KAPH ~ Keep me Safe, Preserve my life, I place my Hope in your word! 

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. 

Psalm 119:81-88

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!

YODH ~ Confidence in the Creator and His Word! 

73 Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments. 

74 Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in your word. 

75 I know, O LORD, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. 

76 Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant. 

77 Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight. 

78 Let the insolent be put to shame because they have wronged me with falsehood; as for me, I will meditate on your precepts. 

79 Let those who fear you turn to me, that they may know your testimonies. 

80 May my heart be blameless in your statutes, that I may not be put to shame! 

In this passage the Psalmist, David is asking for understanding of the commandments, or rather the word of God. And he is also hoping that others will see his faithfulness to God and that they will be encouraged by it as well. David is again recognizing that he trusts and his desire is to obey God’s righteous rules. And he is also finding ways to rejoice in his afflictions because it is the very thing that turned his heart back to God. This passage has recognized God as our creator and also that God is the one who gives us understanding of His word. I know for me, I used to open the Bible and I would wonder what I was reading. And there are still times that I really don’t grasp what God is saying to me. But this is when I pray fervently for understanding of His word. And I keep digging. And He reveals something to me. But I wonder if one of the reasons we will never have full understanding of His word is so that we will keep digging, that we will keep coming back. I want to learn more and more about God until the day I take my last breath. I want to keep praying and asking Him for understanding so that I may keep learning. And while doing so, I pray that others will see me and that they will be encouraged to hope in His word too. 

The next few verses are a plea from David. I love that they start with “Let”. This is David asking God for His love and His mercy. He also asks God to put to shame those who have wronged him. When others are constantly coming against you and you know they are in the wrong and you are doing your best to live rightly, it is certainly ok to pray that they will be put to shame because of their falsehoods. But you also must be careful with this prayer, I think. You need to be sure to clean up around your own back door first. That is why David ends this passage with, may my heart be blameless, that I may not be put to shame. If someone is constantly slandering and harassing you, you can pray that their insults will turn on themselves. I am reminded that Nehemiah did that.

“Hear, O our God, for we are despised. Turn back their taunt on their own heads and give them up to be plundered in a land where they are captives.” Neh. 4:4

Nehemiah was following God and was rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem and there were a couple of guys who were not happy about it, but instead of getting into an incident with them, Nehemiah prayed for the Lord to handle it for him. Oh how much better things are if we just pray for the Lord to handle our oppressors rather than get into things with them ourselves. That is what I pray. If you are following God and doing your best to live in what He has taught you to live, you are following Him, then you won’t be put to shame, and you can pray for those who may come against you to be put to shame, but let’s pray that it will be a godly shame that will turn their hearts to the Lord.