I’ve been meditating on Psalm 119:57-64 this morning as the Psalmist reflects on the course of his life. He starts the section by declaring “the Lord is my portion.” I tried to really get my mind around that phrase and found it rather difficult. I’m sure a more learned scholar than I could get it more quickly, but I found it to be one of those little phrases that pops up in Scripture every now and again and we sort of miss it’s impact.
The Lord is my portion. That is to say, the Lord is my inheritance…the Lord is MINE! That’s pretty strong when you think about it. What right do I have to say that the Lord is mine? I suppose in a simple “god-servant” relationship, I don’t have much right. I could only say that I am God’s, which is true as He is maker of heaven and earth and all within it. Yet, it goes much deeper than that. Unless there is something more personal, the phrase is empty. It seems to me that the only way I can say that God is mine, is if there is an intimate relationship in which the greater (God) desires to give Himself to the lesser (me). Man, think about that…the Greater desires to give Himself to the lesser. Wow! Don’t miss that.
If we can really grasp that, it makes sense that the Psalmist then says, “I promise to keep your words.” The depth of love that leads an omnipotent and totally transcendent God to lower Himself to me should lead me to nothing more than a declaration that I will keep your words…I will do whatever You say. What an amazing God You are! What other response can there be?
Then comes a great little sentence: “When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies.” Another translation reads, “I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws.” I like that because it demonstrates not a blind faith, but a reasonable one. I have not followed after God because I need a hollow crutch (though the more I understand the depth of my depravity, the more I understand that I really do need a strong one!) or some fairy tale to blindly believe in. I have followed Him because I know my own inability to make good choices and navigate the choppy waters of daily decisions without wrecking the vessel that is my life and know that He, as Creator, is also the Navigator that brings me safely into port. I know that He is the one who designed this life and that by following Him, I will have the abundant life promised. Hmm…make my own choices and, while being autonomous, live in the misery my autonomy gets me or turn to follow His guidance through His Word and experience amazing life beyond measure. No brainer.
This leads me, as it does the Psalmist, to “rise at midnight to thank you for your just regulations.” How could I make it without the grace given me by God in Christ? “At midnight” is just another way of saying, “at all times I am aware of your mercy to reveal Yourself to me and to provide me with direction and I worship You in response to it.” Every moment of every day should be an experience of worship because we are ever mindful of the shear grace of a loving God to hold onto us, though He receives nothing (as He needs nothing – see Acts 17:24-25) in return. As Steven Curtis Chapman said in a recent song: “This is a moment made for worshiping, cause this is a moment I’m alive.” What a great statement. All of life, for a Christ-follower, is a worship experience because “he gives to all life and breath and everything.”
Inhale…exhale – That was a gift…now worship Him for it.