King David was a man after God’s own heart (I Samuel 13:14). Even with his many sins, God continued to see David as a man that loved and trusted in Him as the one he should serve.
In Psalms 119, David wrote some compelling words about his commitment to God. The words of David show how he felt about obeying his Creator. Remember that he had been on the side of disobedience more than once; but with each act of disobedience, he displayed heart-felt repentance and determination to do better.
In this beautiful Psalm, David makes some commitments to his heavenly Father. He said:
“I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules” (verse 7).
“I will keep your statutes” (verse 8).
“I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways” (verse 15).
“I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word” (verse 16).
“I will meditate on your wondrous works” (verse 27).
“I will run in the way of your commandments” (verse 32).
“I will keep your law continually, forever and ever” (verse 44).
“I promise to keep your words” (verse 57).
We could go on through the chapter with other promises David made, but I want us to focus on verses 105-112. In these verses, David explained what God’s word could do for us. These verses are why I love the Bible.
First, the Bible gives us direction for our lives. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” The Word of God is like a lamp that lays out a path for our lives and shows us where we are going, making our path safe. It can keep us from stumbling and helps us avoid the potholes of life.
Life is hard enough without having to go it alone. God’s commands cover every aspect of our lives. His son experienced everything we experience, yet without sin. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
Second, God’s word revives me and restores my spirit. David said, “I am severely afflicted; give me life, O LORD, according to your word!”
David knew that God’s word would revive and restore him because he had been afflicted. Psalm 119:17 says, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statues”. Those afflictions caused David to learn from doing wrong and made him more determined to be an obedient servant of God.
Third, the commandments of God help us with our struggles with our enemies. Matthew 5:43-45 says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Lastly, the commandments of God are our heritage. “Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.”
Something that is a heritage is something of value. It is a treasured possession, one to be protected, cared for, cherished. So are the commandments of God to be treasured, protected, cared for, and cherished.
So many people find delight in wickedness and disobedience of God’s laws. Here we see that the only true pleasure comes from complete obedience. That’s where true joy is.
Years ago I was part of a conversation about worldliness. The group was discussing drinking and the right or wrong of it. One of the women in the group made this statement, “Well, I always wondered how far back I would be in the line going into hell.”
This woman did not pretend to be living a Christian life. She does not expect to enter eternity and hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21). She expects to spend eternity with the devil and his angels.
This is one of the saddest statements I have ever heard. I have to wonder if she really believes her soul is lost. My guess is she thinks somehow she will escape the fires of hell, but her attitude certainly doesn’t show it.
Unlike this woman, David knew he had sinned, but he knew his constant efforts, his continuous striving to obey God’s commandments, and his prayers for forgiveness would keep him from losing his soul.
He ends this chapter with these words, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.” David truly had the will to do right.