The psalmist's personal struggle and lament are appropriate reactions for anyone who loves and values the Word of God.
Loving Father, I enter Your gates with thanksgiving. I lift high Your name in praise, not only here and now, but throughout the day.
Consider: How do you feel about the way God and his law are treated all around you?
Most of our study in this portion of Psalm 119 would fall into what Chris Wright describes as “Personal Struggle and the Word of Lament.” There are strong emotions expressed, stemming from a sense of insecurity and leading to an anguished cry for help. Here is someone who hates what God hates, is in awe of God and his laws, and is burning with righteous indignation against evildoers who treat them with contempt. He puts himself in school--God’s school--in order to learn his ways. He is conscious of the fact that he requires more than the knowledge his personal exertions can acquire. He also needs discernment and understanding, which God alone can give. More than that, he needs the capacity to put it all into action.
The godless, meanwhile, are in a position of strength--and they are not silent. Double-minded and arrogant, they oppress the righteous servant of God and actively seek to hinder him from doing what the Law requires. The psalmist’s response is an earnest plea for protection and strength to live out his convictions.
The books God Is Not Great and The God Delusion, which have been instant bestsellers in recent years, were published by committed atheists and were eagerly devoured by a public seeking to distance itself from God’s demands on their private and public lives. Both the personal struggle of this psalmist and his lament are appropriate reactions for all who love and value the Word of God like he did; and ours too are his cries for help!
Look at the last three verses again and make them a prayer from your heart.
Lord, I need to focus totally on You. When I look at society around me, I despair at the disregard for You and Your ways.