Your hands made me and formed me;(Ps. 119:73-80 NIV)
give me understanding to learn your commands.
May those who fear you rejoice when they see me,
for I have put my hope in your word.
I know, Lord, that your laws are righteous,
and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
May your unfailing love be my comfort,
according to your promise to your servant.
Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
for your law is my delight.
May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause;
but I will meditate on your precepts.
May those who fear you turn to me,
those who understand your statutes.
May I wholeheartedly follow your decrees,
that I may not be put to shame.
The Psalmist was created by God in order that he might obey the Lord’s commands. Every person who has ever lived or will live has been created by God and made to be in relationship with God. All will be held accountable for what they do with God’s word. It is important to note that humanity can understand what God has revealed in revelation. The Psalmist prays for understanding and these prayers are given as pattern prayers for us. So it may seem obvious to say that it is possible for us to understand God’s communication, but many philosophers would try and argue that communication from God is impossible for humanity to understand.
The Psalmist’s life has become an example for others. When others see the Psalmist having hope in God’s word that is an encouragement to them. We experience this ourselves. When a missionary or worker comes and gives a report of how the Lord is blessing their ministry, it is something that causes us to rejoice. We rejoice that God is blessing, and we rejoice that God is blessing them and we rejoice that we have been blessed through hearing what God has done.
The Psalmist has been afflicted in some way and he puts this down to what God has done. He is not complaining, but acknowledges that God is righteous and that it was in faithfulness that this providence has come into his life. It takes us a long time to acknowledge that the good hand of God has brought a trial or affliction upon us.
The Lord’s unfailing love has been his comfort. To know that you are afflicted but still you are loved is a great comfort. We may never know why God has afflicted us, but what we learn is to trust Him. Whatever God is doing, we rest in the comfort that He is doing, and what we know is that we are loved and God is faithful. Covenant love has led to promises, and God will bless us according to His promises. If you want to know what God is doing in your life, read His word and see how He has promised to bless you.
The Psalmist does not want a mundane or mediocre existence, he desires God’s compassion to enable him to delight in God’s word.
Those who have spoken against the Psalmist in their arrogance should bear the shame of their foolishness of not following God’s way. Whatever they say or do, the Psalmist will not be distracted from God’s word. He will not just read the word, he will meditate upon the word. When you are in conflict with other people, it is difficult to stop yourself taking up all the meditating time thinking about what they have said and what they have done. You may even spend quite a bit of time telling others what has happened. The Psalmist makes a conscious decision to meditate on God’s word and not be distracted. When you get distracted, it is hard to delight in anything, because you just want the aggravation to go away. You ask, where did it all go wrong, how did we get to where we are? That can become an all-consuming preoccupation. We can’t just empty our minds, we have to replace the dwelling on the aggravation with meditation on God’s word if we are going to delight in that word.
Those who fear the Lord will turn to the Psalmist because he fears the Lord. When a brother or sister is in difficulty or persecuted it is good to rally around them to support them. That is what the Psalmist desires, fellowship with those who fear the Lord.
Recall how often the Psalmist prays in this Psalm to be enabled by God, so that he might with his whole heart serve the Lord and obey His commands. To fail the Lord is to bring shame upon himself and he seeks help that he will not depart from the Lord’s way.
Dear God our heavenly Father, thank You for Your word. We thank You that in this Psalm you teach us how we should relate to Your word. Lord help us to experience the delight of knowing Your word. We desire a greater appetite for it. Help us to be patient and begin today meditating upon Your word because we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.