I think I’ve really believed it for some time now. But as I hover over it afresh this morning, I believe it more now than I’ve ever believed it.
Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word. Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law. I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not Your commandments from me!
(Psalm 119:17-18 ESV)
Deal bountifully. That’s a grace plea. Don’t deserve anything, much less the God of heaven’s bountiful provision. But need it? That’s another matter entirely. How I need the God of heaven’s bountiful provision in order to live. Not just to do life, but to really live as we were created to live, bearing the image of God, flourishing as children of God.
Open my eyes. I’m processing that as a parallel petition to verse one’s plea.
Deal bountifully = Open my eyes.
The way I can live as I was created, and re-created, to live is by keeping His word. But apart from His bountiful provision in opening my eyes I am unable to behold what needs to be beheld. And beholding is vitally important. For I truly am a sojourner on the earth.
I become more and more convinced that I can’t do life apart from His word. And life that is done apart from His word is sub-optimized life. A cheap replica of life. Less life than the abundant life that He desires for us (Jn. 10:10). Like I said, I’ve really believed this for some time now, but I believe it more today than ever.
I know I believe it because it is increasingly hard for me to start the day if I am not starting most days in His word. That’s not a boast, it’s just a reality. Not because of my great discipline but because of my great desperation. I’m a sojourner and I need His word to navigate this increasingly complex world. Psalm 119:18 is as much my prayer today as it was 10 or 15 years ago. Perhaps more so.
An old gospel song comes to mind, “I can’t even walk without You holding my hand” (you can check it out here). True statement? I’m thinking. And while there are many metaphysical and transcendent ways in which God can hold our hand, isn’t there a pretty tangible way as well, through His living and active and ever accessible Word? I’m thinkin’ that too.
And honestly (not that I’m ever trying to be dishonest), I don’t know that we really get a grasp on His hand, or He gets a grasp on ours, if we’re seeking wondrous things from His word on a hit-and-miss, only on Sunday, whenever I feel like it basis. Regular, meaningful interaction with God’s word sets us up for practically realizing His bountiful provision for us as He opens our eyes through an encounter of the divine kind — the Spirit of God illuminating the word of God to children of God. Giving wisdom and discernment and power as we navigate our way through this culture, desperately needing to know how to sojourn in a way that’s truly for our good and His glory.
Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.
(Psalm 119:24 ESV)
My delight. My counselors.
Bountifully revealed by His abundant grace. Wondrously presented to eyes He opens for His everlasting glory.