I lift up my eyes to the hills — where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth (Psalm 121:1-2)
These days, it’s good to remember – You’re not my enemy, and I’m not yours….
These days, it’s good to remember – My hope is not in bills passed or turned down…..
Or in who’s elected into office…..
Or who wins the debate on Facebook……
These days it’s good to remember – Not to take things personally…..
These days it’s good to remember – some times words meant to be general can be taken personally by others……
And can deeply hurt them……
So tread lightly my friends…..
“Don’t let the panic bring you down….. ”
Lamedh (Psalm 119:89-96)
Your word, O Lord, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.
Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you established the earth, and it endures.
Your laws endure to this day,
for all things serve you.
If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have preserved my life.
Save me, for I am yours;
I have sought out your precepts.
The wicked are waiting to destroy me,
but I will ponder your statutes.
To all perfection I see a limit;
but your commands are boundless.
As I read this passage, I am drawn to verse 92, “If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.” This verse is one I cling to, and have for some time. Not because I want to “follow rules” – but because the very word of God is what makes my heart beat. As one’s heart beats when they find new love, or when they see a loved one they haven’t seen in ages – or some times as one who suddenly realizes they are in the presence of the living God….. And his interest is in me and my affairs…..
The verse is a promise that while without you I certainly would be gone by now – with you NOTHING can separate me from your love. I’ve fallen, many times. I still do. But I won’t let the devil use that to keep me down. I am your child, and I know the truth. It’s moved from my head to my heart, and I am thankful for that. And for you, Lord…..
Kaph (Psalm 119:81-88)
My soul faints with longing for your salvation,
but I have put my hope in your word.
My eyes fail, looking for your promise;
I say, “When will you comfort me?”
Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke,
I do not forget your decrees.
How long must your servant wait?
When will you punish my persecutors?
The arrogant dig pitfalls for me,
contrary to your law.
All your commands are trustworthy;
help me, for men persecute me without cause.
They almost wiped me from the earth,
but I have not forsaken your precepts.
Preserve my life according to your love,
and I will obey the statutes of your mouth.
I am sick with desire….
To be in your presence….
I am full of hope…..
When will you comfort me in my sadness?
When will you deliver me from my affliction?
In my sorrow – I will wait…..
For I trust in you….
I know your love, intimately….
How I wish you would strike down the wicked….
Those who mock me, and hate you….
Yet in those moments, I realize I am one of them….
If not for you….
Preserve my life, according to your love….
Lord, preserve their life too….
According to your love….
That we may all glorify you…..
Yodh (Psalm 119:73-80)
Your hands made me and formed me;
give me understanding to learn your commands.
May those who fear you rejoice when they see me,
for I have put my hope in your word.
I know, O Lord, that your laws are righteous,
and in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
May your unfailing love be my comfort,
according to your promise to your servant.
Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
for your law is my delight.
May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause;
but I will meditate on your precepts.
May those who fear you turn to me,
those who understand your statutes.
May my heart be blameless toward your decrees,
that I may not be put to shame.
Lord, I want to bring you glory.
I don’t want those who know you to rejoice when they see me for MY glory…
But for yours…..
May I bear fruit, in keeping your commands…
In walking in the Spirit, not in my flesh…..
It is not always easy….
But I find my strength in you….
I find my comfort in you…..
Your ways are my passion, my delight!
Lord, even those who mock me – may they bring you glory!
Not because of what I’ve done, or who I am…
But because YOU are faithful….
And because of you, I am able to resist temptation to fall and bring you shame….
Teth (Psalm 119:65-72)
Do good to your servant
according to your word, O Lord.
Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
for I believe in your commands.
Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I obey your word.
You are good, and what you do is good;
teach me your decrees.
Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies,
I keep your precepts with all my heart.
Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,
but I delight in your law.
It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.
The law from your mouth is more precious to me
than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
Heth (Psalm 119:57-64)
You are my portion, O Lord;
I have promised to obey your words.
I have sought your face with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.
I have considered my ways
and have turned my steps to your statutes.
I will hasten and not delay
to obey your commands.
Though the wicked bind me with ropes,
I will not forget your law.
At midnight I rise to give you thanks
for your righteous laws.
I am a friend to all who fear you,
to all who follow your precepts.
The earth is filled with your love, O Lord;
teach me your decrees.
You are sufficient, my Lord….
I have promised to follow you – help me to keep my promise….
I seek you with all my heart – help me to seek you with all my heart….
Thank you that your grace is sufficient….
I have turned to your ways.
Help me to hasten my steps.
Though the enemy will try and bind me.
Your law is my freedom!
I will give you thanks at every hour,
For your righteousness….
Love overcomes all – and you are love!
Teach me to love as you do….
Zayin (Psalm 119:49-56)
Remember your word to your servant,
for you have given me hope.
My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life.
The arrogant mock me without restraint,
but I do not turn from your law.
I remember your ancient laws, O Lord,
and I find comfort in them.
Indignation grips me because of the wicked,
who have forsaken your law.
Your decrees are the theme of my song
wherever I lodge.
In the night I remember your name, O Lord,
and I will keep your law.
This has been my practice:
I obey your precepts.
This is not “I hope” hope.
This is a PROMISE that carries me in my darkest times….
Those who are petty, arrogant, might laugh at me,
But that will not deter me from loving you with all my heart!
I find my comfort in you, your ways, your truth….
I sometimes feel the pain you feel,
Because of those who have turned from you…..
Yet I will sing of your love forever,
Wherever I may be….