Lent 2021, Day 1 | Psalm 119:1-4

Psalm 119:1-4

1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
    who walk in the law of the Lord*!
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
    who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong,
    but walk in his ways!
You have commanded your precepts
    to be kept diligently.

* Through these reflections, those phrases that identify God’s word, revelation, or law will be highlighted in the text in the hopes of accentuating the many and varied ways we can visualize what God has given to us for our good.


Reflection

The life of the believer in Jesus will be marked by one important choice: will I strive to live according to the will of God as contained in the word of God.

This may feel like an oversimplification. And it might be. But the benefit of thinking about our journey in these terms is that is clarifies what the goal is. Whether we are comfortable with it yet or not, we must live in such a way that when we stand before our Lord and Savior we hear him say, “Well done.”

One of the great realizations of my life in Christ was discovering that what God commands are the training wheels faith. They are not the end of faith. They are the beginning. What God calls us to do is what trains us to go deeper into who he is and what he has called us to do in the world.

The more I think on this, the more profound the realization. And the more clear the task.


Commentary

Verse 1: There is a link between the integrity of our lives and the state of blessedness we experience. But what is it that bridges these two realities? The inference from the text is that is the commitment to our obedience to “the law of the Lord.” This phrase is a shorthand for God’s revelation. For that which God has spoken. To be blessed and to be seen as blameless and to walk in the law of the Lord are not disconnected ideas. They are, in fact, the way we know we are moving in the same direction as God.

Verse 2: What does it mean to “keep his testimonies”? To treasure. To esteem. To protect because of what it means to you. Does this define our disposition for what God has said about himself? What others have said about him? Too often we make the mistake of thinking that “knowing” is the same as “keeping.” It is not. The former speaks to a mere familiarity. The latter, a deep and abiding intimacy. And this is a key to making sense of why we ought to keep his testimonies. In our pursuit of him, we do it with out “whole heart.” With the totality of who we are. We are not merely trying to find God. We are trying to connect with God. To be known by God in the deepest of ways.

Verse 3: The pursuit and the treasuring manifests itself in a life that embodies the essence and character of God. We “do no wrong.” We are able to discern what we ought to do, for that is most pleasing to God. And, in our pleasing God, we are deeply fulfilled. Satisfied in our innermost being. As we discover what God requires of us, we can see the manner of our living is changed. It is transformed. So much so that we being to walk like he walks. We are more than just copying his actions. Our apprehension of what it means to be with God and to be like God has matured. It is growing clearer in our understanding. We become living examples of his grace.

Verse 4: The kind of life that is blessed and has internalized the truths of the law of the Lord is a disciplined life. I find that we take exception far to quickly with God’s commands. Why should we not listen to the one voice that has our best interests at heart and who knows the end from the beginning? Why do be buck so strongly that instruction? Is it because we fail to accept that in our own limitations we will fail more often than we can admit? The apostle John tells us that the commands of God are not burdensome (1 John 5:3). And yet we feel as those we are being overwhelmed by what has requested. We must confront this tendency. We have been commanded to be diligent in our keeping of God’s precepts. That requires discipline and trust in God to do with confidence.


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I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, husband, father, and author. I am an avid Cubs fan and a lover of Chicago-style Deep Dish pizza.

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