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Lord, Let Me Not Be Ashamed of My Hope (Part 9)

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Over three decades ago I become interested in the Bible, having drank from the heavenly cup once, I have not been tired to drink more


C) That I may Live

The word “may” in this verse shows uncertainty.

“Psa 119:116 Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.”

The author doubts his continual existence if he does not involve God in the journey of his life, he therefore has to call on him so that the uncertainty that has beclouded his existence would be removed by God.

He is doubtful of his continual existence because of some things he is facing, some troubles he is facing which are higher than him. It is undeniable fact that everyone living in the world whether a Christian or someone who is not a Christian at a time or another faces troubles, challenges. Some of those challenges may be demanding such that we would not be sure of anything again, we shall not be sure of life itself nor hope to continue to live in the world. This is perhaps the position of the author and thence he needs to put the record straight to God by asking him to lift him up in tandem with his word.

Some of the Things that Demanding/Heightened Problems Cause

When we are in a tight condition, and we are running from pillars to posts with no advancements, some of the things that such condition can bring to us are as follow:

1) Failing Heart (Mind): When a problem that one is facing is demanding, higher than what the person can cope with, his heart would start failing he will start doubting Yahweh, and some by this have gone astray from faith altogether.

2) Depression: A person whose heart is failing will in no distant time become depressed if there is no intervention into his plight.

3) Downcast in the Society: A person like this would be looked down upon, people will not want to associate themselves with the person because of what he is passing through at the moment.

4) Become a Byword: The person who has been overwhelmed by his problems will become a byword in the society, someone that people will see and shake their heads for.

“Job 17:6 He hath made me also a byword of the people; and aforetime I was as a tabret.”

“Psa 44:14 Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people. ”

5) Person Not Proud of: Such a one no one will be proud of him or her in the society because of the situation he has found himself in. That was what happened to Jephthah, David etc. before God’s intervention on their case.

“Psa 69:11 I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them”

6) He Will be A Cast Out: In the society he belongs or in the family he would not be sought after, he will be cast out of the family because of what he is passing through.

“Jdg 11:2 And Gilead's wife bare him sons; and his wife's sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house; for thou art the son of a strange woman.”

7) People Will be Afraid of Helping the Person: A person who is passing through heavy troubles for whatever reasons, people will not want to look at his side, there would be fear in people’s heart to assist him. This is because they know assisting him may have negative consequences as it happened to David when he fled from King Saul. No one wants to be associated with him because they know if the king hears he will kill them.

“Sa 21:1 Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?”

David in his quest to save his life fled to Ahimelech the priest here, but when he got to the man he was afraid to even welcome him, albeit he welcomed him still.

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However, the news of what he did got to King Saul and he sent for the man and he was eventually killed.

“1Sa 22:9 Then answered Doeg the Edomite, which was set over the servants of Saul, and said, I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub.

1Sa 22:10 And he enquired of the LORD for him, and gave him victuals, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.

1Sa 22:11 Then the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father's house, the priests that were in Nob: and they came all of them to the king.

1Sa 22:12 And Saul said, Hear now, thou son of Ahitub. And he answered, Here I am, my lord.

1Sa 22:13 And Saul said unto him, Why have ye conspired against me, thou and the son of Jesse, in that thou hast given him bread, and a sword, and hast enquired of God for him, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?

1Sa 22:14 Then Ahimelech answered the king, and said, And who is so faithful among all thy servants as David, which is the king's son in law, and goeth at thy bidding, and is honourable in thine house?

1Sa 22:15 Did I then begin to enquire of God for him? be it far from me: let not the king impute any thing unto his servant, nor to all the house of my father: for thy servant knew nothing of all this, less or more.

1Sa 22:16 And the king said, Thou shalt surely die, Ahimelech, thou, and all thy father's house.

1Sa 22:17 And the king said unto the footmen that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled, and did not shew it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the LORD.

1Sa 22:18 And the king said to Doeg, Turn thou, and fall upon the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell upon the priests, and slew on that day fourscore and five persons that did wear a linen ephod.

1Sa 22:19 And Nob, the city of the priests, smote he with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and sucklings, and oxen, and asses, and sheep, with the edge of the sword.”

8) Untimely Death: A person who is in a trouble as this could go and commit suicide because he will think the world does not worth it, he will think and know he has labored for nought and in vain, like prophet Isaiah states in his book.

“Isa 49:4 Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God.”

Because he knows that he has labored for nothing with no one coming to his assistance and rescue in such situation or condition that he ahs found himself, he may go and kill himself.

It is for these reasons and more that the author asks God to uphold him as it has been contained in the Holy Writ so that his life would not be miserable again, so that he will continue to live to the glory of God.

“Psa 119:116 Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.”

Meaning of “Live” in this Verse

“Psa 119:116 Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.”

The Hebrew word for live in this verse is “חָיָה” which when romanticized becomes châyâh (khaw-yaw' as it is pronounced) which means revive, nourish up, quicken, restore to life, repair, recover, be whole.

Having known that the situation he has found himself is nothing to write home about and he does not want to deny his faith he asks that he will live because when he is alive

i) Lure Into Sin: Friends and rich people in the society would not be able to lure him into sin as Satan wants to do for Christ.

ii) Ability to Withstand Pressures: When he is alive in the spirit, the spirit of the living God would be in him and he shall have the ability to withstand pressures from peers and anyone who wants to pressurize him into sin,

iii) He Shall Not Be Ordinary Again: When he is alive, he will not live an ordinary life again because the grace of the Lord would be upon him and he would be looked unto by people as it happened to Obed-Edom (2 Sam. 6:11ff; 1 Chron. 13:13)

iv) Will Not Be Consumed By Trouble: He asks for this so that he will not be consumed by his troubles on earth.

v) Enemies Will Not Kill Him: If he is alive, enemies will not be able to cut short his life.


Merits of Being Alive

Looking at this word “live” from the perspective of a living thing, these are some of the benefits that being alive have.

i) Continuing to be productive physically and spiritually, (Jh 15:1-3)

ii) Will have the ability to continue to praise the Lord (Psa. 118:26)

iii) Will become a blessing to others around and afar,

iv) Will become a source of revenue in some instances for the country.

Demerits of Not Being Alive

These are the demerits of something that is not alive, or dead,

i) Smelling: A dead thing will after a while start smelling, (Jh 11:39)

ii) Destroyed: Something that has no live in it would not be able to procreate

iii) Pollution: Thing that is not alive will pollute the environment with its stinking smell

We all as believers need this prayer so that we shall be alive and would be productive, would populate the kingdom of heaven and depopulate the kingdom of darkness.


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