Jesus Creed

God supports us. Notice the psalmists words from which we can receive instruction for our day:
116 Sustain me according to your promise, and I will live;
do not let my hopes be dashed.
117 Uphold me, and I will be delivered;
I will always have regard for your decrees.
Two different words begin vv. 116 and 117: “sustain” (samak) and “uphold” (sa’ad). The image of the first is to lean against as a form of support — one might think of propping up — and the second is to hold up or sustain with supporting strength.
Contextually, of course, the psalmist is concerned with enemies who are attacking his moral fiber and commitment. In our specific verses the support is requested so the psalmist’s hope — in God and in following God’s teachings — will not be crushed and that he will live. And, he asks for God’s support so that he will be delivered.
This psalmist, who seems not to be afraid of exaggeration so it is not always clear just what is in mind, seemingly is afraid of losing his life as a result of his commitment to following Torah. We might imagine when we are tempted to abandone God’s clear ways so we can find support or acceptance or financial gain or victory of some sort.
No matter what happens, the psalmist ends this little set of verses, “I will always have regard for your decrees.”

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