Psalm 119:17-24


17 Be good to your servant,
that I may live and obey your word.
18 Open my eyes to see
the wonderful truths in your instructions.
19 I am only a foreigner in the land.
Don’t hide your commands from me!
20 I am always overwhelmed
with a desire for your regulations.
21 You rebuke the arrogant;
those who wander from your commands are cursed.
22 Don’t let them scorn and insult me,
for I have obeyed your laws.
23 Even princes sit and speak against me,
but I will meditate on your decrees.
24 Your laws please me;
they give me wise advice.

When I read this portion of the Psalm I find myself feeling like I have when I’ve read someone else’s mail. This expresses a hunger for/devotion to the law of God that feels foreign to me. I wish it weren’t so, but it is.

I am always overwhelmed with a desire for your regulations.” Who says that?

Reading this tonight I find myself under a magnifying glass and know all too well that I come up short.

I’m hopeful when I see, upon a second and more clearly on the third read, the prayer that opens this passage. First there is a request for God’s blessing which is necessary before I can live and obey God’s word. It is only the ultimate expression of God’s goodness to us — the sacrificial death of his Son as a payment for my sin and yours — which opens the door to life and holiness.

Then there is a request which follows, asking God to “open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.” Apparently not even the psalmist could see, and beyond that desire, the truths in the Law of God.

So there is hope for me — a precedent set that invites me to ASK God to open my eyes, heart and mind to His Law. Beyond that, there is God whose faithfulness extends to every generation.

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