“Ensure Your servant’s well-being; let not the arrogant oppress me.” -Psalm 119:122
This verse is a prayer of petition, carried over in thought from the previous verse. It is the first of three times in this octave the psalmist will refer to himself as “Your servant”. It is the second time he has mentioned his oppressors (v. 121). The psalmist feels the pressure closing in on all sides, so he looks for deliverance in the Lord. His plea is for God to not forget him during this trial. How does the Caretaker of our souls tend to our well-being? Physically, He provides for us and can keep us from harm. Spiritually, He waters the garden of every redeemed heart by pulling up weeds of sin, fear and doubt. God then plants His love, peace and trust in us. It isn’t a passive supernatural act. Since we are co-heirs with Christ we are also co-laborers with Him, beginning with spiritual discipline in ourselves. We are called to lives of holiness as part of our sanctification. Elisabeth Elliot observed,
“The Holy Spirit does not do all the controlling for us. He requires us to act. He helps us, but He expects us to co-operate […] If we begin each day by an acknowledgement of our dependence on Him, and our intention to obey Him, He will certainly help us. The Holy Spirit, who is the source of our life, then directs the course. Every discipline imposed in that course is for one purpose: to bring us to our full glory, and to make us part of the permanent that cannot die.”
We are partakers of God’s grace toward us through the spiritual disciplines of reading and meditating on His Word, prayer, fellowship with believers, and placing ourselves under the authority of doctrinally sound preaching and teaching. God is then faithful to reap a harvest of righteousness in us, as we are being sanctified. This is God’s way to ensure our well-being, and deliver us from evil. The promises of God are deeply rooted, never to be turned over by the wicked affairs of men. His plans “stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations” (Psalm 33:11), which include yesterday, today and tomorrow until Jesus comes back. In Christ we stand on solid ground. Our arrogant oppressors have no firm footing to speak of.
Grace upon grace,
Growing deeper: Psalm 2; Matthew 10:28; 2 Corinthians 4:8-18