“Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.” Psalm 119:11
Imagine how dark the world would be without light? Imagine how meaningless it would be? God’s Word is a light that defines and gives life meaning. The Bible expresses God’s heart. A little earlier in Psalm 111:105 we read, Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Let’s explore Psalm 119:11 and what it implies, remembering that God’s Word is light in the darkness.
In Psalm 119:11, the word “statute”, means law. The idea behind “heritage” means inheritance. Why would the Psalmist say that having God’s laws as his inheritance brings joy?
If someone left us an inheritance what would we think of first? If we were honest, it wouldn’t be a set of rules. Honestly, we wouldn’t really see the value in it. Unless of course it was a set of rules, or directions to a treasure.
The Psalmist here is hinting at a sense of uncommon values. He treasures God’s way of life. He knows God. He has acquainted himself with the ways that seem right to man, but in the end lead to death. He knows that God’s ways lead to the very best kind of life.
He understands God who created human life has laid down statutes to live by. And these are very good. They lead to a tremendous treasure, character, and delight of being pleasing to God.
Imagine for a moment, if God didn’t reveal his ways of holy living to us. Imagine how frustrated we would be trying to figure out the way we should live! What is right? What is wrong? How would we live in family? How would we function as a church? How would we please God? If we didn’t know God’s laws.
So the Psalmist is rejoicing that not only has God revealed how best to live, but I believe, he is also rejoicing in the relationship aspect this reveals. God loves us enough to communicate with us the best ways and practices.
Imagine for a moment, how meaningless a game would be without rules. Imagine how chaotic and unsafe our streets and highways would prove, without rules. It is not a stretch to realize how meaningless our lives are without knowing God’s ways, without understanding the best practices for life.
What a reason to rejoice. We know how to live in a way that God says is best. We know the God who created these statutes created them for for us to reach our best in life.
We are not “saved” by obeying God’s ways and means to the best life. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus. Yet, our salvation is based on a vibrant, active, communicative relationship with God. If we love God, we will desire, seek out, and follow through with his directions for how to live.
I love the truth in John 10:10 that describes God as a God who seeks and desires the very best for us; that we live abundant lives.
When God warned us to:
Have no other gods before him; not make idols in the form of anything in heaven or on earth or in the waters, not to bow down or worship them; To not misuse God’s name; to remember to keep the Sabbath day; to honor our parents; to not murder; to not commit adultery; to not steal; to not give false testimony; to not covet
He did so for the benefit of us.
How much addiction and unrest, and strife, and wickedness and sleeplessness, and lack of God’s favor we forfeit when we forget to live by God’s ways?
Some of us grew up memorizing these 10 ways to live, yet, do we really know them by heart? Do we understand the importance Jesus placed on them? That God’s desire was that we not only observe them, but that we take them into our hearts and apply the intent behind them to our everyday life?
God not only gave these commands, he enables us to follow them, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Let us eagerly desire to find the joy of the living lives in greater dependence and obedience to God!
Prayer: God, you know that these commands aren’t always easy. Help us know how to live. Show us how to value what you value and love you. Show us how to be in the world but not of it. Show us God how to enjoy your pathway, and to run in it, and experience the freedom of the life you always intended us to live. In Jesus name, Amen.