I call with all my heart; answer me , O Lord,
and I will obey your decrees.
Like Hannah, calling from her sorrow and the Lord speaking in sorrow to Samuel regarding Eli’s sons. I call – you answer – because we are in a conversation. This isn’t a deal – ‘I will do what you say if I can hear you say it’, but ‘I will obey your will because I have heard your voice and hearing it shows me how to respond.
I call out to you; save me
and I will keep your statutes.
My cries result in salvation – Romans 10:10 teaches that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, you will be saved – this is living the rich, full life and enjoying your daily salvation – continually confessing that Jesus, the saviour, is one with the Father, and that the Father is a saving God. To do this is to be obedient in the greatest matter, keeping the first statute of all statutes.
I will rise before dawn and cry for help,
I have put my hope in your word.
My existing hope does not lead me to isolation – I cry for help regularly – daily – for the day to come. Your word is living, so I can hope in it with my spirit as much as my mind – in fact, often my spirit should be better equipped to deal with a day than my mind, because even if I do not know what is coming, I have confident faith of my Father’s provision.
My eyes stay open through the watches of the night,
that I may meditate on your promises.
And my spiritual eyes even in sleep! Chewing and digesting the goodness of this diet means sometimes staying awake to study, pray and experience God’s promises being fulfilled.
Hear my voice in accordance with your love;
preserve my life, O Lord, according to your laws.
Perfectly reciprocal relationship here: God longs to hear our voice – this is what he loves – and he desires to preserve us – his laws actually legislate for long and satisfying life. So when we ask him for these, he will fulfill our requests.
Those who devise wicked schemes are near,
but they are far from your law.
It is distinct and plain, isn’t it? Sometimes people planning wicked things – and there is not righteous thing outside God’s word and promise in Christ Jesus – are very near by us, in our family, or physically near, even encroaching on us. But their distance from the correct path means that we shall always leave them behind as we continue on our walk to Jerusalem. Their schemes are to preserve themselves or improve their lot: our call is to be changed by remaining in Christ’s company.
Yet you are near, O Lord,
and all your commands are true.
Staying close to his word is close to him and the words he says become more and more true as we try them and live them. Amen!
Long ago I learned from your statutes
that you established them to last forever.
Yes – as a child I knew that your Word is eternal – and now I increasingly know with experience and am beginning to know that lasting forever is a joyous life you have prepared for me too.