“At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.” ~ Psalm 119:62
What an inspiring verse!
Our text shows the utter submission to God’s will and purpose in the heart of the Psalm writer, David. And that submissive attitude should be true for EVERY Believer.
It is instructive to recall that in the span of his life, David had experienced God’s judgment.
- His baby boy died because of his sin of adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of her husband Uriah. The Scripture makes it plain that the baby’s death was God’s judgment.
But God’s judgment for David’s sin did not end there.
- As a result of his sin, David endured great family turmoil and even briefly lost his kingdom: (David’s favorite son, Absalom, murdered his half-brother Amnon for raping his sister Tamar. Absalom then rallied an army and deposed his father from the throne and chased him out of Jerusalem).
- At the end of a brief war David was restored to his throne, but his son, his favorite son, Absalom, died while trying to escape.
This same David, submitted to God and accepted God’s judgment in his life. Indeed, he gave thanks for God’s righteous judgments; even in the middle of the night.
To be clear, God’s judgments are not always penalties. Indeed, many of God’s judgments are merciful. But those are not the ones that give us trouble: we never complain when God shows us mercy to us (though we sometimes complain when He shows mercy to others).
To submit to God’s judgments, especially when we find them painful, requires a heart that if focused on God rather than our selves. It requires a heart that is preoccupied with God’s holy will and purpose: A heart that is more interested in what God is trying to accomplish than what we want to enjoy.
David wept at the loss of his son, Absalom. And he had prayed and fasted for the health of his baby son, but he still died. Yet David recognized the hand of God and accepted that God’s decisions were far wiser than his own will. And so he gave thanks.
On a personal note, I still do not know why God allowed my sister to die of cancer. She was young and she left three young children and her husband behind. I have tried to “make sense” of it through the years, but… nothing… i’m still confused.
But, are God’s judgments righteous?
Yes, I really do believe they are: I believe God is good. Though sometimes His judgments are painful… But I accept that His wisdom is infinitely greater than mine… and so I would rather His will be done than mine… because I know I would choose what is easiest for me rather than what is best for me.
And so, I am learning to give thanks… even at midnight, even in the midnight of life’s travails, let us GIVE THANKS for God’s righteous judgments.
“The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” ~ Psalm 19:9