January 04, 2020

Deliver Me and Instruct Me

Psalm 119:17-24

Though rulers sit together and slander me, your servant will meditate on your decrees.

—  Psalm 119:23

Most of us have times of lament. We complain, we groan, we mourn, and sometimes we weep. Lamentation comes with the sting of our fallen world. The Bible contains many laments. In this section of Psalm 119, we find the first of many laments in which the psalmist cries out for God’s deliverance.

The psalmist calls himself God’s “servant,” and that’s all we know about him. Some suggest that the writer is King David of Israel, who wrote several psalms of lament. Others have suggested Ezra or Nehemiah, who also had to deal with leadership struggles when they returned to Jerusalem from Babylon. Here the author cries out in anguish to God for deliverance, even while complaining that God treats him like a stranger.

Since we all experience moments, days, and even seasons of lament, we can learn from the psalmist’s prayer. Even in desperation, the writer shows that he wants to know God’s Word and live by it: “My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times.” Adversity doesn’t drive the psalmist away from God. It drives him closer as he waits for the One who reveals himself in his Word.

In our times of trouble, may our prayers for deliverance also drive us deeper into God’s Word, to love and obey him as we wait for relief from him.

Lord, in all times and in every situation, may your Word be our delight and our counselor. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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