My soul longs for your salvation;
I hope in your word.
My eyes long for your promise;
I ask, “When will you comfort me?”
For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke,
yet I have not forgotten your statutes.
How long must your servant endure?
When will you judge those who persecute me?
The insolent have dug pitfalls for me;
they do not live according to your law.
All your commandments are sure;
they persecute me with falsehood; help me!
They have almost made an end of me on earth,
but I have not forsaken your precepts.
In your steadfast love give me life,
that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth. -Psalm 119:81-88, ESV
-the Psalmist seems to be crying out to God
"For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke." That is the line that has caught my attention, mainly because I did not know what it meant. A little research has revealed that a if a wineskin is left in the smoke it becomes hard, cracks, and is not of much use. What a state the Psalmist feels he is in! You can just hear his cries for deliverance in these verses:
-I long for Your salvation
-I long for Your promise
-how long must I endure
I feel like I am in a pretty good place right now. Life is easy and pleasant for the most part. I am not experiencing any such anguish of the soul. But if I do- when I do- I need to remember who God is and the promises He has made to me. I need to remember His word, to let His words fill me with comfort and hope. Just like the psamist we need to "hang our hats" on the closing verse of this section...In Your steadfast love give me life.
The Psalmist just said that those who were persecuting were near to ending his life on earth. On earth. They can kill the body, but he knew there was more to this life. The life that God offers us goes beyond this body, goes beyond the life we now know. He promises us life everlasting with Him, He promises us peace and rest. So many times I have had to ask myself, "What am I really afraid of?" Matthew 10:28 reminds me that I need not fear those who can only kill the body. Romans 8:38 reminds me that nothing, not even death, can separate me from the love of God.
This weekend I gathered with others to bid farewell to a beloved friend who no longer dwells on earth. She has been completely healed and now dwells with God. Even while she was suffering the effects of cancer she continued to live for the Lord. She was such a sweet voice of encouragement to me many times over the past year-even after her cancer diagnosis this past fall. She served as an example to me of what it means to live for Christ while we walk this earth. So I simply close today's thoughts with Psalm 119:88- In your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,
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I am a woman with a Mary heart and these are my musings as I read and study God's Word
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