Do you realize that your conversation usually reveals what is on your heart? If you have a love for hunting, many conversations with your friends will include hunting stories. My daughter, Megan loves children. After she comes home from baby-sitting our neighbour’s children, she goes on and on about things they did or said. It is inevitable, what is on our hearts will pass through our lips. David was a man after God’s own heart and God was continually on David’s lips. In Psalm 119:17-24, we see four requests in David’s prayer to the God He loved.
The first one, found in Psalm 119:17, is “Deal Bountifully with Your Servant.” The word “deal” means hand out what is due. Of course, the adulterer and sinner, David deserved eternal death the same as each one of us. But, because David loved God and in faith looked forward to the coming Messiah, he could say, deal “bountifully” or generously, plentifully and graciously with me. David wanted to live a triumphant and victorious life, paying careful attention to God’s Word.
David’s second request is “Open Thou Mine Eyes”, verse 18. This is not a request for physical healing, but rather, it is a request that God, the divine Healer, would peel off David’s spiritual cataracts; those things that slowly develop and cloud our vision of God. Notice he wanted to behold wondrous things out of God’s Word. Expect more!! When you go to God’s Word, are you really expecting God to speak to you, to give you something that could be life-changing? Friend, that is where most of us fail. We forget what God has done and can do for us, through us and in us and we don’t come expectantly.
The third request is found in Psalm 119:19-20. “Do Not Hide Your Commandments From Me.” David said he was a stranger in the earth. We would be silly to suggest that David was not a citizen of the nation, Israel. He was their King. But he looked beyond this and recognized his true, eternal home, Heaven. In living his life on earth, David did not want to lose sight of God’s laws while enforcing the laws of the land. His heart’s longing desire was to continually remain true to God’s Word.
Request number four was “Remove from Me Reproach and Contempt.” The word “reproach” means to tell someone that he acted wrongly, especially when you would not expect him to do so – an honourable request for a man in his position. “Contempt” means to despise as worthless or insignificant, disobedient to lawful order. David had the pressure of princes wrongfully speaking against him, but he could honestly say, “thy testimonies are my delight and my counsellors.”
In this prayer, David’s conversation reveals his love and dependence upon God and His Word. If this mighty, successful and beloved king needed guidance from God’s Word, do you think that you could use His guidance? “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.”
Post by: Larry Rushton, NBBI Registrar, Open Bible Bulletin Editor
This article appears in the April 2011 Open Bible Bulletin.