7. The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
8. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
9. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgements of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
10. More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11. Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.
Analysis added Sunday 31 July 2011
7. The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: if we allow ourselves to meditate on God’s word, it transforms us from within, it changes the way we look at ourselves, our situations and other people. This is a truth that I really have to embrace when I’m struggling with negativity towards different situations, or different people, or even sometimes myself. Something that has also been bouncing around in my mind is the fact that I am not responsible for changing myself. Sometimes I find myself trying to think positive thoughts…but soon find that my thoughts have reverted right back to what they were before.
Rather, positivity and holiness are factors of staying rooted in the Word of God, in His joy, His truth, His presence. Then He transforms my heart, so that those thoughts do not even occur as they used to do. Rather, my thoughts naturally revolve around more positive issues.
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple…
Sometimes, I find myself in a tricky situation, for instance concerning other people. For instance, I sometimes suspect that people are using cunning or devious trickery, like playing games, or lying outright. I then find myself working out what action I need to take to overcome the situation. Sometimes I turn issues over in my mind for hours, or even days, weeks, months, trying to work out how to triumph in any particular situation. Recently, it just occurred to me – the smartest thing to do is to obey the Word of God. If the Bible says “Love”, then this is definitely the smartest thing to do. If it says “Do not retaliate”, then again this is the cleverest or wisest thing I could do. This might not seem like outwitting someone outright, but ultimately, I can trust that if I do my thing, then God will do His thing – and He knows how to resolve issues so that I come out resoundingly triumphant, and so that no-one would suspect that I ever dreamt of revenge even for a second….! 😉
The Lord’s Statutes are right: in moments of quiet reflection, we can recognise that they are truth. However, so often our hearts are consumed with our own inclinations, so that we ignore what we know to be true. At least, this is how my own heart is inclined to work. However, we can come to the Bible confidently, knowing that everything within it is reliable, and pure, and teaches us the right way to live in this world, and the right way to interact with others.
9. The fear of the LORD is clean…if we fear God, or put Him first, and we carefully obey His commandments, then we know that this will not encourage any evil actions in our lives. This is why it is clean. It endures forever, because it is reliable throughout different ages, and different generations. The same God Who the writers of the Psalms trusted is the same God Who we worship now thousands of years later. In the same way it was clean and wise to fear Him then, it is also now clean and wise to fear Him now, despite the very different worlds that we live in, despite all the technological advantages we have that the Psalmist could never have dreamed of.
10. More to be desired are they than gold…sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb: This is a concept that occurs throughout the Bible, and especially the Psalms and Proverbs, that the judgements of God are more valuable than gold, or money. One obvious reason why this is true is because following God and working hard can itself bring gold, or financial prosperity. However, if we choose to chase money or wealth, and do this in a way that is greedy or mean or otherwise disobeys God’s commandments, then we often find that we lose what we chased after anyway. For instance, if someone robs a bank, they might get sent to jail. So if you were going to choose between God’s commandments and an “easy” but dubious means of getting rich, then the wisest thing to choose would be God’s commandments.
11. By them your servant is warned… Often, Christians pay “lip-service” to the commandments of God. If we really took them to heart, then we would pay attention to the warnings that are contained in the Bible. These would protect us from many mistakes. Sometimes bad things happen because you happen to be in the wrong place, or hanging around the wrong people, even if you yourself do not actually do anything wrong. If we obey God’s commandments, then we would know to avoid these places or these people altogether, because we would be warned by the examples of other people contained within the Bible.
Following God’s commandments brings great reward. This is because every good thing comes from God anyway, so it is at least prudent to court God’s favour by doing what He tells us to do! Moreover, in addition to material blessings, truly obeying God’s commandments brings us peace with ourselves, hope and security in life, confidence, and lots of sincere friendship. These are wonderful things, and for me, make my life feel joyful, and optimistic and fulfilled.
Honestly, to know God and worship God is the greatest privilege on earth, and I invite you all to try Him out, sincerely. Life as a Christian can be hard, and challenging, but it is completely worth it! 😉
Photo of honey on bread by Estelheitz on Pixabay