May my cry come before you, Lord;(Ps. 119:169-176 NIV)
give me understanding according to your word.
May my supplication come before you;
deliver me according to your promise.
May my lips overflow with praise,
for you teach me your decrees.
May my tongue sing of your word,
for all your commands are righteous.
May your hand be ready to help me,
for I have chosen your precepts.
I long for your salvation, Lord,
and your law gives me delight.
Let me live that I may praise you,
and may your laws sustain me.
I have strayed like a lost sheep.
Seek your servant,
for I have not forgotten your commands.
The Psalmist prays to the covenant LORD that his cries will come up before the Lord, that his cries for deliverance will be heard. His circumstances are perplexing him and he asks the Lord to give him understanding from his word. Most times the trials are to teach us to trust in the Lord. We are desperate at times to know actually how or why a trial is designed to impact us. Many of the ‘stories’ in God’s word are designed to show us how God works, and often we are given more insight than the person in the story. We know more than Job about what was happening in his life. We know more than Naomi and Jonah what was happening in their lives. God opens a window to show His way of working with people so that we will learn to trust God. We may never know what God is doing but simply trust that God is doing and leave the outcome in God’s hands.
The Psalmist’s prayers have taken the form of sudden outcries to God and sustained supplication. He prays for deliverance according to the promises that God has given. The Psalmist’s praise is not conditional on receiving deliverance. He praises God because God teaches him His word. It is not restrained or begrudging praise, praise overflows from his lips. He is pouring out his heart in praise of God.
The Psalmist wants to sing songs about the word of God. It is great to sing hymns of praise. How much we miss singing together. We want to sing of the Lord and His work for all His works are righteous.
The Psalmist wants the Lord to intervene in his life. He needs the Lord to raise His hand and come to his aid because he has chosen the way of the Lord. We need the Lord to raise His hand across the world and bring an end to the Pandemic.
The Psalmist longs for God’s salvation. He prays to the covenant LORD because the law is the LORD’s stipulations of the covenant. The promise is that if you will keep my covenant then I will bless you, and if your break my covenant I will curse you. We can all pray that the Lord will let us live until we can come again and join in the praise the Lord along with God’s people. The promises of the Lord will sustain us, and the Lord will keep us in perfect peace whatever lies ahead.
The Psalm ends with the humble admission from the Psalmist that he has wandered like a lost sheep. He asks the Lord to be the Shepherd and seek him. No matter how much we pledge and vow to serve the Lord, there are periods of wandering in our lives. We need the Shepherd of the sheep to being us back into the fold. Discouragement, a sense of hopelessness, disappointment or a loss of focus can cause us to wander. Left to ourselves we would not find our way back – we need the Lord in mercy to come and retrieve us.
We’ll complete our meditation on this Psalm with two songs!
All my days I will sing the song of gladness:
Faithful One so unchanging:
Lord we feel disappointment in our souls that we have wandered. Draw us near to Yourself again. Fill our hearts with praise, sustain our souls that we might continue to walk in Your way for we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.