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The Scriptorium

When You Walk through a Storm

Keep looking up. Psalm 119.66

Psalm 119.65-72 (2)

Pray Psalm 119.66.
Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
For I believe Your commandments.

Sing Psalm 119.65-67.
(Open My Eyes: Open My Eyes, That I May See)
You have dealt well with me, O Lord, just as You promised in Your Word.
Teach me good judgment, help me to know all that I need to love You so.
Let Your commandments light my way. Send sweet affliction when I stray,
that I may walk Your holy way and keep Your Word.

Read Psalm 119.65-72; meditate on verse 66.

1. What did the psalmist ask of God?

2. Why did he ask that?

Let’s keep in mind that the context of this stanza is realizing the goodness of God amid affliction. The psalmist needs the “good judgment” of the Lord so that he doesn’t do something unbecoming his role as a servant (v. 65) of the Lord.

We all know that, when storms break around us and we’re suddenly caught up in the confusion of it all, we can lose sight of the Lord and His Word and react to our situation on our own wits. We lash out, fall into a brooding state, feel sorry for ourselves and angry at those who have provoked the storm upon us, and more. The old Broadway song has some good advice for us: “When you walk through the storm, hold your head up high…” As affliction descends, keep looking up, looking to the Lord, calling out to Him for “good judgment” during your time of trial.

After all, like the psalmist, we believe in God’s Word (v. 66). We believe it is the truth that sanctifies us (Jn. 17.17) and that it can give us whatever we need for every good work in any situation (2 Tim. 3.15-17). The Word can light a true path for us even amid the darkest storm of affliction (Ps. 119.105). So if we keep looking to Jesus, setting our mind on Him (Col. 3.1-3) and seeking His good judgment, He will help us to remember and not to forget all that He has taught us in His Word. Then, even as the storm rages around us, we’ll be able to “walk on with hope in your heart” because we “never walk alone.” The Lord Jesus is with us always, even to the end of the age (Matt. 28.20), and He is ever ready to give us good judgment and strength to carry out His Word.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
for I believe Your commandments” (Ps. 119.66).

How do we get good judgment and knowledge?
By fearing God.
And how do we know what to fear God about?
By knowing His commandments.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
a good understanding have all those who do His commandments” (Ps. 111.10).

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and
the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Prov. 9.10).

And if we lack the necessary wisdom?
He will supply whatever it is that we need:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all
liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (Jms. 1.5).

We are without excuse.

What about our ability to believe?
Even there His hand is ready to assist:
A man came to Jesus who had a son who was very ill. And he said to Him, “If you can do anything,
have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to
him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe;
help my unbelief!” (Mk. 9.22-24)

There is no substitute for obedience to the commandments. And in obedience we find assurance and hope and heightened belief and help in the midst of affliction.

In times like these you need a Savior,
In times like these you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He’s the One;
This Rock is Jesus, The only One!
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

(Jones, 1944)

For reflection
1. What can you do to make sure, when trials arise, that you make good judgments about what to do?

2. How can trials and afflictions actually strengthen faith and obedience rather than diminish them?

3. What can you do to help a fellow believer who is going through a time of affliction know the goodness of God?

The prophet already believed God's commandments; but his veneration for the law, proceeding from a holy zeal, led him to desire conformity to it, and made him afraid, and not without cause, of inconsiderately going astray. Let us then learn, that after God has framed our hearts to the obedience of his law, we must, at the same time, ask wisdom from him by which to regulate our zeal. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Psalm 119.66

Pray Psalm 119.71, 72.
As you pray, turn your face upward to God. Close your eyes and seek Jesus, exalted in glory, as He looks upon you and prepares to give you mercy and grace for your time of need.

Sing Psalm 119.71, 72.

(Open My Eyes: Open My Eyes, That I May See)
All my afflictions, Lord, I turn to You that I Your Law may learn.
Teach me to hold Your Word in my heart, never from its true way to part.
Your Law is better far to me than any wealth could ever be;
open my eyes and let me see more of Your Word!

T. M. and Susie Moore

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by
clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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