In the last verses of Psalm 119, the psalmist lists what he lacks unless God is his shepherd. He is lacking in five areas, including understanding, salvation or deliverance, and the ability to worship God rightly, which we have already covered. In today's study, we conclude with points four and five. 

God has prescribed acceptable forms of worship for people in the New Testament age, too. We no longer worship in Jerusalem at the temple. It has been destroyed, and Jesus did say, “God is a spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). But that does not mean that just anything goes. “In truth” must mean according to the revelation of God in the Bible. 

Is that your longing? Are you looking to God for the salvation that only he can supply? If you are not, it can only be because you do not have a true sense of need. You think you can handle things yourself. Learn from this psalm. These first petitions reflect the two great needs of fallen men and women, namely, to know God and to be saved from sin. 

Do you remember how Luther began the Ninety-Five Theses that he posted on the door of the Castle church in Wittenberg at the commencement of the Protestant Reformation? He said, “When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said ‘repent,' he meant that the entire life of believers should be one of repentance." In other words, there is never a moment, even after we are saved, when we can stop thinking of ourselves as lost sheep.

There is a tremendous difference between this stanza and the last, in fact, between this stanza and the entire preceding psalm. The last stanza was all assertion, chiefly about the poet's obedience to God's Word and his rejoicing in it: “I rejoice in your promise" (v. 162), “I hate and abhor falsehood” (v. 163), “I wait for your salvation” (v. 166), and “I obey your precepts and your statutes" (v. 168). In this stanza, all is petition, and there is little confidence at all. Instead, there is humble recognition of the writer's lost condition and his constant need of God's grace: