November 19 – Tsade - Psalm 119:137-144

Monday, November 19, 2012

November 19 – Tsade - Psalm 119:137-144

Righteous art thou, O LORD, and right are thy judgments.
Thou hast appointed thy testimonies in righteousness and in all faithfulness.
My zeal consumes me, because my foes forget thy words.
Thy promise is well tried, and thy servant loves it.
I am small and despised, yet I do not forget thy precepts.
Thy righteousness is righteous for ever, and thy law is true.
Trouble and anguish have come upon me, but thy commandments are my delight.
Thy testimonies are righteous for ever; give me understanding that I may live.

There is a lot of faith expressed in this strophe.  I wonder if I would ever be able to claim the same strength in my faith.

I don’t know about you, but when I am fighting my foes and am feeling small and despised, I don’t remember much that is good.  I get petty and bitter and angry and ugly. There are times it takes everything I have not to lash out in that anger and say terribly hurtful things.  I have learned throughout the years that my words generally make things worse, not better and a few moments of self-righteous indignation add up to time spent apologizing and begging forgiveness, so it has gotten easier for me to stop myself from saying those hurtful things out loud, but trust me, I still say them inside.

The Psalmist promises that he doesn't forget the Lord’s precepts and that the Lord’s commandments are his delight.  I’d like to think that was true about myself, but when I am at my angriest or am feeling hurt and wounded, or feel as if trouble and anguish are surrounding me, I am so self-focused, I can’t think about anything other than my pain.

One of the ideas the Psalmist lifts up, though is that of the Lord’s faithfulness and that His testimonies are righteous forever.  That is why I am able to pull out of those times when it seems as if darkness surrounds me and I lose sight of the Lord’s precepts and commandments.  Because no matter how long I choose to wallow in my anger and pain, the Lord’s view is longer and deeper. He can wait as long as it takes. He has all the time in the world and when I find Him again, the only thing I will find from Him is righteousness and faithfulness.  When I come before Him, those are what He offers me, all I have to do is accept.

Faith is what it takes for us to see that there is something beyond the murky mess we create in our lives.  Understanding this brings us life.