i have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for i do not forget your commandments. [psalm 119:176]
what a way to end this magnificent psalm. with confession, with pleading, with clinging to the promises of God.
i do not forget your commandments.
the psalmist is chosen by God. saved from sin, counted as righteous because of faith in God’s promise. the commandments of God were not given to foreigners. so the identity of the jews was very wrapped up in the fact that they had been given the law of God. to possess God’s law was to have his very presence. i do not forget your commandments is like saying, “i know i am yours. i cannot throw it away, it is who i am. i cling to who i am in you.” this promise is also ours in Christ Jesus. we cling to him for the presence of God just like they clung to the law for the presence of God. in Christ, we have all the promises of God’s presence!
blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. in love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, [eph 1:3-7]
i have gone astray like a lost sheep
to belong to the Lord and a recipient of all of his promises is not to be without sin. so much cultural pressure to appear a certain way within the church leads to hidden sin. keeping it close to the chest so that we can keep up(for others, and oftentimes even ourselves!) the facade of being “cleaned up.” but this leads to death! obviously, the pendulum can swing the other way where we feel more righteous because of the amount of confession we can perform! but in the middle, where our identity is firmly rooted in Christ, and in the joy of his salvation, clinging to his righteousness, we see our own rebellion and long for our hearts to be purged of it. we confess it, repent of it, we seek more of Christ and intimacy with Him. this is what it means to walk in repentance. to walk humbly with our God.
my little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. but if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. and by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. [1 john 2:1-3]
my son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. for the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” [hebrews 12:5]
seek your servant
none of this God pleasing, Christ honoring, Spirit dependent life can be lived in our own strength, by our own flesh. and the psalmist knows it. this must be initiated by the God who saves. we must be pursued by the God who melts hearts of stone and overcomes hearts of rebellion. so we plead with the Author and Perfecter of our faith! Lord, seek your servant! cleanse my sin for the sake of upholding your great name!
i will make with them an everlasting covenant, that i will not turn away from doing good to them. and i will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. i will rejoice in doing them good, and i will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul. [jer 32:40-41] notice all of these things are done by God, not us!
Father, seek your servant and draw me ever nearer, that i might be cleansed, that i might cling to Christ, that i might be found faithful to the end, and that my life might pour forth the praise of your glorious grace. amen.