Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word. Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law. I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide Your commandments from me. Psalm 119:17-19
One of the things people are hoping to improve on in life when New Year comes is to gain in material blessings. The word “blessings” or “bounty” is associated with earthly riches. From the text, the Psalmist was asking God not to increase in material prosperity but to be found living his life keeping His word. His request was based on his view of himself as belonging to God and now as God’s servant will be committed to the bidding of his Lord. He asked God to open his eyes so he could always see God’s faithfulness in the past as He helped the Israelites overcome their adversities. This is also what the apostle Paul prayed for on behalf of the believers in Ephesus to always be reminded that they have a great God Who they can trust. His prayer is for Christians to realize that their riches is not found here in this world but in the future that God is preparing for them. Paul is “asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance” (Ephesians 1:18-19). Like the prayer of Paul, the Psalmist’s prayer was not about self-centered aggrandizement but gaining a wisdom that will help him grow knowing God. He had this perspective for he saw himself as a “stranger in the earth.” We often forget that once we give our lives to Christ our permanent place is to be with Him for eternity. This is what Jesus told His disciples when He sensed their anxiety when He told them about His impending death. “I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am” (John 14:2-3). Once you come to know Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are adopted to His family. “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). Your permanent citizenship has now been transferred from this world to God’s city. “They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own...they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:13-14, 16). For this coming New Year, let us ask God to help us grow knowing Him more. May God help us delight in having His word in our hearts so that it will bring to us the joy He wants us to experience. “Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. Give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money! (Psalm 119:35-36).
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