I’ve come to believe that Psalm 119 may be my favorite chapter of the Bible. And the message version is truly the most raw, relate able way to read it. Any time I feel my soul needs a breath from the Spirit of the Living God, it leads me back to Psalm 119.
The whole thing is so long; which is probably why I find and feel new things each time I read it. Today, I was stopped in my tracks with one line.
I’m going to let you read the whole context – just because it’s so beautiful. And I’ll bring you back to where I halted. It starts at verse 166.
“I wait expectantly for your salvation; God, I do what you tell me. My soul guards and keeps all your instructions – oh, how much I love them! I follow your directions, abide by your counsel; my life’s an open book before you.
Let my cry come right into your presence, God; provide me with the insight that comes only from your Word. Give my request your personal attention, rescue me on the terms of your promise. Let praise cascade off my lips; after all, you’ve taught me the truth about life! And let your promises ring from my tongue; every order you’ve given is right. Put your hand out and steady me since I’ve chosen to live by your counsel. I’m homesick, God, for your salvation; I love it when you show yourself!
Invigorate my soul so I can praise you well, use your decrees to put iron in my soul. And should I wander off like a lost sheep – seek me! I’ll recognize the sound of your voice.”
Did you see it? Feel it? I bolded it just in case it didn’t make your stomach flip like it did mine. It’s verse 170.
Rescue me on the terms of your promise.
To be honest – I wasn’t feeling so much in need of rescuing today. I had a pretty relaxing weekend. I took a bath in the middle of the day, for crying out loud.
To me, this chapter feels like no matter what kind of mess I find myself in – there’s a line that relates. That meets me and gives me the words to pray that have seemed out of reach or out of voice. Such a desperate, raw cry throughout these verses.
Over and over, David cries: Please, God. Comfort me.Sustain me. Let me hear your voice. Affirm me.
…on the terms of your promise.
I have never asked God to be rescued in this way. I want to be rescued on my own terms, so that I don’t hurt anymore. So my confusion is clarified. So my fears are put to rest. So I have energy to make it through the rest of the day. But truthfully, if I were to be rescued on my terms, it would never happen. I’m too busy worrying I haven’t done enough for Him to bring me to the place I need. I’m too busy to spend time with Him the way I want to, so why would he provide me with the peace and energy I need in my day? Truly, when I see my own rescue, there are limits and conditions.
But in the deepest, most lost days and seasons, He wants to rescue us on the terms of His promise. Which – if you don’t know Him, that could sound pretty scary. Like there’s a catch.
But if you do know Him like I do, then this is the answer and the most reassuring plea I could ever hope to cry out.
God, rescue me on your terms. On your promises. Because I don’t always keep my promises. And my terms waver. And my consistency is…inconsistent.
But your faithfulness is steadfast and unwavering. Your promises of rescue and redemption have been the same since before forever.
Your promise is that when I am weak, then I am strong. In you.
That I am adopted into the family of Christ, and am no longer a slave, but an heir. I am not lost or forgotten.
That before the beginning of creation, I was chosen, appointed, and that I am highly favored.
That there is nowhere, absolutely nowhere I can go to escape from your passionate, never ending, perfect love for me.
Yes, please. These are the terms in which I would like to be rescued.