Psalm 119:1-8

Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the Lord!
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
    who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong,
    but walk in his ways!
You have commanded your precepts
    to be kept diligently.
 Oh that my ways may be steadfast
    in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame,
    having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart,
    when I learn your righteous rules.
I will keep your statutes;
    do not utterly forsake me!
Psalm 119:1-8
Did you know there is poetry in the Bible? The Psalms are filled with beautiful poems, some of which were based on music, some on rhyme, others, like Psalm 119 based on an acrostic of the Hebrew alphabet. Each line of the passage today starts with the Hebrew letter aleph or ‘a’.

Our author starts here by creating a ‘perfect scenario’. These verses describe someone who is perfectly following God. Verses 1-6 speak to the joy of both knowing and living according to God’s law. Perhaps we think of living by the law as full of duty and burdensome. But the psalmist indicates that observing God’s ways brings joy. The problem is that we find ourselves completely unable to consistently follow God, at times it even seems overwhelming. However, because we can’t do it perfectly, doesn’t change the truth that those who follow God’s commandments are happy and blessed. The grim reality is sin keeps us from doing this perfectly.

Our author understood our dilemma as in verse 5 he states, ‘Oh, that my ways may be steadfast’.  Other translations use the words: ‘If only….’. The reality is that we can’t do this perfectly, we can’t follow God all the time because of our sin nature. Sometimes we live in the continual experience of ‘if only…’.

So, does that mean we give up? Absolutely not! The Psalmist didn’t stop there, he continues to pursue a relationship with God by following what God has prescribed in the Scriptures.

We can see the psalmist pursues that relationship in three ways:

First, he pursues the Scriptures (v.6) to learn what God is like and what God wants for us. We can do this by daily being in God’s Word.

Second, he praises God for the things God has revealed to him (v.7). We can do this through regular times of prayer.

Third, he proclaims his desire to keep God’s commands (v 8). We can do this by sharing what we are learning with others.

Be encouraged and don’t give up. It’s worth the struggle because life with God is blessed.
David Flug | Community Life Pastor