PSALM 119 MEDITATION: WEEK SIXTEEN I have done what is just and right
WEEK: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
September 28: Verses 127-128--"Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold. Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right; I hate every false way." Here he wraps up the section; note the two "therefore"s. After his desparate cries to God, he sums up by telling God how much he values the Word and lives it out. That, I think, is the bottom line. Are we crying out for justice because we need to get our way? Or because we absolutely adore God and his ways? ...tough question...
September 27: Verse 126--"It is time for the LORD to act, for your law has been broken." I can see the psalmist's desparate pounding as he cries for justice. Funny how 'common knowledge' says this psalm is primarily about Scripture. Seems that it both is and is not. Every statement is grounded in the psalmist's understanding of and trust in God's Word, but real life is woven through every statement as well. He is not shy about telling God his feelings--both frustrations and pleasures. Maybe prayer is like real life...
September 26: Verses 124-125--"Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statutes. I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies!" Here the psalmist rehearses before God certain truths and promises, asking for help accordingly. This is a primary weakness, I think, in much of our 'gimme' prayers. We base our requests on our perception of our needs rather than asking in the context of God's truths and promises. This is why the psalmist's throne-banging prayers are good and our bless-me-show-me prayers are likely not good. We have much to learn from the psalms.
September 25: Verse 123--"My eyes long for your salvation and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise." You know, maybe it's just longing for light at the end of the tunnel. When you're in a long dark tunnel, longing for the light--crying out for the light--is a good and right thing. I think the problem comes in when our usual mode of prayer is asking for light while standing in a perfectly well-lit room. It should be our desparate prayers that ask for God's light--those times when emotion overwhelms us and we can only cry and plead because no other words come. I think God honors those sorts of prayers, but when desparation becomes the norm, we are likely not understanding something about God or about ourselves.
September 24: Verse 122--"Give your servant a pledge of good; let not the insolent oppress me." The psalmist, through this entire psalm, has declared his trust in God and his word. Yet, in this section he requests--maybe demands--a pledge. Makes me wonder how this demand relates to Ann's post on prayer. I think the difference is that the psalmist is not experiencing mere discomfort or lack of happiness. Rather he is being pummelled by enemies. God does not rebuke him for his outcry. There is a time when asking for more from God is appropriate, but that time may well be rare.
September 23: Verses ALL--this section overflows with tearful pounding on the gates of heaven... There is a time to plead for justice.
September 22: Verse 121a--"I have done what is just and right..." There are tears of desperation in this claim...
All verses are quoted from the ESV.