Oftentimes I pray a strophe or a part of a strophe of Psalm 119 before I begin Bible engagement.  The morning of July 20, 2020, I prayed verses 49-56.  Verse 53 stood out, and in the ESV it reads:

53 Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked, who forsake your law.

Other translations read:

(NLT) – 53 I become furious with the wicked, because they reject your instructions.

(NCV) – 53 I become angry with wicked people who do not keep your teachings.

This verse shows that when people reject or forsake the teachings of God’s Word they are part of “the wicked.”  The Hebrew word translated as “the wicked” has the sense of someone who is characterized by wickedness and godlessness. See Logos 8, Exegetical Guide.   The word “wicked” means evil or morally wrong. 

This verse reveals the Psalmist’s strong reaction toward people who forsake or reject God’s Word.  These translations describe his reaction as “hot indignation” or “become furious” or “become angry.”  There are two basic components of the word “hot indignation.”  One is directed towards the person of the wicked because of their pride that results in their departure from God’s Word.  The other pertains to the horror at the punishment coming upon the wicked.  See Poole, M. (1853). Annotations upon the Holy Bible (Vol. 2, p. 185). New York: Robert Carter and Brothers; PACKER, J. I. (1993). Introduction. In Psalms (p. 204). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Verse 53 teaches that a Christ-follower need not be timid when it comes to challenging people, i.e., the “wicked,” who forsake or reject the teachings of God’s Word.  Instead, Christ-followers are to challenge the teaching of “the wicked” because they offend God and place the offender in jeopardy of spending eternity in hell.  Note that a Christ-follower must carry out such a challenge in love and be ready to reason from the Scriptures.

If you are reading this post and are not a Christian, unless God intervenes, your eternal destination is hell.  But, your destiny can change.  Today can be the day of your salvation.  Please see my blog (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/04/20/for-god-so-loves-you-2/) for a description of how you can be saved.


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