Comfort as We Wait: A Meditation on Psalm 119:49-56

“Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope” (Psalm 119:49).

Every journey has an element of waiting–the next town, the long stretch of prairie highway, the back-up.  The journey of the Gospel is no different.  Having heard the good word, and having banked everything on the reality of that word, we now wait for heaven, asking God to remember that word for our sake.

But as we wait, what shall we do?  We are afflicted, scorned, and landless, sojourning in the midst of a dark culture that forsakes God’s law.  What shall we do?

Having called upon God to remember His word, we must remember our comfort.

Look ahead.  While sapped and drained now, we must remember that one saying of divine truth gives life.  “This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me” (v. 50).

Look behind.  While tempted to stretch beyond the bounds of God’s law, due to the taunting pressure of the pride of man, we must remember God’s eternal judgments–so settled compared to the shifting pressure of man–and having remembered, comfort ourselves.  “I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself” (v. 52).

And what if the world derides us as penniless?  Intense heat has snatched us from the wicked, and set us on a pilgrimage to heaven.  Though we are traveling light, and often at night, we are not traveling empty-mouthed or empty-handed.  God’s statutes have become our songs; and obeying His statutes, our belongings (vv. 54, 56).  Imagine!  We sing of His rules, and reckon obedience to these rules as our lasting possession.  From this we see where Jesus learned His radical conceptions and language: “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:34).  Like His apostle, He was reckoned “as having nothing, and yet possessing all things” (2 Corinthians 6:10).

How about you?  What do you possess as you sojourn to heaven?

According to Southern agrarian Richard M. Weaver, in his book Ideas Have Consequences, your private property identifies you.  It is said to be private by force of this identification.  For Jesus, His obedience identified Him.  He owned it, and He was rich indeed.  As for our lives, we need to prune all rivals and to value principled obedience to God’s word, until we have nothing else in the waiting room of life.

Comfort.  Comfort for the journey.  His word before me, His judgments behind me; His rules within my mouth, and obedience to His rules within my hand–this is what defines the man that waits on account of His word.  “Remember the word for Your servant, on account of which I wait” (v. 49).  Amen.


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