I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.
It should come as no surprise that in this last section of Psalm 119—which starts with the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet—the psalmist offers up one last lament. What may surprise us, though, is the psalmist’s confession of his own guilt.
Although the writer has hinted about failing to keep God’s Word, he has not openly admitted it until now. What’s more, with his fiery condemnation of people who have violated God’s Word, it would be easy to dismiss the psalmist as self-righteous. But here, at the very end of his psalm, the author compares himself to a wandering sheep. By his own admission, he stands guilty of failing to keep God’s instructions. He needs help.
Throughout the psalm, we have seen the psalmist passionately crying out in desperate situations. Often he asks for God’s rescue, and repeatedly he finds peace and joy in meeting God in his Word, even when God may seem silent. The irony, of course, is that the psalmist hasn’t been searching for God so much as God has been seeking the psalmist all along—from the very start. By providing his precious Word, which we all desperately need, God has shown beyond the shadow of a doubt his mercy and his love. God seeks us first and continues to provide for us.
God has sought us. Are we seeking to please him through obeying his Word?
May our lips overflow with praise, Lord, for you teach us your Word. Amen.
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