A delightful way to live

A delightful way to live

Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. – Psalms 119:35

Psalms 119:33-48

 33 Teach me your decrees, O LORD; I will keep them to the end.

 34 Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart.

 35 Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.

 36 Give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money!

 37 Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.

 38 Reassure me of your promise, made to those who fear you.

 39 Help me abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good.

 40 I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness.

 41 LORD, give me your unfailing love, the salvation that you promised me.

 42 Then I can answer those who taunt me, for I trust in your word.

 43 Do not snatch your word of truth from me, for your regulations are my only hope.

 44 I will keep on obeying your instructions forever and ever.

 45 I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.

 46 I will speak to kings about your laws, and I will not be ashamed.

 47 How I delight in your commands! How I love them!

 48 I honor and love your commands. I meditate on your decrees.

Giving gifts to others is a simple endeavor which is as old as humanity itself. Gifts are given to someone without the expectation of payment or anything in return. The best gifts have intrinsic meaning and value, which are not related to cost. To the recipient, gifts are meant to be free.

A gift can refer to any item or act of service that brings joy or satisfaction to the recipient. They are intended to bring joy and lessen sorrow. Often, simple acts of kindness or forgiveness go a long way.

The Scriptures, the Word of God, is the Father’s magnificent gift to mankind. They contain many wonderful, gracious benefits that He has offered to mankind. The greatest gift is the incarnation and redemptive death of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 119 celebrates the Father’s gracious gift to mankind of His truth found in the Law of Moses, the Torah. The Torah contains the Father’s guidebook for life.

Of all of the Psalms, it is the longest, containing 175 verses. In fact it is the longest chapter in the entire Bible. The amount of space given to it underscores its immense importance.

Psalm 119 is intended to be meditated upon, prayed through, and sung. When we set aside the time and make a definite choice to do so, we express our heartfelt gratitude and admiration to the Father for His great gift.

The simple act of praising Him through prayer and song stirs up a fervent yearning to reflect the goodness and loveliness which is expressed. It encourages us to become like Him and to do what He does.

As we learn and follow his instructions, we avoid self-destructive attitudes, choices, and actions and their consequences. Instead of the law restricting us, it sets us free to live and enjoy life as the Father intended. We experience forgiveness and the release from guilt and pain that often torments us.

What a delightful way to live!

REFLECT & PRAY

“People with renewed hearts delight to obey God and learn from his Word, which guides them” (ESV Study Bible). When we fall in love with the Father, obedience, and service flow freely from our hearts.

Father please soften my wounded and hardened heart that I might fall deeper and deeper in love with You. May I truly become a theophilus, a lover of God.

INSIGHT

Most of us know what it feels like to love someone else deeply and also to be loved deeply. Psalms 119 shows us exactly how it is possible to do just that with the Father. Imagine what it would be like to be “in love” with the Father and His Word. Surely this is exactly what the Father desires for each of His children.

The writer of the Psalm, remains anonymous, but he shows us the way. He cries out in prayer to the Father, teach me and give me insight (Psalms 119:33, 34). His desire to understand his earnest and intense. But his goal, his ultimate objective is not mere understanding, but rather to live out what he knows with a whole heart. He seeks undivided devotion to the Father via a deep love relationship.

“We must come to understand the character of God and the workings of His providence (Psalms 27:11; Psalms 86:11; Psalms 103:7). Just as children come to understand the character of their parents and what pleases them, so we must get to know God better and discern His desires. We have a complete revelation of the Lord and His will in the Scriptures, but we need inner illumination to discover what it means to our own lives” (Wiersbe).

What blocks the king’s children from being more in love with the Father and having undivided devotion to Him?

The psalmist identifies two among many possible impediments.

Psalms 119:36-37

 36 Give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money!

 37 Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.

The Hebrew word translated gain, selfish gain, profit, love for money is betsa. Betsa originally was a technical term used by weavers to designate the action of cutting a piece of cloth free from the loom after it had been woven (TWOT). But over time it took on a more sinister meaning, regarding profit or gain that comes from impure, greedy hearts. Thus the impediment is not gain in and of itself, but rather ill-gotten gain which is the result of greed or avarice. In modern English we might speak of money laundering, skimming off the top, or cheating.

The Hebrew word translated worthless things; vanity is shav. Shav refers to things which have no eternal value. They are temporal and earthbound. They are like grass and flowers, here today, gone tomorrow.

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the Word of our God stands forever.

“Outlook determines outcome. Abraham looked for the heavenly city and ended well; Lot looked at Sodom and ended badly (Genesis 13; Hebrews 11:8–16). What the heart loves and desires, the eyes will see (Psalms 101:2–6; Numbers 15:37–41; Jeremiah 22:17). To have one eye on the world and the other on the Word is to be double-minded, and God does not bless double-minded people (James 1:5–8)” (Wiersbe).

“Left to ourselves, we often don’t know which way leads to life and which way ends in death; we remain in the dark. But God’s Word provides us with a searchlight to cut through the darkness and lead us to safety” (Stanley).

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