81 My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.
82 Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?
83 For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.
84 How many are the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?
85 The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law.
86 All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me.
87 They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.
88 Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.
1. Find all the things the Bible will do for you
2. Find the things you are suppose to do with your Bible
3. Find the things the Bible is likened to
Today’s text is precious to me! Each verse not only voices a complaint to God about the Psalmist’s circumstances, but also teaches us that he faithfully turned to God’s word through it all. He could have been like many of today’s “supposed Christians” who go through the fire and can’t take it so they abandon God. Not this man! It’s as if he was continually trying to convince himself that despite his battles, God’s word promised comfort and help and, therefore, he would thirst for it.
I especially love verse 83! In my research, I learned that bottles of that day were made of animal skins. When these bottles were exposed to smoke, they would dry out and lose their softness, would become hard and useless. Wow! Isn’t that beautiful? The Psalmist is pouring his heart out to his God and telling him that he really needs His help! As well, the Psalmist hoped to find that help in God’s word (Psalm 119:81)! It’s as if the Psalmist is saying, “Lord, I don’t want my heart to get so hard that I cease to seek after You! Lord, Your word has always helped me before and I’m turning to You again!”
We have the same wonderful privilege today! God’s very words in the Holy Bible contain everything we need to encourage our hearts during each and every trial and tribulation. We are able to encourage our hearts by taking the time to read!
What hope does the Christian have today? Our hope is eternal, my friend! Our hope is that today is just but a fleeting moment in eternity’s time span – but eternal life with Christ is promised to be glorious!
~Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
~2 Corinthians 4:16-17 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
Many “Christians” harden during severe testing. I know of one particular woman who is so bitter toward God that she is no earthly good to anyone. She has ruined any testimony for God (IF she is even a Christian at all), ruined her marriage and has managed to keep friends at bay because they do not want to be around her bitterness. This is the type of hardness that our Psalmist is referencing in verse 83. HOWEVER, dear friend, the big difference here is that he stayed in God’s word and this kept him from turning his back on God. This lady did not stay in God’s word even though she was encouraged by many to do so. When God’s word was presented to her by concerned friends, she had quick retorts filled with bitterness.
Christian, there is nothing that we are experiencing that God’s word can’t help us through. In its blessed pages are words of comfort and encouragement. We are not alone! For each type of difficulty or trial, there are verses to lift even the weariest of hearts!
Swipe your cursor: Romans 15:4, Hebrews 4:12, Psalms 119:105, II Timothy 3:16-17, I John 1:9, Psalms 55:22, Matthew 11:28-30
The Psalmist repeatedly states that he kept turning to God’s word and trusting in Him to make good His promises contained therein. Do we do that while we are in the midst of our trial? Are we like the woman above who simply complains about her lot rather than doing like the Psalmist and seeking comfort from God’s word? Oh what a blessing we have! We have an opportunity to keep our hearts softened even though we are going through the fire! The only thing we have to do is to open the Book!