105 Your word* is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
106 I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
to keep your righteous rules.
107 I am severely afflicted;
give me life, O Lord, according to your word!
108 Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O Lord,
and teach me your rules.
* 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.
There are many different kinds of challenges on this journey of faith. The variety stems from the uniqueness of each person. No two people, even if they experienced the identical events, would be affected in the same way. Each person is as different as the proverbial snowflakes.
Understanding how wide the possible responses could be helps us to better appreciate the beauty of God’s word. As we approach the Scriptures, each and every person who embraces them will be ministered to in the just the ways they need. This characteristic of the Bible can only be described as miraculous.
How does knowing this help us? I believe it gives us a confidence in God’s ability to lead us we may not feel otherwise. If we know that when we read and meditate and internalize God’s wisdom he is present with us, that increases our desire to drink of that well over and over again.
To trust the Bible is not merely a blind assent. It is a tested decision. But if we have not actually conformed our thoughts to the patterns it teaches we may never actually know. To often in my own life I have claimed my own wisdom and understanding for God’s. This is always a mistake. And it is always a fools errand. It is not until we truly submit to God’s word that we will see the harvest of God’s word bear fruit in our lives.
Verse 105: This may possible be one of the best know verse of Psalm 119. The two-fold blessing of God’s word is that it helps us to see where we are AND where we are going. Being able to have a stable footing is vitally important to living confidently before God. Also, knowing we are headed in the correct direction builds our trust in God’s goodness. We see here that God accomplishes all this through his word.
Verse 106: It takes a conscious decision to keeps God’s rules. It is not something we just fall into doing. The principal reason is we really don’t want to. The Psalmists says they have confirmed their oath. One has to wonder how this confirmation has taken place. The simplest way of thinking about it is to remember the context of the psalm up to this point. The context is a trust in God’s word to provide all that has been described. This steady trust is a perpetual confirmation. Both to God, but also to us. As we do what we have promised, God does what he has promised. And with each step, faith is built up in us.
Verse 107: At first glance it would be easy describe the Psalmist’s plea as a request for protect. This would not be an incorrect reading. However, there is another, more subtle implication of the text. Namely, that the word of God described a particular understanding of what life is. The life of faith cannot be quantified in the same terms as that of life without God. This would be to impose upon God that which he is under no obligation to provide.
Verse 108: Thankfulness and worship are always appropriate responses to God’s goodness. Especially when we offer them for no other reason than to let God know we are thankful. As we appreciate God’s grace and mercy we ought to make it a habit to honor God without needing to be prompted. As we give thanks to God, we are also preparing ourselves to receive instruction from him.