109 I hold my life in my hand continually,
but I do not forget your law*.
110 The wicked have laid a snare for me,
but I do not stray from your precepts.
111 Your testimonies are my heritage forever,
for they are the joy of my heart.
112 I incline my heart to perform your statutes
forever, to the end.
* 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.
What do we do when we can’t seem to find the answer we need in God’s word? We can get frustrated or discouraged.
Over the course of the last twenty years I have learned that an important part of my anxiety over God’s silence is me. I come to God believing that God is obligated to bend to my every whim. This is not only wrong, it exposes an assumption that hinders our relationship with God. When we demand God act, we have usurped an authority that does not belong to us.
The Psalmist throughout this psalm provides us with a multitude of reasons why we should never demand of God what God has not obligated himself to do in his word. The Word of God is a binding document, both to God and to us. In it we find everything we need to know about how God operates in the world and how we are to approach him.
God will not do anything contrary to what he has revealed. And if we approach God understanding who he is and how he works, we reduce (and maybe even eliminate) the reasons for our frustration.
Verse 109: Every day we make important decisions that will affect the course of our lives. These decisions do not always feel as being significant, but which ones will or will not be cannot be predicted. To live with our eyes set on eternity is the best way of honoring the gift of life we have. So, it is vital that one of those decision we make is to remember God’s law. To acknowledge that what God has commanded also requires our attention every day.
Verse 110: This theme of the plans of those who are against us has been repeated several times. And each time the general direction is that of distraction. When there are people working to harm us, it can draw our attention from what we should be doing. Whether that is an objective or one of God’s “precepts.” The Psalmist admits the reality of this opposition and at the same time encourages us to recognize that a commitment to what God has said is far better.
Verse 111: As children of God, God’s word is an inheritance to us. The beauty of this inheritance is that we do not have to wait to enjoy it. We have access to it right now. All we have to do is make ourselves available to it. When we love the giver, we will treasure the gift even more. This is why we must read and meditate and study the Bible. It is ours by right. To not enjoy it is to diminish the one who provided it for us.
Verse 112: There comes a moment when we understand what is required of us. When that moment comes we must make a choice. There is no way of not making a choice. We will either chose to obey or to disobey. This same moment will occur when we understand what the word of God is to us. At that moment we will have to make a choice. Will we do all God has commanded? Or will we make a different choice?