Another Tuesday – another portion of Psalm 119! Let’s read together verses 129 – 136.
Your laws are wonderful. No wonder I obey them!
The teaching of Your Word gives light so even the simple can understand.
I pant with expectation, longing for Your commands.
Come and show me Your mercy, as You do for all who love Your name.
Guide my steps by Your word so I will not be overcome with evil.
Ransom me from the oppression of evil people; then I can obey Your commandments.
Look upon me with love; teach me Your decrees.
Rivers of tears gush from my eyes because people disobey Your instructions.
Truly God’s commandments are indeed wonderful! When you and I properly understand the amazing love and care of God toward us, we begin to gain insight into His commandments.
And yes, even a child can understand them. Just a few weeks ago, my four year old granddaughter delighted us by reciting the Ten Commandments by heart. I asked her what the 10th commandment meant and she promptly responded: ‘Be thankful for what you have and don’t want what someone else has.’ When I pressed her further she said, ‘Savta (Hebrew for Grandmother), God wants me to be happy that Brie got a new doll and not want to take it away from her.’ Close enough! She got the point.
When we approach the Word of God like a child, we will never fail to profit. While there is a place for Exegesis and Biblical Research, etc., your journey of faith and mine is best undertaken with a simple, childlike faith and confidence that God Himself will speak to us through His Word if we will make the time to read and ponder it. David said he ‘longed’ for God’s word. He couldn’t wait to get into it every day.
It is the guide for everyday life. It enlightens, it inspires, it answers our questions and lifts our spirit. Just this morning, as I opened randomly to the Psalms, my eyes fell on the words, ‘With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to Your name forever for Your love for me is very great. You have rescued me from the depths of death.’ Psalm 86:12-13
What a way to start the day! What could be more reassuring as we face a new day with all of its possibilities and opportunities than to know that God’s love towards you is ‘very great’; and for that reason, I will praise Him continually. With these two verses, the atmosphere for my day was established: praise the Holy One of Israel all throughout the day, give Him glory and thank Him profusely for His love! It’s been a blessed and uplifting day.
Look upon me with love and teach me Your decrees, David prays. Sometimes we forget that the Lord Himself wants to teach us His ways. We fill our shelves with multiple commentaries written by flesh and blood people just like us. There’s nothing wrong with that intrinsically but if we fail to spend quality time alone in God’s presence asking HIM to teach, correct, and instruct us in His ways, we miss the most important aspect of spiritual growth. For commentaries, as good as they are, are the testimonies of what other men and women learned from God in the quiet of their contemplation and prayer. How does God communicate with you? What insights have you received in your times of reflection?
By all means, learn from others, but never be satisfied only with what others can teach you. Get alone with God, talk to Him, listen for that still, small voice within your soul through which He speaks and inspires you. Like David, cry out to Him, ‘Teach me Your decrees….grant me a pure heart….the ear of a disciple…make me a man/woman after Your own heart.’
God loves those prayers and answers them. He is more eager to speak with you than you can imagine!
This study in Psalm 119 will come to an end in five weeks when we reach the end of the Psalm. If there is another psalm or another book of the Bible or a biblical topic that you’d like to suggest for our next study, please leave a comment below. I have some ideas but I’d love to hear from you. What would you like to study next?