Thursday, October 13, 2016
Praying For Greater Understanding
“I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD: I will keep thy statutes. I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies. I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word. Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.
Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: O LORD, quicken me according to thy judgment. They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law. Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth. Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.” (Psalm 119:145-152)
From the time he was young, David had trusted in the Lord, and was determined to keep his word. He promised to obey as long as God kept him alive to do so. He got up before dawn to pray and think about God’s word, and frequently woke up during the night with it on his mind. He asks that God would hear his prayers in his loving kindness and settle his concerns according to his mercy and righteousness. The wicked were not concerned with God’s laws, but David believed they were eternal and sought to follow them.
“Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law. Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word. Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes.
Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD: quicken me according to thy judgments. Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies. I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word. Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness. Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” (Psalm 119:153-160)
David asks that God consider the trials he was experiencing, and deliver him because he was serving God. The wicked had rejected God’s salvation, but God’s mercy was great, and David felt sorry for his persecutors because would not obey God. He asks God to consider how he had struggled to follow the law, believing it was eternally true, and that its principles are eternal.
“Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word. I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.
Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
LORD, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments. My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly. I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee.” (Psalm 119:161-168)
Saul had tried to execute David, even sending messengers to other countries to try to have him killed, and when he fled to the Philistines, David was forced to act as if he were insane to avoid being killed. In spite of that, David was still in awe of God’s word and rejoiced at his promises.
Everyday he was reminded repeatedly how much God had blessed him for his obedience. As a result, he never gave up hope and turned away, no matter how discouraged he became. Instead, he kept expecting god to keep his wordand kept on doing as God had said. He knew God was aware of everything he had done and believed he would reward him accordingly.
“Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word. Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.
My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes. My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness. Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts. I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight.
Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.” (Psalm 119:169-176)
David realized he had not kept God’s law perfectly, but he had not broken it deliberately. He asks that God forgive him for the times he had strayed, and hear his prayer for life and protection so that he could praise the Lord. He also asks again that God help him understand his way so that he did not stray so easily. He loved the law and wanted to learn more.