The ancient words of this psalm speak deeply to the faithful. It begins by affirming God’s word, in all of its manifestations. It is the lamp that lights every step along our journey. Without it, we would be left to wander in darkness and confusion. But because of it, we know who we are, we know what we are to do, and we know where we must go.
I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, the psalmist says, to observe your righteous ordinances (v. 106). This is a big promise that every believer ought to make, even if it proves difficult or impossible to fulfill. God’s instruction offers the direction we need to walk this journey.
Then, in a note of confession, the writer laments I am severely afflicted; give me life, O LORD, according to your word (v. 107).
Is this affliction the inability to follow the lighted path God provides? The failure to keep God’s ordinances and ways? Our shortcomings, our moral failings, and the inconsistencies of our faith journeys leave us in great need of God’s grace.
The psalmist’s honest words inspire us to pray with the same humility as the poet. We need God’s help to follow, to worship, to become God’s people. Recognizing this truth leads us to praise, to seek, and to know how much we need God to help us learn.
When God offers us a well-lit path to follow, why do we sometimes choose to wander into the darkness on our own?
O Lord our God, despite our good intentions to follow in your way, we often get lost. Rescue us when we do and return us to the path you light for us daily. Amen.