Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord. Psalm 119:1
Much of my summer has been about studying, then meditating on Psalm 119. I am so excited to begin this new series with you that I’ve been awake half the night. Ron will tell you that he felt me raising up off my side of the bed to look at the clock, seeing if it was time to get up yet. I couldn’t wait to begin this adventure with this exquisitely beautiful Psalm.
This Psalm is the longest chapter in the Bible and it is unique even in its structure. There are twenty two stanzas, like the stanzas to a hymn, and each one begins with a letter of the Jewish alphabet. The letters are in consecutive order. (Aleph, bet, gimmel, etc.) Was it structured in this fashion to help students like us take it in bite size chunks, to make it easier to memorize? I would suspect that this has to be one of the reasons.
The whole Psalm is about the Word of God; its beauty, its value, the benefits for anyone who makes it their treasure. In going through it together, we will come face to face with the many ways we can interact with God’s instruction. Meditating, treasuring, pondering, obeying, walking, wrestling. A feast awaits us because when all is said and done, what you and I do with the Word of God determines our quality of life. How much we engage with the abundant life God promises His children is directly proportionate to how much we walk in God’s ways. Because that deep desire is in each of us to live life to the fullest and be awakened out of our deep sleep, no subject could be more critical. Are you ready?
What we will read over and over again throughout this Psalm is ‘the law of the Lord.’ That phrase is another word for Torah, or instruction. The word ‘law’ used to trip me up. Nearly every time I read about treasuring the law, I stumbled. How does one treasure rules? Is that all God is – a God of rules? As soon as I understood that the law is really instruction, my heart opened immediately.
I grew up in a home where there was little instruction. You were expected to know how to do adult things with no preparation. Going to school for the first time, visiting the doctor, settling a conflict within a messy relationship, all these were lived out without instruction. You just did the best you could and lived life with a sense of inadequacy.
God is not an absent parent. His ‘instruction’ is inclusional to all of life. Every time you and I interact with His Word, it’s as if He’s whispering in our ear. “Do this, don’t go there, remember what I said about this…” Because of the stunning journey we have ahead through all 176 verses, I am dreaming of the many ways God’s instruction will become our treasure. Arms around it, tears running down our face for the beauty of it ~ kind of treasure.
With that as an introduction, the first disclosure from God is this ~ If we walk in God’s instruction, we will be blameless. Our lives will be wholesome, full of integrity, unimpaired, with a sense of innocence. Those aren’t my words, by the way. They are the meanings of ‘blameless’ in Hebrew.
I literally hold Your Word in my hands today, then press it to my heart. I life my face to the heavens and declare, “I love Your law! Write it on my heart.” Amen