Saturday, October 8, 2022

Blessings of the Word (Psalm 119:1-40)

Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD” (Ps. 119:1).

The monumental 119th psalm is actually an acrostic poem—each line of every stanza begins with the same letter. The 22 stanzas work through the entire Hebrew alphabet. Psalm 119 teaches the blessings of obedience, the importance of delighting in God’s ways, the saint’s hatred of sin, and the hope and promises in God’s law. Over the next four days we will discuss each of these.

The psalmist begins in a manner reminiscent of Psalm 1, expounding on the necessity of obedience to God for the faithful believer. He tells us that a person who obeys God’s commands receives abundant blessings. First, he is filled with a desire to learn God’s ways as the only rule for his life, “I will praise You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgements” (v. 7). Second, His ways will be kept pure: “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word” (v. 9). If you want to chase confusion from your life, if you long to live a life in love to Christ, look to His Word, for it is the rule of instruction during the Christian’s journey in this world: “I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide Your commands from me” (v. 19).

Third, the Word of God and all His precious commands give strength and renewal to the Christian through the power of the Holy Spirit. “My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to Your word” (v. 25). “Revive me in Your righteousness” (v. 40b). “I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have given me life” (v. 93). Through His promises and precepts, God renews your life, giving you direction and strength to walk in the ways of Christ. While the law in itself has no power, the Holy Spirit working in you, in accordance with His Word, renews your life daily.

Lastly, when you diligently obey God you find freedom to serve, wisdom to function in the body of Christ and the world, and peace to know that God has given you the grace to live according to His ways. “I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts” (v. 45). “Your commands make me wiser than my enemies” (v. 98). Finally, “Great peace have those who love Your law” (v. 165b). Only those who have a renewed heart can love God’s law and taste the joy of His everlasting peace.

Read through all of Psalm 119 before Monday. What is the writer’s attitude toward God’s law? Do you have even a fraction of this much desire to obey God’s commands? Jesus said, “If you love me, obey my commands.” Show Him greater love by studying and obeying His ways.