How can we keep ourselves clean?
How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. – Psalm 119:9
10 I have tried hard to find you – don’t let me wander from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
12 I praise you, O LORD; teach me your decrees.
13 I have recited aloud all the regulations you have given us.
14 I have rejoiced in your laws as much as in riches.
15 I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways.
16 I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word.
97 Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long.
98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are my constant guide.
99 Yes, I have more insight than my teachers, for I am always thinking of your laws.
100 I am even wiser than my elders, for I have kept your commandments.
103 How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey.
104 Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life.
105 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
Thousands of words are written on the importance of commitment. Particularly regarding human relationships. “To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us” (Tim Keller).
Commitment to those we love is very important, yet as children of the King, we have an opportunity to make a much higher commitment with far more outstanding results. What is this commitment? It is a commitment to the Word of God. To be all in and deeply in love with it. We fall in love with the Word; it draws us into a deep, personal, loving relationship with the Father, the living God.
If we want to please the Father and honor Him with our lives, we must get to know His Word. The Bible warns us of dangers ahead, steers us toward the heart of God, and gives us the wisdom to flourish in a dark age (Stanley).
Many children of the King “have never experienced the power and encouragement available to them through memorizing Scripture. When we lock portions of God’s Word in our mind, they remain available always to help and strengthen us in tough times” (Stanley).
How do we get there from here? David shows us the way. The answer is simple yet challenging. It requires an intentional commitment to read, reflect upon, meditate, contemplate, and memorize the Word of God. David demonstrates his tremendous love for the Father by treasuring His Word in his heart. He is determined to limit his sin against the Father and not disobey Him. He recognizes that the Father has provided a solution. So he sets his heart and mind on treasuring the Word of God.
The Hebrew word translated as hidden, treasured, stored up is tsaphan. Tsaphan has the idea of regarding something as highly valued and precious. But David exemplifies more than merely highly regarding the Word of God. He loves and delights in it. It is so sad that such love is rare among children of the King.
His inner devotion to the Lord also finds expression in a teachable spirit (Psalms 119:12) and contentment (Psalms 119:14, 16) (VanGemeren).
REFLECT & PRAY
If we walk in the light of God’s Word, we will not stumble in the dark.
Father continually encourages me to search your Word and store it in my heart. May I treasure it always.
The Father has given us His Word to provide light and direction for everyday living. When we regularly neglect time in the Word, our perception is dimmed as we vainly attempt to see and comprehend. Sadly stray from His best. “Many Christians today have never experienced the power and encouragement available to them through memorizing Scripture. When we lock portions of God’s Word in our mind, they remain available always to help and strengthen us in tough times” (Stanley).
Psalms 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart. (NLT)
Psalms 119:11 Your word I have treasured in my heart. (NAS)
“The best book in the world is the Bible. The best place to put it is in the heart. The best reason for putting it there is that it saves us from sinning against God” (BBC).
Psalms 119, written by David, is the longest chapter in the Bible, with 176 verses and 2426 words. It contains 22 sections. Each section has eight verses. Why 22? The Hebrew alphabet contains 22 letters. Every verse in each section starts with a Hebrew word that begins with the same Hebrew letter. For example, the first section containing eight verses begins with the Hebrew letter Aleph. The verses in the next section start with the Hebrew letter Beth, etc.
“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).
For children of the King, the question is, how do we avoid the pitfalls prevalent around us? How do we overcome the spiritual and moral plight we continually face? And worst case, when we fail, how do we resume our intimate relationship with the Father and experience renewed cleansing and purity?
It begins with recognizing that the Father is entirely different from people in how He thinks and takes action. His thoughts and ways are immeasurably loftier and more magnificent than we could possibly imagine.
8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”
9 “For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
We are finite creatures, yet He has established direct access and communication to His infinite thoughts, ways, and resources. They are ready and prepared for us to experience. How do we accomplish this? David shows us the way. It begins with studying and pondering the Word of God. But then we must take it a step further. With determined singleness of purpose, we must meditate on God’s precepts and internalize them through memorization. This opens a marvelous and unimaginable door to a merciful and magnificent Friend who comes alongside us and helps.
The Word of God is living, active, and transformational. David had the wonderful experience of falling in love with the Word of God and taking delight in it. He was transformed from the inside out.
© Dr. H 2022