9 How can a young person stay pure?
By obeying your word.
10 I have tried hard to find you—
don’t let me wander from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12 I praise you, O Lord;
teach me your decrees.
13 I have recited aloud
all the regulations you have given us.
14 I have rejoiced in your laws
as much as in riches.
15 I will study your commandments
and reflect on your ways.
16 I will delight in your decrees
and not forget your word.
17 Be good to your servant,
that I may live and obey your word.
18 Open my eyes to see
the wonderful truths in your instructions.
19 I am only a foreigner in the land.
Don’t hide your commands from me!
20 I am always overwhelmed
with a desire for your regulations.
21 You rebuke the arrogant;
those who wander from your commands are cursed.
22 Don’t let them scorn and insult me,
for I have obeyed your laws.
23 Even princes sit and speak against me,
but I will meditate on your decrees.
24 Your laws please me;
they give me wise advice. Psalm 119:9-24
I decided that if I did one section, corresponding to the Hebrew alphabet a day, I would be in this psalm for quite some time, so I chose two sections for today. First, I’ll type some notes from my study bible.
Note on verse 9
We are drowning in a sea of impurity. Everywhere we look we find temptation to lead impure lives. The psalmist asked a question that troubles us all: How do we stay pure in a filthy environment? We cannot do this on our own but must have counsel and strength more dynamic than the tempting influences around us. Where can we find that strength and wisdom? By reading God’s Word and doing what it says.
Note on verse 11
Hiding (keeping) God’s Word in our heart is a deterrent to sin. This alone should inspire us to memorize Scripture. But memorization alone will not keep us from sin; we must also put God’s Word to work in our life, making it a vital guide for everything we do.
Note on verses 12-14
Most of us chafe under rules, for we think they restrict us from doing what we want. At first glance, then, it may seem strange to hear the psalmist talk of rejoicing in following God’s laws as much as in having great riches. But God’s laws were given to free us to be all he wants us to be. They restrict us from doing what might cripple us and keep us from being our best. God’s guidelines help us follow his path and avoid paths that lead to destruction.
Note on verse 19
The psalmist said that he is a “foreigner here on earth,” and so he needed guidance. Almost any long trip requires a map or guide. As we travel through life, the Bible should be our road map, pointing out safe routes, obstacles to avoid, and our final destination. We must recognize ourselves as pilgrims, travelers here on earth who need to study God’s map to learn the way. If we ignore the map, we will wander aimlessly through life and risk missing our real destination.
People that perceive in the depths of their soul that this life is not the end, but the means to the next life, to eternity, really believe that their every action should be moderated by the Holy Word of God, including all their thoughts and actions. That said, they also should realize that they aren’t perfect and will sometimes fall short of what they know to be true and right. But it is these very same people that have a hunger and thirst for the word that average one day a week Christians are missing.
This knowledge of the Lord’s ultimate plan that creates this thirst and hunger for God’s Word is what keeps believers taking that next step and staunchly remaining steadfast in their beliefs even when it would seem to the rest of the world that they are crazy and are, as my mom calls me, “glutens for punishment.” But, it is in this suffering that the peace and joy of the Lord are so richly and prominently contrasted that people stand up and take notice.
It is hard living with a husband, trying to be submissive and obedient to him when I know that God does not want me to compromise my firmly held beliefs, yet my husband is okay with “cutting corners when necessary,” so to speak. How do you explain to someone that God is not happy with living one foot in this world and one foot in His kingdom? To me this is plain as day, to many, many others out there, there is a blending of the two kingdoms and it is perfectly okay to do so. I suppose that I have a more black and white perspective than others, but that is my belief. I guess to answer my own musings, I feel that God knows my heart, He knows how I desire to follow His word, and to follow His word means to be submissive to my husband. I don’t know, I’m at a loss for words to describe this very fine line, I’ll just have to leave it up to you and God to figure it out for you.
This is all that I really have to say today. I hope that something made sense to you and you have been stimulated in some way to dig into God’s Word even deeper than you already have been doing.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24
May God provide the increase.