The Self-Image of the Psalmist

Friday is for Heart Songs

There are six statements in Psalm 119 that have arrested my attention. Each of them speaks to how the psalmist views himself in the world. I think of them as the “I am” statements of a heart saturated with the word of God. I think of them as the self-image of the psalmist.

  • May the words of my mouth“I am a stranger in the earth” (v. 19)

[He sees himself as passing through, an alien or sojourner, one living in a foreign land that is not completely understandable or familiar. And as the next line indicates, he knows that he needs guidance, “Do not hide Your commandments from me.”]

  • “I am the companion of all those who fear You” (v. 63)

[His fellowship, his friendships are with those who love God, with those who fear God more than man, with those who love the words that come from His mouth and take them seriously. So the second half of the verse says “And of those who keep Your precepts.”]

  • “I am Yours” (v. 94)

[He knows to whom he belongs. He knows that he is owned by a Sovereign God. He knows himself to be in a covenant relationship with a good God who he expects to save him because that good God will not abandon him. He has sought God’s precepts and knows that he will not be disappointed.]

  • “I am exceedingly afflicted” (vs. 107)

[When he hurts, when he is afflicted, or depressed, or anxious, or fearful, suffering loss, betrayed, abandoned—his instinct is to cry out to God and to seek answers in the words of His mouth. He seeks revival of his soul in the midst of his troubles from the word of His sovereign.]

  • “I am Your servant” (v. 125)

[He knows that he serves a particular God, the only God and he longs for knowledge (“That I may know Your testimonies”) and understanding that he might serve well and honorably.

  • “I am small and despised” (v. 141)

[He knows that others will not value him as the God he serves values him but that will not stop him from serving. He will not forget the precepts of God because others think him small or because others despise him. He will remember the words of God and know he is approved and is not despised by the greatest being in the universe.]

This might be a good series of texts to do a message or a series of messages on the self-image of a believer, or the self-image of a servant of God.

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