We’ve camped for awhile around the idea that the longest song in the Bible (Psa 119) celebrates the Law (Torah) of God, and that it ends with a cry for help: ‘I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands (Psa119:76).
The previous song (118) also contains a reference to a cry for help: in my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered” (Psa 118:5). So does the song that follows: (120): I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me (Psa 120:1).
What is the songwriter’s distress? In 120 it is anguish caused by lying lips and a deceitful tongue (Psa 120:2).
Are there many things worse than a lie? Being misrepresented by someone who hates, fears, envies, or misunderstands us?
Unnerving lies are a first line strategy of our roaring enemy (1Peter 5:8). Like God he wants us to believe him. Unlike God, he wants us to believe lies about ourselves and others.
But what about the Bible itself? Could it also be a source of the lies from which we need to be rescued? Can’t any part of the Bible be misused in a way that is not true to the whole story of God? What if we use the Bible in a way that keeps us from calling out on God for our rescue? What if others use the Scriptures with the intent of controlling or exploiting us for their own purposes?
Aren’t these reasons to remember that when the longest song in the Bible celebrates the law of the Lord, the word translated “law” is the Hebrew “torah”. It means teaching, direction, and instruction which includes not only the “commandments” of God but also the story that leads us to the Creator, Shepherd, and Supreme Judge who died in our place: to answer us when we call in anguish—including those times when we are tormented by a tangled mess of truth and lies.
Is there anything more important than an answer that comes to our cries for help with words that are true to the heart of God… that bathe our souls in the light and love of his presence?