My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word! [Psalm 119:25, ESV]
There are times when we go to God’s Word and every word seems to have life and leap out from the pages. On the other hand, sometimes our hearts seem to grow dull, the words feel lifeless, having little or no impact on our lives. At such times Psalm 119 – a poem of love for the word of God – seems so remote from our experience. All through the Psalm, however, we find expressions of real sorrow and frustration, and in verse 25, for instance, the psalmist confesses that his soul clings to the dust.
The word for dust here echoes God’s pronouncement of the curse upon the human race in Gen 3:19: …For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return. This is a reminder of the brokenness that comes from humanity’s fallen state. Like us, the psalmist finds himself struggling with the effects that flow from that fallen, broken state. But the fall is not the final word. Even in a fallen world, with God’s help we can go from clinging to the dust to running in the way of God’s commandments…[Psa 119:32].
How do we move from clinging to running? The second part of v.25 tells us: give me life according to your word – God’s Word has life-giving power. Just as God created human beings by breathing life into the dust of the earth [Gen 2:7], so also Scripture is the result of God breathing life into words penned by human beings – all Scripture is God-breathed [2 Tim 3:16]. We breathe in that breath of life when we read the Bible. When you are fighting a lack of desire to read the Bible, turn to the Bible itself. In D.L. Moody’s famous words: The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible. May God move us all from clinging to dust to running to and delighting in his Word.