April 23, 2020

Psalm 119

Hello Church Family,

We continue in this unprecedented situation with many unknowns still before us. The lifting of restrictions, although promised, is still unknown. The lasting impact of these government actions is still unknown. The government granting our certificate of occupancy for the new church building is still unknown. With all these unknowns, we can take comfort in knowing the Creator who does know. The Psalmist took comfort in that reality and desired God to establish His Word.

In Psalm 119:38, the Psalmist’s humility comes out in his request for the fulfillment of God’s promises. The Hebrew word HAQEM means “to stay fixed or confirm.” The Psalmist desired God’s promises to be realized. Throughout the Psalm, the promises of God form the foundation for confidence. Furthermore, seeing the fulfillment of God’s promises serves as a great encouragement. Such fulfillment directs attention back to God, enhancing our worship of Him. Thus the author was not wanting the establishment of himself in the Word, but he wanted the Word of God confirmed through God’s keeping His promises.

Since the Psalmist was from Israel, like National Israel, focus on God’s will and teachings formed the focus of life. The Law and teachings of the prophets delighted the wise man’s soul and taught reverential respect for God. Servants of the Lord, like this author, were more concerned with the Lord’s honor and glory than with their own creature comforts (or unknowns). Consequently, the servant of the Lord saw the fulfillment of God’s promises for blessing or cursing as an encouragement. Thus, the establishment of the Lord’s promises for the servant of the Lord generates reverence for the Lord regardless of the circumstances. That reverence forms the foundation for our walk focused on our Creator rather than the unknowns in life.

I don’t know about you, but focusing on the unknowns drags my soul into the “Slough of Despond,” John Bunyan’s allegorical “swamp” of despair. Wallowing in the Slough of Despond is not how we are to live as new creatures in Christ. As believers in Christ, we are servants of the Lord like this Psalmist. Therefore, we need to focus on who we are in Christ. May we walk in the reality of our positional identity and may God’s establishment of His promises draw us into a greater faith in Him and His Word.

Pressing on in Christ,