The natural man is influenced by the world, the devil, and his own sinful flesh, in order to make his consistently evil choices (Gen 6:5). The Christian has a greater guide, “Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105).” The world is covered in darkness, so what we need is the light of truth to give us life, both abundant and eternal. Israel was led and protected by the pillar of fire (Ex 13:21–22). Jesus was the light of the world (Jn 8:12) and the Word of truth enfleshed (Ps 119:160; Jn 1:14).
The Word shows no partiality; hence, we must embrace what convicts us of sin, as much as the blessed promises of good things from God. Our exposure to God’s Law will bring proper humiliation, for the gap between its standard and our achievement. Simply put, we fall short. Christ has fulfilled the Law’s requirements, so our pledge is to keep Thy righteous ordinances (Ps 119:106). We confirm our ambition to do it, but as an act of faith.
Non-compliance should slow our ambition to make vows and resolutions, as with rash Jephthah. David was more measured, but the blood of Christ is our only hope for our unfaithfulness. It is wiser to keep our Christian walk simple. We trust that God alone can cause us to walk in His statutes (Ezek 36:27). It is the Holy Spirit who guides us into the truth (Jn 16:13), that is, the Word that sanctifies us into conformity to Christ (Jn 17:17; Rom 8:29; 1 Thess 4:3).
Sanctification is the hammer that fits us into our place in God’s Temple (Eph 2:20–22). It is the saw that prunes us, to bear much more fruit (Jn 15:2). Sanctification is the work of holy fire that separates the dross from the silver in our Christian lives (Prv 25:4). Affliction is not pleasant. It often threatens to extract the life of God in Christ from our souls. It is necessary, however.
It is wise to pray, especially after a session of resolutions made and not attained, “Revive me, O Lord according to Thy Word (119:107). Praying God’s Word, in the Spirit, is always prudent. David wanted his life to be aligned with God’s will and Word. God has His standard, and we need His help.
Alignment comes when the meditations of one’s heart are confessed, “Accept the free will offering of my mouth, O Lord (119:108a).” No other sacrifices are required or accepted. Christ Jesus has done everything on our behalf, in our place, and for our benefit.
There is nothing for us, but for God to teach us His ordinances (119:108b). God’s Word will do its good work, even as circumstantial afflictions have served their purpose in God’s providence. Our right response to God teaching us His Word and sanctifying our lives is to pray with unceasing thanksgiving.
“My soul is continually in my hand, yet I do not forget Thy Law (119:109a),” is the confession of the perplexed. This is a familiar place for the adopted child of God, in this evil world. David was often in a quandary. Because of the conflict between the righteous and the unrighteous, spiritual warfare threatens the slave of Christ (Eph 6:10–20). Jesus had exemplary mettle under pressure, for this reason: “I do not forget Thy Law (119:109b).
It is the task of the wicked to lay a snare (119:110a). The diabolical nature of evil men desires harm to the saints. The world is dark and the path is laden with troubles. Mephibosheth was slighted by his caregiver before King David. Our allegiance to King Jesus must not be questioned. We must walk our talk, but to have our talk, in the first place, we must have God’s Word in our hearts and on our lips.
God’s Word is the inheritance of God’s beloved (119:111a). We have Christ, our treasure in heaven (Eph 2:6; 1 Pet 1:4). His Word is our promise here, but knowing the Law of God is no less our possession. The world places no value on what God has told us, but for believers, it is our life.
The wise man will hide God’s Word in his heart, “For they are the joy of my heart (119:111b).” This is precious treasure, indeed. The unhappy rich have much to manage and much to worry about from moth, rust, and those who would steal, kill, and destroy. The Christian’s treasure is under no threat at all. She may lose much of this world, but there is no comparison, in value, between the temporal and the eternal.
Natural man’s heart inclination is only evil all the time (Gen 6:5); but, “I have inclined my heart to perform Thy statutes (119:112a).” Here is the heart’s desire of the born again. Obedience is a grace, and it is a delight. Mercy and grace have an infinite supply, so the saint does not change his song, “Forever, even to the end (119:112b).” Our ambition is to please God (2 Cor 5:9), and this is done exclusively by faith (Heb 11:6), which is itself a gift of God’s grace (Eph 2:8–9; Phil 1:29).
Christian, the centrality of the Word of God in your life should be evident. It is your only reliable light, in the otherwise dark journey through life in this world. Outer darkness awaits those who were not inclined to settle God’s Word in their hearts (Mt 8:12), as it is settled, forever, in heaven (Ps 119:89).
Ask God to revive you, again, when you are languishing in faith because your treasure, the Word of God, is not where it should be kept, as your eternal inheritance. The way through Vanity Fair is far too dangerous not to prioritize that which guides and protects you. God has left the true light on for you (Jn 1:9); so you can walk in the Light, as He Himself is in the Light (1 Jn 1:7).
Spokane Valley, Washington
August 14, 2022