NSA Morning Prayer – Psalm 119:121-144
The psalmist implores the Lord: “Do not let the arrogant oppress me”; “It’s time for the Lord to act”; “Redeem me from the oppression of man.” At the same time he is repeating, “I love your commandments”; “I longed for your commandments”; “Your commandments are my delight.”
At first glance, praising God’s commandments seems like an odd response. Even how he wants the Lord to act is strange, “establish my footsteps in your word”; “make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes”; “give me understanding that I may live.”
Why does the one being oppressed need to understand God’s word better? He even states the problem, “They have broken your law”; “they do not keep your law”; “My adversaries have forgotten your words.” Aren’t they the ones who could use a little extra understanding?
Yet an overwhelming theme in Scripture when God’s people are being oppressed is “remember His faithfulness”. The psalmist needs God’s commands to remember what kind of God He is. Reality doesn’t seem to square right now with what God says is true. He needs to remember that God is just and His law is truth. And not only remember, but to walk in truth because God will be faithful. “Trouble and anguish have come upon me, yet your commandments are my delight”
When you are wronged do you respond with “God, I long for your word, establish my footsteps in it”? That guy just went around spreading lies about you, was your response “God, teach me your word, give me understanding?” Your roommate or spouse just doesn’t seem to be noticing how much of the responsibilities you’ve been bearing; do you long for God’s commandments? Perhaps your only anguish at the moment is a pile of homework and exams to prepare for. Are you trusting and delighting in God’s word?
God was faithful to raise His Servant from the dead. God has been faithful in Jesus to forgive your sins and give you new life in His Spirit. Long for his righteous word and delight in His commandments that you may live.