My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word! When I told of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes! Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works. My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word! Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law! I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me. I cling to your testimonies, O Lord; let me not be put to shame! I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart! (Psalm 119:25-32)
We attempt to satisfy our longings with things that still keep us longing. We live to give ourselves life with that which has no life. This is exactly what the Psalmist says in verse 25. He admits that he is prone to crave the “dust”. Dust? Who would ever crave dust? Indoor dust is mostly comprised of dead skin cells, and microscopic organisms (mites). There is nothing satisfying or enriching about dust. This amplifies the ridiculousness in this statement. He says that the natural inclination of his heart is to continually be disappointed in things that just do not matter. In other words, you and I crave dust.
Several years ago there was a documentary named “Supersize Me”. It was a 30-day video journey of a man that decided to eat McDonalds. 30 days of McDonalds breakfast, lunch & dinner. He ate nothing other than what was on the menu. At the end of the 30 days he was not very well. He was extremely sick and had gained weight. A doctor who recorded any changes in his health monitored his vitals. The changes were astounding. He wanted to prove a point and he did just that. You cannot get life from that which has no life.
The psalmist knew that the life that his soul was craving could only be found in the word of God. His formula for digesting the life of the Word is amazing. He asks God to help him learn God’s commandments (statutes).
How teachable are you? Do you desire to just hear what God has said? Or do you desire to learn it and change your life accordingly? He also desires for God to give him understanding in what God has mandated (precepts). You will not understand everything that God has said. There are some very hard passages in the Bible that we will struggle understanding. However, the Psalmist does not want to give up. He asks the Lord for help.
When He finds himself depressed; what does he do? He meditates on God’s wondrous works! What has God already done for you? What has He already promised to His people? When our hearts sorrow, we can take confidence in remembering what God has already done for us! Sorrow makes our hearts weak. How do we get our strength back? Where does true joy come from? The Psalmist very clearly says here, “strengthen me according to your word!”.
When was the last time you let go of the “dust”, and asked God to help you understand, learn, and believe? In the future when your heart sorrows…take confidence in what God has already said! The light of the word brings life!