The love that the writer has for God’s word really strikes me as I go through this psalm. So many people take God’s word as something that binds. Namely, something that takes away our freedom to enjoy life. “Do this, don’t do that.”
But the psalmist doesn’t see things that way at all. Why not? I think it flows from his concept of God. What was his concept of God? We see it in verse 41.
May your unfailing love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise.
And again in verse 64,
The earth is filled with your love, O LORD.
In other words, he saw God as someone who truly loved him, and was looking out for his best. As a God who was his salvation in a hostile and broken world.
As a result, when he looked at the laws of God, he didn’t see a God who was trying to be a killjoy. Rather he saw a God who wanted him to find true life.
So he wrote in verse 45,
I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.
Notice that to the psalmist, the law of God did not bind, but actually brought freedom. Why? Because when we live life the way God designed it to be lived, we find that we can actually live it to its fullest.
At home, I’m using Windows 8. I must admit, there are a lot of things on there that I never use. Part of it is I just don’t want to take the time to look up what everything is. I’ve got the basics, but nothing else. I suppose one of these days, for example, I should figure out how to use the cloud application.
I’m not using Windows 8 to its fullest because I haven’t studied the manual. If I did, I’d probably find easier ways to do things, and my life would be a lot easier because I’d be using it the way it was designed.
I don’t have a Smart Phone (or i-phone) for that matter, but I know many people who are the same way with their phones as I am with Windows 8. They’re missing out on a lot of the functions, because they don’t take the time to read the manual.
The Bible is the manual to life. It shows us how God designed us to live. And when we live according to the manual, far from finding ourselves bound up, we find freedom and life.
God’s word also brings comfort when life becomes hard. It brings comfort because besides showing us the way to life, it shows us God’s promises to those who love him. And so as we go through this broken world, we can have hope.
The psalmist wrote,
Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. (49-50)
One of my favorite verses is John 14:1-3 where Jesus told his disciples this:
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.
I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
When his disciples went through persecution, and even death, how much must those promises of Jesus have brought them comfort. And they can bring us comfort too.
The key underlying all of this is this: Do you believe God is good? Do you believe that he’s looking out for your best? If you do, his word will bring you freedom and comfort. If you don’t, you’ll have trouble understanding the psalmist’s passion for God’s word that you see in this passage, and throughout the whole psalm.
How do you see God?