You are my portion, O Lord;
I have said that I would keep Your words.
I entreated Your favor with my whole heart;
Be merciful to me according to Your word.
I thought about my ways,
And turned my feet to Your testimonies.
I made haste, and did not delay
To keep Your commandments.
The cords of the wicked have bound me,
But I have not forgotten Your law.
At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You,
Because of Your righteous judgments.
I am a companion of all who fear You,
And of those who keep Your precepts.
The earth, O Lord, is full of Your mercy;
Teach me Your statutes.
Psalm 119:57-64 (Heth)
The Lord is my portion (vs. 57-58). The Hebrew word for “portion” translates into “inheritance, part.” To make the Lord our portion or part means to choose the Lord first above all other things. We are to place God before our friends and even our family. David choose the Lord before anything else. Commentator Albert Barnes said, “God was to him [David] what other people seek in wealth, honor, pleasure, fame. To him, God was all and in all. He asked nothing else.” David knew that with God, he has all the he will ever need. God provides us with everything that we need (Matthew 6:25-34). We are told to “seek first the kingdom of God” in Matthew 6:33 right after we are told not to worry about what we will eat, drink, wear, or live. David lived to draw nearer to God (Psalm 16:2,8) and so should we.
I thought about my ways, turned my feet to God, made haste and did not delay (vs. 59-60). We need to examine our lives often. Sometimes we have things in our lives that don’t need to be there. Sometimes it may be hard to identify the bad things but the Bible tells us exactly what should be in our lives (Galatians 5:19-21). Turn to God and make necessary changes immediately! If you let the bad things stay, they will end up choking out the good. It is vitally important to take care of things immediately. If you were running low on gas for your car, you would immediately go get some more gas. If you had a bill to pay, you would pay it before it was too late. If we act upon physical things immediately, why don’t we act upon spiritual things immediately? We need to follow the plan of salvation and be baptized immediately because we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow (Psalm 39:4-5).
Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me (vs. 61). A key word in that phrase is “though.” It’s as if David were saying, “even though I go through rough times, I will never forget God, what He has done for me, and what I need to do as a Christian.” No matter what happens in life, we cannot forget our merciful and compassionate Lord. Life can get tough, look to God in the midst of trials. I am reminded of a devotional song we sometimes sing entitled “Had It Not Been the Lord”:
Had it not been the Lord who was on our side.
The anger of the enemy would have swallowed us alive,
Had it not been the Lord who was on our side.
Blessed be the Lord who would not give us up,
Blessed be the Lord for His unfailing love.
The snares have broken and we have escaped
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
Blessed be the Lord.
At midnight I rise (vs. 62). What’s wonderful about an omnipresent God is that at any time we can go to Him in prayer, He is always listening. We don’t have to wait until worship services to talk to God and we don’t have to pray in a certain place either. We can pray as we’re driving down the road or as we’re cooking dinner. There is only one place that we can go where God is not, hell. We need to pray often and fervently (Ephesians 6:18, James 5:16).
I am a companion to all who fear God (vs. 63). To fear God means to have an utmost respect for Him. The Hebrew word for “companion” (chaber) literally means “all associated as one man, united.” As people who fear God, we are to be united one with another. 1 Corinthians 12:12 states, “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.” From Ephesians 4:4-6 we learn that there is only one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God. The word “one” indicates unity.
The earth is full of His mercy (vs. 64). God is a merciful God. No matter what depths we sink to, God will ALWAYS want us back. If you read Amos chapters 2 through 4 we learn that God will bring judgement on the unrighteous but He never stops pleading for us to return. God will always show us mercy and forgiveness if we are truly sorry about what we have done. Godly sorrow produces repentance and worldly sorrow produces spiritual death (2 Corinthians 7:9-10). We can’t be sorry that we got caught, we need to have a genuine sorrow because it hurts God when we do wrong. Choose God first, turn to God, endure trials, pray often, be in unity with fellow brothers and sister in Christ, and know that God is full of mercy.