I am a stranger on earth;
do not hide your commands from me.
My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times.
Psalm 119:19–20

David has come face-to-face with himself in the mirror of reality, and he exclaims, “I am a stranger on earth.” To almost every one of us there comes such a moment of truth when we, too, must acknowledge that this present world is not our home. People or things that we leaned on are suddenly taken away. Everything around us appears transitory and impermanent. Our life itself is a mist that hangs suspended in the air for a few moments and then passes, to return no more.

People react to this realisation in different ways. Some turn to the pursuit of pleasure and entertainment, but find little of true satisfaction. Others bury themselves in work, never pausing to ask how much of permanent value all their work will accomplish. Still others deaden themselves with alcohol or narcotics, or take refuge in a fantasy world of their own making.

David, however, turned to a different source: God’s laws. He looked beneath the temporary and the transient. He realised that all life is ultimately governed by the laws of God. They are truly permanent and unchanging. By building his life upon them, he realised he could find a stability and security not subject to all the vicissitudes of the world around him. The evidence of his success is provided by one simple historical fact: three thousand years later countless men and women still find abiding comfort in the psalms of David.

Faith’s Response

Let me, too, build my life on the eternal, unchanging laws of God.

This devotional is taken from

Through the Psalms
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Through the Psalms

The Psalms supply encouragement, inspiration, correction, inner strength and vision. These short meditations on the Psalms help get your day off to a good start!

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