Anchored by God’s Word
Lord, anchor me in the truth of Your Word.
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.
“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him” (Lam. 3:25).
Throughout Psalm 119, the psalmist expresses a confident joy in God’s word. At the same time, the psalm maintains a realistic posture toward the challenges and battles of life. His joy is an
expression neither of escapism nor illusion, but rather one forged on the anvil of struggle and suffering.
Look carefully at the undercurrent here. God has afflicted him (75). He’s in need of comfort (76). He is wronged and trapped by arrogant people “without cause” (78,85). He’s waiting patiently for God to intervene, but God seems uninterested (81–84). He’s persecuted, and his life is almost extinguished (86,92). Verses 81–88 read like a psalm of lament, full of tumultuous emotion. Remarkably, though, he views his troubles as coming both from God and from the wicked. Whether these are two separate streams of affliction or an implicit claim that God not only permits but actually uses his human tormentors is unclear. We know from the
crucifixion (John 19:10,11) and from Paul’s thorn (2 Cor. 12:7–9) that God presides over human corruption, sinfulness and even satanic opposition, using all to his own ends. We don’t know what particular memories haunt the psalmist.
What’s more significant, however, is that when the winds get to blowing and the sea begins to churn, the psalmist remains anchored to the comforting word of God. Twice he says, “I have put my hope in your word” (74,81). He knows he will survive life’s storms by patiently and steadily waiting for God to fulfill his word. That’s because God’s words, unlike human words, are righteous, reliable, trustworthy, loving, eternal and enduring. In fact, he concludes, nothing is perfect except God’s commands, which are unlimited in their faithfulness (86).
Go through these verses meditating on the positive things said about
God’s word. How do they bring you comfort in the storm?
Lord, Your faithfulness exceeds anything to which we can relate on
this earth. Keep me attached to Your promises.
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