The psalmist, who depicts himself as an exhausted wineskin in his persecution, asks two questions that are at the heart of this section (koph) of Psalm 119. They are found in v. 84, and they are not questions of doubt and they are not questions of certain triumph. They are real, genuine questions:
How long must your servant wait?
When will you punish my persecutors?
He doesn’t know the answer to either, and it is important to begin there. Maybe he sat down and wrote this psalm years later; maybe he didn’t. But for this psalm to work these can’t be feigned questions. He wonders how long he has to wait before God delivers (v. 81) and he wonders if he will be preserved (v. 88), and he wonders when God will act with justice toward his persecutors.
And because he doesn’t know, the psalms speaks to us yet today: it is when we don’t know, it is while we are yearning for justice, it is when we wonder if God will ever bring the bad guys down, that we learn to trust, we learn to hope, and we learn to live obediently in the midst of opposition.