25 I lie in the dust; revive me by your word. 26 I told you my plans, and you answered. Now teach me your decrees. 27 Help me understand the meaning of your commandments, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds. 28 I weep with sorrow; encourage me by your word. 29 Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions. 30 I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations. 31 I cling to your laws. Lord, don’t let me be put to shame! 32 I will pursue your commands, for you expand my understanding.
Here in this section of Psalm 119 we see the writer crying out from the caldron of suffering and strife. Today some of you are in the middle of the melting pot of trials and troubles and like the author of Psalm 119 your pain is written across the pages of your life. The first thing I want you to note is that the one suffering here is a child of God. Today we desperately need to recognize that being a believer does not except us from trials and tribulations. Just because you have placed your faith in Jesus doesn’t make you immune to the headaches and heartaches of this life. Despite being a believer the author here freely admits to his audience the pain and heartache he is going through. Today many of us have bought into a prosperity Gospel, where everything works out well for God’s kids. The problem with this is that God’s Holy Word doesn’t proclaim a Gospel of prosperity in the here and now but rather one of pain and problems. 2 Timothy 3:12 tells us: “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” It’s in the next life that we will prosper, the problem is that many Christians today are living for the earthly and not the eternal. Our focus is on the here and now instead of on heaven. We are seeking the temporary treasures instead of the true treasures. Living for a feel good instead of living for God the Father. No Psalm 119 makes it clear that God’s kids are not immune from the problems of this World. Here we find a believer who is struggling and desires a deeper understanding and a greater insight into God’s Word. We need to realize that even those who are called by God and serve Him faithfully get to a point when we experience days of weakness. There will be days of weakness and wondering, where you question not only God but your service to Him and even your salvation. There will be times where you wonder why you are weak, times where you feel like you should be stronger. Where you think you should be better at this Christian life or may be more in control of your Christian walk. But despite all this, it is critical that we see that the problems this person of faith was going through did not drive them away from God but drawn them closer to Him. Problems and pain will either drive you away from God or draw you to Him. This section of Psalm 119 appears to be divided into two parts, My ways, and God’s Ways. If there is one thing we need to understand it’s that you cannot live a committed Christian life and be satisfied living according to your own ways. In the end, it all boils down to this, you are either living according to your way or God’s way. As we look at the two we will start first with:
- My Ways – verse 25-29
It’s here that the Psalmist starts with the
- The Confession of My Ways
“I lie in the dust.” This is spoken with a tone of conflict and of humiliation in the situation that he finds himself. But this humiliation is not without hope. Some of us find ourselves in desperate situations today because of a lack of consistency in our Christian walk. There are many things that can turn us from the faithful life that we really desire to one of disaster. The only way to live a fruitful life is to listen to the Lord, but listening to self, society, and sin takes us from fruitful to failure fast. It’s here in verse 25 that we see the real longing of his life, “revive me by your word.” We may not like the painful and problematic times of life but they reveal what matters most. Sometimes it’s not until we are faced with heartache that we discover the true longing of our heart. Notice that his heart is not interested in riches but in revival. To revive here means to become alive or become sensitive. Today some of us need to confess the corruption of our ways and cry out to Christ for revival in our lives. Do you feel dead today, do you need to be revived and brought back to life? We need to understand that we will not experience true revival in our personal lives or in our land until we repent and return to God’s Word. As 2 Chronicles 7:14 clearly states: “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Until we have a hunger to hear from God we will live mediocre and miserable lives. Today many of us have become consumed with riches instead of revival, as a result, we are chasing after money instead of the Messiah. I wonder what will it take for us to realize that we don’t need wealth we need His Word. Second after the confession of my ways we see:
- The Conviction of My Ways – verses 26-27
He has a conviction as he has confessed his ways that God has heard and is responding. We can be assured that when we confess our sins God hears. Confession doesn’t just clean our hearts it clears our minds so that our ears are open to hear God’s Word and our hearts are ready receive it. Some of us are reading God’s Word but we are not responding to His Word because our hearts are hard and calloused. Not only do we need to open God’s Word but we need to open our hearts. Confession cleans and clears so that we are ready to receive instruction from the Lord. Sadly many Christians today are just reading the Bible for information instead of instruction. Our problem is that we don’t have a desire to do God’s Word. Many believers just want to understand it, they don’t want to obey it. Today we want information without implementation. But reading to know and not to do, leads to information without transformation. We need to be careful that we don’t get seduced into thinking that knowing a lot of information equals transformation. Consider the apostle Paul, before his conversion scripture tells us that Saul was very knowledgeable. He was a scholar among scholars, a Pharisee among Pharisees, trained by the very best. But it wasn’t until Paul encountered the living God and had an authentic experience with Jesus that God’s Spirit formed him from the inside out, and he was actually transformed. So information enough was not enough for Saul. Information becomes the foundation for which formation begins in a person’s life. And then the transformation is something that God’s Spirit comes in, takes over and does. In short information plus formation equals transformation. What about you are you, is it about your way or His? Is there something that God is convicting you of that you need to confess and come clean. God wants to replace your weakness with His strength so don’t despise times of weakness for it’s in our weakness that we see His strength most clearly.