Psalms 119:135 – September 8, 2019

Let your face shine upon your servant; teach me your statutes. Psalms 119:135 NABRE     

This is a psalm having to do with the Law of God using nine distinct terms; law, precepts, ways, decrees, commandments, statues, ordinances, words and promises. It is a psalm that was composed after the exile, and it is meant for personal reading and meditation, to foster reverence and devotion to the Law of God, rather than to be proclaimed in public. The psalm expresses faith in the word of God delivered to the people in various situations, such as the inexperience of youth, pain, commitment, but mostly the situation of ordinary life. The psalm is for people conscious of life’s limits and wise enough to ask for the illuminating and strengthening hand of God. The quoted verse is seeking the Lord to make his face shine upon the author by teaching him the statues. The author is sad because men do not keep the law. The law was given to guide the people, to bring them to a place that they could focus on God and the good He does for them. The law became everything for the Hebrew people, it defined their community and made their life. But we discover later in the writing of Paul that the law can’t transform our hearts. This psalmist wants to have an experience of God through the law, but law only gives us information, it does not make any movement toward transformation. We can’t be moved by the law or God if we have not had an experience of God.

We should call out to God to let His face shine upon us. But we can only do that if we have met the poor, the needy, the hungry, the ill, the blind, those in prison. We experience the face of God not in keeping some particular law, like, go to church on Sunday, don’t eat meat on Friday, but in meeting those who are the least.

Have you experienced God? Do you act on your faith?

We experience the face of God not in keeping some particular law, like, go to church on Sunday, don't eat meat on Friday, but in meeting those who are the least. Click To Tweet

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