Then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me,
for I trust in your word (Psalm 119:42).
Someone has been taunting the psalmist. Sounds like more biblical trash-talking (under Categories, see posts on Trash Talking, my favorite: Canine Blood Lickers, Avian Flesh Pickers).
The “Then” at the beginning of this verse ties it back to the last one, so when YHWH’s steadfast love and salvation come to the psalmist (119:41), “then” he’ll have an answer to the taunt.
How does one answer a taunt? With a taunt (this is the Old Testament, none of that “turning-the-other cheek” stuff here). How does this sound as a counter-taunt: “God loves me and saves me, so there“? It sounds a bit strange, but it’s good to be able to state boldly what we know about God and the status of our relationship with God.
Taunts are meant to belittle and discourage. The fact that God loves me and saves me should give me confidence.
The end of verse 42 is the key for these first two verses of the Vav section (119:41-48, where all verses begin with the 6th letter of the Hebrew alphabet…yes, you guessed it…Vav). The psalmist trusts in God’s word. And because of this trust, the psalmist is confident that he will have appropriate counter-taunts involving God’s love and God’s salvation to verbally defeat his opponent.
The psalmist knows that God’s word is reliable and trustworthy. And not just for taunting.
God, give us confidence in your word, your love and your salvation to overcome discouragement.
How can we use God’s word, God’s love and God’s salvation to overcome taunts or discouragements?