Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands.
~ Psalm 119: 5-6 ~
When I consider all your commands: Do not lie, do not steal, do not commit adultery, do not bear false witness, honor your father and mother, you shall have no other gods, keep the sabbath day holy, be kind one to another, love one another, forgive each other, pray continually, love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Keep all my commands and it will go well with you. I shudder to think of how many of these I have broken already today.
How hard it is to be faithful to all that God has commanded us to do! What are we to do? How can we keep His law?
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
~ Psalm 119:9-11 ~
What happens in these verses? The Psalmist asks a question: How can someone keep their way pure? The answer is simple: By living according to what God’s Word commands. This is the theme of Psalm 119. The entire Psalm repeatedly talks about how wonderful God’s Word is, how upright are His commands. Yet as we just mentioned, it is impossible to keep God’s commands perfectly. So the Psalmist does what we should also do. Here the Psalmist makes a request: Do not let me stray from what You have commanded. This reminds me of the hymn “Come, Thou Fount“.
Oh to grace, how like a debtor daily I constrain to be
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee
How much are we like a debtor to the grace God has given to us! How often we stray from His wonderful commands! Thanks be to God for the marvelous gift of salvation that we did not have to attain it by ourselves! (Rom. 5:1-11, 8:1-17, Eph. 2:1-10) We do indeed stray fall away from God’s commands, and that partial list above will be broken on a daily, even minute by minute, basis. We cannot follow God’s commands perfectly, and this is why we need Christ.
But in our weakness, we acknowledge our loving God who saved us and desires to lead us on this walk of life, even as He has promised to be with us. And what else does the Psalmist say? He has hidden God’s Word in his heart. God did not leave us to guess as what His will is, but gave us His Word to read, study, and keep in our hearts for every situation (2 Tim. 2:15, 3:14-16, Rom. 12:1-2, Phil. 4:13, 2 Cor. 12:9-10). So what does this tell us? We also should keep God’s Word in our hearts.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
~ Psalm 119:105 ~
We do not wander in this world without direction, and we are not alone and without a guide. Instead, we diligently study the Word of truth that God has given to us and go to Him for forgiveness, strength, and direction in all things. Truly, His word is a light unto our paths in this dark work. Let us praise Him for His wonderful grace!
Blessings to you and yours,