137 Righteous are you, O LORD, and right are your rules.
138 You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness and in all faithfulness.
139 My zeal consumes me, because my foes forget your words.
140 Your promise is well tried, and your servant loves it.
141 I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is righteous forever, and your law is true.
143 Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight.
144 Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live.
As I read this passage of the Psalm, what I think about it is this is a declaration of the Psalmist of who he has found God to be through His word. It is praise in it’s own right and it’s own way, but mostly it is declaring the righteousness, the purity and truth of God and his Word.
God’s written word, the Scriptures, the Bible, is our avenue to getting to know God. His character, His righteousness, His truth, is all revealed through His word. This word is not greater than who God is, but every word of it points to the greatness of God.
As the Psalmist has fallen in love with God’s word, he has also come face to face with who he is in relation to God as well as to other people. He says “I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts.” The Psalmist felt insignificant but he remembered where his significance lies. It bothered him that those around him were not living according to the scriptures but he knew that the promises of God had been tried and true in his own life. Even though he has seen trouble and he has been through anguish, he realizes that the commandments of God and his relationship with his God is what has carried him through.
The Psalmist ends this passage reiterating the righteousness of God’s testimonies and with a prayer. He has declared God’s goodness, he has recognized his promises and how they have been tried and true in his own life, he recognizes his own significance and that his significance only truly lies with God and he has recognized his troubles and the anguish he has been through. But the only thing he prays for in this passage is understanding, not deliverance, not direction, just understanding so that he may live. Sometimes that is the point, isn’t it? One thing I have learned to pray through all the things I have been through in my life is for God to help me to learn the lessons He has for me through the trial so that I may not have to learn it again later. Lord give us understanding of Your word so that we may live in the abundance You have for us!