161 Princes persecute me without cause,
but my heart stands in awe of your words*.
162 I rejoice at your word
like one who finds great spoil.
163 I hate and abhor falsehood,
but I love your law.
164 Seven times a day I praise you
for your righteous 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.
As we begin what is commonly called Holy Week, we enter one of the most important times of celebration in the Christian faith. What makes this week important is it affords us an intentional opportunity to remember the gift of salvation we have been given.
In the busyness of life we can become quite distracted. The number of things that draw our attention can be overwhelming. Not that all of them are evil or sinful. The problem we have is that we find it hard to refocus back on what God is calling us to.
This is why I appreciate the season of Lent. It is a time of preparation. But it also affords me the space to consider what takes up too much time in my life.
The discipline of taking stock of our lives is one we should not take for granted. In fact, we should take advantage of these times in the year when we can look at what we are doing and make important decisions. Decisions about what we want to change or adjust to maintain our focus on Jesus and our spiritual growth.
Verse 161: The source of persecution may take the form of officials in high places, but even then the admonition is to stay true to God’s word. Here we see the Psalmist describe this commitment as “awe.” There is something inspiring about God’s word. It is simple enough for a child to read and yet profound enough to keep our attention for years. The depth of God’s word is miraculous.
Verse 162: To see the word of God as a treasure is one of the best ways of thinking about. The imagery here is that of discovery. The writing is minding their own business and come upon the “great spoil” of God’s word. One option is to ignore what you have found. But, when you know the value what you now have before you, it is difficult not to rejoice.
Verse 163: The law of God is juxtaposed with falsehood. This means that the word of God is the measure of all claims. If what we are being told is not consistent or congruent with God’s word, then we have to be cautious in entertaining it. We cannot live in accord with God’s purposes if we are adopting falsehoods as a part of our lives.
Verse 164: Thankfulness for God’s gracious gift of his word is an everyday event. Or at least it should be. The phrase “seven times a day” is a poetic way of saying continually. There ought not be an end to our appreciation for all God has revealed to us.