I’m so glad you’re hanging with us as we make our way through Psalm 119! I pray that the Lord has encouraged and enlarged your heart as you’ve journaled your verses each week.
This week—oh this week—I’m not even sure where to begin! These passages are so very rich and we could spend weeks on them. Instead, I’m going to share just a few thoughts from this passage as I journaled, meditated upon and studied these verses.
One word kept playing in my head as I journaled these verses—despondent. We all know that feeling, but let’s begin with Webster’s definition:
despondent —feeling or showing extreme discouragement, dejection, or depression
We see this conveyed from the beginning of these sections of the Psalm:
Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live…
My soul is consumed…
My soul clings…
My soul melts away…
Something I love about the psalms is the depth and range of emotion expressed. We connect with these thoughts and feelings. At times, they have expressed exactly what I’m feeling but could not recognize in the moment. Remember the psalms are poetry. Unlike a narrative, which tells a story, when we read poetry it evokes emotion and allows us to paint the setting and create the characters by filling in the absent details from our own imagination or experience. We become that wandering sojourner. We can relate to being consumed, melting away with sorrow and the desire to cling to something stronger and more reliable than ourselves.
Did you notice the references once again to wandering? A sojourner, wandering from God’s commands, (vv. 19, 21).
My thought was, Yes! Oh Lord, how I am prone to wander from Your ways! How often I give in to the gravity pull of the things of this world, not just in created things but in my craving to satisfy my own desires. I can relate to the depths of despair to which my sin can bring me. And as often as I pray for the Lord to keep me from my sin, knowing when I confess and turn from that sin, He forgives; I also know the benefits of remembering. Not remembering in the sense that I’m dwelling on past sin in an unhealthy way, but remembering it is only by His grace I walk in freedom and peace. It serves as a reminder that when I become too independent, I will falter and fail. I need Him! And so those verses, which speak of longing and clinging, serve to remind me I am just one step from that slippery slope in any moment of any day. Always and only Jesus! I need Him!
But even in the cry of desperation and longing, we see the psalmist acknowledging the source of his strength and hope—the Lord God and His Word —“for you shall enlarge my heart…”
The psalmist is aware not only of the greatness and power of God’s Word, but also acutely aware of his weakness and need to depend upon God. His heart must be enlarged—made bigger and stronger, more reliable and steadfast. And therefore He will run, confident in what the Lord will do through His Word and His Spirit at work within.
- reveals wonderful things (v. 18)
- delights (v. 24)
- counsels (v. 24)
- gives life (v. 25)
- brings understanding (v. 27)
- strengthens (v. 28)
- brings freedom (v. 32)
This portion of the psalm is a prayer. Read through it once again praying it back to the Lord, for yourself, for your family, for friends, neighbors and co-workers.
Experience the hope and encouragement the psalmist finds as he calls upon the Lord:
- When I cry out, You listen.
- When I seek, You answer.
- When I am weak, You are my strength.
- When I need wisdom, You are my counselor.
- When I falter, You are there.
- When I fail, You restore.
- When I am barely hanging on, You give me life.
I will run in the way of Your commandments, when You enlarge My Heart!
Run confidently my friends!
Rejoicing in Him,
Journaling Assignment: Read and journal Psalm 119:33-40 (He) and Psalm 119:41-48 (Waw).
©2017 Susan Cady, susancady.com