Psalm 119:129-136, “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.”
Longing for God’s Word
There are doctrines that we can say we believe intellectually, but still miss the full magnitude. In this passage in Psalm 119, we see that the Psalmist doesn’t hold to the authority of God’s Word merely in an intellectual sense, he absolutely loves it!
To love God’s Word, we must have a view of God as wise, powerful, and loving. Only if we hold to these attributes can we really trust His word fully. If He’s not wise, we can’t trust His Word. If He’s not powerful, we can’t trust that he can keep His word unstained by man. And, if He’s not loving, then there’s no way we can trust His word is good for us. Understanding these attributes of God leads us to have a high view of His Word. We affirm with the Psalmist that His “testimonies are wonderful” and we desire to keep them. We see that His word gives light and understanding to the simple. In the beginning, God said, “let there be light” and there was light. That same God continues to use His Word to give light and understanding to those who seek Him. He has given us His Word as a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.
If we really understood the power of God’s Word, wouldn’t we, like the Psalmist, “pant” for it as well. Does our time in the Word each day reflect this longing or lack thereof?
Depending Upon Grace
As sinners, we struggle to keep God’s Word. The Psalmist recognizes his need and cries out for mercy: “Turn to me and be gracious to me.” Without the gracious work of God in our life, we will continually fall. This should drive us to a daily dependence upon God where we plead for His help. Oh God, that you would “make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes!”
Do we walk with the Lord throughout our day with a dependence on His grace? As we go about our daily tasks, are we continually asking God to make His face shine upon us?
Passion for God’s Glory
This section ends with the Psalmist heartbroken: “My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.” Once we recognize the goodness of God and the power of His Word, we long that all would follow it. We long to see all of creation walking in fellowship with the Creator. With that said, we still live in a fallen world where God’s law isn’t kept. This should break our hearts because God isn’t receiving the glory due His name. We know that the penalty for such disobedience is an eternity in hell. Such is what we all deserve. Knowing we’ve been saved from our just wages should give us an urgency to share the good news with others. Our love should lead to a desire for others to come to know this wonderful God. May God be gloried as we go about telling others how great He is!