146I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.
147I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word.
148Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.
(Psalm 119:145-148, King James Version)
I had to smile when I read the above verses. It is not unusual for me to be up in the middle of the night because I can't sleep. Such was the case tonight (it is 3:20 AM), so I thought I would write a devotional or two. I certainly, then, understood the sentiment of the writer in verses 147 and 148. Here is how it is rendered in the New King James version:
147 I rise before the dawning of the morning,What do you do when you cannot sleep? The middle of the night is a wonderful time to meditate upon God's Word. None of the usual interruptions (the telephone, the doorbell, etc.) keep us from a quiet time of contemplation.
And cry for help;
I hope in Your word.
148 My eyes are awake through the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word. (Psalm 119:147-148, New King James Version)
The writer of Psalm 119 keeps returning to the familiar theme: peace and contentment are results of living a life of obedience to God's commandments. Nothing in this life offers the hope or stability we find in the Lord. Our friends and families will fail us; we will even fail ourselves! Yet, in Christ is everlasting joy and peace.
What are some of the examples the writer has used previously in this Psalm?
Verse 9: Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
Verse 18: Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
Verse 24: Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.
Verse 34: Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
Verse 42: So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.
Verse 48: My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.
Verse 50: This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.
Verse 54: Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.
Verse 72: The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.
And so we could continue citing example after example of the delights the Psalmist finds in God's Word. Does God's Word delight us in the same way? Do we find ourselves returning again and again to our Bibles for truth, comfort, and help in dealing with the problems of this life that come our way?
The next time you find that you can't sleep, I encourage you to spend some time in God's Word meditating upon the glorious nuggets of truth found within its pages. A great place to start is Psalm 119.
Let us not allow the problems and difficulties of this life to rob us of the peace and joy found in the pages of God's Holy Word!
God Bless You,