Reflections on Psalm 119 (ס Samek)

hiding-placePsalm 119:113-120

113 I hate people with divided loyalties,
but I love your law.
114 You are my hiding place and my shield.
I find hope in your word.
115 Turn away from me, you evil men,
so that I can observe the commands of my God.
116 Sustain me as you promised, so that I will live.
Do not disappoint me!
117 Support me, so that I will be delivered.
Then I will focus on your statutes continually.
118 You despise all who stray from your statutes,
for they are deceptive and unreliable.
119 You remove all the wicked of the earth like slag.
Therefore I love your rules.
120 My body trembles because I fear you;
I am afraid of your judgments.

“You are my hiding place and my shield. I find hope in your word.” (v. 114) Clearly, we can’t literally hide from our combatants. Otherwise, we could sidestep all the major battles we would otherwise face in life. What is meant here is that we can rest in God, knowing His opposition to evil is complete and leaves nothing up to chance. He’s got it covered, including every one of us, once we have committed ourselves to Him.

However, resting in God is a double-edged sword, so to speak. We can find in Him protection from our gravest enemies, but on the other hand, resting in Him requires that we cease our own striving and forfeit our personal agendas. Otherwise, God is nothing more than the proverbial Cosmic Bellhop. It’s like joining the Army: you’ll be housed, clothed and fed, but you won’t get to do whatever you want anymore. But that’s a plus, too. Truly, my greatest enemy is my own sinful nature.


About Douglas Abbott

I am a freelance writer by trade, philosopher and comedian by accident of birth. I am an assiduous observer of humanity and endlessly fascinated with people, the common elements that make us human, what motivates people and the fingerprint of God in all of us. I enjoy exploring the universe in my search for meaning, beauty and friendship. My writing is an extension of all these things and something I did for fun long before I ever got paid. My hope is that the reader will find in this portfolio a pleasing and inspiring literary hodgepodge. Good reading!
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