17Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.
18Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
19I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.
20My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.
(Psalm 119:17-20, King James Version)
A Longing Soul
Being from the Midwest, when I see the word, "bountiful," I think of a bountiful harvest. The clear, dry, weather we are having is giving the farmers plenty of time to harvest their corn and soybeans. Whether the crop is bountiful or not remains to be seen. Many famers were drastically affected by a lack of necessary rain during the growing season. One friend of ours said that the ears of corn in his fields were only about half full, but trusted that God had more for him to learn from a lean harvest than a full harvest.
Is the Psalmist, here, speaking of crops or of money, when he said, Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word? No, he is not speaking of crops or of money. What, then, does he mean? He answers that question in the next verse: Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
Because he recognized that he was just a stranger in the earth, the Psalmist understood that the most important things he could gain while on this earth were related to the things out of God's law. As a matter of fact, he so yearned to understand and apply God's law to his life that he said, My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.
Do we have a longing soul for the things of the Lord? How does one acquire such a thing? It is not unusual in life to find that the more we do something, the more we enjoy doing it. I am a pianist, but like most pianists do not always practice as much as I should. I have determined lately that I am going to spend more time each day practicing. That is something I never not done well before--or have even had the time to do before. I find that it is difficult to get going, but once I am practicing, I have found that it is hard to stop.
The same is certainly true for most believers. We know that we should pray and study God's Word, but it is often hard to get ourselves started, and then motivated to keep up a regular habit of fellowship with the Lord. However, the more faithful we are in spending time with the Lord, the more we love those times, even to the point of often longing so much for the Lord that it seems that our soul would break.
It is time that we, as believers, realize that we, too, are strangers in this earth. This earth has been cast into sin and darkness; as believers, we are not in sync with the general attitudes of the people of this world. As a matter of fact, it is hard to believe how far the world runs away from God. Should we, then, struggle so hard to be accepted by the world, or should we understand that we will never, as Christians, be accepted by those who love the world?
Let us turn our hearts and our faces to heaven, for that is our true home. One day, we will be citizens in God's new heavens and new earth. Would it not be better for us to spend our time in this life in preparation for that life to come?
Let us pray that, like the Psalmist, we would have a longing soul--longing for the things of the Lord.
God Bless You,