153″Look upon my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten Your law. 154 Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to Your promise. 155 Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek out Your decrees. 156 Your compassion is great, O LORD; preserve my life according to Your laws. 157 Many are the foes who persecute me, but I have not turned from Your statutes. 158 I look on the faithless with loathing, for they do not obey Your Word. 159 See how I love Your precepts; preserve my life, O LORD, according to Your love. 160 All Your words are true; all Your righteous laws are eternal.” -Psalm 119:153-160 Resh
The psalmist prays for the Lord to preserve him three times in this prayer. He asks God to preserve his life according to His promise, laws, and love. This octave is similar to the previous Qoph (vv.145-152). There are parallels in the writer’s petition, reflection of the wicked, and praise of God’s eternal words. Verse 160 emphasizes what is said earlier in verses 151-152, proclaiming God’s words as true and eternal. In both octaves the psalmist is in distress, petitioning for the Lord’s deliverance (vv.145-149/153-154). He is surrounded by the wicked, who are God’s enemies, in verse 150 and vv. 157-158. Whether these prayers were written over the same affliction or separate matters, I do not know. But the psalmist once again places his cause and trust in God’s hands. He is asking for the Lord to be his defense, Jehovah Maginnenu.
The psalmist’s prayer and example are ours to imitate. His faith brings him to trust in God’s promises, His law, which demonstrates God’s perfect justice, and His covenantal love, which knows no end. The same God the writer cries out to is the same Lord whose strong arm rules with complete power today. If we ever need to be reminded of God’s transcendence and sovereignty, especially in a world where wickedness and confusion rule the day, look no further than the Bible. Like in the days of Noah, right up until the flood, evil seemed to be winning. There were 400 years of silence from God’s prophets before the Light of the World broke through. Then everything changed. Jesus came in the silence of night, unassuming, as a baby. The King is coming again but this time, all the world will know it. He will come as a warrior on a white horse. In the end, the psalmist’s prayer is fully answered in the future deliverance of God’s people at the end of Time. This too, is our great hope, as we look back on God’s past faithfulness, His present help and future graces.
Grace upon grace,
Growing deeper: Isaiah 40; Matthew 24:36-44; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; Revelation 19:6-16
One thought on “Preservation and Power”
Comforting assurances of God’s faithfulness and care for those that cry out for help, protection, and peace of mind that all will be done in a perfect time, His perfect timing.
Thank you 🙏
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