Scripture For Today: Psalm 119:145-152
I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word..”
One of my favorite places to pray is on the rim of the Snake River canyon. While running in the morning or heading to they gym for a morning work out I will often stop and spend a few minutes with God along the rim of the Canyon and watch the rising of the sun. Each time God seems to do something just a little different to remind me that He is there and working. From time to time I will get there before first light and will be praying before dawn breaks on the sky. Often with my eyes closed in prayer I can feel the first rays of sun and open my eyes to a greeting that only God could make for me. Meet God first in the morning, let Him give you the constant reminders of not only His power and glory but of His inescapable love and gentle caring touch.
He reminds me that He is unchanging but able to meet each new day with it’s trials and victories with new mercy and sufficient grace to be more than a conqueror in Jesus Christ.
This section of the longest Psalm in the Bible is one of particular interest. It is apparent from the words that there are trials in David’s life: “I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.” Psalms 119:146. These trials are manifested in his life through people who are troubling him: “They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law.” Psalms 119:150. David is troubled by this trial and difficulty in His life and turns to God and cries out to Him. “I cried with my whole hear; hear me O LORD: I will keep thy statutes.” I cried unto thee; save me….” Psalms 119:145-146a. It is what a man after God’s own heart will do as his normal response to the turns and twists on the course of life. He will not first turn to anger, others, or things to bring him joy for a moment, the first thing that a man after God’s own heart will do in good times and bad is turn to God and cry out to him with their voice in prayer.
Notice some things about this prayer of David’s. It is spoken in firm confidence to His God because David is sure only God can bring about the solution that is needed in His life, and is confident God will intervene once He is called upon. In the first two verses we see the repeated phrase, “I cried”. This is not a word for tears although tears in prayer have their place. Tears I believe are a response in prayer to God’s goodness, not a mechanism to provoke His working. It is not the tears or fervency that makes a difference in your life, it is the God in whom you place your trust in this specific situation. David calls God’s name, he addresses the God of eternity by name and declares His confidence in God to “hear me” verse 145, and “save me” verse 146. David’s prayer is also urgent. He is up before the sun and up throughout the night praying and calling upon God to step in and help him. Twice we read that David prevented the things that mark the passing of the night and the coming of a new day. In verse 147 David prevents “the dawning of the morning”, and in verse 148 he prevents “the night watches”. The word prevented means to “precede or go in front”. David is up before the sun calling on God, and is up through the changing of the night guards on the city walls seeking refreshing from the fountain of hope. David stays up late and starts again early pressing on God to help him. There seems to be a focus solely on the present need. Some would call that prayer selfish, but I would call it urgent because it is dependent completely on the working of God and David is in need now. Jesus called it importunate and admirable when a man had guests come late and needed bread for them from his neighbor. When life is pressing down ungently seek God. Davids mind is also filled with Scripture that strengthens his confidence and urgency in his prayer. He knows God has, and can, and will, all from the word of God he meditates on as he seeks God. “…that I might meditate in thy word” Psalm 119:148. He keeps scripture in the forefront of his prayer life.
Don’t miss this response in the midst of David’s prayer. “Thou art near, O LORD: and all thy commandments are truth. Concerning thy testimonies, I have know of old that thou has founded them forever.” Psalms 119:151-152. In the midst of this early morning late night seeking of God, somehow God reminded David that He is near and that David could follow Him in confidence through His Word. God will greet those who seek Him with reminders that He is near and that they can walk confidently through the trial at hand through His perfect unchanging Word. The reminders of God’s nearness strengthen David for the walk in the Word.
Back to the canyon. Each time I stop and seek God early He just reminds me of His nearness and that I can rest confident that who the Bible says He was, He still is and will always be. He reminds me that He is unchanging but able to meet each new day with it’s trials and victories with new mercy and sufficient grace to be more than a conqueror in Jesus Christ. A little different color, rays of light that meet the need each time, a little different sun rise as “the heavens declare the glory of God” and simply remind me, “Thou are near O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth”. Don’t miss God’s good morning greeting, seek Him early and He will meet you wherever you are “preventing the dawning of the day”. Not everybody gets a canyon, but all who seek Him get a morning greeting from the God of eternity.