Remember your word to your servant,(Ps. 119:49-56 NIV)
for you have given me hope.
My comfort in my suffering is this:
your promise preserves my life.
The arrogant mock me unmercifully,
but I do not turn from your law.
I remember, Lord, your ancient laws,
and I find comfort in them.
Indignation grips me because of the wicked,
who have forsaken your law.
Your decrees are the theme of my song
wherever I lodge.
In the night, Lord, I remember your name,
that I may keep your law.
This has been my practice:
I obey your precepts.
In the face of suffering and persecution the Psalmist takes comfort in the word of God. The Psalmist recalls the promises that God has made in His word. He has taken these promises to apply to him personally and he prays that God will remember those promises. Those promises are the hope that he holds onto. God is his only hope in times of trouble and suffering. Specifically, God’s promises have preserved his life. The Psalmist has his hope firmly fixed upon God and some arrogant folk mock him. It seems that they are mocking him because he has placed his confidence in God. They can see that he is suffering, and they mock him. Where is your God now when you need Him? But the Psalmist has resolved not to abandon God’s word. Again, the Psalmist repeats that he has found comfort in God’s word. Perhaps you question yourself and doubt whether or not you are getting comfort from God’s word. Have you ever underlined a verse in your bible? Why did you do that? Was it not that it spoke to you and you underlined it so that your can come back to it again? You may have a favourite Psalm. Why is that your favourite Psalm? You get comfort from it and while all of God’s word is for us, there are some parts that we hold in our hearts and minds.
The Psalmist is filled with indignation because of the people who have neglected God’s word. I think many of us feel that sense of indignation today as we see how God’s word has been ignored in our nation. This word that is so liberating and comforting has been set aside by many today.
The word of God has become the theme of his songs wherever he finds himself. I love listening to music. I have enjoyed over the past few months finding hymns and songs on YouTube to send out with the order of service. God has gifted many talented people to write songs so that we can sing Bible themes. When my father was dying, he got to the stage where he was too weary to read. We played him music of some of the hymns and songs that he loved. He took great comfort in listening to salvation themes being sung. That is what the Psalmist is doing, he is singing Bible themes. Sometimes when our spirits are low, music with salvation themes can reach us, when the counsel of others can’t. When we sing, we sing to praise God, but we also sing to make truth memorable, and we sing to each other to build them up in their faith.
Even through the night the Psalmist meditates upon God. If you have difficulty sleeping at night, turn to one of those favourite passages of scripture, refresh your mind of what it says and then think through each verse and put into different words what it means. The word of God is a comfort to many people who find themselves reflecting upon God’s word during the night-time.
How good it is to be able to say that it is your practice to obey God’s word. That is a good habit to develop.
Our heavenly Father, help us to resolve in our hearts and minds to not turn away from Your word. Help us day by day to form the good habit of reading Your word and resolving to habitually obey that word, because we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.