Today From Psalms

Purpose and Passion

For what reasons do people pray for God’s bountiful blessings? To make life easier and more enjoyable; to reach a long sought-after goal; to become increased in material things; to alleviate a difficult situation? These and many other things form much of our praying.

While these may not be wrong and sometimes it is proper to pray for them, is there not a higher reason to desire the bounty of God? In Psalms 119:17 the psalmist prays for a great purpose. “Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.”

We see the purpose or resolve of the Psalmist is to follow and obey the Word of God. Yet in following God’s Word there are many things which impede or hinder us. There are many things which would lead us away from obeying God’s Word.

Because there is much which is against us, we must first have purpose (or resolve) to follow God’s Word. We may have this purpose, but purpose alone will not bring us to completion or realization. To the purpose we also need passion. The phrase “that I may live” involves a passion to accomplish the purpose.

Verse 20 also reveals his passion in a slightly different way. The phrase, My soul breaketh, is similar in expression to “It broke my heart.” It expresses an excessive longing. In this thought we see the hungering and thirsting which the psalmist had after righteousness. Do we hunger after God’s Word and hunger to obey it? Does my heart break when I do not keep God’s Word?

In verse 24 we find an expression repeated several times in this psalm. The writer finds delight, pleasure in the Word of God. How challenging and rebuking should this be to all of us. We delight in many things, but do we delight in the Word of God?

There must be a passion for God’s Word and for obeying God’s Word at “all times.” (Verse 20)   If I purpose to walk the pathway of obedience I must be passionate about it.

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