TO CHEW ON: "Revive me..." Psalm 119:149, 154, 156, 159
The writer of today's reading writes from a place of despair, even desperation. He cries. He can't sleep. He feels persecuted. He is revolted by the godlessness around him. And he senses a need for revival. That's what jumped out at me as I read this passage. Four times within these 15 verses he prays, "Revive me..."
Revive [chayah] in English means to bring back to life or restore to consciousness; to give new vigour, health; to make effective or operative again; to renew in the mind or memory; to refresh, reawaken. Let's look closely at the psalmist's request for revival to see what we can glean for times we sense a similar need.
It's interesting that each request is phrased slightly differently (at least in the NKJV).
- "O Lord, revive me according to Your justice [mishpat ]" - Psalm 119:149.
- "Revive me according to Your word [imrah]" - Psalm 119:154.
- "Revive me according to Your judgments [mishpat ] - Psalm 119:156.
- "Revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness [checed ] - Psalm 119:159.
Judging from how the psalmist phrased his requests here, I think we could say that he saw revival as predominantly initiated by God. Though we may help it along by again turning our will to live in ways that please Him, we depend on Him to be true to His attributes — faithfulness, love, mercy — to keep the promises in His word and to extend His lovingkindness to us. One thing I believe we can do, however. Like the psalmist we can realize our need and pray for the breath of His life to again fill us.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I am reminded of Your words to Nicodemus, embodying the mystery of spiritual life: "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." Please blow the wind of Your life over me. Revive me. Amen.
MORE: "My Eyes are Dry" - by Keith Green