By Eric Taylor
Pastor, Cedar Hill Baptist Church, Cedar Hill
Focal Passage: Psalm 119:1-11
Remember the words: “I pledge allegiance to the Bible, God’s Holy Word, and will make it a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path, and hide its word in my heart that I may not sin against God.” While we do not know who wrote Psalm 119, we can see that he was a person committed to God’s Word.
Throughout this psalm, the author writes of his love for God’s Word, his hunger for God’s Word, his desire to obey it, and his need for the Word of God in his life. The words of Psalm 119 should be the heart words of every faithful follower of Christ.
In our text, we see several key thoughts as we think about our commitment to the Word of God. What these verses tell us is that there are some benefits to living a life committed to the Bible.
First, in verses 1-3, living committed to the Word of God means our lives will be blessed. Now this is a by-product of said commitment. The psalmist says that if we “walk according to the Lord’s instruction,” our lives will be marked as “undefiled” or “blameless” (v. 1). Matter of fact, walking “in His ways” is a sign we are “keeping His testimonies” and seeking Him with all our heart (v. 2), rejecting all “iniquity” (v. 3). The psalmist says that a life of blessedness and happiness finds its source in walking according to the Word of God.
Second, a life committed to the Word of God is a life of dedication (vv. 4-6). In this section, we are told to keep God’s “precepts” (v. 4), “statutes,” (v. 5), and “commands.” The psalmist’s desire was for the Bible to direct his “ways.” Verse 5 reminds us of what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 7.
In writing about his own personal struggle with the flesh, he wrote in verse 24, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”
Yet, Paul answered his own question by writing, “I thank God — through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself serve the law of God …” (v. 25). And do not miss Romans 7:22, where the Apostle wrote, “I delight in the law of God ….”
Notice that verse 6 reminds us that genuine dedication to God’s Word means we are not “ashamed” of “all” God’s commands. At the time, there were over 600 commandments in the Mosaic Law, and apparently, the psalmist was dedicated to keeping each one.
Finally, verses 7-11 teach us that commitment to the Word of God means we must be humble before God. In verses 7-8, the humble follower of Christ wants to learn God’s “righteous judgments,” and desires that the Lord who gave him God’s statutes would never “forsake” him.
Isn’t it interesting the Bible ties not being forsaken by God to learning His Word? Many believers conveniently leave off verse 7, as they demand God fulfill verse 8.
In verses 9-11, the psalmist describes a humble commitment to the Word of God as a commitment that is willing for God’s Word to cleanse (v. 9), control (v. 10), and correct (v. 11). Amen! B&R