Hovering over the third stanza of Psalm 119 this morning. In it is one of my life verses, not surprised to encounter it. But this morning I also encounter a verse which particularly resonates for the first time. Bottom line, thanks to Spurgeon’s tutoring this morning, I am reminded that I just need to pray about it!
Within Psalm 119:17-24 there are four asks: deal generously (v.17); open my eyes (v.18); do not hide (v.19); take away (v.22). Three of these I’ve chewed on before. The fourth is new food for thought this morning.
The first prayer (v.17) is that God would not deal with the songwriter according to what he deserved, but that God would instead deal bountifully (ESV) with him. The psalmist acknowledging that he first needed God to graciously and generously make him alive to God’s word if he were to have any shot at keeping God’s word.
The next two prayers are flip sides of the same coin. Open my eyes to wondrous things in Your word (v.18) has been the “theme verse” for my morning devo time for years. To accentuate his desire, the psalmist also pleads that God would withhold nothing of His heavenly ways from this earthly wanderer (v.19). You gotta see it in order to receive it. It’s gotta be put on the plate before you can feed on it. How we need the Spirit to open our eyes to what’s in God’s word.
And maybe it’s that ask which is why the last ask ends up rolling around in my head.
Take insult and contempt away from me,
for I have kept Your decrees.
(Psalm 119:22 CSB)
Honestly, while it jumped off the page, I didn’t know quite how to process it. So, as I sometimes do when in the Psalms, I pulled up Spurgeon’s “Treasury” to help me digest this meal.
“These are painful things to tender minds. David could bear them for righteousness sake, but they were a heavy yoke, and he longed to be free from them. To be slandered, and then to be despised in consequence of the vile accusation, is a grievous affliction. No one likes to be traduced, or even to be despised. He who says, ‘I care nothing for my reputation,’ is not a wise man, for in Solomon’s esteem, ‘a good name is better than precious ointment.’ The best way to deal with slander is to pray about it: God will either remove it, or remove the sting from it. Our own attempts at clearing ourselves are usually failures; we are like the boy who wished to remove the blot from his copy, and by his bungling made it ten times worse. When we suffer from a libel it is better to pray about it than go to law over it, or even to demand an apology from the inventor. O ye who are reproached, take your matters before the highest court, and leave them with the Judge of all the earth. God will rebuke your proud accuser; be ye quiet and let your advocate plead your cause.”— Spurgeon, Treasury of David
Pray about it. What more needs to be said?
Leave it with Me. Yes, Lord.
By Your grace. For Your glory.