You are my portion, O Lord;
I have promised to obey your words.
He is what we are allotted, now; not a thing, but a person, not a future idea or a dream of success but relationship – this follows on from our promise to obey, and then sustains it – which began by inspiration and continues by inspiration as we give over our will to his spirit in us.
I have sought your face with all my heart
Be gracious to me according to your promise.
The writer’s past has been one of seeking God’s face – can we say it is our past too? Our heart will divide if we do not give it over to God and still then we have to seek him – like being in love and wanting to see your friend, not being content to know they are there! But God’s promises of grace from the beginning of all things to now are the things that will allow us to have this undivided heart.
I have considered my ways
and have turned my steps to your statutes.
That really is the only option! To turn again onto the path and keep walking. The statutes are a stairway in places, every step forward taking us a step up, in other places a meadow or a rocky cliff-edge.
I will hasten and not delay
to obey your commands.
It is a rush! Like a man hurrying home, shifting his pack high. As I read this now, I feel convicted, but I also remember the adrenalin of running after the Lord’s ways. Do you? Nothing else feels like that!
Though the wicked bind me with ropes,
I will not forget your law.
Like a man off the path, longing to be walking the high ways, over the hills, even though he is restrained, his mind and his spirit still travel with the Lord. It’s not the destination, but the company…
At midnight I will rise to give you thanks
for your righteous laws.
Relevant at midnight and at all other times. Rising in the body is good – it prepares us to rise in our spirits as well.
I am a friend to all who fear you,
to all who follow your precepts.
By virtue of the grace given to all of us – and don’t I love being in brotherhood! Finding a new brother is sweet, and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the brothers are wise if they set out to go walking together.
The Earth is filled with your love, O Lord,
teach me your decrees.
The view from the top of the hill. Our response has to be awe: how did you do it, Lord? Show me what makes you so good. I want to be where you are!