Psalm 119 is the longest psalm in the Bible, At first glance, it may appear to be repetitive and so long, that we easily skim through it. However, by looking at it closely, we see an amazing litany of praise, worship, confession, love, despair, and hope from a life poured out on and before God. Here is a life, devoted to God, expressed in Psalm 119. We will look at verses 145-160.
Save Me God – QOPh
“Answer my passionate prayer, O Lord, and I’ll obey everything you say. Save me, God, and I’ll follow your every instruction. Before the day dawns, I’ll be crying out for help and wrapping your words into my life.” Psalm 119:145-147 TPT
The psalmist begins this section with two requests and three ‘I wills.’ First, he asks God to answer his prayer. Not just any old prayer – his passionate prayer, adding, “I will” obey everything you say. Then he asks to be saved and promises that he will follow every instruction. To add emphasis to his passion, he elaborates on his own actions.
Here is where we see his devotion demonstrated in his willingness to act. He will rise before dawn, cry out, and wrap God’s words into his life. Webster’s Dictionary defines devotion as the fact or state of being ardently dedicated and loyal. Ardently means: characterized by warmth of feeling typically expressed in eager zealous support or activity. The psalmist’s cry is from a zealous, eager, dedication because devotion is more than simply liking someone or something.
His devotion is also shown in his willingness to act. He freely asks God for everything he needs but is also willing to take personal action. This is something we have seen throughout the Psalm – Asking and acting. That is also a sign of true devotion.
His requests: answer me; and, save me.
His actions: I will obey; I will follow; and, I will wrap the Word into my life.
He asks big and is willing to give big in return.
Devoted to the Breath of Life
“I lie awake every night pondering your promises to me. Lord, listen to my heart’s cry, for I know your love is real for me; breathe life into me again by the revelation of your justice.” Psalm 119:148-149 TPT
This man is not treating his relationship with God lightly. Here he is, lying awake at night, pondering God’s promises. The wonderful result of his meditation, or pondering, is a heart crying out – “I know Your love for me is real!?” So often, Christians seem to be unsure of God’s love for them. Perhaps this man’s deep assurance of God’s love for him corresponds to the depth of his devotion and pursuit of God so clearly expressed throughout Psalm 119.So often, Christians seem to be unsure of God's love for them. Perhaps this man's deep assurance of God's love for him corresponds to the depth of his devotion and pursuit of God so clearly expressed throughout Psalm 119. Click To Tweet
Again, he has a request – listen to my heart’s cry. I’m sure all of us have prayed something similar to that – a prayer of deep need spoken in the dark while searching for light. He follows the request with the affirmation of God’s love and then another request – “breathe life into me again by the revelation of your justice.” I love the part about asking God to breathe His life into me. However, asking for that by the revelation of God’s justice seems strange to me so I looked at other translations.
New Living said it this way, “In your faithful love, O Lord, hear my cry; let me be revived by following your regulations.” Again, I have never thought of laws or regulations as a source of revival! The Hebrew word used, kə·miš·pā·ṭe·ḵā, is actually justice. God’s justice is sure, unchanging and, for Christians, His justice was executed through the blood of Jesus. We can rely on His justice because it is always correct and this can truly bring God’s breath of life into us because we understand the firm foundation God has placed us on.
Devotion to God’s True and Unchanging Word
“Here they come—these lawless rebels are coming near, but they are all so far away from your laws. God, you are near me always, so close to me; every one of your commands reveals truth. I’ve known all along how true and unchanging is every word you speak, established forever!” Psalm 119:150-152 TPT
The Psalmist continues with the theme of God’s truth, but he starts by telling God about the lawless rebels who are coming near him. His comfort is that, though lawlessness is near, God is even closer. He understands that God knows, but he keeps every aspect of His life in God’s ears.
He comments on the truth of God’s word twice, acknowledging that God’s commands, justice, revealed truth, and words are always true and unchanging. Established forever These words bring comfort because, no matter what changes around us, the God whose breath of life is in us, never leaves, lies, or changes. The Psalmist can stand on God’s truth and so can we.
Breathe Life Into me Again – Resh
Devoted to God – My Hero
“Look upon all my misery and come be my hero to rescue me, for I will never forget what you’ve revealed to me. Take my side and defend me in these sufferings; redeem me and revive me, just like you promised you would.” Psalm 119:153-154 TPT
The psalmist starts this section by asking God for six things:
- Look upon all my misery
- Come be my hero and rescue me
- Take my side
- Defend me
- Redeem me
- Revive me
In the middle, he reminds God that he will never forget what God has revealed to him and, at the end, he reminds God of His own promise toward mankind and the psalmist in particular. He is not ashamed to ask for help or to remind God of His promises. This is someone who is in a close-knit relationship with God, yet he does not take God for granted. He is asking not ordering, yet reminding. There is ease, respect, and trust between God and the psalmist – exactly the kind of relationship God wants with us.
Devotion to God’s Tender Mercies
“The wicked are so far from salvation, for they could not care less about your message of truth. Your tender mercies are what I need, O God; give me back my life again through the revelation of your judgments.” Psalm 119:155-156 TPT
I have not been around anyone I would consider to be ‘wicked’ for any length of time. I have definitely spent time with unbelievers, those who mocked God, and harmed others, and it is difficult and tiring. There is a weariness that comes with it. Perhaps this is because we feel the grief of the Holy Spirit inside us when we are in a situation where we can’t say anything about Jesus to these people.
As I read this, I wondered if that was the situation for the Psalmist. Twice he talks about the wicked and asks God to give him his life back through God’s breath and the revelation of His judgments. Perhaps, these wicked people really were trying to take his life. In other verses, he states that they are. Of course, we know how to triumph over evil but the psalmist is acknowledging the weariness of the battle along with the fact that he knows exactly how to find his life-strength again. He also knows that God’s tender mercies are the medicine he needs.
“I have so many enemies who persecute me, yet I won’t swerve from following your ways. I grieve when I see how the faithless ones live, for they just walk away from your promises.” Psalm 119:157-158 TPT
Persecution is not something I have experienced, at least not in the way I think of persecution. I have never been threatened with death for my faith. If this was David talking, he had faced persecution at the hands of his friends and family. Indeed, he had every reason to be weary from the battle.
Yet. That one word holds great meaning in this context. It indicates someone who has taken a stand. He is unmovable and unswerving. He is devoted to following God’s ways and will not be taken off track, even by persecution. He has staked his life on God and His ways.
He could be angry but, here, he displays his grief over the way the faithless ones live. He is grieved because they walk away from God’s promises. In his devotion to God, he also has God’s heart for the lost.
Loving Devotion to God’s instructions
“Lord, see how much I truly love your instructions. So in your tender kindness, breathe life into me again. The sum total of all your words adds up to absolute truth, and every one of your righteous decrees is everlasting.” Psalm 119:159-160 TPT
Again, the psalmist asks for something – to be seen. We need this also. Even in the natural, we have a need to be seen, known, acknowledged. Being treated as if you are invisible is a devastating thing. You lose all value. We need to be valued and loved. He wants to affirm that God sees him and sees his love for God’s instructions.
God’s tender-kindness blows life into the psalmist again. Here is his comfort and his assurance that he is seen and known by God. If God breathes His very life into someone, this means He sees, knows, cares, and answers. What greater comfort and assurance could we have?God's tender-kindness blows life into the psalmist again. Here is his comfort and his assurance that he is seen and known by God. If God breathes His very life into someone, this means He sees, knows, cares, and answers. What greater… Click To Tweet
He ends this section with what could be considered an affirmation of faith. “The sum total of all God’s words add up to absolute truth.” It is so easy to read that and miss how profound it is. There is no one else of whom this could be said. I do not know any human being who, if you added all their words together, would be found to have only spoken the truth – not one lie or error. This statement can only be true of God.
Affirmation of Devotion
Each one of God’s righteous decrees is everlasting. Again, there is no other of whom this can be said. The words of certain people have certainly lasted for thousands of years but none are everlasting. These two statements are incredible. We read them easily because we believe them, but we must never take them for granted or lose the awe of their truth.
Devotion to God is a serious matter. For the psalmist, he knew his devotion could cost him his life, yet he was unwavering in it. His devotion did not depend on circumstances or having everything go his way. Instead, it was fixed firmly upon the love and character of God.
The 8 Points of Devotion
- Willing Devotion – devotion that says “I will” and takes action.
- Breath of Life Devotion – knowing where life comes from and asking God to breathe it in when needed.
- Devotion to God’s Word – to its constant truth and power.
- Devotion to Your Hero – to the one who saves you when you call.
- Devotion to God’s Tender Mercies – calling upon them to restore you.
- Unswerving Devotion – your life is built on the rock and you will not move.
- Devotion to God’s Instructions – a devotion which willingly, gratefully, and fully accepts the truths of God’s instructions.
- Affirmations of Devotion – out-loud acknowledgment of the everlasting nature of God’s words, ways, love and power.
I pray this study in Psalm 119 is blessing you, bringing hope, stronger faith, deeper love, and a sense of wonder about our incredible God!
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**We use verses from different Bible translations.
To see more information about the copyright for each one, please visit our Scripture Citations.
You might also be interested in reading all of the Blogs on Psalm 119. Here are the links.