The exquisite uniqueness of Psalm 119 is that its composer uses each successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet to sing an octave of praise to God’s Word.
Gimel—the third letter—begins its chorus of praise with two earnest petitions: “Deal bountifully with Your servant that I may live and keep Your word. Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law” (vv. 17-18).
The reasons for these requests are declared next. “I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide Your commandments from me. My soul breaks with longing for Your judgments at all times. You rebuke the proud—the cursed who stray from Your commandments” (vv. 19-21).
Because a life of faith is a pilgrimage through hostile territory, an additional request is made: “Remove from me reproach and contempt, for I have kept Your testimonies. Princes also sit and speak against me” (vv. 22-23).
Such opposition does not deter the writer’s embrace of God. “Your servant meditates on Your statutes. Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors” (vv. 23-24).
What a source of comfort and strength is God’s Word during the spiritually challenging portions of life’s pilgrimage!
“So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).