A few days ago I posted some things I noticed about Psalm 119:57-64 which describe some indicators of a mature believer. Continuing my study of the longest chapter in the Bible, I also discovered some verses where the Psalmist clearly is asking God for some things. As I thought this over, I realized these are always things God grants to us – if we are sincerely looking to Him in these areas.
I’m not a name-it-and-claim-it guy (although I often wonder if I’d see more miracles in my life if I’d just trust and ask Him more), but these verses from Psalm 119:33-40 seem to be things all of us can be confident that God wants to grant to us – if we ask Him.
Vs 33 – “Teach me O LORD the way of Your statues”
I recently read in the Christian Post this paragraph:
According to the 2014 “The State of the Bible” report by Barna Group and American Bible Society, a majority of U.S. adults (81 percent) said they consider themselves highly, moderately or somewhat knowledgeable about the Bible. Yet less than half (43 percent) were able to name the first five books of the Bible. The statistics are similar to the previous 2013 report which also showed that only half knew that John the Baptist was not one of the 12 apostles.
From the antidotal evidence I’ve experienced, I would agree with those statements. But this doesn’t need to be! God wants to show us or teach us things from His Word. Anyone who really wants to know His Word can always pray confidently “God teach me Your Word.” He always grants that request.
Vs 34 – “Give me an understanding and I shall keep Your law.”
While on the surface, this verse seems a little redundant, I’m convinced there is a deeper level of understanding His Word. Based off this verse (and many others) all of us, once we’ve made the commitment to allow God to teach it to us, can move to a point where we “understand” it. We’ll not only know facts and history from the Bible, but we’ll understand major theological points. We will be able to, like the Bereans in Acts 17:11, check out what we hear with His Word.
Vs 35 – “Make me walk in the path of Your commandments. For I delight in it.”
The Christian life is not a sprint. It isn’t even a marathon. It’s a walk. A daily walk and the Psalmist asks the LORD to make or direct his walk in the LORD’s commandments. Every day, we need to walk in His path as directed by the Bible. We need to live a life submitted to Him. While I have no real data to prove this point, I do think the happiest people of those who delight in His Word. They can trust in the fact that God is directing their path every day.
Vs 36 – “Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to covetousness.”
Doesn’t this remind you of the 10th Commandment? As a general rule, I find that when I am struggling with coveting something, I haven’t been as faithful in His Word as I should. I can only speak for myself but I don’t seem to have a natural “bent” toward His Word. I need to work at it. I find so many other things compete for my attention that I need to pray, “LORD, incline or bend my heart to Your Word.” Often, when that happens I find I am so much more content with my situation and can look to others and not be covetous.
Vs 37 – “Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things and revive me in Your way.”
I have a footnote in my Bible at this point saying, “Cause my eyes to pass away from…” I need to pray this verse early and often throughout the day. As the writer of Hebrews states, “….the sin that easily ensnares us.” Jesus said in Matthew 6 that we can pray, ..”lead us not into temptation.” I pray, Lord keep me from those trouble areas in my life.
Vs 38 – “Establish Your word to Your servant who is devoted to fearing You.”
The first layer of building project is the foundation. Everything, and I mean everything, rests upon the foundation and if the foundation is poorly made, the building may collapse or at the very least will never be able to fully do what it was intended to do. We need to have His Word “established” in our life if we ever want to be the servants God’s designed us to be.
Vs 39 – “Turn away my reproach which I dread. For Your judgments are good.”
This is a another way of saying, “Sin is a bad thing.” I do not want my sin to cling to me as a reproach. While I am forgiven from sin at the cross, sometimes the lingering effects of my sin can have consequences. Further, I need to constantly seek His forgiveness when I fall short of His will for my life. Sin is a bad thing and I dread it. His Word, His judgments are always good.
Vs40 – “Behold, I long for Your precepts. Revive me in Your righteousness.”
This is a nice way to summarize these eight verses. His Word brings life to me. It encourages me, strengthens me, convicts me, educates me along with many other tasks all summarized in this few words, “LORD revive me in Your righteousness.” I need Him in my life to live His righteousness.
So here are eight things we can always pray for and know, He’ll honor and grant these requests:
1. Teach me Your Word. Help me learn who You are from Your Word
2. Help me understand You and Your Scriptures. May these verses reveal more of You to me.
3. Help me walk day-by-day in Your will as expressed in Your Word.
4. Increase my desire for Your Word above everything else that competes for my attention.
5. Help me avoid potential trouble areas.
6. Give me a strong foundation and help me learn to have Your Word established in my life.
7. Help me always run back to You and Your Word when I need Your forgiveness again.
8. May I live in Your righteousness. Revive me Lord through Your Word.