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The Favor of Our Leader


Psalm 119:161-168

Verses 161-163 Rulers persecute me without cause, but my heart trembles at Your word. I rejoice in Your promise like one who finds great spoil. I hate and detest falsehood but I love Your law.


We have come to the twenty first stanza and the psalmist is still comparing his love of the law to those who persecute him. Today he turns from his foes to those in leadership.


There are those who struggle with the thought that those that rule over us could ever have anything but our best interest in mind as they govern. But there are times when those who are making the earthly laws are missing the mark of encouraging God’s law. There are some who so despise God and His law that they actually do all they can to push His law out of the mainstream of society. These seem to be the kind of rulers that the psalmist is talking about in his song.


The psalmist feels like the rulers are persecuting him without cause and while it felt like that the truth was that the rulers had no regard for God and so they wouldn’t have been favoring those who loved Him. The man of song must have known that, at least a little bit, because he immediately says how he feels about the law of the Lord.


The song writer says that he trembles at the word of the Lord, this shows that he fears God’s justice over earthly punishment. He knows that God’s opinion is more important than that of those in earthly authority. This isn’t to say we should ignore leadership but that we can know why it seems they are persecuting us when they start attacking us because of our faith in God.


The psalmist continues his focus on the word of the Lord by declaring how precious he feels it is. He has come to understand that the value of God’s law is above any earthly favor. While others seek to win the favor of earthly leaders, the psalmist knew that God’s rule is eternal and that means He is the one that we should be seeking. This man of song says that he hates lies but that he loves the law of the Lord. He knew that the Lord was faithful and true. God’s law is a gift of truth that shows God’s love for His people.


Making It Personal

Whose favor do you seek? Do you struggle with loving God’s law? In what ways do you see the law as precious?


Making It Personal Kids

Do you struggle with obeying when you don’t understand the reason why you are being told to do something? What does it mean to think of the commandments as precious? How do you feel about them?


Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for being faithful, always just and continually sovereign. You reign and therefore it is Your law that is most important. Give us a heart of obedience so that we will always seek Your will over any other. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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