Today’s study: we are finishing up Ps 119:5-6.
5 Oh that my ways may be established To keep Thy statutes!
6 Then I shall not be ashamed When I look upon all Thy commandments.
Father in heaven, we are beset daily with many tasks, many frustrations, and many fears. I feel them bearing down on me, assaulting my mind, tempting me away from Your word and Your life. Feed our souls Lord, strengthen our inner man, to give our strength and our attention and our best imagination to perceive Your truth.
Change us within to energetically guard Your word within us. Amen!
to keep Thy STATUTES: this is actually the Hebrew word choq, which means statute, ordinance, limit, something prescribed, due. It seems to mean limit or boundary. I think it means, to guard Thy limits, to defend God’s boundaries in my life. Many people flirt with God’s boundaries, inching right up to what they think they can do that won’t ruin them completely, and this is just the wrong way to think. These boundaries are to be cherished, they are to be defended, they are to be clearly recognized and fortified.
Then I shall not be ASHAMED: isn’t this something?! I think many people shy away from the word of God, from studying it closely, because they know they have not guarded the boundaries of God in their life, and they know they are going to be ashamed when they go there. I think actually that if you have transgressed the boundaries of God, the word is more necessary than ever, it is the source of grace and help and restoration. However, there is no doubt that it is better to go to the word without the fear of being ashamed.
I think it is good to recognize here that the Psalmist is coming from a place of anguish and failure here. He does not say, “my ways are established to defend Your boundaries; I love your commandments.” He says, I am struggling to keep Your boundaries, I’m having trouble defending them. In the past I have been scared to even look upon Your commandments, because I am a sinning scumbag and I know it. Take me to a new place, where I DO defend Your boundaries, where I go to Your word and I don’t see page after page of condemnation, but I see hope and help and wonderful truth.
If the Psalmist, a guy who is actually writing SCRIPTURE, has these struggles, and is praying this way, it is OK for us to own up and admit the same thing. Let’s all pray together to have our ways such that we recognize and defend God’s boundaries, and that we can go to the word with joy and not fear.