Monday, November 13, 2017
Psalms 119:1 – 8 Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways. You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.
NOTE: Today we come to the longest of the Psalms – the 119th. It is an acrostic, with each section of verses starting with the next letter in the Hebrew alphabet. Each section will be the basis for one devotional. The primary focus of the entire Psalm is the Word of God. Its truths are timeless and trustworthy. May the next few weeks of study bring you into a deeper understanding of the authority of Scripture and its practical applications to our lives. Please read each day’s selection carefully. I will make a short comment on just one highlight that I find, so take the time to let the Holy Spirit direct your thoughts to others key points He wants to show you.
The world of sports has been rocked over the last few years by the release of information that many of the stars of the game are guilty of using performance enhancing drugs. This minimizes the athlete’s accomplishments and their reputations have been destroyed. As a member of a professional team, their lives are judged by the rules of the game. The fame they had achieved has become infamy because they pursued personal glory at the expense of respect for the rules. They have been brought to shame rather than fame.
The foundation of all blessing in life is moral integrity, and the basis for moral integrity is the law of God. It is the only truth. God does not bless those who do not live their lives according to His law. So many of the things we call blessings are simply temporary deceptions of Satan that lull us into a false sense of personal security and pride because they were achieved by our own means and according to our own rules. They are not truly blessings of God. Only the things received through obedience to God’s laws can be counted as true blessings. Time will tell which is which in your life, just as it has in sports.
The key thought for me in this first section of Psalm 119 is this – Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!
It is imperative that we understand that the intent of our heart determines the validity of our obedience. Integrity is decided not developed. It is our tendency to want to review the rules before agreeing to them. How many of us have put a check in the box on our computer that states we have read and agree with the user’s policy without actually reading it? We trust the character of the company that produced the software. We make a commitment to obey before we even know what we are being told to do. It is the intent of our heart to obey.
That is the kind of faith God demands of us. His laws are based in His character, and His character is trustworthy. Unfortunately for many of us we feign commitment. We say we trust God and will follow His commands, until we discover one that conflicts with our personal goals and lifestyle choices. We must admit that we have strings attached to our commitment to God, and the main string is that His laws must conform to our own view of life. If they don’t, then we reserve the right to reject God’s laws and write our own. We have never fully decided to follow God.
We must ask ourselves, “Am I steadfast in obeying God’s decrees? Have I fully surrendered my life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the authority of His Word? Am I a person of moral integrity, and will it be proven by my choices to obey God’s laws as I learn them?”
May the answer to all those questions be a resounding YES!