Saturday, April 11. 2009 – Tom Quinlan
49 Remember Your Word to Your servant,
– for You have given me hope.
50 My comfort in my suffering is this:
– Your promise has given me life.
51 The arrogant mock me without restraint,
– but I do not turn from Your law.
52 I remember Your ancient laws, O LORD,
– and I find comfort in them.
53 Indignation grips me because of the wicked,
– who have forsaken Your law.
54 Your decrees are the theme of my song
– wherever I lodge.
55 In the night I remember Your name, O LORD,
– and I will keep your law.
56 This has been my practice; – I obey your precepts.
Remember Your Word to Your servant. – Is it ever necessary to bring God into remembrance of something He has spoken? As another section of this Psalm starts out, “Your Word O Lord is eternal.” The heavens and the earth might pass away but God’s Word will never pass away. So how is it that this prayer is legitimate? Are there cases where it seems that God has forgotten His Word?
The most striking example of this must be Jesus when He entered into the last days of His earthly ministry: the garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal and desertion of His disciples, the mocking and the merciless beatings and scourgings, and of course the final hours hanging on a cross. Here was the man (the only man) who has truly meditated perfectly on the Word of God day and night and he is suffering as only a pure and innocent man can suffer in the presence of evil.
Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge. There is another Psalm that says, “though I make my bed in hell, Thou art there.” We have taken the wrong road that leads to destruction, and God (in Christ Jesus) has run ahead to intercept us and turn us back toward Himself. Scripture says that He tasted death for every man. He has tasted the bitterness of where you and I might be at this very moment. He endured the shame of it for the hope and promise that were set before Him. His hope and prayer is that we might be one with Him, even as He is one (in every way) with His Father.
In the night I remember Your Name O LORD. In the darkest hour, when in anguish He cried, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”, God the Father was in Him reconciling the world unto Himself. There was absolutely no evidence of God’s nearness to His flesh or His soul, and yet His purity still trusted in the goodness of His Father. “Into Thy hands I commit my Spirit.”
This has been my practice. Jesus had prepared Himself for that moment His whole life. He understood that He was the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. From being born in the dwelling place of animals, to His submission to Mary and Joseph, when He returned to Nazareth with them for 18 years of obscurity, He was practicing for this ultimate hour when, in order to win everything, he had to lose everything.
So, God has not forgotten His Word. He has actually fulfilled it in the midst of allowing the very worst to come to pass to Himself. The real question is what we will do with a God who has committed Himself so utterly and completely to us.