I have done what is righteous and just;(Ps. 119:121-128 NIV)
do not leave me to my oppressors.
Ensure your servant’s well-being;
do not let the arrogant oppress me.
My eyes fail, looking for your salvation,
looking for your righteous promise.
Deal with your servant according to your love
and teach me your decrees.
I am your servant; give me discernment
that I may understand your statutes.
It is time for you to act, Lord;
your law is being broken.
Because I love your commands
more than gold, more than pure gold,
and because I consider all your precepts right,
I hate every wrong path.
The first two verses of this section do not have a reference to the word of God. The Psalmist has followed God’s word and has lived in a righteous and just way, but he is feeling anxious because of those who are oppressing him. The Lord does not appear to be active in preventing the oppressors. The Psalmist prays for the Lord to ensure his wellbeing. His wellbeing has suffered because he is troubled by the question as to why the Lord permits this. People who are wicked and arrogant seem to be able to do as they wish without restraint. The Psalmist is not able to prevent the oppressors from troubling him. We don’t know the reason why the Lord has not come to his aid. He has been oppressed for some time. We know this as the Psalmist’s eyes are beginning to fail him because he has been looking out for God’s salvation. The word of God contains the promise of salvation, but the Lord has delayed His coming.
The Psalmist has stated his righteous behaviour but the basis of his plea for God to save him is based on God’s covenant love. We are never in a position to be able to plead based on self-merit. A godly person will have a teachable spirit. The Psalmist asks the Lord to teach him from God’s word. The Psalmist states that he is the Lord’s servant. Whether God comes to deal with the problem or not, the Psalmist remains as a servant and subject to the heavenly Master’s will. God’s intervention in nature and in timing is according to His sovereign will. He asks the Lord for the ability to be able to discern, that is the ability to be able to make wise choices. It is one thing to know God’s word, quite another thing to know how to apply that word to our lives. The Psalmist’s concern shifts from consideration of his own problems to asking God to intervene because God’s law is being broken. God’s law is being broken in our country right now. We can use this pattern prayer to help us pray that God will intervene.
The Psalmist loves God’s word. The word of God is more precious to him than gold, even pure gold, and it is heart breaking that that word is being broken. The Psalmist hates every wrong path because those paths are contrary to God’s word.
Lord God help us to have a great love for Your word. Help us to grieve when we break Your word ourselves and when our nation breaks Your word. Continue to teach us Your word. Help us to have a teachable spirit, where we realise no matter how much we have learned that there is still more in Your word for us to learn. Lord come swiftly to our aid because of Your great love because we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.