Psalms 119 and 127: Gaining Perspective
Psalm 119: Gaining Perspective in Affliction
Psalm 119, which is the longest Psalm in the Bible, is an acrostic poem that teaches us how to live wisely. It focuses on the beauty of God’s truth, using eight synonyms for Scripture (law, precepts, statutes, word, commandments, testimonies, judgments, ordinances). Not only that, but this psalm encompasses the range of human emotions, driving us back to God’s truth in whatever circumstance we encounter.
The psalmist knew that coming to God does not mean immunity from pain. Instead, the psalmist recognized that affliction would come. The important thing when facing affliction is not to avoid it, but to turn to your relationship with the living God. We have an even more privileged perspective now on this relationship. The Son of God took on flesh without the diminishment of His deity so that we could draw near to God.
Facing affliction can drive us closer to God. As the psalmist writes in verse 67, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.” Without an eternal perspective, the psalmist could not have made this affirmation. As it is, however, he recognized that God used temporary affliction to teach him what was important. Renewing your mind in the truth can help give you this perspective.
Psalm 127: Gaining Perspective on Labor
It can be easy to fall into the mindset of the world and see our work as the focal point of our lives—whether a paid job or the work we do for our families. But Psalm 127 teaches us to live with the centrality of Christ in view.
Having a Christocentric view means recognizing that Christ is sufficient for us. He is the One who orders all of life, and we can trust Him to do so. We are not autonomous agents creating our own destiny; instead, we are completely reliant on God. The problem is, we often do not recognize our dependency.
Our achievements and aspirations are in the hands of God. The most careful plans we make are exercises in futility if we cling to them apart from God. Having this perspective will enable us to take time and rest in God. We do not need to rely on our own strength, but we can have peace in knowing that God will care for us.