In the 14th stanza of Psalm 119, David testifies to the illuminating presence of the Word of God by likening it to his “light and lamp” for all of life. It directed his steps and ordered his future. It was his essential companion in a world that was dark. And so it is for Christians of all ages. Only the Word of God can be our only light and hope in an ever-darkening world.
As Psalm 119 everywhere asserts, the life of a Christian is one that feeds off the Scriptures. The common pastoral illustration is, indeed, true: you cannot gorge on meals once a week and expect to acquire all the nutrition needed to sustain a healthy life. This is equally true in relation to our spiritual diets as well. You and I were made for daily nourishment. And the good news is that the Word of God offers us an endless from which to partake.
Psalm 119 is a beautifully monotonous chapter. Throughout which, we are made to find comfort in the repetitious prayers of David the king. His recurring inquiries with his Lord inspires incredible relief that he was just like us — fickle, frail, and often faithless. David, too, needed constant reminders of God’s unchanging faithfulness. In the midst of the fluctuation and change that defined his life (and ours), David was seeking something constant. Something steadfast. Such is what he was made to find in God’s Word.
The middle of Psalm 119 might also be its midnight. David opens up to God in the 11th stanza, not pretending he is fine but honestly expressing his grief. His hope has shriveled. His heartache is bringing him to edge of faith, to his wit’s end. It’s easy to feel similarly to the psalmist. But fortunately, we are given the same source of hope in the middle of our heartache.
In Psalm 119, the Christian is afforded with boundless encouragement. It relays to us the unceasing relevance of God’s Word through some of the most earnest, honest, human prayers in life’s intensest moments. The truths throughout the Psalms, but especially those of the 119th chapter, are what we cling to as the church. They are our unwavering, unfading confession.
We are often only able to gain clarity as to why certain events happen after they occur. “Hindsight is 20/20,” so the saying goes. This is often true in our spiritual lives, too. We are only able to apprehend what God is doing in our lives after it is all done (if at all). But notwithstanding what we are brought through, the other side of every significant moment in our lives will always reveal one thing: God is good. Such is what David contemplates in the 9th stanza of Psalm 119.
We cannot compute the ways God’s Word speaks to us. In all seasons, in all walks of life, it incites a peace, confidence, and assurance that is outside of us, beyond us. It relays something of the “unsearchable things” and “wonders without number” that the Lord does on our behalf. Such is what King David is learning throughout Psalm 119.
There is, perhaps, no more human quality (fault) than forgetfulness. No sooner are we told something than we are in need of being reminded. Such is the fickleness and forgetfulness of human finality. I, too, confess to being a forgetful person, to the point where I have to write tasks, ideas down in order to be reminded to remember them. Such, too, is why David is writing in Psalm 119.
In Psalm 119, David prays over and over again for consistency in the Word and life of faith. We humans are a fickle bunch, characterized by ups and downs, ebbs and flows. Thus, if our confidence in salvation rested on our consistency, we’d be in deep trouble. Fortunately, that’s not at all true. Our consistency is found as we are found in Christ, and that’s something that cannot change.
In the fifth stanza of Psalm 119, there is a clear picture of King David praying to God for assurance of his repentance. Prayers for assurance are, perhaps, the most popular prayers among believers, especially young believers. We all go through seasons of doubt, though — seasons wherein we crave and crawl for anything to give us assurance of heaven.