The 119thPsalm offers some wonderful, timely, and practical lessons for daily Christian living, nearly all of which are rooted in the power and glory of God’s word. Let us consider a few.
Regular time spent in the study of the Bible does at least two things: (1) it increases one’s love for God’s word (Psa. 119:97); (2) it increases one’s hatred of evil. “Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way” (119:104).
If your response to evil in yourself or in others is not hatred of that evil, then perhaps you need to spend more time reflecting on the word of God.
Recently I was walking through the den, as I have safely done thousands of times, when the little toe on my right foot slammed into the corner of the couch with great force. Did I mention that the light was off? Trying to navigate even a well-known route in the dark is not wise.
The word of God is designed to be “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Regardless of how familiar we may be with the world around us, we are setting ourselves up for a lot of pain if we try to navigate it without the guidance of God’s word.
The psalmist was clear and concise when he expressed his commitment to obeying God. “I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules.”
When some folks approach the word of God, it is with far less dedication. They may pledge to follow God’s direction if they agree with it or if it doesn’t require too much sacrifice. Not so with the inspired writer here. No qualifications, conditions, or stipulations. Just a plain and simple promise to do as God desires.
Here the writer pictures himself as walking down a path. Ahead he sees a trap laid before him by his enemies. If he continues down the path (the path of obedience) he will be harmed by his enemies. Undeterred, he says, “I do not stray from your precepts.”
It is too often the case that we will stray from God’s will when we see that it might bring us some level of discomfort at the hands of God’s enemies. Let us make the psalmist’s decree our own and be willing to face whatever comes our way and not forsake the will of God.