My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word! Psalm 119:28 (ESV)
My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. - Psalm 119:28 (NIV)
Recite using the acronym:
M S M A F S ; S M A T Y W ! PSALM 119:28 (ESV)
M S I W W S ; S M A T Y W . PSALM 119:28 (NIV)
Read Full Passage HERE
This is one of my favorite chapters in scripture and also the longest. A beautiful alphabetic reflection on the flesh's weakness and the Word's mighty power. In verses 24-32, with our memory verse right in the middle, we see a weary soul burdened by his sin and the affliction of the world and a cry of salvation made to the Lord through the way of His Word. David, believed by many to be the writer, is known for one of the greatest triumphs in human history and is something believers and pagans alike celebrate to this day; and is the most used theme in Hollywood, the triumph of the underdog, David conquering the giant Goliath. But, David is also known for his great pitfall, where he takes another man's wife to bed, his friend and protector, I might add, and then kills him to cover up his great mistake. On top of this, we see a great king that is often driven out of his own home by his enemies and is driven into the wilderness. Even his father-in-law and later his son tries to kill him for power.
David lived a life of some of the greatest highs and the greatest lows. What kept him grounded in the storm? The word of the Lord. It was sweeter than honey to David, the rock he relied on, the lamp he followed, and the strength he needed. David didn’t rely on the law simply out of obligation, but instead, out of joyful devotion. He knew the Lord cared for him and had his best in mind, understanding that the commandments of God were meant for his protection and flourishing, not his demise.
Do you believe this? That the commandments of God aren't a list of demands meant to keep you from the things you desire but are commands poured out graciously by the heart of God to keep us from our demise and meant for our flourishing?
In our verse this week, we see a troubled and afflicted heart weighed down by the pain of this world, longing for relief from pain and strength in the midst of it. Our writer knew that the answer to his pain wasn’t to give in to his fleshly desires but to hold onto his spiritual Father. He knew that in tribulation, temptations of the world will flood in quicker than ever, and in verse 29, he asks, “Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law!” The answer to our pain is in the commandments of God, He didn’t promise that following Him would be easy, but He does promise us peace. Having a self-controlled heart before God, through his precepts, creates in us an unexplainable joy in the midst of a broken and hurting world and peace amid tribulation.
Teach me your ways, and give me your strength,
My heart is broken by my sin and weary from the world.
Show me your face and lead me in your commands,
Help me to know that your way is for my best.
That you care for me enough to keep me on the right path.
Give me faith to believe that you will never keep me from anything good,
But do all things for my good, to preserve me and prepare me for the best thing.
Weighty glory in your presence forever.
In this world, I groan, longing to put on my heavenly dwelling.
My soul melts away for sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word!