My Lips Overflow With Praise!


Let my cry reach You, Lord; give me understanding according to Your word. Let my plea reach You; rescue me according to Your promise. My lips pour out praise, for You teach me Your statutes. My tongue sings about Your promise, for all Your commandments are righteous. May Your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen Your precepts. I long for Your salvation, Lord, and Your instruction is my delight. Let me live, and I will praise You; may Your judgments help me. I wander like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I do not forget Your commands (Psalm 119 vv. 169-176).

This magnificent psalm ends with a beautiful but humble prayer, encompassing a cluster of pleas for insight and help. Its tone is “the grace of thankfulness.”

Five requests rise before the Lord like Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique,” each of the five movements more beautiful than the last: “Let my cry reach You, Lord” (v. 169). “My lips pour out praise” (v. 171). “My tongue sings about Your promise” (v. 172).”May Your hand be ready to help me” (v. 173). “May Your judgments help me” (v. 175).

The psalmist, awed by the magnitude and depth of the divine revelation, recognizes his own need for renewal and revival.

In some ways I’m like that other musician. He knows he’s not out of danger yet. He’s like a sheep that has strayed from the shepherd’s side (v. 176). Lost, he longs to be found and restored to the fold. At least he knows his weakness, and that’s the beginning of the strength.

The psalm concludes at the end of the Hebrew alphabet, but the song plays on … in overflowing praise to God for his exquisite, awe-inspiring, magnificent law!

Personal Prayer

O Lord, may my lips overflow with praise today, and may my tongue sing of your Word!

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