81 My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word.
82 My eyes long for your promise; I ask ‘When will you comfort me?’
83 For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, yet I have not forgotten your statutes.
84 How long must your servant endure? When will you judge those who persecute me?
85 The insolent have dug pitfalls for me; they do not live according to your law.
86 All your commandments are sure; they persecute me with falsehood; help me!
87 They have almost made an end of me on earth, but I have not forsaken your precepts.
88 In your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.
When I read this passage I can certainly identify with the Psalmist. I feel like the Psalmist, David is praying for something that maybe he feels he has been praying for for a very long time and waiting for the Lord’s deliverance, and he is wondering if and when it will ever come. In fact the NLT puts the first line this way ~
“I am worn out waiting for your rescue.” (v 1)
Have you ever felt that way? I know I have. Maybe David wrote this passage at some point when he was on the run and hiding from Saul to keep him from killing him. You know David was anointed king and then he had to run from Saul for about 15 years before he actually became king. He probably became very weary of waiting for God’s rescue during that time. I can honestly tell you that there are prayers that I prayed that God sends me answers pretty quickly but there are also things I have prayed that I have had to remain faithful to and diligent in for a long time. And yes there are prayers I have prayed that have just about worn me out. Yet, we have to, just like David did, continue to remind ourselves of His promises in His word when we don’t feel as if our prayers are being answered. We have to know where to place our hope. Even when it appears that others are getting what they want, or we see evil prosper around us, or when we have come under some persecution because of our faith, we have to remember where our hope is found.
Believe me, I know that it is hard to keep the faith sometimes. It is hard when we pray for healing and the healing doesn’t look like what we thought it would. It is hard when we pray for our finances and there always seems to be more month than there is money. It is hard when we’ve been praying for the prodigal who just seems to keep making the same decisions over and over. It is hard when we pray for the salvation of that friend or relative, who seems to have no interest in even hearing what you have to say about Jesus. And I bet it was hard for David to keep any faith at all that he would one day not be on the run from Saul and would actually be king. Yet in this Psalm David points out where his hope is and that he is going to continue to walk in the statutes of the word. David is asking for help based on the commandments of the Lord, but most of all, David ends asking of the Lord to help him, based on the Lord’s lovingkindness, not because of anything David has done.
So my friends, that thing you have been praying for, that child, the finances, the healing, whatever it is that you have had on your prayer list for a long time, keep hoping, keep walking it out, keep trusting and living according to the law. And Lord, we pray ~
In your steadfast love, give us life, that we may keep your testimonies!