Scripture: (multiple references) “…but my heart stands in awe of your words. I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.” (v 161b-162) “Let my cry come before you, O Lord.” (v 169a) “…for I have chosen your precepts. I long for your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight.” (v173b-174)
Generally speaking Psalms gives us an example of how our minds, hearts and actions are to be oriented. This section of Ps 119 is no different-it focuses on embracing God’s Word as well as identifying our shortfalls and what should be our longings…
Hear my testimony, O God! That would have fit just find in this section. I read and I see that there are parallel cries going on: Hear me!! Save me!! I love your word!! I love your salvation!! And more—it is like a dart board: I can put a subject in each section and all of them are equal combining to make a whole.
What do I mean? In the few references above (and many more in the text) I think I see the writer in both “Faith” and what looks like “not-Faith”: He writes like one who is over and above totally sure what God is doing and has done. In the very next breath it is as if he is teetering on despair.
It is akin to what Jason preached this past Sunday: We see right now only in Faith. To be sure there are strong and substantial promises from our Merciful and Faithful God. But, to be completely candid, I don’t always live on the mountain top, there are frequent visits into the valley. The valley is where my faith battles, the mountain top is where I recharge. Valley trips are not failures, nor indicative of faithlessness. They are the testing of my heart’s treasure. While there is a chance that the Psalmist is declaring with exuberance “My heart stands in awe of your words, O God” I think there is as equal a chance that he is exhorting his heart to get back in line. In Ps 42 the Psalmist says to his soul “Why are you cast down O my soul? Hope again in God…”
There are moments where we all battle the dark; the Psalmist was no different. In fact I am of the conviction that God put the Psalms in place so I can have a real example of how to deal with life, thoughts, temptations, and emotions. This is where the saying “preach the Gospel to yourself” has meaning. It isn’t just to ramp up “feeling good”-it is to remember God and His Goodness towards me.
What do I treasure, O God? Are there things that I treasure more than You? Things that I put my affections upon in a greater way than I am towards You? How can I be evermore growing in my affections towards You? How can I treasure You more? Please support my heart when I am battling in the trenches of daily life. Please help me to cultivate Your Whisper in the midst of all the shouting-I want to hear You clearly. When I am in the valley, help me to remember You are not far and bring to my attention Your Word. You are my God! AMEN.