Welcome back to our ongoing study/meditation in Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible. Our focus today is on verses 113 to 120.
I hate those with divided loyalties, but I love Your instructions.
You are my refuge and my shield; Your Word is my source of hope.
Get out of my life, you evil-minded people, for I intend to keep the commandments of my God.
Lord, sustain me as you promised, that I may live! Do not let my hope be crushed.
Sustain me and I will be rescued; then I will meditate continually on Your decrees.
But You have rejected all who stray from Your decrees. They are only fooling themselves.
You skim off the wicked of the earth like scum; no wonder I love to obey Your laws!
I tremble in fear of You; I stand in awe of Your regulations.
Divided loyalties…another way of saying ‘double-minded’ which is defined as unstable, vacillating, unable to make up one’s mind. A double-minded person lives in a constant state of compromise, continually torn in two directions. On the one hand, he or she sincerely wants to serve God. On the other hand, the opinion of others or the pull of worldliness does battle against the individual’s commitment to live according to God’s Word.
A double-minded person finds it next to impossible to stay away from the danger zone. He or she moves quickly in that direction at the slightest impulse. The longer a person refrains from that bad habit, the easier it gets to stay away from it. But the more you “cut corners,” the more you find yourself locked into a double-minded quagmire of your own making.
A double-minded man is an unstable man. No wonder old habits seem to hang on indefinitely in the life of a double-minded believer. Those old habits are simply the fruit of an unstable heart and mind.
At the root of double-mindedness is fear: fear of disapproval, fear of rejection, fear of commitment, fear of the face of men. It is that self-preservation instinct in each of us that consciously or sub-consciously causes us to vacillate when confronted by someone we think will disagree with our opinion, attitude, conviction or commitment. To protect ourselves from anticipated hostility, we hide behind excuses and compromises which, if we’re honest, means we act insincerely and dishonestly. The sad result is a weakening of our relationship with God and with others.
The fear of the Lord – that is, the awesome respect and honor we owe Him – will keep us from falling into this self-protecting trap. As we learn to care more about what He thinks of us than what other people may think of us, we develop a steadfast directness and honesty that in the end is far more productive in building strong relationships.
Let us take a cue from King David. Look in the mirror and ask yourself, ‘How much do I let the actual or imagined opinion of others towards me dictate what I do or not do, what I say or not say? Then take some time to think about it.
By no means am I advocating harshness in our communication with others, but being true to God and to yourself and learning to express it in kind and gentle ways is a goal worth striving for. The more we love God’s Word and study it for the purpose of our own transformation, the more single-minded we will become.
May God help us all to do so!
As Passover is about to be upon us, I want to wish all of you a happy, healthy and blessed Passover week.
Til next Tuesday, walk in joy!