January 16, 2020

God's Word Sustains Us

Psalm 119:113-120

Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live.

—  Psalm 119:116

In these verses the psalmist combines two literary forms: lament and wisdom. He does this to highlight his sure confidence that God answers prayers and sustains his people.

The psalmist has cried out in lament many times already in Psalm 119. Like other lamenters in the Bible, the writer groans under the weight of distress in facing enemies and opposition. Here the psalmist reveals that he is under extreme duress from his enemies, who are also God’s enemies.

In addition, the psalmist contrasts the wicked and the righ­teous. As biblical wisdom ­often points out, the unfaithful waver and stray from God’s commands, and their delusions come to nothing. Because of their folly, God lets them go. The faithful, on the other hand, take refuge in God and in his Word, treating God’s Word as their shield and sword. They bow before God and put their hope in God’s instruction, holding it in the highest esteem.

And in the midst of this discussion we hear the psalmist making a bold and wonderful request, in faith: “Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live.”

Do you cry out to God for all your needs as they arise? Trust in God completely and live confidently in his promise to deliver you.

Lord, help us to live according to your Word, and sustain us according to your promise, we pray. 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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