Consider my affliction and deliver me,
For I do not forget Your law.
Plead my cause and redeem me;
Revive me according to Your word.
Salvation is far from the wicked,
For they do not seek Your statutes.
Great are Your tender mercies, O LORD;
Revive me according to Your judgments.
Many are my persecutors and my enemies,
Yet I do not turn from Your testimonies.
I see the treacherous, and am disgusted,
Because they do not keep Your word.
Consider how I love Your precepts;
Revive me, O LORD, according to Your lovingkindness.
The entirety of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. Psalm 119:153-160 NKJV
The 20th letter and stanza–continued recognition of the need to keep God’s Word and awareness of how others fare when they don’t.
When we have the Word hidden in our hearts and have a desire to please God, things change on the inside of us--we are forever mindful of our need for God in our lives and we should be disgusted with the ways of those who live in opposition with God’s Word. Now, “disgusted” is a little strong, but the intent serves a purpose.
Every Believer should be disgusted with sin–when we see it in others and in ourselves. We should hate sin with enough diligence to want to see it eradicated–never to be seen again; but we should never hate the sinner.
How do we separate the sin from the sinner? Sin is an act or action that is contrary to God’s Word; the sinner is the person committing the act. God hates sin and so should we; but He loves the sinner and so should we.
If God hated sinners–where would we be? Lost in our sin–hated and tainted by others. It is God’s mercy, and enduring kindness that has brought us into a knowledge of who He is and how He wants us to live–not that we were so good, but that we all–at one time–were headed in the wrong direction. But His love–sees beyond our faults and brings us to a place where we are able to realize our potential–the purpose He has for our lives.
Throughout this Psalm, the writer refers to himself–always in need of God’s direction and grateful for His statues and precepts–understanding His purpose in our lives. And though it appears that the writer is scornful of the wicked, he also intercedes on their behalf when he points out their shortcomings and acknowledges God’s lovingkindness.
What we should not miss is that no matter how many times or ways others tried to destroy him, persecuted him, and taunted him for keeping God’s Word, he stood firm.
Can we say the same? Or do we allow the enemy to entangle us with the deeds of the wicked by responding in kind when we are mistreated? Are we able to rise above the fray in the midst of a torrent of hatefulness directed at us and say, “Lord, I love to keep Your Word?”
I am reminded of the current political climate in which we see more kindergarten attitudes than maturity in the mudslinging. I am so tired of politicians who have no platform–nothing to say about their own strengths, but are always in “attack mode.” If this is the best we can do, Heaven help us all!
And while we wait for His glorious return-we pray-and continue to praise God for His goodness and for loving us enough to bring us into the knowledge of who He is and how He wants us to live.