41 Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord,
your salvation according to your promise*;
42 then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me,
for I trust in your word.
43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
for my hope is in your rules.
44 I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever,
* 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.
If the Bible is the word of God (and I believe that it is) and if God is all wise (and again, I believe that he is), then when we study and internalize its truth we too become wise. Not to the same degree as God, but in the same direction.
The world pretends to offer us wisdom. It boasts of its own insights and revelations. To the average person these ideas can seem interesting and can even stimulate our curiosity. The problem is that none of this moves us closer to God. In the end, the wisdom of the world is a dead end.
One of the deflections the world tries to get us, those who claim to follow Christ, to accept is that it is a form of wisdom that is equal in quality as that of God’s. On its face, this notion is ridiculous. But, too many in the Church have bought into the lie. This is not the way of truth and light.
If we desire to live in a way congruent with God’s character, then we must do all we can to know what God actually desires and commands. Fortunately for us, God has provided us with access to this information. It is found in his Word. And when we engage with it and allow ourselves to be molded by it, we will become wiser than the world could ever dream.
Verse 41: There is a symmetry to the clauses in this verse. In particular, there is a synonymous relationship between God’s steadfast love and his salvation. The Psalmist asks for God’s love to come to them. And in the following clause there is a further description of what that love is. It is the salvation that God gives because of God’s promise. When we think of God’s love we are also looking at what that love has provided, namely salvation.
Verse 42: The approaching of God’s love, the experiencing of God’s salvation is the answer we have against those who would deride us. When we are mocked and ridiculed, our answer is that we are loved by God and we are saved because of God’s faithful promise. Our answer to the opposition we face is found in the word we have grown to trust. This is one aspect of God’s word often overlooked. Until we understand how God’s word gives us the answers to our detractors, we will struggle to trust it to provide the answers we yearn for.
Verse 43: When we know the value and power of God’s “word of truth,” we will understand how much we need it. It becomes more than just a means of instruction, it becomes our support in times of great stress and distress. We can find our hope because what God has said in his word, and through his commands God points to the greater reality of his care and affection. When we finally and completely appreciate what we have, we dread the thought of its absence.
Verse 44: The final verse of this section is a vow. The Psalmist vows to keep God’s law “continually.” The idea here is of a dedicated observance. The person who accepts the authority of God’s word in their lives also accepts the commitment it will take to stay truth to it. That is not to say that there will not be days of struggle and moments of doubt. The nature of a vow is to serve as a reminder to the one who made it that they are now under a particular obligation. An obligation they entered into freely.