Down, But Not Out
Psalms 119 is a wonderful psalm in which God reminds us of the greatness of His Word. In our lives, its easy to get so busy and so distracted and neglect the Bible and the wonderful help it can truly be to us. The “Daleth” paragraph (comparable to the “D” in our alphabet) speaks to the classic tale of being down but not out. How do I apply the Bible when I or someone I know is at the “breaking point”?
The psalmist describes his being down in vs.25, “My soul cleaveth unto the dust” and in vs.28 he adds, “My soul melteth for heaviness”. Ouch !Clearly he’s down, yet he’s not out. He knows there is help to be found in the Scriptures: “quicken thou me according to Thy Word” !! Obviously in such a down time, folks look for a reversal and the psalmist tells us the key is to be found in the Word.
So, our writer, though down, starts to look up and that perspective is found in God’s precious Word. Several imperatives in the passage (vss.25-29) ask not necessarily for an escape from perhaps a trial but an escape from a mindset that will lift us out of discouragement and depression to understand and experience the comforting strength to be had in God’s Holy Word. He asks God to “quicken” him, to “teach ” him, “strengthen” him, etc. and all with reference to the Bible.
How do people typically try to cope with these down times? Meds, alcohol, drugs, their job, a hobby, they talk about their troubles constantly in unspiritual ways, or maybe clam up and turn inward holding it all in until one day it all burst forth in some ungodly emotion or action. The writer here shows us that even in a down time God could use even that to better him so he reacted well by leaning on God’s Word for invigoration (v25), information (v26-27) & to maintain and even strengthen his integrity (vs29). What does all this mean for you or someone you know who’s down? First, you needn’t stay there. You have the most powerful means in the universe to lift you up – God’s Word Remember God’s Word created the universe, God’s Word is what you heard when you were saved and what has caused you to grow !! Second, as a believer you have the grand privilege to pray and understand the Word more than someone who is unsaved and so you can ask for God to make you stronger as you read and see things in the Bible that can help you think and respond better to what has downed you. We will not fully understand all that reading the Word does for our mind until we go home to glory but its very good !! Third, you have everything that pertains to life and godliness in the inspired Word as Peter essentially said in 2Pt.1:3 and nothing adverse in this life can then keep the child of God down who simply trusts God and His Word !
Are there hard times, and down periods we will face? Sure. Is there help available for them? Absolutely – Lean on His Word in those times, He will see you through !!
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