“Give me understanding that I may live”

“Give me understanding that I may live” grabbed me as I was reading through Psalm 119 today. It’s pleading. It’s serious. It’s a matter of life and death. But is it? I mean, is it for me?

Well, very often it’s not for me. I don’t care. Or not like I should.

Very often I don’t even really seek understanding. I seek a checked box. However, let me tell you, that is not life giving. Yet, I am not sure I am willing to say it’s legalism either.

I know God’s word is important as a lamp to my feet (Ps. 119:105), I know it is important to keep me from sin (v. 9, 11, 165), yet it is often not “the joy of my heart” (v. 111) as it should be. Sadly, I don’t aways concur with the statement “give me understanding that I may live” (v. 144). I don’t normally rise before dawn to meditate on Scripture (cf. v.147, 148).

LORD, help me to seek You with my whole heart (v. 2). I am, or was, willing to wake up at 4am to study for tests in college so why does Your word not hold that kind of sway? Apparently that test had more gold (v. 72) and life in it than Your word. God, I admit I am fickle. I need Your help.

LORD, open my eyes that I would see the awesome truths contained in Your word (v. 18). Please make me understand Your law (v. 27) and help me not to waste my time on worthless things (v. 37) like excessive TV and the endless social media feed. 

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About Paul O'Brien

I am a lot of things; saint and sinner. I struggle and I strive. I am a husband and father of three. I have been in pastoral ministry for 9 years. I went to school at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary but most of my schooling has been at the School of Hard Knocks. I have worked various jobs, including pheasant farmer, toilet maker, construction worker, and I served in the military. My wife and I enjoy reading at coffee shops, taking walks, hanging out with friends and family, and watching our three kid's antics. :)

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