1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!
2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,
3 who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!
4 You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.
5 Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!
6 Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
7 I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.
8 I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me!
Psalm 119: 1-8
At first glance this passage can seems somewhat legalistic in a way. But the more I study it, the more I see it as an observation and a prayer by the Psalmist. The Psalmist is stating that he has seen that those who walk in the ways of the Lord, who lead a blameless life are the happiest people. He is not coming at this from a legalistic standpoint as much as he is saying that seeking God is the only true way to happiness. The world would love for us to think otherwise wouldn’t it? Many people think that walking in the ways of God is a boring life and that there is no fun in it. But truly walking with God is really the only way to true joy.
In the first verse the Psalmist mentions “the law of the Lord”. His reference here is to the scriptures. He is saying that when you know the scriptures and you keep the scriptures by seeking God with your whole heart is the way to walk in the way of the Lord.
In verse 5, the Psalmist turns more from a declaration or observation of the blessedness of walking with the Lord to a prayer. “Oh that my ways …” He recognizes when he says this that it is not of his own doing that he will be able to walk in the ways of the Lord, but that it is the work that God is doing in his life. This is taking what he has learned in the scriptures from a head knowledge to a heart knowledge. You see we can know the scriptures, we could know all that there is to know about God’s word yet still we could be walking on our own and not letting it change us.
It’s just like it says in the book of James ~
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22
As we learn the scriptures are we letting what we learn change us? Or are we clinging to our old habits and die hard ways saying “this is the way God made me”? I love verse 7 and 8 and reading them in The Passion Translation put them more plainly for me.
“I will give my thanks to you from a heart of love and truth. And every time I learn more of your righteous judgments, I will be faithful to all that your Word reveals – so don’t ever give upon me!” Psalm 119:7-8 (TPT)
This christian walk is not something we will ever fully arrive at. But what I think I hear the Psalmist saying is this, as we learn more of God’s word, as we study the scriptures with our heart being guided to love and truth that we will be more faithful to what we learn. I love the way TPT ends it with “so don’t ever give up on me!” Isn’t that the cry of all of our hearts? We would love to walk blameless with Him every day but that will not happen as long as we are walking in our human flesh. But we can walk toward that goal. We can learn the scriptures and walk in what we learned today. And we pray when we mess up, “don’t ever give up on me!”