1 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. 2 Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart— 3 they do no wrong but follow his ways. 4 You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. 5 Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! 6 Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. 7 I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. 8 I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me. 9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 12 Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees. 13 With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. 14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. 15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. 16 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. 17 Be good to your servant while I live, that I may obey your word. 18 Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. 19 I am a stranger on earth; do not hide your commands from me. 20 My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times. 21 You rebuke the arrogant, who are accursed, those who stray from your commands. 22 Remove from me their scorn and contempt, for I keep your statutes. 23 Though rulers sit together and slander me, your servant will meditate on your decrees. 24 Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors. 25 I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word. 26 I gave an account of my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees. 27 Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds. 28 My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. 29 Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me and teach me your law. 30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws. 31 I hold fast to your statutes, Lord; do not let me be put to shame. 32 I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding. 33 Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end.[b] 34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. 35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. 36 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. 37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.[c] 38 Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared. 39 Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good. 40 How I long for your precepts! In your righteousness preserve my life. 41 May your unfailing love come to me, Lord, your salvation, according to your promise; 42 then I can answer anyone who taunts me, for I trust in your word. 43 Never take your word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws. 44 I will always obey your law, for ever and ever. 45 I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. 46 I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame, 47 for I delight in your commands because I love them. 48 I reach out for your commands, which I love, that I may meditate on your decrees. 49 Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. 50 My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. 51 The arrogant mock me unmercifully, but I do not turn from your law. 52 I remember, Lord, your ancient laws, and I find comfort in them. 53 Indignation grips me because of the wicked, who have forsaken your law. 54 Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge. 55 In the night, Lord, I remember your name, that I may keep your law. 56 This has been my practice: I obey your precepts. 57 You are my portion, Lord; I have promised to obey your words. 58 I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. 59 I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. 60 I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands. 61 Though the wicked bind me with ropes, I will not forget your law. 62 At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws. 63 I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts. 64 The earth is filled with your love, Lord; teach me your decrees. 65 Do good to your servant according to your word, Lord. 66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands. 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. 68 You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees. 69 Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart. 70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law. 71 It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. 72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. 73 Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands. 74 May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word. 75 I know, Lord, that your laws are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. 76 May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. 77 Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight. 78 May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause; but I will meditate on your precepts. 79 May those who fear you turn to me, those who understand your statutes. 80 May I wholeheartedly follow your decrees, that I may not be put to shame. 81 My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word. 82 My eyes fail, looking for your promise; I say, “When will you comfort me?” 83 Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget your decrees. 84 How long must your servant wait? When will you punish my persecutors? 85 The arrogant dig pits to trap me, contrary to your law. 86 All your commands are trustworthy; help me, for I am being persecuted without cause. 87 They almost wiped me from the earth, but I have not forsaken your precepts. 88 In your unfailing love preserve my life, that I may obey the statutes of your mouth. 89 Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. 90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. 91 Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you. 92 If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. 93 I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life. 94 Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts. 95 The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes. 96 To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless. 97 Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. 98 Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. 99 I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. 100 I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. 101 I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word. 102 I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me. 103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. 105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. 106 I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws. 107 I have suffered much; preserve my life, Lord, according to your word. 108 Accept, Lord, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws. 109 Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law. 110 The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts. 111 Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. 112 My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end. 113 I hate double-minded people, but I love your law. 114 You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. 115 Away from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commands of my God! 116 Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. 117 Uphold me, and I will be delivered; I will always have regard for your decrees. 118 You reject all who stray from your decrees, for their delusions come to nothing. 119 All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross; therefore I love your statutes. 120 My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of your laws. 121 I have done what is righteous and just; do not leave me to my oppressors. 122 Ensure your servant’s well-being; do not let the arrogant oppress me. 123 My eyes fail, looking for your salvation, looking for your righteous promise. 124 Deal with your servant according to your love and teach me your decrees. 125 I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes. 126 It is time for you to act, Lord; your law is being broken. 127 Because I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold, 128 and because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path. 129 Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them. 130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. 131 I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands. 132 Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name. 133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me. 134 Redeem me from human oppression, that I may obey your precepts. 135 Make your face shine on your servant and teach me your decrees. 136 Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed. 137 You are righteous, Lord, and your laws are right. 138 The statutes you have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy. 139 My zeal wears me out, for my enemies ignore your words. 140 Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them. 141 Though I am lowly and despised, I do not forget your precepts. 142 Your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true. 143 Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight. 144 Your statutes are always righteous; give me understanding that I may live. 145 I call with all my heart; answer me, Lord, and I will obey your decrees. 146 I call out to you; save me and I will keep your statutes. 147 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word. 148 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. 149 Hear my voice in accordance with your love; preserve my life, Lord, according to your laws. 150 Those who devise wicked schemes are near, but they are far from your law. 151 Yet you are near, Lord, and all your commands are true. 152 Long ago I learned from your statutes that you established them to last forever. 153 Look on my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten your law. 154 Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to your promise. 155 Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek out your decrees. 156 Your compassion, Lord, is great; preserve my life according to your laws. 157 Many are the foes who persecute me, but I have not turned from your statutes. 158 I look on the faithless with loathing, for they do not obey your word. 159 See how I love your precepts; preserve my life, Lord, in accordance with your love. 160 All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal. 161 Rulers persecute me without cause, but my heart trembles at your word. 162 I rejoice in your promise like one who finds great spoil. 163 I hate and detest falsehood but I love your law. 164 Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws. 165 Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. 166 I wait for your salvation, Lord, and I follow your commands. 167 I obey your statutes, for I love them greatly. 168 I obey your precepts and your statutes, for all my ways are known to you. 169 May my cry come before you, Lord; give me understanding according to your word. 170 May my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your promise. 171 May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees. 172 May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous. 173 May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts. 174 I long for your salvation, Lord, and your law gives me delight. 175 Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me. 176 I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.
The verse that struck me the most, and bears being re-quoted in this epic Psalm is verse 118: You reject all who stray from your decrees, for their delusions come to nothing. This struck me, in a Psalm that so eloquently and beautifully declares the power, significance, value and richness to be found in God’s word. The Psalm declares that we are blessed of God and are empowered to do no wrong when we live by His word (verse 2-3). The word of God sets our hearts free (vs32, 45), brings us delight (vs35), is sure (49), gives us access to God’s goodness (68), gives us understanding and wisdom (73, 97-99), is fully trustworthy (86), is eternal and firm (89, 152, 160), is boundless (96), is true (151), and brings us enduring peace and stability (165). Is not living outside of all that this offers, and I have barely skimmed the surface of this Psalm, a delusion?
And yet I think to myself, how much are my days meditations on this rich and immeasurable bounty? Why do I get so easily drawn away? I think, perhaps, it is rather because the world we live in has tended to flip verse 118 on its head – those who live the word of God are delusional. The world around us does not seem to encourage resting upon an ancient document that some say is full of myth and legend and something we have well and truly moved on from in our “modern age.” At least, that tends to be my experience when I’m under pressure, under stress, under the pump, with deadlines due, and troubles around me.
This Psalm calls me to one central assurance – there is no richer, more peaceful, more resourceful, more empowering, more life-giving, more vision inspiring place I can turn to than the word of God. Even the greatest ideas and purposes of man have come and gone. But this book in my constant possession is eternal – established, tested and true. The word of God will endure. I must remember that the temptation is to move from this enduring stability, into delusions and notions of this world that in reality elevate the pride of man. All the different offerings of the word of God I have listed above I need on a daily, if not hourly, basis. I am helped by God today to say no to the temptation to move from the assurance of the word of God to vain delusions that will come to nothing.
Lord, help me to remember this powerful revelation not simply today, but everyday. Help me to meditate upon, and base my life and daily operations, upon your word. In Jesus name, Amen.
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh