How Long Must Your Servant Wait? - Psalm 119k - Kaph

Psalm 119

81 My soul faints with longing for Your salvation,
- but I have put my hope in Your Word.
82 My eyes fail looking for Your promise;
- I say, “When will You comfort me?”
83 Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke,
- I do not forget Your decrees.
84 How long must Your servant wait?
- When will You punish those who persecute me?
85 The arrogant dig pitfalls for me,
- contrary to Your law.
86 All Your commands are worthy of trust;
- help me, for men persecute me without cause.
87 They almost wiped me from the earth,
- but I have not forsaken Your precepts.
88 Preserve my life according to Your love,
- and I will obey the statutes of Your mouth.

My soul faints with longing for Your salvation - There will be times when it seems that our soul seems to suffocate. These will occur even if (or perhaps especially if...) we are steadfastly looking for manifestations of the Lord's Kingdom on this earth. That kind of "looking" is good and was encouraged by the Lord Jesus when He taught us to pray saying, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." When we come up against the contradictions, whether within ourselves or without, that resistance sucks the "air" out of our present hopes, and our soul faints. At times like these we are dependent on the true resurrection life of our Lord coming into us to raise us up.

But I have put my hope in Your Word -  On the day that Jesus was crucified, the adoring crowds and devoted disciples were gone. His own Father had turned Him over to the evil desires of sinful men who were thinking that they were doing God a service. No one and no thing from this realm below could deliver Him from the things He was suffering. His body and His soul were fainting, succumbing to death. Nevertheless, right before Jesus died, he cried out, "Into Thy hands I commend My Spirit." With no visible evidence  (or otherwise sensory) of any kind to support it, Jesus was still entertaining hope in His Father's faithfulness to every Word He had ever spoken.
My eyes fail, looking for Your promise.
I say, “When will You comfort me?” - When Jesus died, even His most dedicated disciples were despondent and crushed. They had invested everything they had in full persuasion that Jesus was the One whom God had promised to restore Israel. Despite the teachings of Jesus concerning his sufferings and death, they underestimated the nature and depth of the deliverance that Jesus came to bring about for Israel and the nations, and were blindsided by His arrest, trial and crucifixion. For two days and two nights they suffered the loss of all things. They were collapsing in despair.


Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke... The two disciples on the road to Emmaus complained to Jesus (before they recognized Him) - "What is more, it is the third day since all this took place." In other words, they had remembered the words of Jesus that He would be raised again on the third day (I do not forget Your decrees); but now it was well into the third day and they had grown weary waiting for a manifestation of the promise. They had stopped hoping. If "He" had been the Messiah, surely He would have come by now. How long must Your servant wait? When will You punish those who persecute me? Jesus paid the full penalty of our sin. He left no bill to our charge. He has conquered every foe. He has even poured out on us His very own Spirit. So what is up with His patience for the opposition that we still face? Psalm 59:11 says "Slay them not lest my people forget." The Lord desires to have a people that know Him in the heights... and in the depths (Eph 3:18). To accomplish this, He even puts hooks in the jaws of our enemies (Ezk 38:4) and brings them against us so that we might have need to discover those depths. The wicked think that these schemes are their own idea to undermine God's design. The arrogant dig pitfalls for me, contrary to Your law. However, as soon as His purpose in us is accomplished (though not a moment before) He will destroy them by the brightness of His coming (2Thes 2:8).

All Your commands are worthy of trust; help me, for men persecute me without cause.
Job says, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." Abraham trusted God to keep His promises concerning Isaac even if it meant raising him from the dead. These things are written for our admonition, so that we (upon whom the ends of the world have come) would not be overthrown in the wilderness of our trials. He has commanded that we suffer, but His command is tempered with hope that we will lay hold of all that He is. May the Lord help us to trust Him until the end.

They almost wiped me from the earth, but I have not forsaken Your precepts.
It may seem to our flesh and soul that God has forsaken us, but He is a master craftsman who is fashioning pure vessels of hope. In our hour of temptation, when all seems lost, may we say with this Psalmist, "but I have not forsaken Your precepts."

Preserve my life according to Your love, and I will obey the statutes of Your mouth.
  I love this line. The Psalmist is asking LARGE. Is there any greater attribute of God than His love that one could appeal to? I think not. Though seemingly cast off and left for dead, he has cast himself upon the "I will's" of God (see Ez 37 & 38) and has found those words of God coming forth out of his own mouth. Of course, Jesus is our great forerunner and anchor in all of this. He who tasted death for every man is with us at this very moment, bring these exceedingly great and precious promises close at hand.

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