Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.
Certainly scripture is meaning more to me – but so is his word by the Spirit. This Psalm has been constantly in my head this weekend – the words and their lessons. A good way to be. Oh that my ways were steadfast – that I thought on God’s word through my working day! [I wrote this in April 2014. It’s far too easy to condemn ourselves for ‘not reading Scripture enough’. That feeling alone is a symptom of something disconnected in our Spirits. I think it is and always will be a struggle to tear our minds off earthly things and truly concentrate on the Word, and because we remember the effects of studying it much more than the joy of studying and learning the word, we stop ourselves from falling in love with Scripture. So – one of our collective priorities must be to talk about God’s word with excitement and love – the same way we gush to one another when we fall in love!]
Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,
For they are ever with me.
Able to see further, in time and space, and able to judge what is important – not just of people, but I can out-do and out-think temptation when God’s command is close to me.
I have more insight than all my teachers,
For I meditate on your statutes.
Insight – knowledge of God’s will and way arising from the spirit within each of us. It develops with the dwelling – ruminating – Eugene Petersen would say ‘gnawing’.
I have more understanding than the elders,
For I obey your precepts.
Understanding in the mind, born of experience, develops particularly as a result of obedient experience. This is God’s intention in giving us his commands – that we would understand him.
I have kept my feet from every evil path
So that I might obey your word.
Here is another direct walking parable. There are paths that are evil to our intention and purpose, like Christian’s path in the Pilgrim’s Progress. Because we long to follow God’s purpose at the great scale – to finish the race and complete the walk – we must be singleminded and turn down other distractions. Even if not immoral, they can be evil to us if they lead us off the path.
I have not departed from our laws,
For you yourself have taught me.
So at no time have I been able to escape the effect of God’s law and his justice, since he himself has been actively engaged in my education.
How sweet are your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth.
Yet we have to chew to get the sweetness! Looking at food, we never really remember how good it tastes. God’s word is sweet remaining in our mouths, too.
I get understanding from your precepts;
Therefore I hate every wrong path.
The strength of my reaction to the paths and ways around me, splitting off from my route, is a result of my mind’s new openness to God’s word and my dwelling in his teaching. If I continue to learn by making myself available to God, my mind will be even better able to warn me from bad paths, and more able to actually decide against them. To have a pliable will and insight to see – that is freedom to walk wherever you want!