Psalm 119 – Nun (Keeping The Word To The End Of My Life)
Updated: Oct 20, 2019
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws.
I have suffered much; preserve my life, O Lord, according to your word.
Accept, O Lord, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws.
Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law.
The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts.
Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.
My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet”. Imagine walking in the dark, we need to watch every step, don’t we? What are the steps we take that need God’s words to guide us? I feel ‘steps’ refer to every action and reaction we make. What goes through our mind as we make our move? “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25 NIV) As Christians, we are given the Holy Spirit as our lamp to guide us. We have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us since we were baptised, but we seldom speak about the Spirit. Because of our ignorance of the presence of God in us, we can’t make the word of God our lamp. Ask the Holy Spirit within for the steps we should take and enjoy the walk with Him.
The Psalmist also felt that the Word of God is “a light for my path”. The light from the lamp is only short range, and only meant for little steps we make. There is another light that the Psalmist is talking about, the light that shows us our final destination. God doesn’t want us to walk this path alone, but to walk together with all His people to our final destination.
There will be trouble and afflictions in our walk, but all these are nothing but distractions. Since we have the knowledge of good and evil, we will face the consequences that result from our decisions. Besides, we also face the consequences of actions made by other people, as we don’t live alone on this earth. With all the confusion around us, there is only one true light that leads us to our final destination. This light is Jesus.
When we know how righteous the Word of God is, we will naturally want to take “an oath” to follow it. How determined are we to make the word of God our real ‘Bible’? When I buy a piece of furniture from Ikea, I need the instruction sheet even for the simplest purchase. I’ve tried not following the instruction sheet and always end up with more unnecessary steps. I have many regrets because of the times I did not follow God’s commands. Like how the Psalmist felt, “I have suffered much” too. Through the words of God, I’ve learned and avoided many unnecessary bad consequences.
Because of my ‘suffering’, I’ve yearned for God to accept my “willing praise” so that God will teach me. The Psalmist found out how good the word of God is and yearned for more to be taught to him, but it is not possible if God doesn’t want to teach him. Reading the Bible isn’t as simple as reading a book. We won’t see the essence of God’s words without having God teach us. Although we need human teachers to teach and advise us, the ultimate teacher is God. We need Him to open up our ears and eyes, and to give us insights to the Scriptures. Everyone’s life is different; no one knows our hearts better than the Holy Spirit. Non-Christians need to ask God to show them how to find Him. For us Christians, we need to ask the Holy Spirit living right within us.
The Psalmist admits, “I constantly take my life in my hands”, but he will not forget God’s law. We take risks constantly in our every day life and some are taken contrary to what God commands. However, that should not cause us to forget His words. God knows that every inclination in our hearts turn to evil, so He gave us His words to remember and obey. Our God is good, we need to remember His words to obey them.
“The wicked have set a snare for me”. Wicked people were trying to trap the Psalmist. He did not want to be a ‘stray” and wander away from God’s precepts; that’s like walking aimlessly through a minefield. Sticking closely to God’s principles ensures we don’t fall into the traps of our enemies.
Are God’s words our “heritage”? This heritage is a special possession and meant to be kept forever. God’s words are not to be forgotten. It gives us joy to know that God’s Word is still living and active today. Are our hearts set on keeping God’s words to the very end?
Jesus is the Word and I desire to keep Jesus in my heart to the very end.
Andy is the head of compliance for an international bank and is happily married, with three daughters. He became a disciple of Christ three decades ago, and studies God's Word passionately. He desires to be constantly led by the Spirit.