We are living in strange times, but that shouldn’t change our reliance on God. The author of Psalm 119 also lived in strange times filled with uncertainty. Traditionally, most scholars believe King David composed this Psalm, perhaps using it as a way to teach his children their letters. Other scholars believe it may have been written by an unknown scribe during the Babylonian exile, or perhaps Ezra or Daniel. The authorship is less important than the content.
This section of the Psalm reminds us that we are sojourners on this earth; it is not our final destination. We should long for our future home, knowing that our troubles here are temporary. In the middle of a pandemic or any other long-term crisis, it is easy to focus on the immediate and the next. How will we navigate the reopening of society after months of quarantine? What will school be like in the Fall? Will our jobs be back? What about child care? How long will shortages of toilet paper be a thing?
The short answer is we don’t know. The author of this psalm didn’t know how his situation would resolve either. While the not-knowing is unsettling, we can know for sure that Sovereign God is unchanging and that He has a place for those who are consumed with longing for Him. We don’t have to know more than that. We must not acquiesce to the idol of fear, but open our eyes to the wondrous things God has promised and provided by His unchanging Word.