Anguish and Delight

“Trouble and anguish have found me out,
but your commandments are my delight.” Psalm 119.143

The psalmist often makes his point by using stark contrast. It’s a common tactic of Hebrew poetry, which relies heavily on various forms of parallelism. This verse is a prime example of the technique. The poet contrasts the trouble and anguish he receives from the world with the delight he receives from God’s Word.

The high esteem he has for Scripture, a product of his deep meditation on it, produces this stark contrast. Setting his mind on Scripture—as we’ve seen through more than 140 verses thus far—coupled with divine understanding produce a love for the righteous Word of God. In contrast to this, all the world has to offer is trouble and anguish.

God’s Word offers the revelation of the Almighty (in stunning glory), the only righteous means for understanding his creation, guidance for our lives, and—most amazingly—the path to reconciliation with our Holy God. What worldly thing could possibly be more worthy of delighting in?

How are you delighting in the truth of Scripture? In what ways do you find yourself finding joy in the commandments of God? How have you preferred things of the world instead of God’s Word?

Gracious Lord, heavenly King, Your Word is our delight. Teach us to love your law. Help us, O God, to see your righteousness and the righteousness of your Word. May the meditations of our heart, the words of our mouths, and the work of our hands be pleasing to you. Amen.

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