121 I have done what is righteous and just;
do not leave me to my oppressors.
122 Ensure your servant’s well-being;
do not let the arrogant oppress me.
123 My eyes fail, looking for your salvation,
looking for your righteous promise.
124 Deal with your servant according to your love
and teach me your decrees.
125 I am your servant; give me discernment
that I may understand your statutes.
126 It is time for you to act, LORD;
your law is being broken.
127 Because I love your commands
more than gold, more than pure gold,
128 and because I consider all your precepts right,
I hate every wrong path.
Because I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold, and because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path. What is it that we value more than anything else in life? What do we long for and crave? Is it money, success, or power? Is it love or the feeling of being admired? What is the driving force in our lives? Is there a deep love for God and His word that impacts the way we live our lives and make our decisions?
It seems so often that I keep hearing, “I love God. He is so important to me.” Yet these very same people who profess to love God make decisions that are contrary to God’s word. They deliberately do what the word of God says is wrong. The Bible tells us in John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” We can not truly love God without loving the word of God, the Bible. If we say that we love God, we will obey the words He has spoken.
People seem to create their own definition of what it means to love God. It is as if they can decide to love God on their own terms without checking to see how God desires to be loved. God tells us over and over in John chapter 14 that if we love him, we will obey Him. In addition, if we truly love someone, we will spend time with them, and the way we spend time with God is by reading the Bible and through prayer.
Because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path. Bottom line: the psalmist trusts God and the laws that are established in the Bible. The writer does not go down the wrong paths in life because he trusts God to help him make the right decisions. The love for God and the Bible directs him down paths of blessings, but not necessarily blessings that are always realized here on earth. Some of God’s rewards are stored away for us in heaven.
How will you live your life? Will you love God and His word? Will you know the right path in life because you have studied the word of God? Will you love God enough to obey the words He has spoken?
If you have strayed away from God and have failed to listen to Him, you can repent and experience the joy that comes from obedience. A passage from the book Abba’s Child explains Brennan Manning’s departure from the Christian faith and his subsequent repentance. The following excerpt is from page 130-131 of his book Abba’s Child:
Many of us can recall an utterly unpredictable moment in which we were deeply affected by an encounter with Jesus Christ–a peak experience that brought immense consolation and heartfelt joy. We were swept up in wonder and love. Quite simply, we were infatuated with Jesus, in love with love. For me [the author Brennan Manning] the experience lasted nine years.
Then shortly after ordination I got shanghaied by success. Applause and acclaim in the ministry muffled the voice of the Beloved [God]. I was in demand. What a giddy feeling to have my person admired and my presence required! As my unconditional availability increased and intimacy with Christ decreased, I rationalized that this was the price to be paid for unstinting service to the Kingdom enterprise.
Years later, the fame faded and my popularity waned. When rejection and failure first made their unwelcome appearance, I was spiritually unequipped for the inner devastation. Loneliness and sadness invaded my soul. In search of a mood-altering experience I unplugged the jug. With my predisposition to alcoholism, I was a raging drunk within eighteen months. I abandoned the treasure [of a relationship with God] and took flight from the simple sacredness of my life.
Finally, I went for treatment in Hazelden, Minnesota. As the alcoholic fog lifted, I knew there was only one place to go. I sank down into the center of my soul, grew still, and listened to the Rabbi’s [Jesus'] heartbeat.
The ensuing years have not been marked by uninterrupted awareness of present risenness; my life has not been an unbroken spiral toward holiness. There have been lapses and relapses, fits of pique and frustration, times of high anxiety and low self-esteem. The good news is that their hang-time grows progressively shorter.
What is the purpose of this self-disclosure? For anyone caught up in the oppression of thinking that God works only through saints, it offers a word of encouragement. For those who have fulfilled Jesus’ prophetic word to Peter, “Before the cock crows you will have disowned me three times,” it offers a word of liberation. For those trapped in cynicism, indifference, or despair, it offers a word of hope.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). The way He related to Peter, John, and Mary Magdalene is the way He relates to us. The recovery of passion starts with reappraising the value of the treasure, continues with letting the Great Rabbi hold us against His heart, and comes to fruition in a personal transformation of which we will not even be aware.
- Psalm 119: God’s Help for Stumbling Into Sin (mainwriters.com)
- Psalm 119: Having Faith in God’s Word (mainwriters.com)
- Psalm 119: God’s Word Is a Light for Our Path (mainwriters.com)
- Wisdom for Dealing with Difficult People Comes from the Word of God (mainwriters.com)
- Psalm 119: God’s Word Sustains Us (mainwriters.com)