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  • East Martin CRC

Joy and Sorrow


Psalm 119:129-136

Verses 135-136 Make Your face shine on Your servant and teach me Your decrees. Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for Your law is not obeyed.


Having been taken from bondage to being redemption the psalmist now goes from humble joy to a breaking heart.


On a warm summer day there is something calming about turning your face upward with closed eyes and feeling the warmth of the sun melt away the troubles of the day. The sun has the ability to warm but also to burn. This is kind of what the psalmist understood about the Word of the Lord. It can be soothing and comforting or it can be cutting and burning as it removes the sinful thoughts and intentions from our hearts.


This is the desire of the heart of this man of song. He isn’t asking just for the goodness of the law but also the honing aspect of it. He wants to be trimmed of the things in his life that don’t match up with the Lord’s plans for his life. He doesn’t just want to know God’s grace, he wants to know how he can live in the favor of His gaze. He knew that God can’t look upon sin and his love of the Lord drove him to want to know the law better so that he could obey it to the best of his ability.


This song writer loved the Lord so much that he knew the desire to obey. He knew that it wasn’t about obeying because it was expected but giving over the control of one’s life to the One they said meant more to them than anything else. The psalmist knew that it was about being the servant who loved the Master and wanted to do what was being required of him so that it would bring the needed honor to his Lord.


It was this love for the Lord that caused the psalmist grief about those who don’t obey the Lord. He knew that by not obeying the law of the Lord, there were people who were actually saying that they don’t care about the Lord in the slightest way. Their love for themselves is stronger than their love for God and that breaks the psalmist’s heart. It should break our hearts too. Whether in ourselves or others, when we see that the law is unimportant to someone because their own agenda is more desirable to them, we should see it as a choice against God and His Word. That should bother us.


Making It Personal

Do you love to obey the law? When it comes to following a law that is hard for you, do you choose your will or His? What does your choice say about your love of the Lord?


Making It Personal Kids

Does obeying Jesus show that you love Him? If disobeying shows you don’t love Him, why would you ever choose not to obey? How can you obey Him today?


Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for loving us enough to give us Your law. Teach us to know Your Word in an ever increasing way. Help us find sorrow in our disobedience. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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