The young man in this psalm continues his story about the emotional, psychological, and spiritual struggles he went through trying to get a better understanding of why God called him and gave him his purpose in life. Philosophy concerns ideas about where we came from, why are we here, and where are we going. Others had their concepts, but he wanted to know what God had to say about it. That’s why he concentrated on searching God’s Word to find the answers. Human opinions are a dime a dozen, but often prove to be unreliable. But there is One whose opinion is worth its weight in gold, that’s the One the psalmist decided to follow and obey.

I want You to help me succeed and enjoy life by following Your advice; So give me greater understanding so I can comprehend the deeper truths found in Your teachings. My journey here on earth is like that of a pilgrim, so don’t conceal the wisdom of Your commandments from me. There’s nothing I want or desire more than to fully comprehend Your declarations. I’ve seen what You do to the unfortunate people who ignore Your commandments. That’s why I don’t want to be identified with them, because I’m serious about following Your instructions. And when those know-it-alls get together and disapproved of my dedication to You, I simply buried my face in Your principles for living. Your instructions not only proved to be a delight for me, but they served as my constant advisers.”

I admit, right now I’m sort of down in the dumps, but You said that Your advice would perk me up. After all, You and I agreed on what I should do, now let me see even clearer Your will for my life. I want to see firsthand how Your guidelines make life work, so I can better grasp the miracles You perform. Things seem to get harder and harder every day, so I need advice from You to cheer me up. I don’t want to pretend I’m happy; that’s why I ask You to give me the grace to understand Your teachings. I’ve made the right choice when I begin this journey; I will abide by all Your declarations for my life. So I plan to follow Your instructions, O LORD Eternal, don’t let it end up embarrassing me. I know there’s still more to learn about Your commandments, so I’m open to gaining more wisdom from You.” Psalm 119:17-32

Reflection: In his first inaugural address on Tuesday, January 20, 1981, President Ronald Reagan told of a young soldier named Private Martin Treptow, who left Al Popma’s barbershop in the small rural town of Cherokee, Iowa in 1917, to go fight in France with the famous 42nd Rainbow Division, where a young Chief of Staff named Colonel Douglas McArthur also served. On Monday, July 29, 1918, Treptow was sent to carry a message between battalions, but died in a heavy barrage of artillery fire. When they found his body, they discovered a diary inside his fatigue jacket, and on the flyleaf under the heading, “My Pledge,” Private Treptow had added these inspiring words just eight months before his death: “America shall win the war. Therefore, I will work, I will serve, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the whole issue of the struggle depended on me alone.” Not only did the crowd on inauguration day see tears in President Reagan’s eyes, but I’m sure if this Psalmist had been present we would have seen tears in his eyes as well. Such dedication brings warmth to any person’s heart, and makes them proud to be part of a society where such loyalty to one’s country is expressed. What wonderful examples both the psalmist and Pvt. Treptow give us as men of courage and resoluteness! God expects the same from us to be just as loyal to His kingdom, His word and His guidelines in times of spiritual warfare? Let your life’s story include such a heroic example to inspire others to remain true until the end? It’s your decision, just like that of the psalmist and this dedicated solider.

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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