“Your decrees are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them.” ( Psalm 119:129)
I really hoped the Psalm passage today would be a lament. I feel like lamenting – with everything going on in the outer world and the concerns I have for my inner world, there needs to be some lamenting. But it is true that if the Lord God the Divine is watching over the world, there is cause and reason to praise. And it is good for us to praise, even while we feel the need to lament. In fact, praising in the face of the need to lament is an act of faith & courage, and a tenet of faithful spiritual life.
“The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” (Verse 130)
You know beloved reader, that is true also. Whether it be words or praise or lament, stories from the Old Testament, stories from the Gospel, or letters from the apostles – all of these give light and learning to our lives.
“With open mouth I pant, because I long for your commandments. Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your custom toward those who love your name. Keep my steps steady according to your promise, and never let iniquity have dominion over me. Redeem me from human oppression, that I may keep your precepts. Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes.” (Verses 131 – 135)
We even more than the psalmist have reason to praise the Lord God the Divine. We have not only the stories of the called and chosen people in the Old Testament, but the direct testimony of the gospel writers and the letters from the apostle to light our way and lead us forward. Hmm, that sounds like something Preacher or Seeker would say. Curious.
“My eyes shed streams of tears because your law is not kept.” (Verse 136)
Here is my chance to lament. Here is reason to lament. For the psalmist it was probably the Ten Commandments and the tenets of faith that the called and chosen people were given to follow and keep. Whether or not those tenets of faith can be understood by us in our modern times, it was important to the people then; and the neglecting of them then caused great despair, as does the neglecting and negating of the tenet of modern Christianity causes us despair now.
But, beloved reader, it is our lamenting of the Divine’s neglected decrees that also brings light and understanding. We see why these decrees are important, and that our lives would be better and more joy filled if they were followed. Our lament becomes an act of worship – or did I say that already? May be not. If I did, it should be stated again!
May you, beloved reader, praise the Divine while you see clearly where humanity has fallen short and away from that the Lord God intended. And may the Divine comfort you! Shalom & Selah!