Thursday 3 January, 2019

Psalm 119:1-48

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. 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.

What an inspiring Psalm! Learn, love, and live the word of God with every fibre of your being is what this Psalm calls me to. There is so much to these 48 verses, but the first 8 are what struck me quite clearly. In a world sometimes obsessed with pursuing happiness, we will find it as we walk in God’s word – being blessed by God, is there a great reason for joy and happiness?

But I need to be diligent in coming to and keeping God’s word. In a world busy to the point of much distraction, I am called by this Psalm to diligent and steadfast focus on God’s word – my eyes “fixed” on His commands. I consider the concept of my eyes fixed on something, and I think of being captivated by a movie or exhilarating performance, deeply intrigued by a work of art, or stilled by a time of deep connection with someone I love and cherish. In each of these experiences, I am “fixed.”

How much do I give myself time to become fixed on God’s word? Captivated by God’s work and mission amongst humanity? Intrigued by His wisdom and teaching? Stilled by the power of His Holy Spirit moving me through the text.

Oh, Lord, may I come to your word different than I have before, and discover your captivating splendour throughout it!

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

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