Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Epiphany 7a - Psalm 119:33-40

Psalm 119:33-40
Teach me your decrees. Give me understanding. Direct me to delight in your commands that my heart might be turned from selfish gain and my eyes from worthless things. Fulfill your promise and take away the disgrace I dread. It would seem the psalmist has firsthand knowledge of the disgrace of selfish gain and worthless things as, perhaps, do we all. “All we like sheep have gone astray, each of us to our own way”  is how the prophet Isaiah describes the time before we came to our senses to see how far we had strayed and in all our longing how secure we might be, if only… That “if only” is the pivotal point of these verses but the whole point is that the psalmist is wholly dependent on God to teach, give, direct, turn, fulfill and take away. Which means the psalmist is wholly dependent on the Lord to turn the course of worthless wanderings to life preserving paths of righteousness. So what part do we play in all of this? The same part the psalmist plays which is to pray the longing of the heart to know and be known by God or to quote a Kris Kristofferson classic, “Lord, help me, Jesus…”


  1. Thought provoking message, as usual. Thanks.

  2. A friend posted on my FB page that she never understood Garth Brooks' song "Unanswered Prayers" b/c God always answers prayers even if that answer is "no." To me, what the song is really about is being grateful to a God who, as a wise and loving parent, gives us what we need not what we want. We are told that if we ask according to God's will, he hears our prayers. Maybe asking for things we don't need puts us in "discord" with our Father like an out of rhythm clanging cymbal; or like a selfish, whiny child...