Wine Skins and the Word

“For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke,
yet I have not forgotten your statutes.” Psalm 119.83

The historic, cultural understanding of the psalmist in this verse is explained well by Spurgeon:

“This skins used for containing wine, when emptied, were hung up in a tent, and when the place reeked with smoke the skins grew black and sooty, and in the heat they became wrinkled and worn. The psalmist’s face through sorrow had become dark and dismal, furrowed and lined; indeed, his whole body had so sympathized with his sorrowing mind as have lost its natural moisture, as to have become like a skin dried and tanned.” [sic]

Perhaps—though you might not use the language of old wine skins—you have felt exactly what the psalmist feels here. You’ve no doubt wrestled with the trials and afflictions that come with living in a world filled with sin. And you’re tired and worn.

If so, commit yourself to following the psalmist’s pattern. Though you are weary and tired, do not forget God’s law. Do not forget what his word has revealed, and what it commands for your life. As the poet has already shown us, Scripture is a source of guidance and comfort, particularly in trying times.

In what ways are you feeling weary and worn? How are you applying biblical truth in those situations? To what degree are you committed to remembering God’s word in the midst of trials?

Heavenly Father, you are our rock and fortress. We find comfort and assurance in you. Teach us, O Lord, to rest in you. Renew our commitment to keeping your word, that we would honor you in each trail and test. Amen.

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