Lord, sometimes I talk too much and don’t let You get a word in edgewise. Now I am going to be silent… please speak to me…
Read Psalm 119:49–72
49 Remember your word to your servant,
for you have given me hope.
50 My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life.
51 The arrogant mock me unmercifully,
but I do not turn from your law.
52 I remember, Lord, your ancient laws,
and I find comfort in them.
53 Indignation grips me because of the wicked,
who have forsaken your law.
54 Your decrees are the theme of my song
wherever I lodge.
55 In the night, Lord, I remember your name,
that I may keep your law.
56 This has been my practice:
I obey your precepts.
57 You are my portion, Lord;
I have promised to obey your words.
58 I have sought your face with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.
59 I have considered my ways
and have turned my steps to your statutes.
60 I will hasten and not delay
to obey your commands.
61 Though the wicked bind me with ropes,
I will not forget your law.
62 At midnight I rise to give you thanks
for your righteous laws.
63 I am a friend to all who fear you,
to all who follow your precepts.
64 The earth is filled with your love, Lord;
teach me your decrees.
65 Do good to your servant
according to your word, Lord.
66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
for I trust your commands.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I obey your word.
68 You are good, and what you do is good;
teach me your decrees.
69 Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies,
I keep your precepts with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,
but I delight in your law.
71 It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.
72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me
than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth’ (Psalm 46:10).
The psalmist’s devotion to God’s law expressed in these verses is apparently rooted in his experience of the misery that he encountered when he previously set it aside and went his own way (67). Hard times can be God’s way of bringing us back to the relationship with Him for which He made us (71).
As Christian readers of these verses we may find the repeated references to God’s law and learning obedience to it somewhat off-putting. We secretly wonder how anyone could be so enthusiastic about such legalism and thank God we live under His grace. For the psalmist, however, God’s law is the totality of His instruction for His people. It is given and received in covenant relationship, so the context in which it is worked out is dynamic rather than static. Therefore, the recurring refrain of the psalmist to be taught by God is not the request of a recalcitrant pupil who fails to listen to instruction (64,66,68). Rather, it is the expression of the eager longing of one covenant partner to understand how they might be faithful to the other (God) amid life’s changing circumstances. It is because God’s law is living that we never stop learning what it means to love Him.
What evidence in your life is there of God working through adversity to draw you back to Him? Reflect on what you have learned. Do you need to learn a new lesson in this season?
I praise You, God, that You love me enough to do whatever it takes to break down the walls between us.