind and understand our place in the universe, we can gain some major knowledge and wisdom as we read God’s word. This is what the Psalmist is saying here. As we get into God’s word we get to the next idea.
Discernment is the good judgment God has for us. As we allow ourselves to suffer, we get knowledge and then knowledge gives us the good judgment God wants us to have through the Holy Spirit. Discernment is so important for us to have to keep us from being deceived. It’s very easy in this day and age to accept something that may not be true. All you have to do is browse the internet and you will find falsehood all around. I shared with a friend some things about scripture and told them that they should always read the scripture for themselves and find out how they interpret it. Sometimes you can read a piece of scripture and take something from it different from how I took it. People can hear the same sermon and take something different from it. It’s all in what the Holy Sprit wants to reveal to you.
Good judgment comes from knowledge, knowledge come from suffering. It’s how God has made this life, suffering will always produce a good result if we allow it; and to see the good that comes from it.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.