The Harmony of Faith & Works

Even as a king himself, David understood that God was sovereign. And though he always gave all glory and honor to God for anything he accomplished, David also understood his own responsibility in the work.

Let’s see how David harmonizes these ideas of faith and works by looking at the parallel between the last verse in the Aleph stanza of Psalm 119 and the final verse of the Beth stanza.

I shall keep Your statutes;
Do not forsake me utterly! Psalm 119:8

I shall delight in Your statutes;
I shall not forget Your word. Psalm 119:16

As Nathan mentioned in his sermon on Sunday (watch or listen here), David was not in fear that God was changeable or mercurial, willing to write him off at any moment. Instead, David’s focus had been on himself. He had been asking for God’s sustaining power so that he could continue doing the work of proclaiming God’s word to the generations.

In light of this, we see the poet king harmonizing verse 8 and verse 16. We also see the balance he brings to the idea of faith versus works. David deeply desires one thing (work…continuing service to his king as long as possible), but he also knows he can only accomplish this through God’s power (faith).

In Psalm 119 vs. 8 & vs. 16, David beautifully harmonized #faith & #works. Click To Tweet

Faith & Works

Even at our best, everything we have is still given by the grace of God. Who made our mouths to speak his wonders? Who made our ears to hear his word? Who gave our intellect to understand his commands?

David knew the source of all good things (James 1:17), which is why he petitioned God not to cast him off. But he also understood his own responsibility in the matter, which is why he, in return, promised God that he would delight in God’s statutes and would never forget his word.

Everything we have is given by the grace of God. Who made our mouths to speak his wonders? Who made our ears to hear his word? Who gave our intellect to understand his commands? Click To Tweet

It all begins and ends with the word. We can’t perform the work of God without the word of God. God’s word holds all things together (Hebrews 1:1-2). God’s word brings joy to our hearts (Psalm 119:111). 

When we rightly see our responsibility to seek and remember God’s word, the working out of our faith will be a continuous source of joy to us. Then we will cry with David, to never be cut off from the work of proclaiming God to our generation.

Everything begins and ends with the Word. We can't perform the work of God without the Word of God. The Word holds all things together and brings joy to our hearts. Click To Tweet

Let’s Talk

How does the harmony of faith and works in David’s song help you understand the balance of faith versus work in your own life? I’d love to hear your response. Comment below or email me at steph@nathanfranckhauser.com.

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