14 Mar DESPERATE
Have you ever read Psalm 119 in its entirety? This lengthy Psalm is an acrostic poem divided into twenty-two sections that correspond with the Hebrew alphabet. Over time, this Psalm has become one of my favorites. Not only does the content of this Psalm reign true during low points in my life. This psalm reveals what it looks like to truly delight in God’s Word. In this Psalm, we see a psalmist who both finds and takes pleasure in God’s Word. Moreover, we see the musings, longings, petitions, and resolve of a man who’s facing difficulty.
Amid being desperate for deliverance and vindication from his adversaries, the psalmist shows a desperation for and commitment to God’s word that I seek to emulate. Can you imagine longing for God’s word as much as you desire food, companionship, financial increase, healing, reconciled relationships, career advancement, or exoneration? Can you imagine genuinely saying that God’s Law is better to you than a thousand pieces of gold and silver (Psalm 119:72)? Can you imagine longing for certain times of day when you have an opportunity to meditate on God’s Word? How about facing opposition, meanwhile, saying – “yet Your commandments are my delight” (Psalm 119:143)?
While reading Psalm 119, we can glean a few reasons why it’s most fruitful to place God’s Word at the top of our cravings list. Here are a few.
1. God’s Word helps us to avoid sin. In other words, God’s Word helps us to do the right thing. The Bible reveals God’s standard of proper conduct and how we can reflect His character. God actively communicates with us as we study Scripture. (See Hebrews 4:12) Thus, Scripture exposes our blind spots and hidden motives that may otherwise be ignored or go undetected.
Psalm 119:9 (NASB) – How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word.
2. God’s Word imparts wisdom and understanding. God’s Word provides counsel for the circumstances that we face. The Bible also provides divine insight into human interactions and how the world functions.
Psalm 119:98-100 (NASB) – Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, For they are ever mine. I have more insight than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, Because I have observed Your precepts.
3. God’s Word provides comfort and strength. In his distress, God’s word encourages the psalmist, and provides the psalmist strength to go on. The same holds true for us. God offers hope through His word.
Psalm 119:92-93 (NASB) – If Your law had not been my delight, Then I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have revived me.
We tend to invest time, energy, and money in services and resources that seem to better position us to achieve our desires. This psalm reminds me that it’s just as important – No, it’s more important, to go out of my way to spend time in God’s word. Moreover, it’s important to seek to understand and accurately apply God’s word.
If you wish to learn more about what it means to be desperate for God’s Word, I invite you to listen to a recent message that I gave. No matter our circumstances, good or bad, may we remain desperate for God and His Word.