Lent 2021, 5th Sunday in Lent | Psalm 119:129-132

Psalm 119:129-132

129 Your testimonies* are wonderful;
    therefore my soul keeps them.
130 The unfolding of your words gives light;
    it imparts understanding to the simple.
131 I open my mouth and pant,
    because I long for your commandments.
132 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
    as is your way with those who love your name.

* 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.


Worship


Reflection

The first verse in the selection for today points to the wonderful nature of God’s testimonies. What makes these testimonies wonderful is that we can participate in them. Throughout all of the events contained in the Bible, we are made witnesses to what God was doing in and through the circumstances recorded.

As we witness these moments and events, we are given a glimpse of how God works in the affairs of men. How God weaves his purposes through the faithful choices of the various players. We see how God is able to take even the most unwise decisions and use them to advance his will.

The danger we face as we reflect on these events is failing to see the hand of God in the story. While the Bible contains the history of God’s people, these stories are a chronicle of God’s own history with the world. From the opening majesty of creation that is described; to the glorious miracle of Jesus resurrection from the grave; to the final triumphant victory by God over the devil at the end of the ages; all of these highlights and the all of the moments in between are exposing the wonder of God in time and in the world.

We can often miss it because we become distracted by the everyday challenges of life. But, we must find a way, from time to time, to pause and see how much wonder that actually is all around us.


Commentary

Verse 129: The word of God is filled with wonderful realities. The stories that convey these truths can be difficult, even harsh. But, through them we can gain a glimpse of what God has been doing. The wonder of God’s word can fill us. That is one of the main attributes of the entire process. We should not forget this. But this wonder inducing power of God’s word is how we are drawn closer to God. Our soul’s keep what can actually fill us with wonder.

Verse 130: The word of God is revelation from the mind of God. The totality of what it contains cannot be understood in one sitting. It will take a lifetime of study to even scratch the surface of all God has shared with us. However, the more time we spend with God’s word, the more of it we understand. Not because we become wiser, even though that will happen. We understand more because the Holy Spirit illuminates our minds to receive what is there waiting to be learned. To grow in understanding takes time. Therefore, we should take the time to grow in our understanding. We should not feel like we have missed something, when we can reflect on how much we actually have acquired.

Verse 131: The longing described by the Psalmist here is telling. It not only describes a keen awareness of what God offers, but it exposes a knowledge of the value of what God provides. To receive and take in what God gives is to truly satisfied. Only God fill what our soul most desires. And the reason is simple. Only God has the infinite resources to accomplish the task.

Verse 132: For those who love the Lord, there is no need to fear about how God will treat us. When we have understood his grace and have experienced his mercy, our perception of what it means to serve God changes. The Psalmist describes this graciousness according to the surety of its continuation. The writer says, “as is your way.” The reason we can know how God will act is not because we have figured God out. It is because God has revealed to us how he will act, and we can either trust or not. To trust is to enjoy the benefits of God’s unchanging character.


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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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