You are righteous, O Lord, and your judgments are right.
You have appointed your decrees in righteousness and in all faithfulness.
My zeal consumes me because my foes forget your words.
Your promise is well tried, and your servant loves it.
I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts.
Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your law is the truth.
Trouble and anguish have come upon me, but your commandments are my delight.
Your decrees are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live.
Your promise is well tried (NRSV)…Your promises have been thoroughly tested (NIV)… Your promise has been tested through and through (The Message)…God’s promises have been from everlasting to everlasting, tried and true. This feels a bit like that old sweatshirt, old pair of shoes, or in this case old hat that has been with you a very long time. It may be a bit worn around the edges, but it just fits and holds so much memory and experience. This hat has been with me a very long time and there are plenty of sweat stains to prove it. Its faded, worn, and there’s a few parts that are starting to come apart. But it comes by it through lots of use. Its much the same for the promises that we read of in God’s word, but also the promises we experience in our lives. They are well tried, they have lots of experience behind them and they just fit after the years have passed. As I wrote this I also thought of the wonderful exchange in The Velveteen Rabbit…
“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’
‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’
‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Real – God’s promises. Well tried. And so true.