Scripture Focus: Psalm 119.169-176
169 May my cry come before you, Lord;
give me understanding according to your word.
170 May my supplication come before you;
deliver me according to your promise.
171 May my lips overflow with praise,
for you teach me your decrees.
172 May my tongue sing of your word,
for all your commands are righteous.
173 May your hand be ready to help me,
for I have chosen your precepts.
174 I long for your salvation, Lord,
and your law gives me delight.
175 Let me live that I may praise you,
and may your laws sustain me.
176 I have strayed like a lost sheep.
Seek your servant,
for I have not forgotten your commands.
From John: As we wrap up Psalm 119 this week, we look back again at our reflection on Charles Spurgeon’s words about the great psalm. We are also eagerly anticipating the beginning of Student Writers Month in July followed by your Readers’ Choice selections in August. To submit your selections for Readers’ Choice, follow this link.
Reflection: The Garden of Psalm 119
By John Tillman
We finish Psalm 119 today and reflect on it with some words from Charles Spurgeon:
“Those who have studied this divine hymn, and carefully noted each line of it, are amazed at the variety and profundity of the thought…The more you look into this mirror of a gracious heart the more you will see in it.”
Spurgeon is convinced that David wrote the Psalm and if not he, then some other writer who spent long years in its work and created it not over a short span, but through a lifetime of faithfulness.
“There is evident growth in the subject matter. The earlier verses are of such a character as to lend themselves to the hypothesis that the author was a young man, while many of the later passages could only have suggested themselves to age and wisdom.”
In the end, rather than rising in acclaim or celebration, the aged wisdom of the psalmist leads him to a humble and prostrate stance.
“The psalmist is approaching the end of the Psalm…he seems to break into the inner circle of divine fellowship, and to come even to the feet of the great God whose help he is imploring. This nearness creates the most lowly view of himself, and leads him to close the Psalm upon his face in deepest self-humiliation, begging to be sought out like a lost sheep…It is a very sweet thing to a suppliant when he knows of a surety that his prayer has obtained audience. It is to Jehovah that this prayer is expressed with trembling earnestness…we crave audience of none else, for we have confidence in none beside.”
Meditating on Psalm 119 daily has been a common spiritual practice for centuries with many reporting a wealth of spiritual benefit.
“This sacred ode is a little Bible, the Scriptures condensed, a mass of Bibline, holy writ rewritten in holy emotions and actions. This Psalm, like the whole Scripture which it praises, is a pearl island, or, better still, a garden of sweet flowers.”
It is our hope that each cycle of our two-year-long tread through the garden of scripture produces not pride, but humility. Not judgmental attitudes, but merciful gratitude. Not clamoring commands for others, but tender notes of correction in our own hearts.
*Quotations abridged from A Treasury of David, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Call to Prayer
Hallelujah! Give praise, you servants of the Lord; praise the Name of the Lord. — Psalm 113.1
– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle
Read more about Readers’ Choice 2021
It is time for us to hear from you about the posts from the past eleven months (September 2020 through July 2021) that have challenged and comforted you and helped you find new meaning in the scriptures.
Read more about Setting Aside the Scriptures
Considering all of Scripture together without breaking it apart requires patience and a deep familiarity with Scripture.