145 With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O Lord!
I will keep your statutes*.
146 I call to you; save me,
that I may observe your testimonies.
147 I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I hope in your words.
148 My eyes are awake before the watches of the night,
that I may meditate on your promise.
* 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.
As we approach Holy Week, I am reminded of how ill-prepared the disciples felt they were for what was about to happen. The difficulties they were about to face were many.
I find it interesting to see how they were able to rebound. I do not have a naive view of the situation. It’s just that when I look at all that happened, the reality of Jesus resurrection restored their hope and renewed their strength.
It is a rare occurrence where we know what will happen in life. Sometimes we can have a good idea of what will happen. If we are honest, most of the time, we are just doing the best we can with the information we have available.
That is why being grounded in God’s word is so helpful to living in this world. God has given us some tools for living well. Those tools provide us of countering the downward pull of sin and hopelessness. But we have to receive this wisdom from above. We have to trust it. We have put into practice.
The disciples of Pentecost were the same disciples of Good Friday. They just had some new information. What Jesus said had become what God did. This shift is so important to live lives that are pleasing to God and satisfactory to ourselves.
Verse 145: We should approach God with a sincere heart. Not with half-hearted measures. To seek the counsel of God with our whole heart is key to our faith journey. Why? Because when we fully commit to this pursuit, we can know that God was the one who came through. We did not put our trust in ourselves, but in God.
Verse 146: If we desire to be living witnesses of God’s grace, we desire a good thing. The writer shares their desire for deliverance so that they might continue in service to God. Our service to God can be both an opportunity for glorifying God, but also a time where we see the word of God come to life in us.
Verse 147: The discipline of taking time throughout the day for focused attention on God’s word is not new. It is a practice that has been around for a long time. There has been much discussion over what time of the day this activity should be done. Here the Psalmist suggests that before the dawn of a new day is good. A practical reason for this early allocation of time is it precedes all other activity in the day.
Verse 148: Continuing on the theme of the previous verse, the Psalmist reiterates the practice of early meditation on God’s promise. Remembering and reflecting on the promises of God is a good way of orienting our days. This kind of perspective can have a calming effect on our minds when we know of specific challenges we have to face.