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Stay Focused (Psalm 119:23)

Even though princes sit and talk against me, your servant meditates on Your statutes.
Psalm 119:23

An interesting response to opposition!

These princes are leaders in high places who are expected to protect the rights of those who are walking uprightly. Yet here we find them speaking in opposition to the psalmist. Even in the midst of this intense opposition, the psalmist is careful to set his mind on the things of God.

We are living in a climate that is increasingly hostile to the truths of God’s word. No doubt we will experience this opposition to a much greater degree in the days ahead. We can get consumed with anger and bitterness or we can meditate on the word of God. The flesh will desire to respond in anger, the spirit will long for the word.

Far too many Christians choose to distance themselves from God’s word when life gets difficult. The psalmist understands that we need meditation more than ever when we are going through the dark valleys of life.

Picture these princes sitting in their luxurious places discussing you. They have no moral compass and could care less about your biblical values. They despise you and are willing to say anything, regardless of its truthfulness, in order to destroy you.

It would be very tempting to allow our minds to dwell on our circumstances. The psalmist understands that it can be devastating to dwell on our circumstances. Such thinking leads to discouragement and wastes volumes of time. Therefore, the psalmist continues to see his life in relation to God. He is the servant and God is the Master. These princes really have no legitimate rank at all. God is in supreme control. Rather than fear the authority and power of the princes, the psalmist chooses to meditate on the word.

When we choose to mediate on God’s word, we refuse to allow our minds to dwell on other things. Meditating on God’s word accomplishes many things in the life of the believer. It provides a context for us to honor God regardless of the circumstances. It reminds us of the character of God. It reminds us to always look for ministry opportunities in the midst of our circumstances. It also protects us from patterns of sinful thinking.

On the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.
Psalm 145:5

Spurgeon says wisely, “Who were these malignants that they should rob God of his servant’s attention, or deprive the Lord’s chosen of a moment’s devout communion. The rabble of princes were not worth five minutes’ thought, if those five minutes had to be taken from holy meditation.”1


1 Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The Treasury of David: Psalms 111-119 (Vol. 5, p. 174). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

Rocky Wyatt

Rocky Wyatt came to know the Lord as a young teenager and began working in youth ministry when in college. After serving in churches in Utah, California and Colorado, Rocky moved to Texas to serve as Youth Pastor at Countryside Bible Church. He served there for 26 years where he eventually moved from youth ministry to serve as an Associate Pastor.

Over the course of his ministry, Rocky has always had a desire to train men for pastoral ministry in the context of the local church. In 1992 he started XL Ministries, an organization that is committed to helping churches establish intensive internships for pastoral training. In 2020 he left his position at Countryside Bible Church to become the Executive Director of XL Ministries and now works full time assisting churches in training men for ministry.

He is co-author of The Youth Ministry Training Manual, a textbook for training youth pastors, and has also written multiple other resources for use in various local church ministries. He is currently working on a book to encourage churches to take the primary responsibility to train pastors.

Rocky is married to Pamela, has two sons and daughters-in-law, and ten grandchildren. 

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.1 Corinthians 15:58