Lent 2021, Day 17 | Psalm 119:77-80

Psalm 119:77-80

77 Let your mercy come to me, that I may live;
    for your law* is my delight.
78 Let the insolent be put to shame,
    because they have wronged me with falsehood;
    as for me, I will meditate on your precepts.
79 Let those who fear you turn to me,
    that they may know your testimonies.
80 May my heart be blameless in your statutes,
    that I may not be put to shame!

* Through these reflections, those phrases that identify God’s word, revelation, or law will be highlighted in the text in the hopes of accentuating the many and varied ways we can visualize what God has given to us for our good.


Reflection

It is quite remarkable how little we understand regarding the word of God and the acts of men.

It is my theory the reasons we know so little is because we have not stopped looking through the lenses of our denominations, our hero’s in the faith, our favorite authors, etc., but when we look to these things we are not also looking at Jesus.

Anything that moves us away from God, no matter how flattering the presentation cannot be trusted without some verification. And when we are thinking and talking with our neighbors we must keep in mind that not everything said or heard needs to be repeated. But when it comes to God, God does not need to impress anyone. He is impressiveness personified. And because of this we have to learn to see who God is in His person. Not just looking forward to what he can do for us. But to focus on who he is, and be satisfied with that.


Commentary

Verse 77: When the word of God is our delight, we find it easier to see God’s mercy. This may be one of the primary reasons we struggle see and know God’s mercy. God’s word is what points to and describes what it means to experience God’s mercy. With the world the idea of mercy is often superficial and fluid. But when God speaks of mercy, we can trust it will mean the same thing to all who find need of it.

Verse 78: When those who oppose God’s will and ways cross our path, we may be surprised at their distaste for followers of God. We may not want to think like this. Or even to consider that this state is possible. But Jesus said that since the world had no need of him, it would have no need for us. But regardless of what the world does, we have to meditate and deeply consider what God’s word points to.

Verse 79: This verse almost has an evangelistic implication. The idea of having those who seek after God to turn to the Psalmist is odd. But the reason for requesting this kind of relationship is so that the writer can tell of what God has done. It can often be overlooked, and even dismissed, but one of the best things any congregant can hear every week is God’s word. Without it we are lost and without it we have no reason to share the gospel with those around us.

Verse 80: Throughout the psalm, we catch glimpses of the author’s struggles. The struggle to live in accord with God’s expectation can be daunting. But if we stick to what God has revealed, we may discover how much easier it is to live before God. Holiness is a difficult topic, and yet we are called to cultivate a life in keeping with this ideal. Being blameless is not that you never make a mistake. It’s a commitment you will continue to grow toward God, in spite of the inadequacies you see in the mirror.


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I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, husband, father, and author. I am an avid Cubs fan and a lover of Chicago-style Deep Dish pizza.

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