161 “Rulers persecute me without cause, but my heart trembles at Your Word. 162 I rejoice in Your promise like one who finds great spoil. 163 I hate and abhor falsehood but I love Your law. 164 Seven times a day I praise You for Your righteous laws. 165 Great peace have they who love Your law, and nothing can make them stumble. 166 I wait for Your salvation, O LORD, and I follow Your commands. 167 I obey Your statutes, for I love them greatly. 168 I obey Your precepts and Your statutes, for all my ways are known to You.” -Psalm 119:161-168 Sin and Shin
It is said we become what we behold. God’s will is for every believer to grow in love with Him each day through His revealed Word. Can we echo the psalmist as one who finds great treasure in it? In the Lord? The psalmist isn’t just an admirer of God’s law, but a follower of it. The writer here is fully captivated with the Lord. He loves God the Father and tells Him so, over and over, throughout the entire psalm. Yet words must match our lives. The psalmist’s actions prove the devotion and sincerity of his heart to live before the throne of God in sweet communion. What is interesting to note is that through most of this psalm, he has been under affliction. Yet trials have not pushed him away from God but drawn him even closer.
I think about specific times in my life when the storms of life have howled. Although I didn’t understand the circumstances, Peter’s words to Jesus came to mind when Christ asked his disciples if they were going to leave Him. “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God”, was Peter’s reply (John 6:68-69). It’s one of my favorite lines in Scripture because it encompasses the life of faith for the Christian. When trials come (and they will), do we isolate and nurse our wounds? Or do we cling to God, our Father, who loves us best?
God’s Word brings peace in our hearts, praise to our lips, obedience in our steps, holiness to our lives. This discipline of delight is cultivated over a lifetime of experiencing the Lord’s fellowship, discipline, mercy and grace. As we near the end of Psalm 119, the writer looks back over the life God gave him, laying it all before Him. The psalmist presents the entirety of his life as a sacrifice back to the One who gave Him the gift of salvation. We too, are called to lay our lives down for God’s glory, as we become more like His Son. We use the treasure map of the Bible to lead us closer to God. All the arrows point to the Pearl of Great Price, Jesus Christ. May God be our Abba, Father, as we dig deeper to mine the treasures He chooses to show us.
Grace upon grace,
Growing deeper: Psalm 63; Matthew 13:44-46; Romans 12:1-2