The Requests of Psalm 119
Psalm 119 is an interesting writing. There is so much that can be studied about it and learned from it. This post will focus on the requests of the writer. Attention to the Psalm reveals that it is centered on the Word of God. The author has such a desire, an appreciation and a necessity for God's Word!
How much different might the world be if every believer possessed this kind of passion for the Word of the Lord? It is clear that the psalmist highly values the Word of God. The writer limits his requests to longings that express a deep, sincere reverence for the Word.
This kind of intensity for the Word of God should lead to an intimate relationship with our heavenly Father. One of the ways of learning a person is to know their thoughts and their interests. By delving into His Word, we have the opportunity to know His thoughts and learn His ways.
By observing the writer's requests, it is obvious that he has an exceptional respect and regard for God's Word. The writer doesn't ask for material goods, success in battle or for a life of ease. All the requests in the Psalm point to the fact that the writer is extremely engaged as a worshiper. Anyone can praise the Lord (give Him thanks) but only those who know Him can worship. Worship (acknowledging His worth) requires relationship.
Look at some of the requests of the writer.
Verse 10 O let me not wander from thy commandments
Verse 12 Teach me thy statutes
Verse 17 Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live and keep thy word
Verse 18 Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law
Verse 19 Hide not thy commandments from me
Verse 22 Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies
Verse 25 Quicken thou me according to thy word
Verse 26 Teach me thy statutes
Verse 27 Make me to understand the ways of thy precepts
Verse 28 Strengthen thou me according unto thy word
Verse 29 Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously
Verse 31 I have stuck unto thy testimonies ; O Lord, put me not to shame
Verse 33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes
Verse 34 Give me understanding
Verse 35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments
Verse 36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies
Verse 37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in the way
Verse 38 Stablish thy word unto thy servant
Verse 39 Turn away my reproach
Verse 40 Quicken me in thy righteousness
How different might our lives be if the majority of our requests before the Lord were patterened after this Psalm? The next time you pray, think about the relationship you have with the Lord. Is it all that it could be? Wouldn't He rather hear a request concerning His Word as opposed to an appeal for more possessions? During your time together would He rather receive a petition concerning His law or another complaint about your job, spouse, children, bills, church, neighbors...you get the idea. Do your first works over again: fall in love with the One who saved you. Pursue Him because of Who He is not just because of what He provides.
Thank you for reading!