125 I’m your servant!
Help me understand so I can know your laws.
Psalm 119, with 176 verses, is the longest Psalm in the Bible. So I was impressed when I read that British Politician William Wilburforce, who fought 26 years for the abolition of slavery in the British Empire, recited this psalm, “to great profit,” on his daily walk to Parliament. He said in his 1819 journal entry that reciting this Psalm brought him “comfort in the midst of a spiritual and political storm.”
As children of God, I think we can relate to living in a spiritual and political storm too. Difficult times require knowledge and understanding that can only come from God. We think our acquired knowledge comes from our own study, but this “head” knowledge comes from the grace of God through the Holy Spirit. Asking God for understanding is the first step in seeking clarity to see through the storm. Reading and memorizing scripture provides us a lamp in the darkest times in our lives. God’s Word shines a light on our path and provides direction so we can find our way through the darkness.
But knowing scripture and asking God to understand scripture are only the beginning. As the redeemed children of God, we live our lives serving God. In order to live a life of loving service to God, it’s not enough to have only “head” knowledge, we need to acquire “heart” knowledge. Serving God emanates from our grateful hearts and our love of God. We learned this love from Jesus, the perfect servant, who gave His life for us. Jesus was God’s perfect servant, and is our model because Christ loved God, loved others and did God’s will.
So having “head” knowledge and “heart” knowledge together enables us to seek God’s will for our lives and to serve with love. Having one or the other leaves us incomplete. Without understanding God’s word, and seeking God’s will to do God’s work, we’re like a boat with one oar going in circles, never arriving at our destination. In order to be servants of God, God’s love must be engraved on our minds and flowing out from our hearts through works of mercy and justice.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Examining your life, which would you say you rely on more, knowledge or serving? Is your spiritual life in balance or is your “boat” going in circles? Ask God to help you understand God’s will for your life.
Prayer: Loving God, you guide us through the storms in life. Help us to understand how to serve you, not with just our knowledge of your word, but to be the living embodiment of your love, so that we may serve you and do your will. Amen.