‘For I keep your statutes’

In the movie Luther there is a dramatic scene when Luther is overcome with grief and agony over his sin and the devil’s power. His father confessor comes to him and directs him to pray this terribly simple prayer to Jesus: Save me. I am yours.

I had not noticed until this morning that the prayer was from Psalm 119: 94.

The full verse in the NIV is translated like this: Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts.

Maybe it is what I have been reading recently — both online and in book form — but reading Psalm 119 for my Scripture this morning brought home to me the ease with which my ears are tempted by calls to set aside the law and the teaching of God. It is so easy to talk yourself into the idea that God’s law is fluid and defined by the culture of the day. It is so easy to lift up verse against verse in the Bible and melt any sense that there is something hard and fast and unchanging at the base of it all. It is so easy end up double-minded and hating the law (contra. 119:113).

Psalm 119 ends with this: I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten you commands.

May God’s grace give me the faithfulness to be able to pray those words in truth.

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5 thoughts on “‘For I keep your statutes’

  1. Amen to that, John. You didn’t ask, but there may be two books that would help you bury deeply into your heart the absolute necessity of the law in preaching. The first is recent, and was written by Keyeong Chang, a Wesleyan. It is titled “The Theologies of the Law in Martin Luther and John Wesley.”

    The second is “Law and Gospel: How to Read and Apply the Bible” by CFW Walther. He is a prominent 19th century Lutheran.

    I personally find Wesley’s use of the law to have many striking similarities to the Lutheran use. I suspect the Moravians were deeply influential in that regard.

  2. Amen John. Thank you for sharing the connection between Luther’s pray and Psalm 119. It’s great to know that we have a good shepherd who seeks lost sheep like us. May God receive the glory this Easter. God bless.

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