10–16 May 2015.
Psalm 119 offers a beautiful mix of prayer, testimony, and lesson. We listen in on the writer’s call for God’s help. But in his lament the writer also gives witness to God’s faithfulness, his “steadfast love” (v. 41), and he declares his intention to hold true to God’s teachings despite the problems that may come. In this way, the psalm also teaches us about the joy that comes from following God.
Even though we Christians, through Christ, are set free from the law of Moses, we can still share the author’s feelings: We hold tight to the words of Jesus which teach and guide us, and also lead us to joy.
But have you ever run into trouble because you were trying to follow God? Sometimes being obedient to God means not doing what everyone else is doing, it can mean taking a different path—and that can mean that others criticize us or even reject us. At those times we may feel that following God just isn’t worth the trouble; that it is better to just go along with everyone else.
As we see in v. 42, the writer shares a similar experience, being made fun of because of his trust in God. But even though he suffers for his faith, he is determined never to give up! In v. 44 he bravely declares: “I will keep your law continually, forever and ever.” And in a world full of corruption and cruelty, in a world full of unjust rulers and leaders, the writer defiantly announces in v. 46 that he is not even afraid to stand up to kings and declare God’s law to them.
Could we be so brave today? Are we brave enough to hold on to our faith in tough times? Are we brave enough to stand with Christ, even when others insult and reject us? Are we courageous enough to stand up to our society’s own unjust leaders and speak about God’s truth and justice and love? Let’s pray that God gives us the strength to be his good disciples in this world, and the courage to always keep loving God and loving each other!
Pastor Stephen Lakkis