As the psalmist reaches the end of the alphabet (taw), he reflects on the power of God and pleads for understanding and deliverance. 169 “Let my cry come before you, O Lord; give me understanding according to your word! 170 Let my plea come before you; deliver me according to your word.” Next, he speaks of how he worships God both privately and publicly. 171 “My lips will pour forth praise, for you teach me your statutes. 172 My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right.” He knows for certain that God will be with him and is always ready to deliver him. He knows God is true to His Word and he depends upon it. 173 “‘Let your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts. 174 I long for your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight. 175 Let my soul live and praise you, and let your rules help me.” Lastly, he ends this great psalm with a true confession. He admits that he has wandered away from God’s truths and he implores God to continue to seek him and remind him of His ways. 176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.”
The apostle Paul speaks of ‘going astray’ as the constant struggle he has with sin and not doing what God wants him to do. In Romans 7:15-20 Paul lays his heart bear and shares his personal struggle with sin just like the psalmist has been doing in Psalm 119. As you read these verses, see if you too can identify with Paul and the psalmist. “5 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.”
In addition to his struggle with ‘going astray’ the psalmist feels like a lost sheep, wandering away from the Lord. Jesus told God’s view of lost sheep in his parable of the lost sheep that is found in both Matthew and Luke. He knew God is the good shepherd who seeks and finds the lost believers. “So he told them this parable: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:3-7 When the psalmist begs God to seek and find him, we know that is exactly what God can and will do for each of us. God will faithfully find those who are open to Him and are seeking to know Him. Jesus saves those who are lost.
As you reflect and meditate on this last portion of Psalm 119, do you identify with the psalmist and Paul on the struggle to walk daily with the Lord and follow His pathway? Are you confident that God continually seeks you because you are precious to Him?
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23