Lord, You are the God of tradition and innovation, the old and the new. Refresh my spirit now, I pray.
Read Psalm 119:73–96
73 Your hands made me and formed me;
give me understanding to learn your commands.
74 May those who fear you rejoice when they see me,
for I have put my hope in your word.
75 I know, Lord, that your laws are righteous,
and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
76 May your unfailing love be my comfort,
according to your promise to your servant.
77 Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
for your law is my delight.
78 May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause;
but I will meditate on your precepts.
79 May those who fear you turn to me,
those who understand your statutes.
80 May I wholeheartedly follow your decrees,
that I may not be put to shame.
81 My soul faints with longing for your salvation,
but I have put my hope in your word.
82 My eyes fail, looking for your promise;
I say, “When will you comfort me?”
83 Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke,
I do not forget your decrees.
84 How long must your servant wait?
When will you punish my persecutors?
85 The arrogant dig pits to trap me,
contrary to your law.
86 All your commands are trustworthy;
help me, for I am being persecuted without cause.
87 They almost wiped me from the earth,
but I have not forsaken your precepts.
88 In your unfailing love preserve my life,
that I may obey the statutes of your mouth.
89 Your word, Lord, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you established the earth, and it endures.
91 Your laws endure to this day,
for all things serve you.
92 If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have preserved my life.
94 Save me, for I am yours;
I have sought out your precepts.
95 The wicked are waiting to destroy me,
but I will ponder your statutes.
96 To all perfection I see a limit,
but your commands are boundless.
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.
ReflectAre you able to give God quality time just now? If not, come back later when you know you won’t need to rush.
Readers with experience of online shopping will know that it is possible to request next day – or even same day – delivery! Culturally conditioned not to have to wait for anything, we can find it difficult to wait on God, not least for Him to deliver us from difficulty. In our impatience we are easily tempted to autonomy and self-sufficiency – in other words, to idolatry.
These verses are an antidote to our impatience. The psalmist is in the midst of adversity (75) and is worn out with waiting for God to end his suffering (81–83). Even so, his faith does not waver. He remains resolute that God is righteous and faithful (75), that His love is unfailing (76), that He is compassionate (77) and that He is the source of salvation (81). It is God’s character that compels the psalmist’s confidence in Him. God’s instruction is a covenantal gift of Himself to His people, that they might enjoy His gracious rule and reflect His character. Arrogant oppressors disregard God’s law (78,85), but the psalmist delights in it – even in the face of death (87). He can testify that God’s design for life has saved his life (92,93). God is worth waiting for!
Take time to wait on God, allowing His Spirit to guide you into the truth He wants you to take from today’s reading. If you hear or sense God telling you something, write it down.
Holy One, in the midst of today’s turbulence, I know that You are above me, around me, and within me. I thank You for the gift of endurance.