Psalm 119:81-88: Help Me!
June 11, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Have you ever been in a situation where you feel like you cannot take it anymore? You have been burdened by so many things, so much criticism, or such great calamity that you feel that you are at the end of your rope? The psalmist is somewhere close to that in this part of the psalm. He is “longing” for God’s salvation, “longing” for his promise (119:81-82), because he has “become like a wineskin in the smoke” (119:83). What an evocative description! Spluttering, hot, unpleasant!
What is more, those who oppose him (“the insolent”) “have dug pitfalls” for him (119:85). They are out to get him, and there are traps everywhere. They also “persecute him with falsehood” (119:86). He really is in a tough spot.
What can he do about it? In many ways, in this psalm that is all about God’s Word, this part of the psalm indicates that prayer is the answer. “I ask, ‘When will you comfort me?’” (119:82). He is in relationship with God, asking God to intervene. “How long must your servant endure? When will you judge those who persecute me?” (119:84). He is relying on God’s Word (“All your commandments are sure,” 119:86), but in many ways a simple two words summarize his approach in this situation:
“Help me!” (119:86).
Perhaps you need to pray that this morning. Do not be embarrassed or surprised to ask God for help. There is a time to stand tall and confident, and there is a time to kneel in earnest prayer that God would help you.
The great Charles Simeon used to devote the hours of 4 to 8 a.m. each morning to prayer. The more burdens you have, the more you will have to pray about. And it may be that if you are facing “calamity,” that that calamity has come upon you just so that you might develop further your relationship with God. Perhaps it will begin by uttering two simple words to God: help me.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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