Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Real life in Psalm 119

As I was reading 25-32 today, I was reminded of a couple of things...

The psalmist found himself in some desperate situations. Like v 25, "My soul clings to the dust," and v 28, "My soul melts away for sorrow." Intense emotion is described with figurative language, but make no mistake, the psalmist is hurting. I can't help but think that we all have been there at times. Feeling like we have hit the bottom, only to experience more pain.

And yet the psalmist prayed. Give me life, teach me your statutes, make me understand, put false ways away from me, graciously teach me, let me not be put to shame. I have been struck recently that God may be more honored by short prayers, than long, verbose, pious prayers. "Help me, be near to me, encourage me, stabilize me, calm me." Could these prayers have been close to the psalmist's lips? I think so.

I also noticed the statements of pursuit and determination toward the end of the section: I have chosen the way of faithfulness, I set your rules before me, I cling to your testimonies, I will run in the way of your commands. What a response to the reality of the situation and the strength gleaned through prayer.

Thank you God that I can read the 3000-year old words of someone who followed You and be encouraged today!