Look upon my suffering and rescue me, for I have not forgotten Your instructions.
Argue my case; take my side! Protect me life as You promised.
The wicked are far from rescue, for they do not bother with Your decrees.
Lord, how great is Your mercy; let me be revived by following Your regulations.
Many persecute and trouble me, yet I have not swerved from Your laws.
Seeing these traitors makes me sick at heart, because they care nothing for Your Word.
See how I love Your commandments, Lord. Give back my life because of Your unfailing love.
The very essence of Your words is truth; all Your just regulations will stand forever.
Psalm 119: 153-160
Continuing the theme from last week’s meditation, David highlights a principle for us that was also in the previous section. ‘Let me be revived by following Your regulations’.
The path of obedience is the route to inner peace and freedom. It is when we are most troubled and challenged that it becomes supremely important to be mindful of obeying the Lord’s commandments. Yet more often it is at those very times that we become careless or apathetic because we are focusing more on our own feelings than the truth of God’s promises. This is an important lesson for every person to learn as he/she grows in the ways of God.
Our feelings lie to us; God’s Word tells us the truth. Our feelings discourage us; God’s Word tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. Our feelings dictate to us; God’s Word is our guide through life. Which do we choose? Do we allow our feelings to overrule the unchangeable, eternal word of God? David struggled with discouragement and depression but his strength was that he knew where to turn when those feelings threatened to overwhelm him. For that, we honor him throughout the generations. His message is as relevant to us today as it was to him when he lived through it.
Seeing these traitors makes me sick at heart, because they care nothing for Your Word. Another important principle we learn from King David. Our world today is overrun with people, communities and movements that care nothing for God’s Word. Does that make you ‘sick at heart’? Do you care that thousands have rejected God’s truth and are following a path which will inevitably lead to destruction? God does. He does not wish anyone to perish. David understood that and grieved over those who ‘cared nothing’ for God’s Word.
Yes, we are to hate sin; but we are to love the sinner. We may disagree with someone’s behavior, convictions and opinions; we may even disagree forcefully but we must remember to separate a person’s actions from their intrinsic value as a human being created in the image of God. Did you ever think that perhaps someone whose behavior you detest has no one praying for them? Maybe they have crossed your path so that you will. Can you think of someone right now whose behavior is diametrically opposed to God’s word? Someone whose behavior irritates and annoys you? Or even makes you angry?
We all can. But here’s the question: have we turned that irritation or anger into prayer for that person? (Ouch!)
Just maybe that’s why they are in your life…and mine. Let’s learn the lesson, shall we?
Here’s an experiment for you: Choose one person who really aggravates you by what they do or say. Commit to pray for them for the next ten days. You may be very surprised how you feel about them at the end of that time. If you do this, please share your experience with the rest of us, OK? Promise? I will, too.
Til next Tuesday, be blessed and be a blessing!