Psalm 119:65-72 (New International Version)
65 Do good to your servant
according to your word, O LORD.
66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
for I believe in your commands.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I obey your word.
68 You are good, and what you do is good;
teach me your decrees.
69 Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies,
I keep your precepts with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,
but I delight in your law.
71 It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.
72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me
than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
Psalm 40:2 (New International Reader's Version)
2 I was sliding down into the pit of death, and he pulled me out. He brought me up out of the mud and dirt. He set my feet on a rock. He gave me a firm place to stand on.
As I read a bit more of this Psalm, written by this pious priest long ago, his humanity really shows itself as he lifts his prayer to God. He reminds me that I too was "afflicted" and "I went astray". I was on a path to destruction and death. It reminded me of my "pit stops" in life.
Those were times that I was really a long way from God, and because of it I went through a lot of trouble and turmoil in my life. These days I look upon those difficulties, those times in the "pit" as time well spent. It was in these "pit stops" in my life that I realized my condition and I looked for something better. It was in these times that I cried out to God for help, and He rescued me from my terrible situation. It was there that I discovered the amazing grace found only in Jesus.
It is interesting to me that I now look at those terrible experiences as blessings, because they pointed me to Jesus Christ. Without him I would have never found forgiveness and restoration; I would have never discovered the life that God has made available by sending me a Savior. Without the bad things in my life, I would never have realized the good and wonderful things of life; I would never have had the blessings of a lovely wife, children, family, and a secure future knowing that God has much more in store for me.
If you are reading this and you feel like your life has left you in the "pit" of hurt and dispair; if you feel like there is no way out of your terrible situation, that you are trapped and do not know what to do; call on the name of Jesus. Ask God to forgive you and admit that you can't do it on your own. Give your hurt and pain, the "mud and dirt" that is your life, and surrender it all to Him. He will pull you out, clean you up, plant His Word in your heart, and set your feet on a "firm place to stand", the Rock that is Jesus Christ.
Psalm 119 is a devotional poem from a very pious priest. This is the only psalm in The Psalms written by this author. This psalm is an acrostic poem; the verses of each stanza begin with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This Israelite priest sought to pass on godly instruction in his devotional study of the word of God.