I have spent the past couple of weeks reading through each section of Psalm 119. I have been learning a lot from reading through it slowly and meditating on the words. The psalmist is in awe of who God is, that he delights in his word and sees the truth and life found in it. He wants God’s word to be the centre of his life because that is how he lives a life in honour and worship of all that God has done and continues to do. Throughout the Psalm, when he is facing opposition and affliction he clings even tighter to the word of God. 119v115 ‘But you are near, O Lord, and all your commandments are true.’ Reading Psalm 119 has given me a wider perspective on what faith can look like. How there is delight and life found in the word of God and that it is the wisdom that should have always been my foundation.
V10-11 ‘With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.’ The Psalmist teaches that it takes full surrender to pursue God, that is it with a total commitment that he is pursuing God. In commitment, the psalmist needs strength and wisdom not to wander away from that truth. To store it up in his heart, shows that desire and longing to have God’s truth as his foundation.
Throughout this Psalm, I have been praying to learn to surrender more to God and have the desire to pursue a faith like the psalmist has. For the God that is being praised within this psalm, is the same God that lives today.
The Psalmist is persistent in removing anything that does not lead him closer to God. V 29 ‘Put false ways from me and graciously teach me your law.’ The psalmist teaches the reader to reflect on what is important in their life. What is not a necessity, to ask for it to be removed and in the removal filling that hole with the goodness that only God can give.
A repeated phrase throughout the Psalm, is the steadfast love of God. Allowing that love to be what fills you, a love that never changes and is with us throughout our whole life. V 76 ‘Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant.’ It is a love that does not disappear as we go through the highs and lows of life. It is a love that engulfs us and holds us dear, even though we do not deserve it. God is faithful in his pursuit of us, even when we do not know how to let him in. God is almighty and powerful, he pursues us to give us the life we were always meant to have. A life in communion with him. This is only if we accept it, it was what the Psalmist did, and he knew it as his truth over his life.
‘There is no promise you won’t keep
There is no distance you will not reach
There is no season in-between
Your love is evergreen’
Amanda Lindsey Cook, ‘Evergreen’.
The psalm is full of raw emotion, as the psalmist takes delight in God’s word he is still encountering the highs and lows of life. The Psalmist is afflicted, and people rise up in opposition to him, However, his faith being anchored in God’s word, that is where his hope continues to lie. No earthly wisdom compares to that of God’s, to know that word in greater depth is his longing. V 114 ’You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.’ Like the Psalmist I want to learn to go to God as my fist port of call in all the things I face in this life. To remember this his love is steadfast and that all wisdom flows from God. V 154 ‘Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise’.
Through transformation and surrender comes humility. The psalmist refers to himself as a servant, that willingness to learn but also to do God’s will. V125 ‘I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies’. That humility, disregarding all the world has to offer because nothing compares to all the life that God gives him. That humility can only come through surrender, allowing your heart to know and be transformed by the love and grace of God.
I want to end with one of the most famous verses from this Psalm, v105 ‘Your word is a lamp to my feet, a light to my path’. I used to hear this verse and think that they were lovely words. The more you read God’s word and learn to meditate on it so that it becomes a part of your life. Those words do become a lamp and a light because they guide you through life, in your darkest moments they become your hope and remind you of the grace and love that surrounds you. I would encourage all of us to fall in love with God and all that his word teaches us. To allow our lives to be transformed by the gospels, the sacrifice and love that is found Jesus. The life and the transformation he speaks into our lives when we remain connected to him. Psalm 119 teaches us what faith can look like when we surrender all. I encourage you all to spend time reading psalm 119 and encounter the wonders and awes the Psalmist finds within his faith.