Friday, October 7, 2016
Learning God’s Precepts
“Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments. They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.
I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant. Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.
Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts. Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies. Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.” (Psalm 119:73-80)
God created each individual human, and like a car manufacturer, he has given us a manual for how we should live our lives to attain the most satisfactory results in his word. Unfortunately, a lot of people never read the manual or make the effort to follow it. David asks help in understanding god’s word so that he can learn to follow it more completely. Others will come to him asking about his satisfaction and how he uses it to obtain satisfaction.
Knowing God created him, he knows his his commandments are right and that any afflictions he has experienced are for his own good. He prays that he would find comfort in God’s mercy and kindness as he had promised, making life worth living. He prays that those who take no thought of God and have turned on him may be shamed by their behavior while those who seek to please God will be drawn to him in love. He asks that his keeping of the word would be as God intended so he wouldn’t be ashamed later.
“My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word. Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me? For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.
How many are the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me? The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law. All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me. They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts. Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.” (Psalm 119:81-88)
Despite his absolute conviction that God’s way was best, David sometimes got discouraged and even depressed, but he never gave up hope that God would keep his word. He did ask how long he would have to live with the problems because sometimes he felt like a bottle in the smoke unable to see past it or escape and constantly dirtied by it, even though he kept God’s commands. The longer it went the more he wanted to jump ahead to the end so that he didn’t fall into the traps and sin surrounding him or respond to the persecution in an ungodly way. There were times when he felt like just giving in, and he is asking that God make him aware of the blessings so he didn’t.
“For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants.
Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction. I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me. I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts. The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies. I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.” (Psalm 119:89-96)
God is eternally the same and does not change, nor do his commands. He will always keep his promises and the world he created will always follow the natural scientific laws as God designed it to do, because they all follow God’s will.
If David had not followed God’s law in a similar fashion, the problems he had experienced would have destroyed him. He was determined never to forget the principles of His law, be4cause he was God’s and needed God to save him. He had sought to understand the principles because he wanted God’s blessings. Those who attacked him ignored those principles, in an effort to destroy him. but he would follow them because he believed in the future of those who did.
Humans try to make a specific law to fit each individual situation, making them in piecemeal fashion, As a result there soon becomes so many laws no one knows them all, and some contradict others. People are forced to hire lawyers to find out what they can do or can’t do. God’s laws are far broader and more consistent, covering a wide range of situations so it is possible to know what is right in every situation, if one understands the underlying precept..