Here we go with the first 24 verses or 3 stanzas. My approach for the most part will be to highlight verses and/or specific words that seem to be speaking to me. There is value in ALL Scripture … sometimes they are just not in God’s lesson plan for me today … may the Holy Spirit teach me.
— Aleph —
1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!
2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,
3 who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!
Are those first three verses causing anybody to sense an unwritten connection to some New Testament Scripture? OK, read the first three verses above then continue by reading the Beatitudes … let me know what you think.
4 You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.
Keep, keeping, kept … they are in a number of verses in these stanzas. Obviously obedience to God’s word is critical … but obedience can and often is nothing more than an external response of a heart that would much rather do anything but what God desires and commands.
In my mind, to keep something means to treasure and cherish something. Think about the word keepsake … usually it is something you hang onto throughout your life … pulling out constantly in remembrance … oftentimes of a loved one. Typically it also means there is a special place for it. For David, the special place he is keeping God’s testimonies, God’s statutes, God’s commandments, God’s words is IN his heart.
Keeping implies a heart thing, keeping implies a refusal to let go, keeping means remembrance, keeping means out of a love for the Lord you obey from the heart … from the inside out so to speak …
Must have been a pretty good idea … one aspect of the New Covenant is God’s writing of His law on the hearts of His children (Jeremiah 31:33).
5 Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!
David is passionate and committed to God’s law: seek with your whole hear, steadfast in keeping His statutes, eyes fixed on all God’s commandments, seeking God with His whole heart, stored up His word IN his heart, meditate on your precepts, I will not forget your word … oh, that I could catch a spark of David’s passion and commitment!!!
6 Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
Interesting … in the New Testament the only time I find the eyes-fixed combo is after Jesus read from Isaiah in the synagogue … And they eyes of all the synagogue were fixed on Jesus. (Luke 4:20). Pondering and considering …
7 I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.
8 I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me!
— Beth —
9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.
Keep your ways pure – guard your heard and your actions according to the word and the Word of God.
10 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!
11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
While memorization could certainly become a download method for storing God’s word in your heart … oftentimes memorization becomes its own idol and god. Note why we store up God’s word in our hearts … that we might not sin against Him. We need to be able to pull God’s word out of our hearts when the circumstances demand it that we might stand firm IN Christ Jesus!!!
12 Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes!
13 With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth.
14 In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.
We see the word delight three times in these final verses … delight is not a word born out of an obligation. Delight is a word born out of desire, longing, joy, pleasure and satisfaction. Can I truly say the same thing of my study of Scripture?
15 I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.
16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
— Gimel —
17 Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word.
18 Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
Do I seek wondrous things IN God’s law?
19 I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me!
I am a sojourner … sounds very similar to something the writer of Hebrews shared in the chapter on faith … “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.”
20 My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times.
Is my soul consumed with a longing for God’s rules at ALL time? Unfortunately you know my answer … and may even share in it.
21 You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones, who wander from your commandments.
22 Take away from me scorn and contempt, for I have kept your testimonies.
23 Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes.
24 Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors. (ESV)
OK, that concludes my Day One notes.
Please share any insights you might have …
Abide in the word of God!!!