G’day and welcome to Partake and our series “Scriptural Delights!” Here is our fifteenth podcast of our series going through the wonder that is Psalm 119! Today we look at the twelfth of its twenty-two letters, Mem, and its verses 97 to 104.
97 Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.
98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,
for they are ever with me.
99 I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your statutes.
100 I have more understanding than the elders,
for I obey your precepts.
101 I have kept my feet from every evil path
so that I might obey your word.
102 I have not departed from your laws,
for you yourself have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 I gain understanding from your precepts;
therefore I hate every wrong path.
Thanks for reading, Sandy!
Here the Psalmist declares his love for God’s commandments, law and wisdom! It’s now not merely delight but he has moved on to a kind of spiritual ecstatic love! So much so, that the Psalmist meditates on God’s law all the time, letting what God has revealed in His written word to permeate the Psalmist’s whole thinking! And of course, meditating in this sense is not just sitting around and thinking – meditating in the biblical sense is always focussed on God and then acting out what has been learnt from God! The Psalmist knows that action has its beginning in the thought process and is the culmination of meditating.
This action involves the Psalmist being wiser than his enemies! Because he relies on what God has said, and obeys what God has said, the Psalmist can avoid the traps of his enemies. The Psalmist knows that God will protect him! The Psalmist is endeavouring to live a life worth of His God – a life of total obedience and worship – so by having God’s commands with him all the time, helps him achieve this twin aim.
And its not only his enemies that he is wiser than – it is also his teachers! Its not that these teachers were fools – they were not! Its also not that they couldn’t be trusted! They could! But the study of God’s word and meditating upon it, leads to wisdom and fear of the Lord. He doesn’t just accept what those around him and teach him say. He tests and approves their teaching in comparison with what he finds in the Law. Think not that the Psalmist is boasting, because he is not! Rather, he is accepting the teaching from God’s word with a child-like desire to grow in knowledge and obedience of Almighty God. He builds up God and God’s Law and not himself. This has also led him to be more obedient than his elders. God’s precepts and commandments are a priority in the life of the Psalmist! He exudes ecstatic love for God and for God’s law, precepts, statutes and commandments.
And this ecstatic desire has produced dividends! The Psalmist feet have been on the path of obedience and right living! He is following God intimately! Every footstep he takes is carefully chosen so that his feet stay away from the paths of evil! Nothing could persuade or seduce him away from following God’s path closely. So intimate is he with God’s commandments and statutes that he has not departed from them! The path of obedience to God may not have been the easiest path for the Psalmist to take, but it was the right path because it showed obedience to Almighty God, the greatest teacher of all in verse 102!
This intimacy of relationship between the Psalmist and God is sweet. The Psalmist loves to read the words of God and exclaims that it is even sweeter when he speak the words of God! While God’s commands are to be sweet to the ears, eyes and intellect, it is only surpassed in sweetness when talked about and put into action. The Psalmist knew that if he only gained a head knowledge of obedience to God, then he would stray away from God, so he puts into practice in his life what God has taught him to do. This is for the Psalmist to live a life of total and utter obedience to the great God he worshipped and adored. Try as they might, his enemies cannot seduce him away from this obedience to his God!
This life of total obedience to God, was mirrored in the life of Jesus Christ. Many times he was tempted to give in, walk the easy path and live a life unworthy of God. While we know the Psalmist, David, did sin, we know for sure that Jesus Christ did not. The life of Jesus Christ portrays an unparalleled intimacy with God and an ecstatic desire to be obedient to God. Jesus could have said no to the cross, but he did not. When Jesus Christ died on that cross, it was part of His total obedience to God. He could have given into Satan’s temptations but we know that He did not. He had faith that His Father would raise him to life again 3 days later – and He was! Jesus was intimate with the Scriptures, as was the Psalmist David. How are you doing? Are there areas in your life where you are not obeying God and are being seduced away from Him? How is your intimacy with Him? Do you have an ecstatic relationship with the Bible, God’s written word, as the Psalmist did? Why not pray and ask the Holy Spirit to develop this spiritual ecstasy within you, to read the Bible and follow it closely. So we wrap up with wise words from the Apostle Paul, writing in Ephesians 5v15-16 “Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”