“Turn away the reproach that I dread,
for your rules are good.” Psalm 119.39
Again, the Psalmist cries to the Lord for protection. He asks the Lord to turn away reproach, that is from disgrace and shame. The faithful man dreads reproach. He loathes the idea that his sin would bring reproach. He also dreads the idea that persecution would bring false accusations and disgrace.
The reason for this dread is found in the second half of the verse. The psalmist knows that the rules of God—what they reveal about God’s righteous character and will for the world—are good. God’s ways are beautiful, and the follower of God dreads that any reproach would be brought against God or his Word. This dread causes the psalmist to give yet another expression of his dependence. He calls out to the Lord for protection.
The prayer reveals another repeated theme in Psalm 119, as this verse serves to parallel the psalmist’s cry for protection in verse 31. In that stanza, he called to the Lord for protection as a sojourner in the world. Here, mindful of his own weakness, he again expresses his need for protection from shame and reproach.
How do your prayers express your need for protection from reproach? Do you recognize the goodness of God’s Word and call to him for protection? May the Lord increase our love for his word and our dread of reproach and shame.
Heavenly Father, your ways are beautiful, righteous, and good. Increase our love for your Word. Protect us, our great refuge, from shame and reproach. May our lives ever be lived for the glory of your name. Amen.