Ps 119 study no.3
Father, I am ignorant and distracted, pressed with many worries and concerns. I entrust them all to You now so that I can be free to be taught of You. Show me your ways in great abundance, change us within to be naturally inclined toward holiness and power. We are lost without You! Thanks!
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.
So, we have not yet talked about the ultimate target of verse 5, God’s STATUTES. This phrase is really the problem with this verse. I want to take a little different tack than looking up the Hebrew on this one.
Let’s face it, getting all passionate and fighting fierce battles over something as boring as a statute seems a little crazy. Personally, I hate this idea, at first glance. I hate persnickety little rules that tell me what to do. Besides, I am an ignorant gentile, I don’t know a thing about his statutes. How could I ever do this?
Actually, if you look over this verse again, and indeed all of Ps 119, you won’t see any definition of what ‘statutes’ or ‘precepts’ or ‘ordinances’ are. You don’t see many examples of them spelled out either. You just see this guy struggling with his lack of them, and his passion to grasp them and keep them. Verse after verse after verse of his personal experience with God’s word, that is what Ps 119 is.
Maybe what he is saying here is, make me the kind of person who naturally keeps Your statutes; change my WAYS, my inward inclinations and desires and interests, to be supernaturally in line with your statutes. This is exactly what Paul is saying in Romans:
8:3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,
4 in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so;
8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Isn’t this exactly what the Psalmist is saying? He is praying for his ‘ways’ to be established to keep God’s statutes. Perhaps you could study for 40 years and memorize the whole Bible, but if you have not prayed for God to establish your ways to keep them, if you are not doing it by the Spirit, it is all nothing.
Pick one of the 10 commandments that you feel is tripping you up, and pray for the Lord to establish your ways to keep it.
Here is a link to the 10 commandments: