May 30 (Daily reading: Psalm 119) In this psalm, we find the words: “law, statutes, precepts, decrees, testimonies, commandments, judgments,” all of which refer to God’s word. There are phrases also that explain how we are to respond to God’s word: “Walk according to, keep and obey, praise for, learn from, live according to, follow, meditate, contemplate, find delight in, treasure, rejoice in, set the heart upon, trust in, put hope in,” and finally, “love.” The psalmist wrote, “I reach out for your commands, which I love” (v. 48).
There will be good results when we respond to God’s word. Among the most important: “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” (v. 11). Jesus gave us this example when He quoted scripture in response to each of Satan’s temptations (Lk. 4:4, 8, 12). We also read the results of meditating, contemplating, and delighting in the word of God: “I shall not forget your word” (vv. 15-16). Scripture memorization is helpful to keep our hearts from sin.
The psalmist underlined the importance of God teaching us His word, either by self-study or hearing others. Teaching brings understanding, “that I may observe Your law and keep it with all my heart” (v. 34). The word “teach” is used three times in five verses, with this result: “Before … I went astray, but now I keep Your word” (vv. 64-68). Training in God’s word leads to keeping His word!
God’s word provides guidance for the adventure of following Him: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (v. 105). We pull out our iPhones and use GPS even for finding an address across town. We do not have an app for finding God’s way. But there is a map, a plan, a guiding light, and it is the Word of God!
– Al Gary