Editor’s Note: This is post 2 of 6 in a weeklong series on Psalm 119. Click here for more.
Before you study Psalm 119 today…
- Ask God to meet you in the text and show you who He is, who you are in Him, and how you can apply the words you read to your daily life.
- Read and/or listen to the entire text of Psalm 119. Click on the images below for the text in the English Standard Version ready to print and/or read from BibleGateway and for the audio version of Psalm 119 (voice of Sara Nelson and recording by Matt Gley).
Psalm 119 begins with the words, “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!” Simply reading the word law causes some people to cringe as they view obedience to a set of laws as an unattainable burden. The word law and its synonyms are used throughout Psalm 119, but it’s important to get one thing straight. This psalm is not about legalism or following the Ten Commandments perfectly, but about finding God’s best for you.
The Hebrew word for law is torah, which means direction or instruction, and it is also the title of the first five books of the Old Testament — Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy — which tells of the first days of the love story between the Creator and His created. Throughout these early accounts of creation, the entrance of sin, the flood, and God’s covenantal love, deliverance, and blessing of His people, we see a picture of a Father creating safe boundaries to protect His children that they might live and flourish.
In Deuteronomy 6:24-25, right after delivering the Ten Commandments to the people of Israel, Moses declared, “And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.”
For our good always…
When we choose to walk in the law of the LORD, we choose a life that is good and yet hard at times. God allows challenges into our lives to prune and to shape us and ultimately to drive us closer to Him. With His hand upon us and our hearts surrendered to His leading — His law, His best for us — we experience blessing even in the face of hardship.
— Jaime Sherman
Key verses: How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your Word. With my whole heart I seek You; let me not wander from your commandments! Psalm 119:9-10
Questions to ponder: What currently distracts you or causes you to wander from God’s law? How have you experienced God’s law being the best path to follow in your life? What do we learn from even just the first two sections of Psalm 119 about what we can do to remain fixed to God’s ways?
Prayer: Lord, I praise You, for You are not silent. You have blessed me with life-giving words to guide me in Your good ways. May my ears be open and my heart soft to receive them and to lean into Your best for me, and may a longing for Your instruction grow in me and characterize my days.