The Strong, the Wise and the Righteous

The Verse of the Day for July 18, 2018 comes from Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible. Also known as the Torah Psalm, this passage makes reference to the Word of God in every verse, employing such synonyms as “statues, Law, judgments, precepts, etc. The 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:

Psalm 119:7 (New Living Translation):

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 (NLT):

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 (NLT):

I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

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

Ten years ago I recall a Bible teaching that described those who survive in times of famine. The Verse of the Day and related scriptures brought to mind this response:

The Strong, the Wise and the Righteous

“In times of famine, those who survive
and prosper are the strong,
the wise and the righteous.”
Apostle Eric L. Warren

In times of severe famine those who survive are the strong
In mind, those empowered by the Spirit of Might.
Though living in a strange land, they sing the Lord’s song,
Striving to please their God, in whom He takes delight.
During drought and scarcity of food the wise
Search for wisdom as bold hunters pursue their game.
They seek to do all God’s will and not compromise.
God hears every cry when they call upon His name
And satisfies the deepest hunger of their soul.
Walking worthy of their calling as faithful sons,
They learn that to run to serve is life’s highest goal.
In times of famine they shall find grace in the Lord’s eyes;
Set apart for His glory: the strong, righteous and wise.

We end our comments on the Verse of the Day “a musical rendering of Psalm 119:1-8 offer as a worship song by Jason Silver: “All Your Commandments”

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