These first eight verses of Psalm 119 tell us that blessings come to those whose walk in life is signified by integrity and innocence and being free from blame. The words and thoughts of these first eight verses sum up the theme of the psalm: the joy we find in the Word of the Lord. All of these eight verses begin with the Hebrew letter aleph.
Walking the Walk
Psa 119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
Psa 119:2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
Psa 119:3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
The “way” could mean simply our walk through life, but I believe it refers to the “Way” of God and our walk through life on God’s path. “Law”, in the second clause, is the Torah. The Torah is comprised of laws, yes, but it is not just law. It is instruction of how to live a beneficial life by walking in the way of the Lord and finding direction for our lives as given to us by God.
Keeping God’s testimonies brings blessing. Holding, observing, guarding faithfully and preserving the promises and the covenants (testimonies) of God brings favor to us. God wants us to remember his ten commandments. He wants us to remember His promises; His revelations; the covenants with His people, and he wants us to remember them faithfully – without changing them at all.
When we keep His testimonies we are seeking after Him; finding out who He is and learning His ways; listening to Him so that we can hear what it is he has to say to us. We don’t do this just when we have a cursory stray thought – it’s the desire that bends our will to make the effort to search after His ways. It’s with our whole heart, our whole mind, and all of our will.
The Blessings and Struggles
Once we start seeking Him and being open to His message to us, we are on the greatest journey we can ever take. We begin having revelation of the Ways of God: knowing and understanding the Laws of the Lord, and learning the instructions of the Lord. As we seek and read and remember and receive knowledge, we have a greater desire to walk in righteousness (uprightness, fidelity), refraining from any injustice of deed and speech. We desire to walk in His ways and do no iniquity. We have to make the choice to walk the walk, but God will help us because we can’t do it on our own.
You will always struggle with iniquity. You will always struggle with stepping off the path of God’s Ways. You were born sinful into a world of sin and you cannot escape the world’s influence, but that’s why Jesus came – so that we might be saved by his shed blood and death with His resurrection enabling us to approach the Father through grace.
Psa 119:4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
Psa 119:5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
Psa 119:6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
We have been ordered to follow His instructions (precepts) and the statutes (specific rules or mandates) with purpose. We cannot paraphrase them or amend them into a stronger or weaker statement. The psalmist, knowing he is weak and prone to sin and that it is impossible for him to be able to keep God’s precepts perfectly, says that he wishes that his ways were stable and established to follow God’s statutes. It is a struggle!
But We Must Set Our Will
We announce our intent to keep God’s statutes. This is an affirmation and affirmations give us purpose and strength. They increase our will and our define our focus. They help us to continue on the path.
Psa 119:7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments
Psa 119:8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
I am always puzzled by phrases in the Psalms that are similar to the last one in this psalm: “O forsake me not utterly.” We know that God is never far away, but there is a situation in which God will “give over” a stubbornly rebellious person or people. Perhaps the psalmist is worried that God will be so angry with his sin that He will release him to his own devices. I suspect that every believer, at one time or another, has felt that they are so depraved that God can’t possibly love them.
I assure you, that is totally wrong thinking!
Walking the Way of the Lord give us blessings. We aren’t specifically told what the blessing will be, but that information is given throughout the Bible. The blessings of the Lord are many and numerous: health, friends and family, income, a place to live, safety, knowledge, joy, happiness, contentment. Name something good and pure in your life – it all comes from God.
Try giving thanks for the place you live or the car you drive (even if it is a junker) or the food on the table or for that friend that is faithful. God cherishes your thanksgiving. The Word says that He makes His home in your praises.
Thank you for reading and God bless you