The Moral Compass
Lord, along with the psalmist I can say, “How I love your law.”
Read Psalm 119:97–112
97 Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.
98 Your commands are always with me
and make me wiser than my enemies.
99 I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your statutes.
100 I have more understanding than the elders,
for I obey your precepts.
101 I have kept my feet from every evil path
so that I might obey your word.
102 I have not departed from your laws,
for you yourself have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 I gain understanding from your precepts;
therefore I hate every wrong path.
105 Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.
106 I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
that I will follow your righteous laws.
107 I have suffered much;
preserve my life, Lord, according to your word.
108 Accept, Lord, the willing praise of my mouth,
and teach me your laws.
109 Though I constantly take my life in my hands,
I will not forget your law.
110 The wicked have set a snare for me,
but I have not strayed from your precepts.
111 Your statutes are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.
112 My heart is set on keeping your decrees
to the very end.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you” (Jas. 1:21).
A friend who had just lost his lovely, godly wife after years of marriage said, somewhat astonishingly, “If you can’t say Hallelujah now, your praise isn’t real.” It’s easy to praise God when things are going right, but when life gets tough things shape up differently. Some assume that David composed this psalm, since it reflects his experience. Before he was king, as shepherd and fugitive, he knew what it was to suffer and take his life in his hands. After he became king, people were often out to get him. Yet, those experiences have only enhanced the value he sees in God’s Word.
He testifies that God’s Word was “sweeter than honey” (103), providing
much comfort through the rough experiences of life and also that it was “a
lamp for my feet and a light for my path” (105), providing guidance when
needed. By guidance he doesn’t mean personal guidance about whom to marry or where to live, but moral guidance about how to live righteously, how to respond to enemies or how to lead with integrity. God’s Word is the indispensable moral compass for his servants. The remarkable effect is that God’s Word makes David wise beyond his years—wiser than his teachers
(98–100), who often build their decisions on faulty foundations and continue building with faulty logic. God’s Word also keeps David from falling into temptation (101). Benefiting from God’s Word doesn’t happen
automatically. David, along with the rest of us, needed to meditate on it
(97–99), obey it (100), follow it (102–105), learn from it (108), remember it (109), and stick to it, persevering to the end (112). We need to devour God’s Word so that God’s Word can make us the people we should be.
In what ways do you meditate on God’s Word? Or, does honesty compel you to admit that you usually read it perfunctorily rather than linger with it in meditation?
Lord, give me a desire not only to read but also to meditate on Your Word so that Your law can take root within my heart.