Thoughts for the Day

Wednesday, 15th March 2023: Teach, help, seek

Teaching Seeking Help Psalm 119

Reading : Verses from Psalm 119

Psalm 119

Let my cry come before you, O Lord;
give me understanding according to your word.
Let my supplication come before you;
deliver me according to your promise.
My lips will pour forth praise,
because you teach me your statutes.
My tongue will sing of your promise,
for all your commandments are right.
Let your hand be ready to help me,
for I have chosen your precepts.
I long for your salvation, O Lord,
and your law is my delight.
Let me live that I may praise you,
and let your ordinances help me.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek out your servant,
for I do not forget your commandments.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Here we have verses from the queen of all psalms, Psalm 119 - from the last of the 22 stanzas. We have looked at this psalm before, and noted the way it has been written like an acrostic, with each stanza starting with a new letter of the alphabet. We have also looked at the dominant theme of the Law and the eight words this is broken down into, eg 'precepts', 'commandments', 'statutes', etc in the 176 verses of the psalm. If you have ever sung or listened to a choir sing this as a marathon, over and over for hours as I have, then these themes will have become embedded in your mind!

The last stanza, above brings the whole appeal from the psalmist together. It is a cry to live, for his life is in danger. He begs for understanding and to be taught the ways of the Lord. While he seeks help he also wants to know what the Lord wants of him. The most poignant thing is that he knows he has sinned, and like a lost sheep has gone astray. Yet he is still the Lord's servant, and he will not forget His laws. We can see Jesus picking up this theme in the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax-Collector (Luke 18.9-14).


Lord Jesus,
may we not forget read Your word,
that teaches us to love others.
May we not forget to ask for You pardon,
and the forgiveness of others.
May we not forget to implore Your help,
even when we do not deserve it.

Follow Up Thoughts

For the extremely keen:

  • Click on the button at the top of the page titled "Psalm 119", and up will pop all the 'Thoughts for the Day' based on this psalm for the last almost three years!

Or play this recording from the NIV Bible:

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