Psalm 119:143-144 Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight. Your statutes are for ever right; give me understanding that I may live.
We find ourselves at a time in history, and in a changed and changing culture, that can be very distressing and confusing, especially for those of us that are old enough to have experienced the pressure of all this for ourselves during our lifetime. It is easy for us to become discouraged and depressed. I think of King David’s despairing question in Psalm 11:3 – “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” But, thankfully, David answers his own question in the very next verse: “The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them.”
Yes, God is still sovereign in his world, and today’s Psalm reminds us of two important things. Firstly, that he has graciously revealed to us his ‘delightful’ and ‘right’ commands/statutes, his written Word that we can trust to inform and guide us through all the mess and confusion around us, and give us a sense of joy and peace and wellbeing.
Secondly, we can depend on him to ‘give [us] understanding’. The form of the Hebrew verb is ‘cause me to understand’ – in spite of the spiritual blindness and hardness of heart that are an essential part of our fallen, sinful nature, the Holy Spirit has the power to “open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in [his] law” (Psalm 119:18). As the Apostle Paul declares: “God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
Let us never forget the blessing that is ours in the free and ready access we have to God’s written Word (not only in paper form, but on our computers, iPads, phones, etc), and let us take every opportunity to ‘delight in the law of the LORD ’, and to ‘meditate on it day-and-night’ (Psalm 1:2).
– Bruce Christian