Psalms of Honesty and Wisdom
I compare Psalm 119, our longest psalm, to the teaching time after Christmas break. Teachers will get this readily. The longest stretch in teaching comes during the winter. There are little to no breaks in the action as in the fall months. After Christmas break, review has ended and you dive into new concepts while perfecting the old. You must prepare them for the end of the school year. You are also preparing them for testing, a necessary evil, I suppose. Some of your best teaching occurs during the winter just before spring break. There is a reason it is called “break”. You and your students NEED a break. After spring break, you practice those new skills and concepts until they become a part of you. Then your course works ends and you go to the next level of learning. Stay the course!
Psalm 119, our winter psalm, is packed with teaching and skills for living (wisdom). We must take this one in small bites and chew on every morsel, taking delight in the taste of our Lord’s counsel. “Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8, NLT)
Psalm 119, The Message
1-8 You’re blessed when you stay on course,
walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You’re blessed when you follow his directions,
doing your best to find him.
That’s right—you don’t go off on your own;
you walk straight along the road he set.
You, God, prescribed the right way to live;
now you expect us to live it.
Oh, that my steps might be steady,
keeping to the course you set;
Then I’d never have any regrets
in comparing my life with your counsel.
I thank you for speaking straight from your heart;
I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.
I’m going to do what you tell me to do;
don’t ever walk off and leave me.
What do we learn?
–The law of God is spiritual and can be used by the Spirit to minister to our spirits.
–To be sure, nobody is saved or sanctified by striving to obey the law. But for the dedicated Christian believer, there is a deeper meaning to the law, a writing of the Word upon our hearts because of the new covenant in Jesus Christ.
–To unsaved sinners, the law is an enemy because it announces their condemnation and cannot save them.
–To legalistic believers, the law is a master that robs them of their freedom.
–To spiritually minded believers, the law is a servant that helps them see the character of God and the work of Christ. The Old Testament believer who wrote Psalm 119 was not satisfied with having the law in his home, his head, or his hand; he wanted the law in his heart, where it could help him love what was holy and do what was right (v. 11). It was this approach that Jesus took in the Sermon on the Mount.
–The attributes of God as revealed in the Old Testament parallel the characteristics of the Word of God as seen in Psalm 119. Both are gracious, true, righteous, good, trustworthy, eternal, and light.
–The way we treat the Word of God is the way we treat the God of the Word.
Stay the course!
In Jesus Name, Amen I believe!