I will also speak of your testimonies before kings
and shall not be put to shame (Psalm 119:46).
I’m hoping a few of you readers are kings. Then I could be like the psalmist, speaking before kings about God’s laws. I know a guy named Andrew King, and while he’s a great guy, he’s no monarch. But I don’t think that’s what the psalmist was talking about (he probably wasn’t thinking about Burger Kings either).
The psalmist was speaking about real kings. Although back in the Old Testament times a “king” might only rule over a few thousand people. In Genesis 14, there’s a battle between a coalition of four kings and a coalition of five kings, where it seems like a king is basically a ruler of a city, more like a mayor, but probably not democratically elected.
It would still take courage for anyone to speak before king about God’s testimonies. What gives the psalmist confidence to do something so bold? He knows that he won’t be embarrassed.
To succeed in public speaking you need confidence. There’s nothing more painful than a public speaker who’s lost his confidence. The psalmist has complete confidence in God and God’s word.
Where does the psalmist’s confidence come from? It is difficult to say conclusively, but from what we’ve seen in the psalm, it’s from a lifelong relationship with God, and a complete commitment to live God’s word and sing the praises of God’s laws.
Yesterday in our Sunday school class, my wife Shannon led a discussion of a section of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus says he came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it (Matt. 5:17-20). I was struck by how much Jesus loved, supported and taught God’s law. According to Jesus own words, those that do the law and teach others to do so will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. I guess that makes both Jesus and the psalmist great.
God, make us great as we follow the examples of Jesus and the psalmist to speak of your law and to follow it.