Reading the Word
Psalm 119:65–72 (ESV)
65 You have dealt well with your servant, O Lord, according to your word. 66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments. 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. 68 You are good and do good; teach me your statutes. 69 The insolent smear me with lies, but with my whole heart I keep your precepts; 70 their heart is unfeeling like fat, but I delight in your law. 71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. 72 The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
Understanding and Applying the Word
The Concise Oxford English Dictionary defines affliction as “a cause of pain or harm.” Why then does the author of Psalm 119 says in verse 71 that “It is good for me that I was afflicted?” After all, who likes to suffer?
The psalmist speaks of the good of affliction because it was through suffering at the hands of others that he turned to the word of God. As he was facing pain, he found hope through the promises of God. This is why the psalm ends by saying, “The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.”
Are you hurting or facing your own affliction? Turn to the promises of God that are recorded in his word. Know that God is faithful and always keeps his promises. And remember that he is good and does good (cf. verse 68).
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