– by Nev Phillips
Please read Psalm 119:161-176…
Aren’t the psalms wonderful? Psalm 119 is the longest of all the psalms. This fact has always stuck with me since being a choir boy (only a few years ago) acquired whilst thumbing through the psalter during what seemed to be another boring sermon – I’m sure it wasn’t. Fortunately we never had to sing through all 176 verses all in one go! There’s so much in the psalms that we can identify with and how relevant they are to today’s world.
Rulers persecute me (v161). We think immediately of other parts of the world where Christians are persecuted for their faith. Yet also here closer to home when, for example, some of us face difficulties at work when we are put under pressure by others or are unfairly accused when things go wrong.
Yet the psalmist is so positive rejoicing in God’s promise to protect. Steadfast in their faith even though they could suffer for it. Patient in waiting for God’s salvation – how difficult this can be at times when overwhelmed by a feeling of despair yet having the assurance that God will answer our prayers and sustain us.
The psalm finishes with the reference to the lost sheep and we think immediately of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, seeking, restoring and saving. John 10 vs 14/15 reads: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep……I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”
Praise the Lord.