Sunday 12 February: Psalm 119…

I cry out with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord!

Today I am sharing a few verses from one of my favourite Psalms, Psalm 119. This also happens to be the longest chapter in the Bible, and it’s all about beauty of the Word of God.

From verse 145 (New King James Version)

I cry out with my whole heart;
Hear me, O LORD!
I will keep Your statutes.

I cry out to You;
Save me, and I will keep Your testimonies.

I rise before the dawning of the morning,
And cry for help;
I hope in Your word.

My eyes are awake through the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word.

Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness;
O LORD, revive me according to Your justice.

They draw near who follow after wickedness;
They are far from Your law.

You are near, O LORD,
And all Your commandments are truth.

Concerning Your testimonies,
I have known of old that You have founded them forever.

Commentary added Sunday 11 March 2012

“I cry out with my whole heart”: sometimes we are brought to the point of such desperation or yearning for God that we are forced to cry out with all that we are and all that we have. “Hear me, o LORD!” Our prayer is always that God would hear – and answer – our prayers, and our cries, and “hear” especially the depth of feeling which is moving our hearts.
“I will keep Your statutes”: Sometimes it takes our falling to our lowest level to make us fully decide to follow the statutes of God. Prior to this, the need to be fully submitted to God might just not weigh so heavily on our minds, or we might happily let ourselves get away with giving God less than one hundred per cent. But then it might eventually happen that we might find ourselves in the place of having no other option, but to desperately cry out to God (v146), as we realise that there can be salvation in no other place.

v147: “I rise before the dawning of the morning…” Because of issues pressing heavily upon the heart, sleep is often cut short- “and cry for help” – that is, cry to God, praying to Him for His enablement, His intervention… “I hope in Your word” – I put my trust in Your word, that everything You have promised in Your word will come true.

V148: “My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I might meditate on Your word.” Sometimes the urgency of our situation demands that we should forgo our necessary sleep to seek a solution from where it is likely to come, at any cost, and as Christians we might choose first to meditate upon God’s word.

v149: “Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness”: The Psalmist appeals to the love and kindness of God, as well as to His justice to see a speedy end brought to difficult situations.

v150: “They draw near who follow after wickedness”: One of the constant laments of the Psalms, and of the whole Bible, is the persecution of the righteous by the wicked. Here again, wicked people seem to be getting close to the Psalmist, wicked people who disregard (“are far from”) the righteous law of God.

v151: Thankfully the LORD is also near, in a very real sense He is nearer than all these others. We can trust Him completely, as all the commandments He gives us are truth, based on truth, utterly reliable. There are so many lies and exaggerations and impure motives that fly around us from different directions – but God is to be trusted completely, being frank and candid but also gracious about the truth.

“I have known of old that You have founded them forever” – God’s word is unchanging, His testimonies or precepts or commandments always remain the same, as He remains the same always. “I have known of old”: as someone who has had personal experience of God for a long time, the Psalmist is here describing how he has experienced God’s principles to be unchanging over time.

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