I am laid low in the dust;(Ps. 119:25-32 NIV)
preserve my life according to your word.
I gave an account of my ways and you answered me;
teach me your decrees.
Cause me to understand the way of your precepts,
that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
My soul is weary with sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word.
Keep me from deceitful ways;
be gracious to me and teach me your law.
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I have set my heart on your laws.
I hold fast to your statutes, Lord;
do not let me be put to shame.
I run in the path of your commands,
for you have broadened my understanding.
The Psalmist is down in the dumps. His spirit is shattered. His mood is down in the dust, he is stuck in the dust and cannot raise his mood. In death a person returns to dust and the Psalmist’s mood is so low that he feels that he is as good as dead. He turns in his melancholy mood to the Lord and seeks life. Only the Lord can lift him through the word of the Lord. When that melancholic mood settles upon our heart and mind it is good to turn to the Psalms. In the Psalms we can find the words that help us express how we feel. When our spirits are low it feels lonely, but it feels less lonely when we can see that the Psalmist has felt the same way. We also learn from the Psalmist’s example that whatever the feeling we have it is good to bring that into the presence of the Lord.
The Psalmist has given a complete account of what has happened to him and the Lord has responded. The Psalmist wants to be taught through the word of God. The Psalmist asks for help to understand God’s precepts, just as we seek the help of the Holy Spirit to enable us to understand God’s word. When he understands God’s word, he is able to meditate on the wonderful works of the Lord.
The Psalmist’s soul has become weary with sorrow. We don’t know why he was so sorrowful. Perhaps the loss of a friend, the breakup of a relationship, or just disappointed with himself. He comes to God’s word and asks God to strengthen him through the word.
The Psalmist knows, through the word, that the human heart can be so deceitful, so he prays that God will keep him from deceitful ways and display His grace through His word. The Psalmist has made a conscious decision to pursue a path of faithfulness to the Lord. He has chosen to set his heart upon the word of God. That kind of commitment is a decision that we need to take. The Psalmist has taken that decision and is determined to hold fast to God’s word. To depart from the word of God is to bring shame. The Psalmist needs the help of the Lord to be kept safe from bringing shame upon his life.
The word of God has set him free and in that new freedom he runs in the path of the Lord’s commands.
Lord God, throughout life we face many shades of mood. Sometimes we feel it hard to accept the lot in life that You have given us. We yearn for something different as if this life was all there is. Help us to get a proper perspective on our lives by being students of Your word. Help us to understand that word so that through it we will be strengthened as we ponder Your great works of salvation. We seek Your grace through the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.