A short thought from Psalm 119

Today’s devotional passage was from Psalm 119 which I am reading along with commentary from Christopher Ash’s Bible Delight:

25 My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word!
26When I told of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes!
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word!
29Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law!
30I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me.
31I cling to your testimonies, O LORD; let me not be put to shame!
32I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart! (ESV)

Alternative translations of verse 32  are “I run the way of your commandments; for you enlarge/make free/widen my heart/understanding”

There is something about God that makes us free. Free to what? Free to love regardless, free not to fear anything, freedom from worry.  I guess we are free to be whom God made us to be rather than whom we think we or others want us to be. Discovering this is true freedom. It is also the security that despite whatever may be going on, God is there. On his birthday in 1937, the athiest HG Wells announced:

“Gentlemen, I am 71 years old today and I have never found peace. The trouble with people like me is that the man from Galilee, Jesus of Nazareth, was too big for my small heart” (Bible Delight), p61.

Even though we might ‘cling to the dust’ as the Psalmist did in verse 25, God can make large our understanding of him and this changes our perspective and raises our heads and hopes to heaven.

Is there any way I feel I am clinging to the dust? There is certainly uncertainty about the next stage of the fresh expression – the focussing of the team behind the vision. I am not in despair about it – not clinging to the dust, yet at least, but there is some anxiety about how of whether I will be able to do it.

The Psalmist says (v 31) “I cling to your decrees” – a stark change from a few verses earlier when he was clinging to the dust. So we fall in the faithfulness of God throughout history in building up his church, and that his desire is for individuals and communities to come to know and follow him. Bill Hybels rightly said “The local church is the hope of the world” (Courageous Leadership)

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