These are the first words in our Psalms reading; does your soul long for the same as the Psalmist? “My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word. My eyes long for your promise …” (119:81,82). There is urgency in his expressions – do we share that urgency?

There are three special verses (97-99) it would be good to memorize. They start, “O how love I your law! It is my meditation all the day; your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation”. God’s law is to be loved, to be meditated upon – and the result of doing this, the Psalmist says, “I hold back my feet from every evil way in order to keep your word” (verse 101).

His next thoughts are, “… you have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth … therefore I hate every false way”. The Psalmist continues, “Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart” (verse 111).

The law that Israel were expected to love was not a list of ‘thou shalt not’s’. Jesus found them “sweet” and Luke 2 records the conversation that the 12-year-old Jesus had in the temple – where Mary and Joseph eventually found him “sitting among the teachers … asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers” (verses 46,47).

The chapter concludes in this lovely way, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature (or years) and in favour with God and man”. May we all do the same. It is becoming increasingly difficult to increase in favour with our fellows as society grows more Godless, but this will lead us to say with greater fervency, “My soul longs for your salvation”.