Your statutes are wonderful;
therefore I obey them.
God’s words are intended to provoke us to wonder: I say, what is this living voice, this guide, this life? I cannot comprehend it with my mind, yet I love it – I love him! I obey out of devoted wonder. All of your laws are for my good – the prompting of the spirit will always bring good fruit, so do not fear it.
The unfolding of your words gives light,
it gives understanding to the simple.
The light of a clear day and joyful hope – all from an unfolded word. But it is in unfolding – in the process – that at last I understand – not just knowing about God’s words, but knowing them, ‘gnawing’ them like Petersen, living them – and seeing them in Jesus in the Gospel.
I open my mouth and pant,
longing for your commands.
Yes Lord – the prompting of your spirit and the leading of other believers, I long for them. Teach me to love your scriptures even more as well.
Turn to me and have mercy on me,
as you always do to those who call on your name.
Satisfy me, O Lord! Give yourself to me! I am hungry and I seek real bread. I want to feast on you in my heart, Lord Jesus – to eat with rejoicing.
Direct my footsteps according to your word;
let no sin rule over me.
In every stepping place – every single footfall – I long to have your spirit close to me, empowering me, checking me, so that I am continually walking in your way. Then let sin depart from my life, Lord, sanctified in you.
Redeem me from the oppression of men,
that I may obey your precepts.
Yes, God, you take nothing that is not already yours. You made me, invented me, possessed me, so you can redeem me back. I wouldn’t live in the worldliness of human culture, I’d rather be bought out placed somewhere I can obey.
Make your face shine upon your servant
and teach me your decrees.
This is the only way for me to learn, Lord – if I see you and experience you. That is your teaching – the only real teaching – to expose yourself to us and to show us yourself. Your servant is ready to look up during his labours when he hears his master’s voice.
Streams of tears fall from my eyes,
for your law is not obeyed.
Touch me, then Father, with sorrow for sin and ungodliness. Let me have this full life that grieves deeply, hopes heartily and acts upon its intentions boldly and clearly. Only you are God and in you is all life. Amen.