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Praise and a Burning Heart

Psalm 119:169-176

for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. ~ Luke 6:45

What is in our hearts today? Is praise pouring forth from your heart to your mouth? If not, why?

For years and years and years, I was good at doing. Doing, specifically, for God. Oh yes, I loved Him and I was grateful for His grace. I grew up learning the Bible…but the Bible, this Word hadn’t permeated my heart. I didn’t really get it. And so, the doing took place of praise flowing out of my heart and onto my lips. There was no praise because there was not deep understanding, or admittance, of God’s statutes. 

I am reminded of story of the disciples on the Road to Emmaus. Two disciples were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus on the day that Jesus rose from the dead. Another man joined them. It was the resurrected Jesus but the disciples didn’t recognize Him. They told him the events of the previous days and He began to teach them the Scriptures. They stopped to eat and then their eyes were opened that this was Jesus. But of His teach the disciples said in Luke 24:32 – And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

Their hearts burned. When you truly look at God’s statutes, the commandments, and measure yourself. When you meditate on it…you can’t help but be changed by it and realize how bad it is.  How bad you are and how much you need Him. How much you need to call upon Him. It wasn’t until I understood really deep down at a heart level just how sinful and flawed I really was that I understood what David is saying in these verses today.

TAV – is the name of man calling upon God; it is the name of man singing praises.

This passage is a prayer to the Lord and the focus of his prayer is on God’s wonderful ability to meet his needs as he trusted Him. But when you read it -make it personal!!!

The needs of the psalmist were same things I need.

  • I need His Word. We never outgrow our need for God’s Word, no matter how long we walk with Him. There will always be something new. The psalmist asked for understanding and deliverance, for he knew that the truth would set him free (John 8:32)
  • I need His Hand. The idols of his world have hands that do not move or feel, but God’s hand is active on behalf of His people. His hand is righteous.
  • I need His salvation. Our ultimate salvation was found on the cross when Jesus died and then was put in that tomb and then raised on that 3rd But our need for His salvation means even more than that…if you can grasp it. Here salvation also meant deliverance from his enemies who were threatening him, but salvation can mean freedom from worry, healing from sickness, provision of funds to pay a bill, or deliverance from satanic oppression.
  • I need His help. The writer prayed, HELP ME earlier in verse 86 and isn’t that our cry. God’s hand can help us but so can His judgements. Judgements is another word for the Word of God, but it can also refer to the working of God’s providence in this world. The two go together, because God always obeys His own Word when He works in this world. God helps us as He arranges the affairs of His world and our lives. He will accomplish His will.
  • I need to say as the psalmist to the Lord…I am Your servant. The psalmist did not say that he had greatly sinned against the Lord or that he was rebelling. But even still, he had come to know through it all his own weakness and ignorance. I need to come to that place too.


During the spiritual journey of Psalm 119 the psalmist experienced many ups and downs but he always stayed himself on the Word of God.

How fitting is the last verse of 119. Psalm 119:176. After 175 verses of proclaiming how great God’s Word is; how we treasure it; how we seek to follow with our whole heart. But then still the psalmist ended up saying and we so often end up saying…

“I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.”

He was still the servant of God and not the servant of sin, and he still remembered God’s Word, so he won’t stray for long.

And that takes me back up where we began in our passage– Back to I NEED YOUR WORD: after learning the statutes of God, after having them opened up to you; meditating on them…the psalmist began to praise the Lord and speak the Word. The disciples began to praise the Lord – their hearts burned!!! Not only that but they couldn’t wait to tell that Jesus was risen. It is the same with us! Study and preaching the Word and praise and worship belong together.

When the Word is opened up to us because we have meditated on it. When John 1:1 becomes alive in our hearts too we can’t help but realize that even though we are so prone to wander and stray and rebel…when we called upon Him that we were

FORGIVEN. ACCEPTED. LOVED.  This is what brings us to our knees in worship of the Almighty God. For WHO He is, and what He has done for us.

And what does God desires from us. He wants our love. Our praise. When we meditate on the Word our hearts are changed. The overflow of our hearts is love and the overflow of our love is praise and speaking His Word and then we DO…. He wants us to be obedient to what He tells us to DO but the doing comes as a “byproduct” of our love and praise. It is part of our worship!