Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Craving God’s Word
“My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word. I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes. Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works. My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word. Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously. I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me. I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame. I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.” (Psalm 119:25-32)
The psalmist found himself constantly on his face before God, asking forgiveness. He asks for comfort and life as God had promised. He had shared God’s commandments and taught people to obey them. Now he is asking for a clearer understanding of the basic principles so that he can more effectively explain what God has done and escape the sense of guilt he feels as he considers what the Law said. He has chosen to obey God, doing the things he had learned, and he would like to feel confident his efforts were worthwhile.
“Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way. Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear. Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good. Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.” (Psalm 119:33-40)
If God will teach him the details of his commands, he is committed to obeying them, but he needs to understand them if he is to keep them. He asks that God would guide him according to his commands because he takes pleasure in doing what is right. He asks that god would keep him focused on the right so that he is not distracted by covetousness or foolishness. We asks that God would keep him from making a fool of himself because he knew what God wanted is good and it is what he wants.
“Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word. So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word. And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments. So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.” (Psalm 119:41-48)
He knows he is not perfect, and asks God for his mercy and the salvation he has promised in his word. When he was aware of God’s power in his life, he would have an answer for those who made fun of him for his faith. He asked that God not allow him to forget what the scriptures said, so that he could be consistent in following his commands. Knowing for sure what was right would give him a sense of freedom because he was trying to do what was right. He would be able to speak confidently to even rulers of other countries and enjoy knowing he was doing the right things. He would be able to think seriously about what God wanted.