Humble Prayer, High Claims

Michael Wilcock

READ : Psalm 119:121-128

I love your commands more than gold. (v. 127 NIV)

This passage could sum up the psalmist’s morning devotions. He doesn’t look at the day ahead through rose-tinted glasses; he is prepared for problems, and for encounters with people who are arrogant and care nothing for God’s law. At the same time he is no pessimist. He takes everything to the Lord in prayer, and expects the Lord’s help, even if his “eyes fail” when it seems a long time coming.

Every believer should aim at this kind of practical daily walk with God. But in the two final verses the psalmist might seem to claim too much for himself. Here are two high claims I would hesitate to make. Do I really love God’s commands more than gold? And do I consistently say yes to the right precepts and no to the wrong paths? If I’m honest I have to admit that I love my own way, and follow it, all too frequently.

If King David had anything to do with Psalm 119, the contrast between him and King Saul would help to explain this. Saul often regretted his sins, but at heart he was always a rebel. David too sinned often, but he was willing to have his heart changed. That was what mattered. He could claim along with Paul, “in my inner being I delight in God’s law” (Rom. 7:22 NIV).

PRAYER

Father, despite all my stumbles, I love your way, and want to walk in it.