Looking for the upright in heart

Psalm  119-Verse-7Biblical scholar, EW Bullinger, points out that Psalm 119 is an acrostic psalm of 22 sections of eight verses each, with each section starting with one of the 22 consecutive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Take a look at the psalm and note that the first eight verses are labeled under Aleph, verses 9-16 are labeled under Beth; the same sequence follows for all 176 verses (8 x22). This arrangement made the psalm easier to memorize, according to the Holman Bible Handbook.

The Verse of the Day for July 18, 2015 is taken from Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible. Also known as the Torah Psalm, this passage makes reference to Word of God in every verse, employing such synonyms as “statues, Law, judgments, precepts, etc. Today’s Verse of the Day is the next to the last verse of the Aleph or the first section where David makes a bold declaration of his intent in verse 7:

Psalm 119:7

As I learn your righteous regulations,

I will thank you by living as I should!

The section ends with another declaration of intent, ending with a passionate plea:

Psalm 119:8

I will obey your decrees.

Please don’t give up on me!

David goes on to demonstrate his efforts to live uprightly and follow the precepts of God:

Psalm 119:11:

11 I have hidden your word in my heart,

that I might not sin against you. [1]

At the dedication of the Temple, David, who is described as “a man after God’s own heart,” comments on the attributes of God by saying,

17 I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously. (1 Chronicles 29:17)

David goes on to speak of his own state before God:

2 Samuel 22:23-26

23 I have followed all his regulations;
I have never abandoned his decrees.
24 I am blameless before God;
I have kept myself from sin.
25 The Lord rewarded me for doing right.
He has seen my innocence.

26 “To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
to those with integrity you show integrity.

God is always on the lookout for individuals who are “upright in heart.” A classic illustration of God looking for and finding such an “upright” person is found in Job, who is described in this way in the first verse of the book that bears his name:

Job 1:1 (Amplified Bible):

1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who [reverently] feared God and abstained from and shunned evil [because it was wrong].

Psalm 11:7(NLT) also makes known the kind of people who get God’s attention:

For the righteous Lord loves justice.
The virtuous will see his face.

II Chronicles 16:9 reveals that the eyes of Lord are always scanning the planet, looking for individuals with an upright or perfect heart. Such an individual is further described in Psalm 37:37 as “the perfect man. . . the upright,” whose life is a reflection of the peace of God. These two verses are combined in a Scripture memory song with these lyrics:

II Chronicles 16:9 and Psalm 37:37

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,

Throughout the whole earth

To show Himself strong, to show Himself strong,

To show Himself strong in behalf of them

Whose heart is perfect toward Him.

The man with a perfect heart is whole and complete:

Mark the perfect man and behold the upright,

For the end of that man is peace.

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,

Throughout the whole earth

We end our commentary on the Verse of the Day with a prayer to God expressed musically in our desire that He “Give Us Clean Hands and a Pure Heart”:

2 Responses to “Looking for the upright in heart”

  1. Harry Ghee Says:

    Dr. J…
    What a wonderful word for today and as I have read just a few of your pieces…since I am newly subscribed, I am awed at your wonderfully powerful messages from God. May He Bless you bountifully!

    • Dr. J Says:

      My brother, my friend and dear colleague,

      Thanks so much for subscribing to my blog. I appreciate your gracious comments. May you continue to be blessed and edified by what you read.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: