A Final Prayer



Psalm 119:169-176
169Let my cry come before you, O Lord; give me understanding according to your word!
170Let my plea come before you; deliver me according to your word.
171My lips will pour forth praise, for you teach me your statutes.
172My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right.
173Let your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.
174I long for your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight.
175Let my soul live and praise you, and let your rules help me.
176I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.

Our long study of Psalm 119 draws to a close with the final letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Tav. It is fitting that the psalmist ends this acrostic poem with a prayer for understanding. He wants the Word of God to be the source and norm for his life. That’s a good prayer.

Over the years, I have spent time in the word with a great many people. Some are willing to let God’s Word be the guide over their lives. Others (and they are often in the majority) are only willing to let the Scriptures be one voice among many that gives them guidance and formation. They read the Word so that God’s voice can be added to the list of those they are willing to hear; they are willing to “consider” the Word rather than heed the Word. The writer of Psalm 119 would take issue with that lifestyle.

Right now, I’m working through the book of Joshua in this blog Monday – Thursday, and I have to say, there is a great deal in that book that is difficult to accept. Thousands of people lose their lives as God’s people take control of The Promised Land. Who could give approval to that? And I confess, I struggle with it too. But what we learn in Joshua is that God is holy and sin is evil. God never turns a blind eye to sin. He didn’t do it in the Old Testament and He doesn’t do it now. The difference between today and the time of Joshua is that those events happened before Jesus died on the cross to the pay the price for the sins of us all. The nations of Canaan refused to hear the voice of God and bow their knee to Him. The price for that idolatry was death.

Instead of walking away from a message I don’t want to hear, as is quite popular today, I will instead join with this psalmist and as God to give me understanding according to His Word. I will ask Him to deliver me, according to His Word. And I will praise Him – at all times. May I never forget the Word of Lord!

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