How many are the days of thy servant?
When wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?
Saul the Pharisee was a persecutor of the early Christians until he met the risen Lord on the road to Damascus. Describing himself since that day of his conversion, Paul wrote to Timothy:
But thou hast [...]
Mine eyes fail for thy word,
Saying, When wilt thou comfort me? (Psa 119.82)
Triumphalism, that unrealistic expectation of enjoying in this life nearly all of the blessings, whether physical or spiritual, of the age to come, threatens the well-being of sensitive Christians because it only deepens their dejection. That crucible of unfulfilled desires, [...]
Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort,
According to thy word unto thy servant (Psa 119.76).
Moved by the Holy Spirit, the psalmist here prays earnestly for comfort. “I pray thee” is emphatic expression, like, “Please! I beg you!” with a focus on the desire of the speaker, used to [...]
I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right,
And that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me (Psa 119.75).
Many unbelievers implicitly acknowledge God’s control over all things, including their personal catastrophes, and then hold a grudge against him. Perhaps when a loved one was dying of cancer, the person now spiritually-disgruntled had prayed [...]
It is good for me that I have been afflicted;
That I might learn thy statutes (Psa 119.71).
“All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” is the attention-grabbing title of a book by Robert Fulghum from the eighties. What did he have in mind? Simple duties like this: share everything, play [...]
The proud have forged a lie against me:
But I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart (Psa 119.69).
God’s kingdom triumphs on a battlefield of hostile forces. The ancient contest appears in each generation among men, and in each man’s soul. Not until the end of this age and the arrival of [...]
Before I was afflicted I went astray:
But now have I kept thy word (Psa 119.67).
Before God, the church, and the world, this is the psalmists’ testimony of his growth in grace and a painful means by which it came. He measured his spirituality by the rule of Scripture. “I had departed from [...]
My soul melteth for heaviness: Strengthen thou me according unto thy word (Psa 119.28).
Real Christians are liable to the same kind of sorrows as unbelievers. The “happy-clappy religion” so popular today has denied this and fostered unrealistic expectations of Christian experience. What may surprise even sounder believers is that in some respects, real Christians [...]