Read | Psalm 119vv145-176

ק Qoph

I call with all my heart; answer me, Lord,
    and I will obey your decrees.
I call out to you; save me
    and I will keep your statutes.
I rise before dawn and cry for help;
    I have put my hope in your word.
My eyes stay open through the watches of the night,
    that I may meditate on your promises.
Hear my voice in accordance with your love;
    preserve my life, Lord, according to your laws.
Those who devise wicked schemes are near,
    but they are far from your law.
Yet you are near, Lord,
    and all your commands are true.
Long ago I learned from your statutes
    that you established them to last forever.

ר Resh

Look on my suffering and deliver me,
    for I have not forgotten your law.
Defend my cause and redeem me;
    preserve my life according to your promise.
Salvation is far from the wicked,
    for they do not seek out your decrees.
Your compassion, Lord, is great;
    preserve my life according to your laws.
Many are the foes who persecute me,
    but I have not turned from your statutes.
I look on the faithless with loathing,
    for they do not obey your word.
See how I love your precepts;
    preserve my life, Lord, in accordance with your love.
All your words are true;
    all your righteous laws are eternal.

ש Sin and Shin

Rulers persecute me without cause,
    but my heart trembles at your word.
I rejoice in your promise
    like one who finds great spoil.
I hate and detest falsehood
    but I love your law.
Seven times a day I praise you
    for your righteous laws.
Great peace have those who love your law,
    and nothing can make them stumble.
I wait for your salvation, Lord,
    and I follow your commands.
I obey your statutes,
    for I love them greatly.
I obey your precepts and your statutes,
    for all my ways are known to you.

ת Taw

May my cry come before you, Lord;
    give me understanding according to your word.
May my supplication come before you;
    deliver me according to your promise.
May my lips overflow with praise,
    for you teach me your decrees.
May my tongue sing of your word,
    for all your commands are righteous.
May your hand be ready to help me,
    for I have chosen your precepts.
I long for your salvation, Lord,
    and your law gives me delight.
Let me live that I may praise you,
    and may your laws sustain me.
I have strayed like a lost sheep.
    Seek your servant,
    for I have not forgotten your commands.

Respond | Joey Dearduff

In these days of uncertainty, of loneliness, of anxiety, and of absurdity, we cry out to God from the confines of our stay-at-home incarceration for the return of some semblance of clarity, of community, of peace, and of normalcy with the same shaky and desperate voice of the psalmist in Psalm 119:145-176. Our psalmist companion, however, clarifies the powerful foundation upon which God is called to respond: according to your promise, according to your justice, according to your steadfast love, and according to your word. As we continue to echo one another’s cry, may we do so as the psalmist did, calling upon God not according to our desires or expectations, but according to God’s promise and justice and steadfast love and word. Amen.