17 DEAL bountifully* with Your servant,
… That I may live and keep Your word.
18 OPEN my eyes, that I may see
… Wondrous things from Your law.
19 I AM a stranger in the earth;
… Do not hide Your commandments from me.
20 MY soul breaks with longing
… For Your judgments at all times.
21 YOU rebuke the proud—the cursed,
… Who stray from Your commandments.
22 REMOVE from me reproach and contempt,
… For I have kept Your testimonies.
23 PRINCES also sit and speak against me,
… But Your servant meditates on Your statutes.
24 YOUR testimonies also are my delight
… And my counselors.
BOUNTY (bountiful): a premium or reward, especially one offered by a government <Heaven? (Online Dictionary)
. . . . . PREMIUM: of exceptional quality or greater value than others of its kind; superior; of higher price or cost (Online Dictionary)
Me, His much-loved
The psalmist is not shy with his request(v.17), and after viewing a sunset lavished with living color, it’s clear You are not a scrooge-god. (What purpose does a lavish sunset have beyond wowing mankind?) So I’m also petitioning You to “deal with” the utmost generosity and liberal favor toward me so that I, too, can keep Your word and be truly alive on earth. Starting today…
You are responding to the Spirit’s whisper to seek intimacy with Me, and My heart is rejoicing, for in My presence is the healthiest place you could be. And, yes, I AM generous with spiritual gifts and blessings, and that sunset you admire is Me charming your soul with a glimpse of My exuberant glory. Keep this your priority: seeking first the kingdom and My righteousness. As you do this, ask Me for spiritual vision (v.18), because without “seeing” as the Holy Spirit sees (not merely what, but as), only then will My law appeal to your mind and heart and satisfy your soul.
Keep in mind that you live only temporarily “in earth” as a stranger (v.19), and faith in Me is required if you desire to live victoriously (v.22). Your spirit is already safe in heaven, your true residency, so you have nothing to worry about on earth. I purchased you with blood to free you from spiritual darkness (Jn 12:46). That’s why you experience (v.20) the spiritual battle of two trees (Knowledge & Life). For your soul is constantly in need and crushed with longing to align with My word and My ways, which greatly surpasses the world’s cumulative ‘wisdom.’
Me: His much-loved earthen vessel
I’m aware of my weakness and the natural inclination to follow my pride and live according to my own understanding of what is good and evil (Gen 2:9). And I know You rebuke those who act presumptuously. Help me to stay in Your righteousness and to stay out of a self-inflicted state of self-cursedness (v.21).
Presumptuous living is impossible when you seek Me first in all things. I am at your side always, so do not waste energy worrying about staying out of trouble or focusing on the “don’t do this and that” as the Pharisees do. Instead, pursuit love. If you should fall into pride in the process and stray from righteousness, I will lovingly rebuke you (v.21). Thank Me for this, for my rebuke is today’s mercy triumphing over a later judgment. If it happens, simply run to Me and I will cleanse you and make your path straight again. I always keep you as the apple of My eye.
I created you with a memory and the aptitude for ‘hindsight’ so that you can (v.24) look back and see what I have already accomplished supernaturally. These testimonies of My word counsel you about My nature, My salvation, My soundness, and My power.
Me, His much-loved
Your statues reveal Your boundaries that even the earth must obey (v.23b), like the waves lapping at the shores and those sunsets. I stand awestruck by Your amazing dominion over physical elements of this earth … and then I remember, I am more valuable to You than the birds and the flowers.
Through what relational practices do you actively put God and His righteousness first in your day?
(Leave your answer in the comment section below)