Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Reflections on Psalm 119

As a church family, we invested a lot of hours into reading Psalm 119. Personally, it consumed a good portion of my life for the last month. I felt the need in my soul to write an epilogue. I had to write out what I believe God taught me and where He changed me through the extra effort given to these 176 verses. So, here are the things that stand out the most.

I saw a mini-theology (is there anything in Psalm 119 that is ‘mini’?) of who God is and what He does. Over and over, I saw an attribute of God, or I would write down an activity of God. I am not sure that I saw anything new concerning God’s character or his actions, but I certainly saw in a concise clear form a glimpse of Him.

I have realized that God wants me to love His revelation of Himself. I appreciate the synonyms for God’s Word found in this Psalm. It makes me realizes that ALL the commands, ALL the precepts, ALL the testimonies, ALL the righteous rules are things to be treasured, because they speak of a God who must be treasured.

I appreciate that God makes room for short, simple prayers. In the psalm, I found freedom to say, “help me,” “give me understanding,” and “save me.” The brevity of the prayer is not an indicator of the passion behind the prayer.

I have come to understand that confidence in God and vulnerability are not antithetical. Truly, they indicate reality for all of humanity. So, while the psalmist makes bold assertions of his faith in God, he also gives reason to believe he felt less than secure at times. That is not unchristian, that is the reality of Christians. We live with hope, but it is not a hope that is beyond being assaulted.

I certainly have found some new verses to think on. “You are good and you do good” still goes through my mind often. I have prayed, “I am yours.” I have verses to think about when I wake up in the middle of the night and cannot go back to sleep.

I have been blessed to think about our position on this side of the cross. I think we may take this for granted to often as believers. The psalmist did not have the embodiment of all that he was talking about. He never had seen and read of Jesus. We have. What an enormous benefit.

I have most identified with the last verse of the psalm. I have gone astray like a lost sheep (prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love), seek your servant (here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for your courts above), for I do not forget your commandments.

Thank you, Lord, for this psalm. I say with the psalmist in v. 16 “This psalm has been my delight, and I will not forget it.”