Psalm 119 - Pe (God's Words Are Wonderful)
Psalm 119:129-136 ESV
Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them.
The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.
I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments.
Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your way with those who love your name.
Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.
Redeem me from man's oppression, that I may keep your precepts.
Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes.
My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.
The Psalmist felt that God’s words are wonderful and thus he said, “... my soul keeps them.” My mind is very fascinated by how God’s word is so complete and beyond what any human can come up with. But for the Psalmist, his love for the word reaches his soul; his soul kept hold of the amazing wonders of God’s words.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
God’s words penetrated the heart of the Psalmist and stayed within his soul (heart). Are the words of God sitting firmly in our hearts?
Reading intently and exploring the meaning of passages in the Bible gives us light, and “imparts understanding to the simple.” I learn new things everyday as I read my Bible. It helps to unfold questions I was afraid to ask.
When we are so in love with the Bible, we can’t wait for the morning to come to read His words again. The Psalmist said, “I open my mouth and pant”, as he craved for God’s word because he longed to read them. God wants us to depend on His words everyday.
The Psalmist urged God to turn (His presence or His face) to him and, “be gracious to me” (reminiscent to Numbers 6:24). God promised that His face will shine upon us and be gracious to us, but like the Psalmist’s prayer, we ought to also love His name.
The words of God kept the Psalmist steady in his steps. If we were to follow and practice His words, such as patience and faith, we will take our steps slowly. Our steps will also be firmly rooted, not wavering without confidence because we knew we are stepping on solid foundation (of the word). When we do that, we will “let no iniquity get dominion over me (us).”
The Psalmist wanted to be relieved “from man’s oppression” so that he may keep God’s words. He didn’t ask for the redemption because he wanted timeout for himself but so that he could follow God’s commands. This attitude is very much different from most of us, as we hate oppression because we don’t want to be restricted in our freedom. The Psalmist righteously wanted to be close with God and asked God to redeem him. When we face oppositions at work, how do we approach God and ask Him for help? Do we ask Him to help us so that we can be close to Him?
“Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes.” This was borrowed from Numbers 6:25, from God’s blessing that His presence will shine upon us. We need to seek to be in God’s presence and let God teach us when we read the Bible. We humble ourselves as students before God, to learn His words.
The Psalmist “shed streams of tears” because people did not keep to God’s words. How do we respond when people around us are not right with God? Do we cry for them? This is a big struggle for me, as I use words of admonishment more than cry in prayer for others. I too struggle with God’s words and I need that compassion as well. I need prayer from others to help me keep to God’s words.
Andy is the head of compliance for an international bank and is happily married, with three daughters. He became a disciple of Christ three decades ago, and studies God's Word passionately. He desires to be constantly led by the Spirit.