Wow. This psalm is all about wrapping yourself with the word of God. And it’s a long one. The writer writes the same or similar thought from a different angle or view. He really mulls and meditates about each word, and letter in the word of God. It is about beauty, purity, knowledge, wisdom, personal growth, delight (I see Joy in delight), trust, and more.
A few things jumped out to me as I read it the first time and underlined or circled a few passages. Starting right at verse 2 is seeking. To be blessed you need to be seeking. I am looking for God and wanting to learn more about God, about improving my relationship with Jesus. I am constantly seeking. Well, not constantly, but I do want to improve. And reading the Bible to learn. And it all begins with the desire to seek God.
Verse 14 had my first reference to joy in that the writer rejoices in the laws and statutes that God has created for us. And a bit later in 35 he finds delight in God’s commands. Then in 45, he says that he “will walk about in freedom.” I love that understanding and obeying God’s laws really gives me a huge sense of freedom.
As he continues I see a shift to understand the word of God better. Verse 66, “Teach me knowledge and good judgement.” Verse 74, “give me understanding to learn your commands.” And verse 125, “give me discernment.” And discernment was my one-word in 2013. During that year, I wanted to make sure that I understood what God wanted me to do in my life, versus what I wanted to do and have God bless it. Or another way of putting it. . . hearing what I wanted to hear. Through all this, the writer is continually delighting about the law and the blessings he is receiving.
Then I get to verse 105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” I had this underlined in both of my study Bibles before I started reading today. We live in a dark and broken world. Having the light of God available to us is a blessing. It helps show the proper path for me in life. It’s a wonderful guiding source and allows me to avoid some the pitfalls and holes that I might otherwise have fallen into.
Verses 97-104. The letter ‘Mem.’ I titled this section Meditation. The writer is all about learning and growing and by meditating on God’s word to accomplish this task. But it’s not just about knowing and understanding God’s words, it’s about applying them in our lives. That’s the truly hard part. Sometimes it is very difficult to be a Christian. But knowing God and Jesus. Knowing their promises to us. Knowing that He is the ultimate truth. Knowing how this all ultimately ends, makes it easier during the difficult times.
Verse 165. He is beginning to end on a strong note. “Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” I have found that I am much less stressed about a lot of things in life knowing that God has my back. Little things and big things. Jesus has shown me the way. Listening to God and what He wants me to do has been scary at times. Especially quitting my job (I gave them an 8 month notice) and moving to New York with no job. Just because we felt God told us to move here. It’s a great journey so far, and I have no regrets.
And the writer closes with a weird last verse, verse 176. “I have strayed. . .” Even knowing more about God than most, the writer has continually wandered away from God’s laws. And yet, he is always welcomed back with open arms. Brought back by the heavenly Shepherd. A great confession. And a blessing knowing that when I stray, and I will, that coming back, Jesus rejoices in my return. I love that. The Joy of Jesus welcoming back a wandering soul. That is peace.