The Bible never presents life as some sort of pie-in-the-sky, walk-in-the-park, everyday-is-always-rosy picture. If it did, we would reject the Bible because our experiences would immediately tell us otherwise. Instead, the Bible realistically portrays the challenges, and the pain, and the heartache, and the disappointments of life. But as it does so it also shows us that God’s way is the only way out of our sorrow and into His joy!
In our P119 Spiritual Workout series, we saw the bookends of the section daleth (Psalm 119:25-32) are:
I am laid low in the dust (v. 25) → You have set my heart free (v. 32).
How do we get this freedom when we are knocked down and laid low in the dust?
The Jews saw the Hebrew letter daleth as a door. Specifically a door through which humble people stepped into a greater realization that He is God, and I’m not … that He has the answers, and I don’t … that He is in control, and I’m not. So part of going from down in the dust to a free heart is humbly acknowledging that you need God’s help!
In verses 26 and 27, the psalmist recalls his past history, and in so doing he is reminded that God has always been there. God has never left him nor forsaken him, so here’s what the psalmist resolves to do:
- Teach me = I learned something before, so let me learn again.
- Let me understand = help me to discern, distinguish; tell things apart. This word is used for things that are divinely disclosed; in other words, they’re things you and I cannot figure out on our own.
- Meditate = talk with my soul about these new things the Holy Spirit has disclosed to me.
In verse 28, the psalmist says that his soul is weary with sorrow (or as the King James Version states it: my soul melteth for heaviness). The only way to overcome this is to ask for God’s help to energize us to go forward.
In the final four verses of this section you can sense the psalmist’s strength returning as he makes these bold statements:
- keep me from deceitful ways (v. 29a) = keep me from lying to myself (NLT).
- be gracious to me (v. 29b) = give me the privilege of knowing Your instructions (NLT).
- I have chosen (v. 30a) = I have determined (NLT).
- I have set (v. 30b) = I am long-sighted (on God), not short-sighted (on my problems).
- I hold fast (v. 31) = the KJV says I have stuck to it!
- I run (v. 32) = I will [not merely walk, but] run the way of Your commandments (AMP).
So when you are sad/disappointed/injured, run TO God. Don’t cling to your own (old) ways of thinking. Let Him take you from I am laid low → You have set my heart free.
I hope you can join me next Sunday as we continue our look at this amazing workout!